Derek Jeter didn’t mince words. He commends the Miami Marlins for being competitive in most of their games this season, but that hasn’t translated in the win-loss record.
Heading into Saturday’s game against the San Diego Padres, the Marlins are 41-57 — 16 games under .500 after 98 games one year after they made a surprising playoff run during the shortened 2020 season. They have lost seven of nine games coming out of the All-Star Break, a slide that dropped them to 12 games behind the New York Mets for first place in the NL East, arguably Miami’s only path to a repeat playoff bid.
The offense has been primarily lackluster, dead last among all 30 teams with a .671 OPS and in the bottom five in slugging percentage (29th, .371), runs per game (27th, 3.87) and home runs (T-26th, 95). Injuries have played a part in that, as well as the many moving parts in the starting rotation, but Jeter doesn’t use that as an excuse.
He knows where the team stands at this point.
“The season up to this point,” Jeter said, “has been a disappointment. I think it’s been a disappointment for everyone. You ask everyone in the clubhouse and they’ll tell you the same thing. If they don’t, then we got to change their mindset. We need to continue to get better here and we’re gonna try.”
Which makes the next week key for the Marlins with MLB’s trade deadline on Friday.
The Marlins have a few players who could serve as valuable trade pieces that could help the team’s long-term goal. Among them: center fielder Starling Marte (a free agent after this season), first baseman Jesus Aguilar (one year left of arbitration), outfielder Adam Duvall ($7 mutual option for 2022 or a $3 million buyout), late-inning reliever Yimi Garcia (a free agent after this season) and shortstop Miguel Rojas (option for 2022).
Starting pitching already in the big leagues — namely Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez and Trevor Rogers — are likely not going to be moved, but Miami could sweeten trade offers with pitching and outfielder prospects. According to MLB Pipeline, 21 of the Marlins’ top 30 prospects are either pitchers or outfielders.
Jeter’s message to fans should the team trade off regular starters?
“My message to the fans would be don’t look at things like [we’re sellers],” Jeter said. “I think you look at the trade deadlines the last couple of years and the moves we’ve made have been to make our organization better. I mean, we got Jazz [Chisholm Jr. in 2019]. We got Lewin [Diaz in 2019]. We got Jesus [Sanchez in 2019]. You know what I mean? We got Starling last year. Every move we’ve made is to get better. And that’s what we keep in mind every trade deadline. Anything that we’re going to possibly do, we’re looking out for the organization so I would tell them to not have that mindset of we’re getting rid of people.”
Brian Anderson’s back
One of the Marlins’ top position players is back.
The team on Saturday activated third baseman Brian Anderson from the 60-day injured list, ending his two-month absence from the club while he rehabbed a left shoulder subluxation.
Miami went 18-33 in the 51 games he missed this stint on the IL.
Jon Berti (27 games), Isan Diaz (15 games), Joe Panik (eight games) and Deven Marrero (one game) played third base in Anderson’s absence.
Anderson batted fifth on Saturday against the Padres. Diaz, who had started three of the last four games at third base, moved over to second base.
“I’m just excited to do anything I can to help,” Anderson said. “Obviously not being there [while on the IL], it kind of hurts. … You want to do anything you can to help. Obviously, we’ve had a lot of injuries and things that you can’t control. It’s really tough to see, but I’m just excited to be around the guys and try to help out as much as I can.”
Trevor Rogers to the IL
While the Marlins got a needed position player back, their starting rotation took yet another hit with left-handed pitcher Trevor Rogers going on the 10-day injured list with a lower back muscle spasm.
None of the five pitcher that were projected to be in the Marlins’ rotation — Rogers, Lopez (10-day IL, right rotator cuff strain), Alcantara (bereavement list), Elieser Hernandez (60-day IL for the second time this season) and Sixto Sanchez (season-ending shoulder surgery) — are on the active roster right now.
The Marlins added left-handed pitcher Braxton Garrett to the active roster to start Saturday’s game. They also designated catcher Chad Wallach for assignment to make room for Anderson on the roster.