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Predicting Miami Marlins’ 2014 Starting Rotation

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Predicting the Miami Marlins' Starting Rotation for 2014

Courtesy of Miami Marlins Official Facebook Page

The struggles for the Miami Marlins were evident in 2013. The Marlins finished the year with a dismal record of 62-100, good enough for dead last in a subpar NL East.

However, much of this can be attributed to the team's horrifying offense. Giancarlo Stanton led Miami in all three triple crown categories with 24 home runs, 62 RBIs and a batting average of .249. Obviously, this type of production ain't gonna get it done. Similarly, Adeiny Hechavarria led the club with only 123 hits.

When a team's offense is this poor, it's going to be difficult for most pitchers to accumulate any kind of respectable win-loss totals (unless your name is Jose Fernandez). That being said, many of Miami's 2013 starters did an admirable job of holding other teams at bay. However, there's still a lot of work left to be done.

Negative attitudes aside, there's a lot for Marlins fans to look forward to in 2014, at least concerning the team's starting rotation. There are plenty of young pitchers on the staff with promising outlooks, and it will be interesting to watch how they develop.

What kind of year will the Marlins have in 2014? Let's just say it wouldn't be smart to put big money on an NL East title. Their offense still has too many question marks, and their pitching staff is far too young. However, we could be talking about a totally different team in a few years.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Without further ado, let's take a look at what the Marlins' starting five should look like on Opening Day.

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1. Jose Fernandez

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Fernandez took home a lot of hardware in 2013 for a 21-year-old. The only complaint with Fernandez is his control, which at times can be erratic. Still, with a young stud like him, this feels like splitting hairs. Needless to say, the sky's the limit for Miami's top starting pitcher.

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2. Henderson Alvarez

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Henderson Alvarez may have cemented himself as a fan-favorite after his no-hitter on Sep. 29, 2013, but don't expect Alvarez to be a one-hit wonder. The bespectacled Venezuelan did an excellent job for Miami in 2013 after being called up from the minors, pitching to a 3.59 ERA in 17 starts with a WHIP of only 1.14. To top it off, batters hit just .237 against the 23-year-old. Alvarez is definitely a major piece for the Marlins moving forward, and hopefully he shines near the top of the rotation.

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3. Jacob Turner

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At 6-foot-5, Jacob Turner is an imposing figure on the mound, and he has a chance to be a quality starting pitcher for a long time to come. He had a respectable 3.74 ERA in 2013 to go along with a WHIP of 1.30 in 20 starts for Miami. The only downside was his BAA as hitters clubbed him to the tune of .262, and this number is going to need to come down. Still, at only 22 years of age, there's plenty of room for improvement, and Marlins fans can expect the youngster from St. Charles, Missouri to be a major part of the rotation in 2014 and beyond.

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4. Nathan Eovaldi

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Nathan Eovaldi Eovaldi had a promising year in 2013 and finished with a strong ERA of 3.39 in 18 starts, improving upon his 2012 campaign. While the habit of pitching in and out of trouble is one the Marlins would prefer to see dissolved, it speaks to Eovaldi's toughness. Plus, he's only 24-years old, so he still needs time to develop at the major league level. Fans should expect to see Eovaldi pitching in the middle of the rotation in 2014.

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5. Tom Koehler

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Tom Koehler seems like a good fit at the back of the rotation. He is a big kid at 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, but there's still a lot of question marks regarding his consistency. Koehler had a decent WHIP in 2013 at 1.36, but batters hit .261 against him, and this should be considered far too high. Koehler heading into his prime at 27 years of age, and he's going to need to keep improving if he wants to stay in the rotation.