Giancarlo Stanton: Frustration level with Marlins is 'probably the highest ever'
The Miami Marlins lost their fourth consecutive game Thursday, this one a 7-2 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers (box score). The Marlins allowed one run in the first, three in the second and one more in the third. The game was over quick.
The loss to the Dodgers dropped Miami’s record to 14-26, which is just .001 winning percentage points better than the MLB-worst San Diego Padres. The Marlins are 4-18 in their past 22 games. 4-18! A loss Friday to go 4-19 would match the worst 23-game stretch in franchise history.
Not surprisingly, franchise player Giancarlo Stanton is frustrated with the constant losing. Before Thursday’s game, he told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald he is more frustrated than he has ever been before. From Spencer:
Before taking the field Thursday at Dodger Stadium, before the Marlins tossed another loss into the raging bonfire, Stanton said his frustration level is reaching new heights.
“It’s probably the highest ever,” Stanton said. “It’s higher than me being the worst player on the field for a month, the worst player in the big leagues for a month, last year.”
“We’ve had some bad luck with injuries, and we haven’t been playing well,” Stanton said. “Just a funk. But we’ve got to get out of it or the season is going to be twice as long as the last few years.”
Stanton endured a brutal slump at midseason last year that saw him go 6 for 57 (.105) with 32 strikeouts at one point. He has started well this season — Stanton is hitting .263/.339/.533 (131 OPS+) with 11 home runs going into Friday — but most of the rest of the Marlins have not. The pitching staff in particular has been a mess, especially the bullpen,.
Unfortunately for Stanton and the Marlins, there are reasons to believe things will get worse before they get better. The team’s farm system is barren — Baseball America ranked it 30th among the 30 teams this spring — and their payroll situation doesn’t allow them to go out into free agency for quick fixes. Unless they trade away a core player like, say, Marcell Ozuna, it’s tough to see how they could get the pitching help they need in the near future.
When Stanton signed his record 13-year, $325 million contract a few years ago, he said he believed the Marlins were ready to take a step forward and become a consistent contender, but it hasn’t happened. Stanton’s deal includes an opt-out after the 2020 season, so he could leave town if they don’t start winning, though he would be leaving $244 million on the table. What are the odds Stanton could get a $244 million contract during the 2020-21 offseason? Eh, not very good.
Jeffrey Loria is in the process of selling the Marlins, with the two, so perhaps the next ownership group will pump more money into the team and help it compete. For now, the Marlins have been one of the worst teams in baseball and they don’t appear to have the resources to turn things around quickly.