The Miami Marlins may have hit the “re-do” button on the moves that they made in the 2012 MLB offseason, but the consequences are going to be felt this season. With Jose Reyes out of the fold and Hanley Ramirez long gone, there is some uncertainty in the Marlins lineup.
Overhauling the roster has opened opportunities for young Marlins players, but Rob Brantly will be the biggest beneficiary from the team rebuilding. Giancarlo Stanton is manning the three spot for the Marlins lineup and Brantly is projected to be the clean-up hitter for the start of 2013. At 23-years-old, Brantly only has 100 MLB at-bats under his belt. However, everyone in the Marlins camp appears sold on the former Detroit Tigers prospect.
Aside from Stanton, this offense is dreadful.
I can already see Stanton’s numbers declining and his base-on-balls increasing as pitchers are going to test their luck with an offense that lacks another run producer. Brantly is a good player as he hit .290, bashed three homers and eight RBIs in 31 games last year, but to put him in the four slot already is asinine. Commanding a pitching staff for the first time in his career is hard enough — to ask Brantly to bat clean-up as well is extremely risky.
Rookie manager Mike Redmond hasn’t shied away from the controversy saying that “If [Brantly] continues to swing the bat like he is, he definitely is going to be a guy who I think about throwing in that four hole.’’ Miami was in talks to acquire Mark Trumbo from the Los Angeles Angels in the offseason, but they obviously weren’t able to pull the trigger with the slugger.
Brantly is the answer behind the plate for the short and long-term, but the Marlins are simply asking him to do too much in 2013. Hopefully these high demands don’t stunt his growth on the diamond.