MIAMI -- You'd never know it from watching Marlins manager Dan Jennings talk to the media.
But despite Jennings' always-positive message, this season has been a disaster for the Marlins in just about every way imaginable.
The team is on pace for 95 losses, ranks 27th out of 30 teams in attendance and has seen most of its top players get seriously injured (Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, Henderson Alvarez, Carter Capps, Jarred Cosart).
Young players with once-promising futures have flopped -- center fielder Marcell Ozuna, who is back in the majors after being demoted to the minors, and ex-closer Steve Cishek, who was traded.
Even All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon has slumped in the second half of the season.
But if you are looking for bright spots, we have two: second baseman/left fielder Derek Dietrich and Cole Gillespie, who can play all three outfield spots. Other than star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, Dietrich and Gillespie are the only two Marlins with an OPS over .780.
Yet, Gillespie (.845 OPS in 42 games) and Dietrich (.893 in 55 games) are not assured of a starting job or even a roster spot for next year.
Gillespie, the Milwaukee Brewers' third-round pick in 2006, has spent almost his entire pro career in the minors. He has played just 155 games in the majors -- less than a full season.
Dietrich, 26, is five years younger than Gillespie but already has more big-league experience (161 games). Dietrich continues to impress with the bat, slugging his ninth homer of the season on Friday. He has a .950 slugging percentage over his past six games.
So where do these two players fit for the Marlins?
In all likelihood, both will be reserves next season, and pretty good ones at that if they can keep up this type of hitting. Neither is a plus defensively -- Gillespie made two errors in left field on Friday, and Dietrich made one, also in left.
But since both can hit -- Dietrich from the left side and Gillespie from the right -- look for them to stick around for a while.