MIAMI -- The Marlins began Sunday 22 games out of first place and with four rookies playing the field. But they aren't simply angling to earn some experience during the season's final two months.
They want to win.
"We're trying to win ballgames," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "We feel like, 'Hey, we have good enough players here to win ballgames.' And we've been able to show that over the last few weeks."
The Marlins have played much better after a dismal 13-41 start. Since May 31, Miami is 30-25, thanks to increased health and improved starting pitching.
"This really is a tale, to this point, of two seasons, really," Redmond said. "We all like the second half better than the first half, of course."
Recent success enjoyed by the Marlins has been largely due to the contributions of young players.
After earning an All-Star nod for his first-half performance, Jose Fernandez has looked even better in the second half with back-to-back games of 13 and 14 strikeouts, respectively.
Henderson Alvarez has also been stellar since returning from right shoulder inflammation that sidelined him until July. He has a 2.61 ERA in six starts.
Add in the improved bat to go with Adeiny Hechavarria's already impressive defense and the contributions of newcomers Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick, and Miami's glimpse of the future is bright.
Playing more than 20 games under .500 wears down a club, but Redmond is more focused on the development of his team for future seasons.
"I always look at the record, of course," Redmond said. "But I think we look at where we're headed and the improvement. Are guys getting better and are guys gaining experience? Are they learning?
"When we watch these guys, what's the vision for the future with these guys? And I think we all realize that it's going to be fun and it's going to be bright."
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.