MIAMI -- What could have been never materialized for the Marlins in 2015 for a variety of reasons -- ranging from instability on the coaching staff to inconsistencies of the players, along with a slew of injuries. The season never gained traction, and the team dealt with uncertainties after Mike Redmond was replaced as manager in mid-May by Dan Jennings, who had had no previous professional coaching or managing experience.
If Miami is to contend under new manager Don Mattingly, the organization is banking on its talented core staying healthy. There simply isn't enough depth to withstand any significant injuries to key players. Last season, All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon was the only starter from Opening Day to appear in more than 130 games (145).
With pitchers/catchers workouts for the Marlins set to start on Feb. 19, MLB.com previews Spring Training with a look at Miami's core players on the rebound.
RF Giancarlo Stanton: Any realistic chance of the Marlins making a second-half comeback last year was erased when Stanton, the National League MVP Award runner-up in 2014, broke the hamate bone in his left hand on June 26. The three-time All-Star never returned, and Miami lost one of the most impactful hitters in baseball. Stanton was in the midst of a monster season, belting 27 home runs and driving in 67 runs in just 74 games. He's expected to be ready to go without restrictions at the start of Spring Training.
RHP Jose Fernandez: He will be two years removed from Tommy John surgery in May. The 23-year-old right-hander did finish last year in the rotation, but Fernandez made just 11 starts after his July 2 return. He also missed more than a month in the second half due to a right biceps muscle strain. Fernandez is expected to be on an innings limit of around 180.
RHP Carter Capps: The 25-year-old was emerging as one of the most dominant relievers in the game before he suffered a right elbow strain on Aug. 2, and didn't return. Capps' fastball averaged 98.1 mph last year, according to FanGraphs, but he threw just 31 innings. Capps will compete with A.J. Ramos for the closer role.
SS Adeiny Hechavarria: A left hamstring strain sustained on Sept. 2 knocked Hechavarria out of the lineup for the rest of the season, and it may have cost him a Gold Glove Award. The shortstop appeared in 130 games, and he was enjoying his finest all-around season. Hechavarria will be good to go from the start of Spring Training.
RHP Jarred Cosart: Overall, 2015 was a season to forget for Cosart, who will be vying for a middle-of-the-rotation spot this spring. The 25-year-old made just 13 starts and appeared in 14 games. He spent time on the disabled list due to vertigo and an inner ear infection. If Cosart regains his form, he could be a major part of the rotation.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.