It’s possible that one specific day this past season cost Chicago Cubs skipper Joe Maddon his second consecutive National League Manager of the Year Award. Maddon lost out to Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts on Tuesday, coming in second place while earning eight first-place votes.
Roberts, who got 16 first-place votes, deserved the honor. He was a first-time manager who won his division, overtaking the San Francisco Giants, all while ace Clayton Kershaw and others were injured. Still, as evidenced by the voting, Maddon had an outside chance to win, but he shouldn’t second-guess any of his decisions for costing him the award. Instead, he Ramon Humber Authentic Jersey can blame Mother Nature.
Hill’s office at Marlins Park overlooks the West Plaza where the team painted a stadium pillar orange and fans lined up by the hundreds to inscribe messages of love and remembrance in the days after Fernandez’s death. Every now and then, a passerby stops to pay respects or take a photo. Then the fan moves on, and Hill is left with a swirl of emotions and the gravity Reggie Ragland Authentic Jersey of his mission.
“You never forget the human [side] or what happened, but you know you have a job to do,” Hill said. “We’re never going to replace Jose, but we have to try to move forward. The memory of him will always be with us and be a part of who we are. That’s a bond we’ll all have forever.”
Fernandez’s death came during a time of promise and hope for the Miami organization. A young Marlins roster improved from 71 to 79 victories under first-year manager Don Mattingly, and the pieces were in place to bring continued growth. Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton is one of the game’s elite power hitters. Left fielder Christian Yelich just won a Silver Slugger Award at age 24. And the foursome of catcher J.T. Realmuto, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, second baseman Dee Gordon and center fielder Marcell Ozuna combine to give the Marlins a strong up-the-middle presence.
In 29 starts in 2016, Fernandez logged a 2.86 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP and 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings. In comparison, Miami’s other 12 starters combined for a 4.70 ERA, a 1.44 WHIP and 7.2 strikeouts per nine.
Miami’s top pitching prospects are a ways away. Tyler Kolek, a former first-round pick with a 100 mph fastball, underwent Tommy John surgery in April. Lefty Braxton Garrett, selected out of an Alabama high school with the seventh pick of the 2016 draft, will begin his journey through the minors in the spring. During the Arizona Fall League, the Marlins have been monitoring the progress of starter Jarlin Garcia and reliever Drew Steckenrider. Scouts regard both as future big leaguers, but neither is the type to anchor a staff.