The 2021 Miami Marlins fell short of their goals mainly due to a lack of offense. They ranked near the back of the pack with 623 runs scored (14th in the NL, 29th in MLB), a .298 OBP (15th, 29th) and 158 home runs (13th, 28th). Arguably their three most effective offensive players—Starling Marte, Adam Duvall, and Garrett Cooper—were either traded or missed significant time due to injury. Miami would finish the season 67-95.
But what if I told you, despite committing a league-leading 122 errors, that Miami was not only among the best defensive teams in the National League, but one of the best in all of baseball?
According to Fielding Bible, the Marlins’ collective 55 defensive runs saved (DRS) ranked 7th of 30 teams. Miami also finished as one of 6 teams with positive run-prevention numbers at 5 or more positions alongside Texas (5), St. Louis (8), Houston (7), Tampa Bay (6), and the New York Mets (6).
It should be mentioned, the correlation between defensive metrics and team success is not particularly strong. The 2021 Rangers, a team that lost 102 games, led all of baseball in the aforementioned category, saving 86 runs with their gloves. Also, it would seem that the Marlins don’t wholly believe in their DRS estimation, otherwise it stands to reason that they would have retained infield coach Trey Hillman rather than replace him with Al Pedrique.
The coming season looks to be the team’s first with Lewin Díaz as the everyday first baseman. In just 258 2⁄3 innings at first, Díaz finished tied with Paul Goldschmidt with 9 DRS, most among all players at the position. Miami’s 14 runs saved at the position ranked tops in the majors—no other team amassed more than half that total.
Barring health setbacks or a surprise post-lockout trade, Miami will get a full season of stellar defense from the other end of the diamond, too. Third baseman Brian Anderson enters what could be a make-or-break year regarding his future with the club. Limited to just 67 games in 2021 (oblique strain, followed by left shoulder subluxation and surgery), Anderson maintained his reputation as an above-average defender at the hot corner. Per DRS, he saved 3 runs in 554 2⁄3 innings, adding 0.4 dWAR courtesy of his glove.
If Anderson misses time or struggles to re-establish himself as everyday caliber, Joey Wendle gives the Fish a solid fallback plan. Wendle posted 2 DRS in his 766 innings at 3B with the Rays last season.
The Marlins team overall actually has room to improve defensively from 2021 to 2022. At the catcher position, out goes Jorge Alfaro, who while consistently underperforming at the plate (.399 SLG, 70 OPS+), has been a below-average defender behind it (-11 DRS since 2019). He was traded to the San Diego Padres in a glorified salary dump. Taking the majority of the starts in his place, Jacob Stallings is coming off a Gold Glove-winning Pirates campaign (16 DRS).
At the very least, the Marlins have been trending in the right direction. In 2019 and the COVID-shortened 2020, they finished tied with Boston for 16th in total DRS. In 2018, they finished 11th.
Further changes to the Marlins roster heading into the 2022 season could ensure that the forward progress continues. As currently comprised, their leading internal candidates for center field are Avisaíl García and Bryan De La Cruz, both of whom are better suited for corner spots. The often-discussed Ketel Marte and Cedric Mullins are prime trade targets if the front office is prioritizing further offensive reinforcements, but don’t sleep on Harrison Bader of the Cardinals. He provides substantial value on both sides of the ball (15 DRS and 116 OPS+ in 2021).
Moving forward, should the bats begin to complement an already formidable starting rotation and defense, that should pry Miami’s long-awaited competitive window wide open.
Jimmy Butler confirms logo for his upcoming signature shoe with Li-Ning
Updated: January 20, 2022
Jimmy Butler is one of the faces of the Chinese sports brand Li-Ning, and the logo that will appear on his signature shoe was recently confirmed.
His signature shoe is set to debut this spring.
“The symbol, which is a symmetrical logo highlighting his ‘JB’ initials, incorporates angles inspired by a diamond, and elements tying back to Silver Wolves — a nickname from his personal trainer’s son to describe Butler’s close-knit group of friends,” Boardroom reported.
“Butler’s signature sneaker has been 18 months in the making. He first signed with Li-Ning in 2020, fresh off leading the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals in his first season with the franchise. At different points over the past year, Butler has teased the logo on accessories like coffee cups, and even incorporated it onto the tongue of player-exclusive colorways of Li-Ning team models.”
There’s no doubt that Butler is excited about the development. He spoke about recognizing the global appeal of the NBA when discussing the upcoming release.
“The NBA is truly a global game now and I am looking forward to connecting with my fans over in China,” he said. “Being able to expand my brand and build new relationships over in China is something I’m really excited about.”
Butler is having another All-Star caliber season this year, averaging 21.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He remains the clear leader for the Miami Heat and is a major reason why the team currently holds the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Fans in Miami and all over the world will surely be lining up to purchase a pair of Butler’s new signature shoes once they finally hit the shelves.
Dolphins sign RB Gerrid Doaks and DB Quincy Wilson to reserve/futures contracts
The Miami Dolphins have signed running back Gerrid Doaks and defensive back Quincy Wilson to future contracts the team announced a short time ago.
