Most people have realized by now that the Marlins have one of the best offenses in the National League – an offense which has kept them in the NL East race all year long. The Marlins also have a pretty nifty bullpen, led by closer Kevin Gregg (23 SV, 2.47 ERA), which has posted the 4th best ERA in the National League, at 3.74.
But everyone has been assuming that the Marlins will eventually fade from the playoff picture, thanks to an abominable starting rotation. After all, this is the same Marlins team who tabbed Mark Hendrickson of all people to be their opening day starter. The Mark Hendrickson who has gone on to post a 6.09 ERA this season.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the consensus narrative that the Marlins shoddy rotation would be the downfall of an otherwise solid team. Some new guys emerged, some old guys stepped up, some crap guys pitched their way into the bullpen, and some hurt guys came back from injury.
And suddenly, the Marlins rotation became awesome. Now the starting five is led by de facto ace Ricky Nolasco (10-6, 3.94 ERA), backed by the continuing-to-surprise-the-naysayers Scott Olson (6-6, 4.04 ERA), and the out-of-nowhere rookie sensation Chris Volstad (2-1, 2.38 ERA in four games).
And now with the return from the DL of two top young hurlers, Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez, the Marlins rotation has gone from completely suspect to rock solid 1 through 5.
All of these five guys are good, and guys like Johnson, Sanchez, and Volstad have the potential to be truly great on any given night.
And with that offense, these guys don’t necessarily have to be great every night anyway. With that offense, they just have to be decent enough, and that seems like an assignment they can handle. Which should be a scary thought for the Mets and the Phillies.
These Marlins probably aren’t going to go away anytime soon.