KEY ADDITIONS: Starling Marte, Adam Cimber, Dylan Floro, Anthony Bass, Adam Duvall
KEY SUBTRACTIONS: Caleb Smith, Brad Boxberger, Francisco Cervelli, Logan Forsythe, Brandon Kintzler, Ryne Stanek, Jose Urena, Jordan Yamamoto
The Marlins defeated the Cubs in their 2020 Wild Card Series largely because Cubs hitters couldn’t handle Marlins pitchers’ steady diet of high fastballs.
That was a very young pitching staff. Now, with a year of experience and some playoff games, could they be a sleeper in the NL East?
I’d have to say “no,” at least the way it appears right now, especially with this being a division with several teams that have improved over 2020. They do not have a closer with any experience with the departure of former Cub Brandon Kintzler as a free agent. Their rotation is still very young, and they have subtracted Caleb Smith and Jose Urena from it.
Their offense will be improved with the additions of Starling Marte and Adam Duvall, and those players also provide experience along with their bats to that very young team.
Top prospect Jazz Chisholm (80-grade name, incidentally) will get a chance to be the starting second baseman this year.
I don’t have a lot more to say about this ballclub, so I’ll finish with this: I find myself hoping they don’t make the postseason because I really, really, really don’t want to see the Cubs facing them in October again. The Cubs have a five-game postseason losing streak to these guys and honestly I would be just fine with never seeing them in the playoffs again.
The Cubs are scheduled to face the Marlins six times in 2021:
June 18-19-20 at Wrigley Field
August 13-14-15 at Marlins Park