Roster Moves | We have signed running back Gerrid Doaks and defensive back Quincy Wilson to reserve/futures contracts.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) January 20, 2022
The Dolphins drafted Doaks in the seventh round (244th overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft. The former University of Cincinnati running back spent his entire rookie season on Miami’s practice squad—but could have a more significant role moving forward with the team.
Wilson, the Fort Lauderdale native, spent five seasons in the NFL, appearing in 32 games with the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets. During his five years in the league, Wilson recorded 61 total tackles, two interceptions, eight pass breakups, and a fumble recovery.
Today, the Miami Dolphins continue their head-coaching search with interviews scheduled with two Dallas Cowboys assistants—offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
What are your thoughts on the Miami Dolphins signing Gerrid Doaks and Quincy Wilson to reserve/future contracts? Do you think either player will have a significant role in 2022? Have you decided on who you want to be Miami’s next head coach? How are you doing on this beautiful Thursday afternoon? Let us know in the comments section below!
Miami Dolphins 2023 quarterback draft prospects, if needed
This upcoming NFL draft doesn’t bode well for the quarterback position, rightfully so, that kinda favors the Miami Dolphins. What does that mean, I don’t think the Dolphins will trade up in this upcoming draft, rather, I can see them trade down or even out of the first round to obtain more draft capital for an exciting 2023 draft class.
Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow and Kyler Murray, these were the top overall selections in the NFL draft for the past three years, what do they all have in common, their quarterbacks. The 2022 draft class is solid for defensive and offensive linemen, which is exactly what the Dolphins need. There isn’t a marquee or hyped quarterback that will go first overall, thereby breaking the trend that has occurred these past three years.
If we look into our crystal ball, and start playing the what if game:
- What if Tua Tagovailoa continues to struggle
- What if Tua injury prone label continues to surface
- What if the Dolphins needs to find another quarterback
Look no further than the 2023 draft class candidates. There are some exciting players that all Miami Dolphins fans should be keeping an eye out for this upcoming collegiate season. Add in the fact that the Dolphins once again have two first round selections, they do have the ammunition to climb up the draft board if needed.
OU’s Jadon Haselwood (11) and Spencer Rattler (7) celebrate after a touchdown during a 76-0 win against Western Carolina on Saturday night in Norman.
journal — ou vs western carolina
Spencer Rattler – QB – Oklahoma
- Coming from a QB factory that has produced talents of getting both Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray selected 1st overall, could we see another Sooner follow in their footprints? It depends on how much Spencer dedicates himself this offseason. Spencer has the tools to be gifted and has the ability to take over a game, but he lacks concentration and discipline, which was evident in his benching this past season (I’m sure Miami Dolphin fans can relate). On the field it is his accuracy that creates attention. Spencer can fit his throws into tight windows. Although he hasn’t shown the ability to separate himself from Baker or Murray, this upcoming season could allow him to prove his doubters wrong.
Bryce Young – QB – Alabama
- Not another QB from the tide right? But Young has more explosion at the line of scrimmage then Tua or Jones had. Although Young doesn’t have the star studded group of wide receivers that both Tua and Jones had or even a breakout running back, Young is actually developing his game on his own. In his first year, Young was able to lead the Tide to another championship game, they feel just short, but with another year under Nick Saban, Young game could be someone to pay close attention too.
Jeff Sims – QB – Georgia Tech
- Sims is a prospect that I’m excited to watch this upcoming season. He reminds me of Lamar Jackson. Beautiful deep ball, ability to shift and make moves in the run game and has the build to get that first down. Sims need to take care of the ball, as that is his biggest flaw. The football is left being vulnerable and the in NFL where everyone is trying to punch it out, this could be a reason he slides. But the potential…it’s there.
C.J. Stroud – QB – Ohio State
- Stroud ticks off all the boxes you look for as a franchise quarterback, more so than another prospect on my list. He isn’t fast, but he’s able to still play and develop the RPO system. He’s tall at 6’4, which helps with his vision on seeing his progress and reading the field. C.J still needs to develop his recognition and time management, but those are things that are 100% coachable. His biggest flaw, like many other college quarterbacks, is holding on to the ball too long. That might work in college, but in the NFL he has to have a timer in his head, which will be something to watch out for this upcoming season.
Tyler Van Dyke – QB – University of Miami
- Out of all the players mentioned, Tyler is “potentially” on my man crush list for a breakout season. The “U” just hired Mario Cristobal who not only developed Justin Herbert but mentored him to the player he is right now. Tyler has all the tools that are similar to Herbert, but he needs coaching and refinement. Tyler working with Cristobal for an entire season could be exactly what he needs, add in the fact that Tyler wouldn’t have to travel far to put on the Dolphins jersey, this has to be a story worth keeping on eye on.
It’s mad early, but that is what the offseason is for, when your team doesn’t make the playoffs. I’m hoping Tua “balls out” this year, which could lead to continuing to develop the Dolphins roster, but if he struggles, 2023 draft does present an interesting opportunity for Chris Grier.
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