You have to admit it — first-year Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond‘s decision to platoon Justin Ruggiano with Chris Coghlan to start 2013 after a hot end to the 2012 season was not a good idea in hindsight. It did not help Ruggiano start off well but once he started to get more playing time, that is when he went on a bit of a tear.
Although his average decreased significantly, Ruggiano still managed to clock 18 home runs and drive in 50 RBIs through 128 games. With his power numbers increasing, Ruggiano can possibly become a full-time force with the Marlins in the future. It reassured people how well he can do once he gets some confidence instilled in him.
The problem with Ruggiano is his strikeouts. He struck out 114 times this year, which makes it sort of obvious that he was swinging for the fences every time he was at bat. However, he was also able to increase his walks total and his runs total — a good sign of someone who has the ability to get on base, and one that could play a big role for the team in the future.
Right now, the Marlins are not going to have a place for him if they decide to keep Jake Marisnick up to start the 2014 season. Ruggiano may have to take a backseat and become a role player rather than an everyday starter. However, there were rumors of trade talk involving him during the middle of the season and with this organization, you never know what they have up their sleeves.
Ruggiano may not be here come 2014.