Wei-Yin Chen, Chris Johnson, Edwin Jackson
Henderson Alvarez, Trevor Williams
The additions become big, especially the two pitchers due to the loss of Alvarez. Neither are really great additions, but both can eat innings. The Fish don’t have much pitching depth right now, so these two are actually important. As for Johnson, he should be able to see a lot of time at first base this year.
Projected Playoff Lineup
- Dee Gordon
- Christian Yelich
- Giancarlo Stanton
- Marcell Ozuna
- Martin Prado
- Christ Johnson/Justin Boar
- JT Realmuto
- Adeiny Hechavarria
If Stanton can stay healthy there really is not much to say. He can keep this team competitive with his lucrative combination of power and speed. The keys here are hitters 2 and 4. Yelich missed some time last year but still managed to hit .300. He has speed and is a young player with solid upside at age 24. The reason he is key is that if he can take that step forward and stay healthy, him and Stanton back to back becomes one of the league’s more dangerous duos on both sides. Ozuna is key because after a really promising 2014, his 2015 saw a dip in numbers across the aboard. He even spent some time back down in AAA. If he can get back to 2014 or improve on it being that he is only 25, this lineup will be one that can keep them in the division race. If these two aren’t hitting, there are two many holes, and due to their lack of pitching they won’t be able to out hit teams. As for their depth there really isn’t much to offer either. Ichiro and Connor Gillespie are two of their more prominent bench bats, and it makes it more imperative that everyone in the lineup is clicking, adding guys like Gordon, Hechavarria, and Prado as guys who need to be producing on a daily basis.
Behind Fernandez you are not looking at too much. A bunch of journeymen veterans and they really do not have much depth behind the five. It is probably going to put the pressure on the lineup to be producing, and push Fernandez into having to win most nights out, which he can do. It eases the pressure, but if they want to compete this year it will be the pitching they are looking to improve.
Carter Capps went down with Tommy John surgery and it really throws a screw into the the depth of their bullpen. For a team that is going to be looking for six innings max out of a lot of their starts, they don’t have the back end with a reputable status that can hold down the late games on a night in night out basis. AJ Ramos hasn’t been bad in the closer role, but Mike Dunn has been up and down as a reliever and Kyle Barraclough is a bit unproven at the moment making it hard to see how strong they can be.
This is a team that still can take a step forward in wins. Getting a full season of Stanton, Yelich, Ozuna, and Fernandez will be the key and the difference between them being buyers and sellers this July. They need to find some pitching, and will probably have to start in the pen due to Capps. The question is what they have to lose to gain pitching. These questions make it too hard to have them catching the likes of the Nats and Mets this year, but they should certainly be on the MLB radar.