The Major League Baseball season just passed the midway point, and as far as the Marlins' record is concerned, there hasn't been any great surprise: The Fish are dead last in the NL East. Sadly, there have been no miracles or Cinderella stories thus far for the Marlins. They're a straight-up bad baseball team. As most observers expected, there is no getting around the fact that 2018 will not be the year the Marlins break their 15-year playoff drought.
That's the bad news. Well, that's some of the bad news. But not everything is bad. At the halway mark of this season, there are reasons to be optimistic about the Marlins' future.
Let's take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly through 80-some Marlins games.
The Good: Hey, some of these guys aren't so bad! You knew what J.T. Realmuto (the best catcher in baseball!) and Justin Bour (huge dongs!) would give you, but let's be honest that you had no idea who the hell Brian Anderson was before April. Well, entering July he might just be the NL Rookie of the Year. Anderson is hitting right at .300, has an OBP of .375, and is approaching 40 RBI in his rookie campaign. That's pretty damn good for a guy almost no one was counting on entering the year.
Anderson has been the brightest of bright spots in an otherwise dismal Marlins season most will forget before it's over.
The Bad: Oh, no, Lewis Brinson. Oh, no. Many fans and pundits hoped Lewis Brinson — the new face of the Marlins' organization and their best prospect — would get off to a hot start in his rookie campaign. That has not happened. Brinson has been so bad that his recent less-bad streak has been considered not so bad by comparison. Overall, as of Thursday, Brinson was hitting a cool .175 with an OBP of .200: LOOK AWAY. COVER YOUR KIDS' EYES. IT'S SO HIDEOUS.
Whenever the Marlins text about Brinson these days, they use the largest possible version of a "WELP" emoji. He'll get 500 at-bats regardless. He would have to literally poop his pants or quit and become a cashier at Lowe's to not be in the lineup every day.
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We like Brinson. We believe in Brinson. Brinson is a hometown kid! But, man, he's been tough to watch.
The Ugly: The Wei-Yin Chen. You know it's ugly when the good news is you owe a pitcher with an above-six ERA only $58 million more through 2021: Thanks, Jeffrey Loria! The Marlins got their hand slapped by MLB for being cheap, so they went out and handed over $80 million to Wei-Yin Chen, as one does. It has been a predictable disaster.
This season, Chen is 2-4 with a 6.14 ERA. Those numbers look terrible, but they are actually great considering they are sort of better than zero, which is what Chen had given the Marlins until this point thanks to injuries.