I have been doing Marlins previews for so long I can't even remember. We're not quite at the 10-year mark, but I remember writing LMFAO jokes in the school computer lab. I remember being optimistic about Josh Johnson. I remember the Marlins being compelling, I tell you.
None of that's really a thing anymore. The Marlins are run as mercenary as a professional team can be. Some might find this honesty refreshing — they are only around to make Jeffrey Loria money, as opposed to say the Reds who are here because of Power and Tradition and oh yeah by the way to make Bob Castellini money. Anyways, Marlins fans would gladly take the Power and Tradition. Instead they have a 71-win team that doesn't stand a chance against the power teams of the NL East.
I think there may actually be more ex-Marlins in Cinti than the other way around. Mat Latos is long gone from last year's trade. The only name I recognize is Dylan Axelrod, who probably won't pitch more than 20 innings for this team. Though I could understand your confusion about Brad Hand, Jarred Cosart, and Mike Dunn.
At age 27, Dee Gordon spent 2015 being the obscene onbase machine everyone always wanted him to be. His .333/.359/.418 season isn't repeatable in any way, shape, or form but if he can even go more like .300/.330/.390 this season the Marlins would gladly take that on the top of the order.
The rest of the first inning should be pretty good. Yes Wick, Christian Yellich is young, legit, and only getting better. Giancarlo Stanton might have just had the most disappointing .606 SLG season ever thanks to only playing in half a season, but he did hit 27 dingers in that half a season!
After that is a feckless Justin Bour, a punchless Marcell Ozuna, and an ageless Martin Prado. The shortstop Hechavarria can play defense and get on base, and J.T Realmuto is about as uninteresting as it gets. Ichiro is still around, but sadly not good for much besides telling jokes to Justin Maxwell and Chris Johnson on the bench. This team gets real boring after that Stanton dinger in the top of the first.
Sharif Othman is definitely minor league filler but he's got a dope name and his Twitter is a lot of him playing Magic: The Gathering so he's my Prospect To Watch.
Jose Fernandez is back! Everyone's favorite Cuban fireballer is ready to electrify south Florida, the NL East, the Western Hemisphere, and North of the Wall. There's not really another one like him — his pure stuff is top-notch and he knows it. It's like Clayton Kershaw without that boring humility. Anyways, watch him.
And, uh, noone else? Jarred Cosart has the pedigree. Wei-Yin Chen has been startlingly good in the AL so I had no idea. Tom Koehler is aggressively uninteresting and Justin Nicolino ain't much else than Anthony DeSclafani's best friend. So catch the Fernandez starts.
AJ Ramos is a perfectly cromulent closer and Carter Capps could be a whole lot of fun as a flamethrower shutdown type. I remember back when Dustin McGowan was supposed to be something. I wonder if he feels the same way about me.
Cody Ege struck out everyone in the minors and is a 15th rounder from U of Louisville, so a certain type may appreciate his ascendancy. Also, his last name is Turkish for "Aegean" and the name of a delicious salad made of feta cheese, ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and mint leaves with a light dressing. I'll ask him about it sometime.
"A slightly more interesting Atlanta" has kind of been Miami's MO for a while now, in baseball and in life. They're not going full rebuild yet in the Palace that Giancarlo Built, but they're also probably just waiting for one to come. Every so often a Reds off-day will coincide with a Fernandez start when Gordon steals two bases and Stanton goes 2-4 with a double and a dinger and you'll be compelled to watch more Marlins games. Resist that impulse.
Pizza topping that this Marlins team reminds me of
Ground beef. After four bites you're all "this ground beef pizza is basically a cheeseburger! This idea was one of my better ones!" But then four bites later you're all "This ground beef pizza is a poor misuse of ingredients that could have made a compelling cheeseburger! This idea was a very bad one!"
A few good ingredients, put together in a horrifyingly bad way? That's your 2016 Miami Marlins.