Miami Marlins 2023 Wild Card Roster Projection #1

Exploring how the Marlins might assemble their roster for next week’s postseason matchup (assuming they make it in).

With just a few days left to go in the MLB regular season, the Miami Marlins still find themselves very much alive for a National League Wild Card spot. Making the playoffs in a full-length season for the first time since 2003 would be a big accomplishment for this team, but obviously, they want to go as far as possible if they make it in. That will require some changes to the way Miami’s roster is constructed.

Let’s look at what the Marlins 26-man roster could look like for the best-of-three NL Wild Card Series and explain why some familiar names wouldn’t make the cut.

Note: Matt Moore is not postseason eligible because he wasn’t part of the Marlins organization before Sept. 1. Also, starters Sandy Alcantara (right UCL sprain) and Eury Pérez (left SI joint inflammation) are unavailable due to injuries.

Pitchers (13)

Ryan Weathers is the one pitcher listed here who isn’t currently on the Marlins active roster. Weathers quietly had an impressive ending to his 2023 campaign with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. In seven starts with the Jumbo Shrimp, he had a 2.54 ERA.

When he was still only 20 years old, Weathers made his major league debut during a postseason game. Pitching in relief for the San Diego Padres against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2020 National League Division Series, he went 1 ⅓ innings, struck out one, walked two and didn’t give up any runs or hits.

This time around, Weathers is with a club that’s very thin on starting pitching. Although he has yet to find major league success, his ability to provide length would be valuable, and hopefully whatever he was doing in AAA after being acquired by the Marlins translates to the majors.

Johnny Cueto is another borderline pick for similar reasons. Like Weathers, his contribution would be more about quantity over quality. Cueto helped his case in his last start against the New York Mets where he went 4 ⅓ innings, gave up two runs off four hits, walked one and struck out four. Both of the runs came off solo homers. The 37-year-old right-hander obviously has a ton of postseason experience, including a World Series title with the 2015 Kansas City Royals.

Steven Okert has had an inconsistent season with a bad month of September. However, he recently reminded us what he’s capable of when he struck out the side against the Mets on Wednesday. Pre-All Star break, Okert had a 2.53 ERA and 3.32 FIP through 32 innings pitched and he has a good track record dating back to 2021. Matt Moore being ineligible for the postseason opens the door for him.

Meanwhile, Bryan Hoeing just misses the cut. He has shown that he can be a versatile member of the Marlins pitching staff, but he relies a lot on balls in play and isn’t trustworthy enough at the moment.

Position Players (13)

Trimming down from 14 to 13 hitters from the regular season to the postseason, the only Marlin left out is Joey Wendle. The Marlins have shown how they feel about him by not starting him in any of their last ten games (including Thursday’s suspended game). Although Wendle has played great defense at shortstop, he also has the coldest bat in the majors during the second half of the season. The Marlins have Garrett Hampson Jon Berti to handle shortstop in his place and rookie Xavier Edwards as a good situational hitter off the bench (I am projecting Luis Arraez to be healthy enough to return as Miami’s starting second baseman).

It was tempting to add Marlins Minor League Player of the Year Troy Johnston. He is blocked by Yuli Gurriel, who has struggled at the plate almost as much as Wendle. However, Gurriel is a very positive clubhouse presence with an incredible amount of playoff experience from his Houston Astros days.

Is your roster projection any different from mine? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

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