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It’s no secret that the Miami Marlins have been grossly underachieving during the first two weeks of the 2015 MLB season.  While many baseball minds thought, and still think, that the Marlins are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the National League, the team’s stumble out of the gate has more than a few people concerned.

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A knee-jerk reaction is common among sports fans, especially those who reside in South Florida.  It’s common in baseball for a team to struggle early on before gaining their rhythm, or for teams to go through stretches during the season where they lose more than they win, and vice versa.

But here’s the thing… the Major League Baseball season is 162 games long.  It takes over six months (about 26 weeks actually) to be completed. Currently the Marlins have played 13 games during the first two weeks of the season. There is A LOT of baseball yet to be played and Miami has a roster that is full of very talented players.  With that thought in mind, here are the top reasons not to panic over the Marlins slow start.

Key Players Off To Slow Starts

Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna have all gotten off to slow starts this season.  That’s not going to last.  Stanton began to show life during Miami’s series in New York, hitting his first two homers of the year, but he still doesn’t look completely comfortable at the plate yet.  Ozuna had some very nice swings and finished the Mets series with a couple line drive base hits so hopefully he’s starting to get going.

Yelich it appears still has some work to do. He’s striking out a lot and seems to be the farthest away from leveling off, but a hitter like Christian could turn it around just like that and that’s likely exactly what will happen in the near future. It also helps that the Marlins are about to start a series in Philadelphia.  The Phillies pitching staff has struggled so far this season, giving up the second most home runs in the league.

Healthy Pitching

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As the season wears on the Marlins are going to get Henderson Alvarez and Jose Fernandez back in their starting rotation. Both are top-tier starters and will provide an instant boost to Miami’s pitching staff.  That being the case, the Marlins need to just maintain a decent record up until the All-Star break.  That’s when Fernandez is expected to come back and he can take over as the staff ace.  He’s regarded as one of the best young pitchers in the majors and can lead Miami into the playoffs.

Getting Hits When They Count

Miami’s offense started to come around after a rough first week of the season.  Despite the struggles of the aforementioned key players, the Marlins still have three players in the top 20 of RBI’s with runners in scoring position.  Those three players are Dee Gordon, Adeiny Hechavarria and Stanton.  Clutch hitting is one of the most important elements on a successful team and Miami is off to a very good start in that category.

Strong Defense

The Marlins are expected to be one of the better defensive teams in the National League and so far this season that has held true.  The outfield is as good as any in the league and the infield, led by new double play combination of Gordon and Hechavarria, has been solid as well.  Even Michael Morse has been making some nice plays at first base, and that goes beyond just picking balls out of the dirt.

All this bodes well for a pitching staff that doesn’t get a ton of strikeouts.  That will change somewhat when Fernandez returns to the rotation as he gets a good amount of strikeouts but the other starters rely more on contact, good fielding and the fact that Miami plays half of its games in the very large and spacious Marlins Park.  Currently the Marlins have committed just four errors so far this season, which ties them for third fewest in the majors.

CBS Miami’s Kevin Castaneda contributed to this report.

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