For Marlins, winning might be just beginning

“Having Giancarlo back really helps,” Morrison said. “Not that he’s old, but he has been around for a while. And he’s a great hitter. Any publicity he gets, if he was playing for the Dodgers or Yankees, he’d get 10 times as much.”

The Marlins could be grateful for any lack of attention in April and May, when they played like laughingstocks. A slew of injuries contributed to the dismal situation, and things got so bad veteran Miguel Olivo quit one day after batting practice, deciding he’d rather retire than be a third-string catcher for the team with the worst record in the majors.

“The first couple of months were rough,” rookie manager Mike Redmond said. “We weren’t really in that many games.”

But 2013 was never about the won-loss record. All that matters is how the youngsters plays, and on that score the season has been a success.

More top prospects are on the way, with outfielders Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick expected to break into the big leagues sometime after the All-Star break. The Marlins may be far out of first place, but there’s a sense the roller-coaster franchise is headed upward.

“Let’s fly under the radar as long as we can,” Ruggiano said.

In Miami, that shouldn’t be too tough.

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