As you may know, the Miami Marlins lost a significant part of their offense earlier this month when Giancarlo Stanton went down with a groin injury. Stanton hadn’t been producing quite as much at the plate in comparison to past seasons, but his 25 home runs and 70 RBIs were still a vital part of Miami’s success.
Without Stanton, the Marlins were giving veteran outfielder Ichiro Suzuki some more playing time, but they have since backed another solution by bringing in Oswaldo Arcia from Tampa Bay and Jeff Francoeur from Atlanta. Though neither is going to be able to put up the numbers of Stanton, it’s hoped they can help offset the loss enough with others like Marcel Ozuna, Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto stepping up and filling the void.
Once a hyped prospect in the Twins organisation, Arcia has bounced between Minnesota and the Rays in 2016. He’s hit a combined six long balls with the two teams while averaging only .228 and a .694 OPS. He did hit 20 homers and 57 runs batted in as recently as 2014, but since then he’s managed just eight dingers in 216 at-bats.
Arcia could easily provide the power boost the Marlins may need, but so far his career has been all about potential rather than actual performance. Now is his chance to turn that around and at 25 he could guarantee himself a long-term future in the big leagues with some solid numbers at the plate.
Francoeur, on the other hand, is just about the polar opposite to what Arcia can bring, which may not be a bad thing. A 32-year-old veteran of 12 major league campaigns, ‘Frenchy’ is a career .261 hitter who averages about 18 homers, 78 RBIs, and 37 doubles a year, but those apparently include the peak of his career when Francoeur was capable of hitting 29 home runs and 103 RBIs in 2006 with the Braves.
That said, he is still coming off a season in which he hit 13 out of the park and also tallied 45 RBIs, 16 doubles, and a .258 batting average. Francoeur has always typically been utilised as a corner outfielder though these days he’ll get the occasional stint as a DH as well to keep him fresh and healthy.
Whether this solution of Arcia and Francoeur will work remains to be seen. On paper, it feels as though the Marlins have done a nice job at fixing a problem while not taking on much risk or cost. At the end of the day, though, they’re going to need Stanton back before the playoffs if they want to be a serious threat to knock off the top dogs of the National League.