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From Playoffs To Bottom Feeder: The 2024 Marlins Season So Far

By Eddie Lopez

Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez (3) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a run against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning at loanDepot Park on Monday, April 1, 2024, in Miami. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS)

The 2023 season was one to remember for Marlins fans. From making the playoffs for the first time since the shortened covid MLB season, to having Luis Arraez hit for the cycle and finish the season leading the league with a .354 batting average, the future was looking bright and Marlins fans were finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of the many forgetful seasons of Marlins baseball. 

Fast Forward to today, and the Marlins are sitting dead last in the NL East with a 9-24 record. 

So what happened? 

For starters, the 2023 offseason began with the Marlins parting ways with General Manager Kim Ng in October.

Ng, who became the first woman General Manager in baseball history in 2020, changed the culture of the club by bringing in manager Skip Schumaker to replace longtime manager Don Mattingly who only made the playoffs once in his seven year stint with the Marlins. 

Miami Marlins General Manager Kim Ng speaks to the media before the first full-squad spring training workout at Roger Dean Stadium on Monday, March 14, 2022, in Jupiter, Florida. (David Santiago/Miami Herald/TNS)

Along with the change of coaching staff, Ng helped bring in key players like Luis Arraez, Jesus Luzardo, Bryan De La Cruz, and Jorge Soler who all produced at a high level for the Marlins in the previous seasons. 

The Marlins Replaced Ng with Peter Bendix and with the arrival of former Tampa Bay Rays’ general manager came a change to Miami. Bendix and the Rays are known for their “Moneyball” approach in the baseball front office using undervalued or overlooked players to win games and to his credit he has seen success leading the Rays to the World Series in 2020. 

Peter Bendix, new president of baseball operations for the Miami Marlins, left, talks to Bruce Sherman, chairman and principal owner, during the introductory press conference on Monday, Nov. 13, 2023, at loanDepot Park in Miami. (Alie Skowronski/Miami Herald/TNS)

Bendix’s arrival meant that many pieces would be moved. He made moves such as acquiring all-star shortstop Tim Anderson and Twins outfielder Nick Gordon. Despite the positive acquisition, the team had glaring holes in their lineup as they lost key players such as slugger Jorge Soler along with utility player Jon Berti who was the stolen base champion just two seasons ago. 

On top of the offseason moves, the team suffered losses to their star-studded pitching staff when Cy Young award winner Sandy Alcantara suffered a UCL injury in October prompting him to miss the entire 2024 MLB season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. The same goes for rising star Eury Perez who has been suffering from right elbow inflammation, and as the team announced will later undergo Tommy John surgery. However, there is a silver lining to the injury news as pitcher Braxton Garrett is set to return sometime in the coming weeks after completing his rehab starts for his left shoulder impingement.

Despite the losses, the fish hoped to continue their success from just a year ago with a lot riding on the new additions to the club. But this season has started off far from that. They began 0-9 in their first 9 games marking the worst start to a season in franchise history, and are yet to move from last place in their division.  

Michael Harris II of the Atlanta Braves acknowledges the crowd after hitting a walk-off double in the 10th inning against the Miami Marlins at Truist Park on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in Atlanta. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/TNS)

The turmoil within the organization only began from there as Bendix decided to decline Schumaker’s option to return as manager in 2025 despite him winning Manager of the Year honors for the 2023 season. Bendix even engaged in discussions to trade away star second baseman Luis Arraez and Jesus Luzardo. 

Though, this isn’t the first time the Marlins have been in this situation after having success.

 In 1997, after winning the World Series the Marlins had a fire sale trading away players such as Superstar Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Jeff Conine, Moises Alou, and even Edgar Renteria who hit the walk-off in game 7 to win the World Series. The Marlins finished 54-108 in the 1998 season, started off just 1-10 and lost legendary manager Jim Leyland at the end of the year.

Can This Season Be Salvaged?

The Marlins are rated 17th in strength of schedule according to ESPN and are still waiting on the return of Braxton Garrett who could provide support for the struggling pitching staff which boasts a 4.76 era ranking 27th in the league.

Though there is still plenty of baseball to be played and a few good streaks can get the Marlins back in the playoff race, they are currently sitting 13 games behind the first-place Braves. Even with the incoming relief to the decimated pitching staff, accomplishing the climb back into the race will be very tough to do.

The Marlins look to improve their record as the season goes on.

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