2003 Florida Marlins Graphs Review

Following are graphs and commentary regarding the 2003 season of the Florida Marlins. Questions or comments can be sent to me at dave@baseballgraphs.com.

NL East Standings The National League East Race

Who'd have guessed? At the beginning of June, the Marlins (that solid blue line) were tied with the Mets for worst record in the division. They really bottomed out in late May, and started to really turn it around in mid-June. From that point on they played outstanding ball and qualified for the Wild Card in the last week of the season.

After June 18th, they were 57-33, and they tied the Giants for best second-half record in the league. Luck helped: they were six games over the project runs scored/allowed record and they were 19-10 in one-run games during that time. But there was a lot more to this story.

Comments How to Read this Graph

The Marlins finished midway in between the .500 and .600 isobars (dotted lines). Their runs allowed record was equal to Montreal and Chicago's, but their offense separated them from those two teams.

However, it was their pitching that drove their second-half success. If you hover your mouse over the graph, you'll see the Marlins' position at midyear; move it away to see their progress the second half. The Marlines move up significantly and to the left somewhat. This means that their runs allowed record improved tremendously the second half, though their offense slipped a bit. Chiefly, the Marlins managed to keep most of their pitchers healthy in the second half.

The Marlins were a very solid offensive team, and they had the fourth most batting Win Shares among all National League teams. Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo were one of the best one-two combinations in the league, and the middle of the order was powered by very good years from Mike Lowell, Derrek Lee, Ivan Rodriquez and others.

Move your mouse over this graph to view the status of each team at the season's midpoint (July 1st).

Pitching and Fielding

Fielding Independent Pitching is based on the following formula: (13*HR+3*BB-2*K)/IP. Defense Efficiency Ratio is (Non-catcher putouts/Batted Balls in Play), adjusted for ballpark. Circle sizes in this graph are proportional to the percent of fieldable balls successfully converted into outs by the fielders.
The Marlins' Pitching and Fielding

The Marlins had one of the best pitching staffs in the league, though their DER left something to be desired. Their FIP qualified their staff as one of the top four in the league. And their fielding range (indicated by the size of the circle) was somewhat above-average, which speaks to some batted balls perhaps not falling the Marlins' way.

The Marlins' staff was a flyball staff which, in theory, should increase DER (groundball pitchers tend to give up more hits, albeit singles, than flyball pitchers). So the disconnect between their DER and team fielding may be due to relatively poor outfield defense. They did lead the league in double plays turned (as a proportion of potential double plays). This, too, is an indication of a strong infield.

The pitcher most hurt by DER was actually Josh Beckett, whose batted balls yielded a .681 DER. His FIP was an excellent -0.13 FIP.

How to Read this Graph

Florida Marlins Ten Game Averages
April May June July Aug Sept
OBP .339 .328 .334 .350 .311 .339
SLG .430 .449 .435 .428 .363 .423
FIP 0.74 0.24 1.11 0.51 0.72 0.79
DER .694 .705 .700 .732 .719 .740
The DER stats in this table are based on limited data; the trend between months per team is more valid than the absolute number.
The Marlins Day-by-Day

You can see that the Marlins spent a goodly portion of the first two months under the .500 line. And they spent most of the year afterwards above it. The offense was fairly consistent; no real bad spots and one very good run in late June, capped by a 20-1 victory over the Braves on July 1st. Their only real slump after that was at the end of August, against the Rockies, Pirates and Giants.

The Marlins had two nine-out-of-ten game streaks during the year, and both times the winning was triggered by some great pitching.

Florida Marlins' Win Shares

Player          Team    Pos     Hit     Field   Pitch   Sum     WS	
--------	----	----	-----	-----	-----	-----	---	
D Lee           FLA     1B      21.72   3.69    0.00    25.41   25	
I Rodriguez     FLA     C       19.21   4.24    0.00    23.45   23	
M Lowell        FLA     3B      18.89   4.15    0.00    23.04   23	
L Castillo      FLA     2B      15.25   7.02    0.00    22.26   22	
A Gonzalez      FLA     SS      10.73   9.29    0.00    20.02   20	
J Pierre        FLA     OF      15.52   4.14    0.00    19.66   20	
J Encarnacion   FLA     OF      12.28   2.92    0.00    15.19   15	
D Willis        FLA     P       0.03    0.00    13.96   14.00   14	
M Cabrera       FLA     OF      10.38   1.75    0.00    12.13   12	
B Looper        FLA     P       0.30    0.00    11.43   11.73   12	
J Beckett       FLA     P       0.00    0.00    11.37   11.37   11	
M Redman        FLA     P       0.00    0.00    11.15   11.15   11	
B Penny         FLA     P       0.00    0.00    9.55    9.55    10	
C Pavano        FLA     P       0.00    0.00    8.85    8.85    9	
U Urbina        FLA     P       0.00    0.00    8.76    8.76    9	
T Hollandsworth FLA     OF      4.17    1.01    0.00    5.19    5	
C Fox           FLA     P       0.00    0.00    3.58    3.58    4	
B Banks         FLA     OF      2.79    0.50    0.00    3.29    3	
M Tejera        FLA     P       0.00    0.00    3.12    3.12    3	
R Helling       FLA     P       0.30    0.00    2.68    2.98    3	
T Phelps        FLA     P       0.00    0.00    2.89    2.89    3	
T Spooneybarger FLA     P       0.00    0.00    2.50    2.50    3	
J Conine        FLA     OF      1.70    0.46    0.00    2.16    2	
N Bump          FLA     P       0.00    0.00    1.98    1.98    2	
R Castro        FLA     C       1.56    0.22    0.00    1.78    2	
A Levrault      FLA     P       0.00    0.00    1.72    1.72    2	
M Redmond       FLA     C       0.47    0.48    0.00    0.95    1	
T Borland       FLA     P       0.00    0.00    0.93    0.93    1	
J Alvarez       FLA     P       0.00    0.00    0.89    0.89    1	
M Mordecai      FLA     SS      0.00    0.76    0.00    0.76    1	
A Fox           FLA     2B      0.06    0.63    0.00    0.69    1	
L Harris        FLA     3B      0.35    0.05    0.00    0.40    0	
A Burnett       FLA     P       0.00    0.00    0.36    0.36    0	
C Allen         FLA     OF      0.00    0.18    0.00    0.18    0	
G Williams      FLA     OF      0.00    0.09    0.00    0.09    0	
A Almanza       FLA     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
B Neal          FLA     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
V Nunez         FLA     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
K Olsen         FLA     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	
J Wayne         FLA     P       0.00    0.00    0.00    0.00    0	

The Marlins' Individual Players

The Marlins' infield, from catcher to third base, was probably the best in the league. None of their regular infielders ranked lower than fourth in Win Shares at his position. They were also the top five Marlins on the list.

It's curious that Florida's top seven Win Share leaders were everyday players. This is partly due to their steady offense, and it's also a function of innings pitched. Rookie sensation Dontrelle Willis, who led the team in pitching Win Shares, didn't make his pro debut until May. Josh Beckett missed most of May and June, and Mark Redman was also out in May. The Marlins' second half success was really the result of having healthy pitching available.

Finally, the Marlins made some astute pickups during the season, including UUU (nine Win Shares in half a year) and Jeff Conine (two WS in a very short time). Miguel Cabrera had a nice rookie debut. Finally, you'll notice that the Marlins were not very deep. Most of their Win Shares were concentrated among a handful of regular players.

You can view all National League Win Shares data via the following links:
All Players, Top to Bottom
Players Ranked by Position
Players Fielding WS by Position