MIAMI -- The Marlins featured some of the greatest personal achievements in franchise history this season, but collectively, the club once again fell short of its postseason goal. For all the accolades Giancarlo Stanton received during his record-setting season, the team finished under .500 for the eighth straight year, and
MIAMI -- The Marlins featured some of the greatest personal achievements in franchise history this season, but collectively, the club once again fell short of its postseason goal. For all the accolades Giancarlo Stanton received during his record-setting season, the team finished under .500 for the eighth straight year, and missed the postseason for the 14th straight time.
"When you look at the year, it's been a year of streaks," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "You think about the month of May, and the issues we had, and we really couldn't do anything well. We sort of fought our way out of it. Heading into September, we got to three games over .500, and then unfortunately, went on another bad run."
The Marlins put themselves in a hole, going 10-18 in May, but from May 28-Aug. 27, they went on a 49-33 run. However, after getting to 66-63 in late August, they dropped 17 of 20 and slipped out of the chase for the second National League Wild Card spot.
Here are five takeaways for the Marlins from the 2017 campaign:
1) Greatest individual season ever
Stanton not only reset club records, the 27-year-old shattered them. A strong case can be made that the four-time All-Star had the greatest personal season by a Marlin. Gary Sheffield hit 42 home runs in 1996, which was a mark that stood for nearly 21 years before Stanton broke it on Aug. 14. Stanton matched an MLB mark with 18 home runs in August, and he kept going. He also set the franchise season RBI record, which was 121 set by Preston Wilson in 2000.
"It's good to see Giancarlo on the field, healthy, because we know what he can do when he's healthy," Hill said.
2) Starting pitcher struggles
When Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident on Sept. 25, 2016, the Marlins understood the challenges they faced constructing their rotation. Without one of the top starters in the sport, they assembled a group of starters who had track records of logging innings. None were real aces, but they had shown durability. It didn't pan out. Edinson Volquez, their Opening Day starter, signed as a free agent for two years.
Volquez did provide the top pitching performance of the year, no-hitting the D-backs, 3-0, on June 3, but he made just 17 starts and had Tommy John surgery, meaning he may also miss all of 2018. Wei-Yin Chen made just five starts and missed substantial time due to a ligament tear in his left elbow. Tom Koehler had 12 starts, was demoted to Triple-A New Orleans and eventually was traded to the Blue Jays.
Adam Conley also had a rough first half, and he spent time at New Orleans.
On the positive side, Dan Straily came as advertised in the trade with the Reds, and Jose Urena emerged from a long reliever to the team's leader in wins. Prospect Dillon Peters is gaining valuable experience as a September callup.
3) Best outfield trio
It took a few seasons together, and for each of them to stay healthy, but the outfield trio of Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich emerged as the most productive group in the Majors. The numbers speak for themselves. Stanton and Ozuna were both All-Stars, and Yelich was his consistent self, regularly reaching base and getting close to 20 homers.
The key was they each stayed on the field for more than 150 games.
4) Real deal Realmuto
J.T. Realmuto arguably is the most athletic catcher in the game. He's certainly the fastest at his position, according to Statcast™. Not many catchers hit inside-the-park home runs. Realmuto did it in Philadelphia on Aug. 24. It's his second career inside-the-park shot, with the other coming against the Brewers at home in 2015.
Defensively, Realmuto's 1.88 seconds average pop time on throws to second base, is the quickest among all catchers with at least 10 tosses tracked, according to Statcast™. On his inside-the-park home run, he circled the bases in 16.39 seconds, and his average sprint speed on the play was 29.2 feet per second. His 28.6 average foot speed is by far the fastest among all at his position. The MLB average is 27 feet per second.
5) Bounces back in a flash
Stanton and Ozuna provided plenty of power. Dee Gordon provided game-changing speed. The two-time All-Star second baseman bounced back nicely after a rough 2016. Gordon topped the 100 runs mark for the first time in his career, and he stole more than 50 bases for the third time.
Before the season, manager Don Mattingly set a goal for Gordon: Try to score a run a game. Gordon took it to heart, and he topped the century mark.
Gordon remains one of the fastest players in the Majors. Statcast™ lists his average sprint speed of 29.7 feet per second, which is tied with Mets rookie Amed Rosario as the best among all infielders.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.