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Koehler believes in starting rotation despite not having Fernandez


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Tom Koehler isn’t buying the conventional belief that the starting rotation for the Marlins — a rotation that is conspicuously without Jose Fernandez — is the team’s weakness.


“Yes, there’s a glaring hole,” Koehler conceded. “We see that. We’re missing our ace. Nobody’s going to take that and fill in for that.”


But the durable Koehler is convinced the rotation is better than most believe it to be and that it won’t be the Marlins’ undoing.


The reason?


With the exception of young lefty Adam Conley, the rotation is filled with pitchers who can log innings, hold their own and get the ball to a fortified and highly regarded bullpen.


“For the first time, we have a rotation full of depth,” said Koehler, a workhorse who has missed just one start because of injury over the past three seasons. “Now we’ve got guys who have thrown 180, 190 innings multiple times. If we can get 25-plus starts from the five guys we start [the season] with, we’ll be just fine.”


The Marlins have never had five starters each make at least 25 starts in one season. Four is the most.


But if the group of Koehler, Conley, Edinson Volquez, Dan Straily and Wei-Yin Chen can pull it off, it would signal two positives: sustained health and at least adequate success by all five members.


“When you look at it on paper, yes, we’re missing that clear-cut No. 1 [starter],” Koehler said. “But we have guys who have gone tee to green and have thrown those innings, and if we can stay healthy we think can do a really good job of handing the ball to the bullpen with the lead more nights than not.”


That’s the blueprint manager Don Mattingly intends to follow.


“We’ve got [starters] keeping us in the game every day,” Mattingly said. “That’s what we’re going to ask our starters to do, to keep us in the game. Let’s not think about going seven or eight [innings]. Let’s think about getting outs early, coming out sprinting and not coming out trying to pace yourself because you’re going to try to get 100 pitches.”


With an eight-reliever bullpen, Mattingly said it could lead to early pitching changes.


“We’re just building our bullpen where it’s better equipped to handle that,” Mattingly said. “We’re able to sustain more of that [early removals], which really allows us to have a little bit of a quicker trigger on guys.”


The Marlins plan to start the season with three multiple-inning “bridge” relievers — Jose Urena, Jeff Locke and Dustin McGowan — to go with five late-inning relievers.


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/fish-bytes/article135137959.html#storylink=cpy



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I don't think he's wrong. It could work out. 


I think it will too- Kohelers undoing has been the 3rd time around a lineup right? We have a bunch of 3 starters. it's better than a bunch of 5's weve had in the past.


I think Koheler is capable of big things, lets see if he can bring the same passion JoFer did and be great. I feel like he's due for a AS season.



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If you look at the starting rotation, what if...


Chen & Volquez just had a bad year last year and revert back to prior years? 

What if Conley/Straily do what they did last year?

What if Koehler isn't a disaster which he really has never been despite the fact that everybody dislikes him?


Point is, these guys have logged innings in the past and had some success. Is everything going to go well? Probably not. But we just need some of these guys to pitch well and get the ball to our pen. The staff, as a whole, could be good, especially if Mattingly manages it well. 


The bigger problem could be the lineup, which lacks power and depth. 


Either way, our roster is weird in the sense that if most players play up to their career years, we have a good team. And every team has question marks, not just us. 



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