The 2016 season was undoubtedly a tough season for the Miami Marlins. With Dee Gordon being away for 80 games, the team got Derek Dietrich who practically saved the day for the Marlins. Adam Conley also made a great difference coming in and bringing back great pitching for the team. But as soon as Giancarlo had an injury, the team’s pitching went bad causing the team to crumble and fall apart. The team’s season began with aspirations for playoffs and well played stretches to a point where the Wild Card berth seemed like a dream.

Although the Miami Marlins showed some good signs in the 2016 season, the ending was just plain bad for the team as they missed the playoffs one more time. But this might be a sign for the team to re-group and think of ways to sharpen up their tactics to be able to compete in the very competitive and ever improving National League East. Vegas doesn’t love their odds of winning it all though.  Currently they are listed at 66-to-1 to win the World Series.  Here are a few tips on what the Miami Marlins need to consider doing in the 2017 season to make it to the postseason.

1. Getting a new starting pitcher

The team faces a very limited amount of outstanding talent in its pitching rotation this coming season, even more so with the unfortunate and tragic death of their ace Jose Fernandez. The Miami Marlins must have known they needed to strongly improve their starting rotation for them to enhance their competitive edge in the 2017 season but without Jose, the pressure is more intense. Moreover, Chen the number –two starter did not prove much greatness in pitching last season with a 4.96 ERA and a record of 5-5. Even with his consistency and solid talent, Koehler has a lot to improve for the 2017 season to be merely considered even for the back-end rotation since he is overmatched as a number two. The team’s number 3 pitcher Conley actually fits well in the number three pitching and seems to have a promising future.

Nicolino and Urena on the other hand were not so effective in the 2016 season and it would be wise for the team to find rotations for the two. Urena’s 6.13 ERA ending make him ineffective for the coming season while Nicolino does not seem to have the required control to actually be a good no-strikeout pitcher. The team shouldn’t expect much from these two in the coming season. It would therefore be effective and necessary for the Marlins to simply trade for or sign two new starting pitchers who are the front-of-the-rotation type if not ace in order to come up with a competitive team for a chance to succeed in the 2017 season.

2. A new shortstop

The team’s shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is definitely a great player in the infields. However, his playing skills end at ‘good’ rather than ‘outstanding’. He played 2015 well but went back to a terrible offense in 2016 which rendered him the worst offensive player in baseball. His defense was very good but not good enough to place his .236/.283/.311 anywhere near acceptable for the team. This should be a red flag for the Marlins to show them they need a new shortstop. With the four seasons they have been with Adeiny, he has only performed above average in one of them. ‘Hech’ is a fun shortstop to watch, but the team seriously needs to upgrade from the worst hitter last season and worst overall baseball player in 2013 because he costs the team a lot to go on getting a pass.

3. Player’s health and safety measures

One of the team’s best player’s Giancarlo Stanton has been on and off the field throughout his career juggling playing at his best and nursing injuries obtained in the field. Giancarlo, who is the team’s right fielder, is an amazing player who is described as a monster in the field from the way he hits the baseballs hard and his solid defense. However, the team has had difficulty keeping him fully on the field which is quite concerning. Although some of Giancarlo’s injuries have been unavoidable like the fastball-to –the-face, others have just been random lack of precaution. The team needs to rethink its strategies in coming up with safety measures and injury avoidance tips to help keep their best player in the field in order to make a solid team in the coming season. If they know that some of the injuries are unavoidable, they need to refine tactics on how to have their best player set a career high in the games such players play. This is necessary for the team if they expect to make any noises in the 2017 National League East.

What the Miami Marlins Need to Improve in 2017