The Miami Marlins know where they stand right now.
They’re 4-13 a little more than a 10th of the way through the season. The offense is ranked 28th Major League Baseball in runs scored (48) and 23rd in team batting average (.220). They’re 20th overall in team ERA (4.94).
Will there be changes coming to the roster at some point? Most likely.
But Marlins president of baseball operations Mike Hill made it clear that the Marlins plan to take a patient approach with their roster — both at the major league level and in the minors — as the season unfolds.
“We’re done making emotional decisions here,” Hill said Monday before the Marlins’ 7-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs, the team’s 11th loss in the last 13 games. “We’re going to make what we feel are the right decisions for our players. That’s first and foremost. It’s about what’s doing right for our players. “I think that’s a continuous evaluation. If we feel like an adjustment needs to be made with any portion of our roster, it’s something that’s not going to be made emotionally. It’s going to be well thought out and we’ll look at it from every way possible and do what we think is right.”
Translation: Don’t expect drastic changes unless they are absolutely warranted.
The Marlins are in the second year of a rebuild under the Derek Jeter/Bruce Sherman ownership group. They’re fielding a 25-man roster that includes 12 players in either their first or second season at the major-league level. Hill and the Marlins know there are going to be growing pains this year.
Development is key. Winning baseball games, they hope, will come with it.
“I think we understand where we are and what we need to do to get better,” Hill said. “That’s our goal. Every day is to get better and win ball games, and we know that’s what we need to do. That’s the challenge that we all share on a daily basis.”
And that doesn’t just apply to the big-league team.
Hill noted some of the successes the Marlins have had in their revamped minor leagues so far this year, specifically on the pitching side.
The balance comes with making sure they’re not calling up prospects they view as the future of the team too early and risk putting them in a situation destined for failure.
“That’s the part of patience,” Hill said. “The three most important words, especially when you’re talking about minor-league development, is patience, patience, patience. You can’t lose sight of what the big picture is. ... You know there are going to be bumps in the road along the way, but you’re seeing that growth and that’s all you want to see when you’re talking about young players at whatever level it is.”
Meanwhile, Hill admitted the Marlins still have a ways to go with improving the depth of their position players at the minor-league level.
“We’re just looking for talent,” Hill said. “At the end, you hope it balances out, but we’ll always continue that surge and trying to expand the applicant pool as best as we can to identify and sign as much talent as we can.”