Ranking the NL East: Starting Pitchers

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May 20, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher

Jose Fernandez

(16) fields questions from reporters during a press conference at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

3. Miami Marlins

Ranking the next two teams is complicated since the fate of both rotations depends largely on players that will be coming back from Tommy John surgery in 2015. That being said, both the Marlins and the Mets are loaded with pitching talent and the argument can be made that either team should get the No. 2 ranking. For the purpose of this article, however, we’ll rank the Marlins’ rotation at No. 3.

As I said before, the success of the Marlins’ rotation in 2015 will depend largely on the recovery of phenom Jose Fernandez, who is expected to wrap up his Tommy John rehab and join the team sometime around June 1.

Prior to the surgery, Fernandez was one of the best pitchers on the planet. The right-hander went 12-6 with a 2.92 ERA in his All-Star rookie campaign in 2013. If Fernandez comes back in time to lead the rotation in the second half, he may very well help the Marlins make it back to the postseason.

Miami’s rotation is talented even beyond Fernandez.

Mat Latos will probably be the team’s ace until Fernandez gets back and he’s been a dominant pitcher throughout most of his career. Latos missed significant time on the DL last season with the Reds, but he won 14 games in 2010, 2012 and 2013. Jared Cosart posted a 2.39 ERA in 10 starts for the Marlins last season and he could be even better if he stays healthy in 2015.

Henderson Alvarez was an All-Star last season and finished the year 12-7 with a 2.65 ERA. Assuming the Marlins don’t trade Dan Haren before Opening Day, he should provide them with yet another strong option at the back of the rotation. In 32 starts with the Dodgers last season, Haren went 13-11 with a 4.02 ERA. Tom Kohler, who will be the team’s No. 5 starter, is also coming off a solid 2014 season in which he went 10-10 with a 3.81 ERA.

Needless to say, the Marlins have a strong rotation. And with Fernandez due back at some point next season, the rotation should get even stronger as the year goes on.

Next: Number Two?