Dee Gordon Suspension Kills Marlins’ Playoff Hopes
The Miami Marlins weren’t going to win the 2016 MLB World Series. With middling 40/1 odds, it wasn’t very likely, at least.
Truth be told, they probably weren’t even in serious contention for the NL East or a playoff spot. The Washington Nationals dominate that division and the New York Mets are a close second. Miami, struggling at just 10-11 at the time of this writing, isn’t even statistically better than the Philadelphia Phillies.
Throw in an 80-game suspension for defending NL batting champ Dee Gordon, and Miami’s plight to avoid another losing season gets all the more difficult.
Marlins 2B Dee Gordon suspended 80 games without pay after testing positive for performance-enhancing substances, effective immediately.
— MLB (@MLB) April 29, 2016
That’s the fate for the speedy Gordon, who is among the league’s best at simply getting on base and then stealing/running them as if it’s second nature. But he won’t be around to do anything of the sort for the next 80 games, thanks to testing positive for two different types of performance enhancing drugs, per reports.
Gordon is said to have taken “exogenous Testosterone and Clostebol” but in a recent interview stood firm in that he did not know how the drug came to be in his system. Gordon recently locked into a 5-year, $50 million contract with the Marlins, but will now be unavailable until after the MLB All-Star break.
Gordon had been enduring a less than stellar offensive season for Miami, batting just .266 with no homers and 17 strikeouts. Luckily Gordon was still providing value as a base runner (six steals) and continues to be a top notch defensive presence at second base.
His timely hitting is what usually separates him from the pack on offense, and eventually he’d be bound to come around again in that area. Unfortunately, Miami will need to wait 80 games to see him at the plate again, and in the process their overall defense and base running take huge hits.
Miami does have a replacement plan in place, with Derek Dietrich having experience at second base and twice starting in place of Gordon at the position this year.
Dietrich is nowhere near the defensive player or base runner Gordon is, nor is he as efficient at the plate as a hitter (.238 career hitter). He does provide far more pop with his bat than Gordon, however, so it stands to reason that Miami’s offensive potential could see a positive impact with the change. It’s also worth noting that their defense (already struggling with 86 runs allowed) takes a hit and their offensive efficiency could suffer.
Miami already wasn’t a lock for the playoffs, but it’s worth pointing out that they have been at least hovering around .500 baseball on the year. They do have an elite pitching ace in Jose Fernandez and one of the best power hitters in the game in Giancarlo Stanton, but a lack of top shelf depth in all regards continues to hold them back.
Losing one of their best defenders and usually their most efficient hitter certainly won’t help them turn the corner. Needless to say, Miami becomes an even less attractive bet on a daily basis for as long as Gordon is suspended.
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