Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Florida Marlins baseball preview

by Steve

It looks like it is going to be another long wet mostly empty Dolphin Stadium in 2008. Of course there are some bright spots, Han-ram, the hammer, and thats mostly it. The fish have prospects and not much else. Until a new stadium is built this team will continue to be a bottom feeder with potentially great players and trade them away. The owner is pathetic, he gets nearly $60 in revenue sharing tv deals and luxury tax money yet his payroll is $21 mil, pathetic.

This team went from having one of the most potent dangerous offensive infields in baseball to being average with the loss of Cabrera at third. This is especially true since they have no real replacement. Hanley Ramirez at SS is a stud, power, average, patience at the plate, he's better than Jeter without the leadership qualities. Uggla is one of the more underrated 2b's in baseball and one of the best Rule 5 draftees in a while. Mike Jacobs has pop in his bat at first but is still pretty raw. Jorge Cantu right now is the third baseman, and at one time did hit 28 dingers and over 100 rbi but we'll see how he bounces back from a mediocre '07. I don't even know who their catcher Treanor is and neither does anyone else, he is 32.

The outfield is a mess right now. Alejandro De Aza won the starting job in CF but for back to back years after winning it sustained a bad injury and will miss some time. Potentially really good RF Jeremy Hermida is hurt and will miss at least the first week as will Cody Ross who was penciled in at CF behind De Aza. Currently Maybin is in AA working on his game. Pssht please. Luis Gonzalez is going to get playing time and stroked one out Tuesday vs the Mets so who knows with him. Josh 'the hammer' Willingham is solidifed in right and may move up in the pantheon of power hitters in the NL before the season is done. Amezega will get playing time everywhere as well.

The rotation might be in as big of a mess as the outfield. Right now. career loser Mark Hendrickson is the ace of the staff which is beyond laughable. Solid young arms like Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez are both hurt and would be near the top 5. Sanchez may be back in May while Johnson has a ways to go after Tommy John got his elbow, maybe July if he's lucky. Lefty Scott Olsen is a head case but when he is on he is solid probably a #4 on most teams but has potential. Justin Miller was one half of the blockbuster trade sending Willis and Mags to Detroit. He is their number three and has the potential to be a #1 in two years. Ricky Nolasco and Rick Vandenhurk round out the rotation, both righties. Both are 25 or less and have upside. I like Nolasco's stuff better but struggled in 2007 while Vandenhurk didn't fair any better.

Fredi Gonzalez is going to be so busy before game day piecing together a pitching staff and line up I don't know how he is going to have time to actually manage and gel this team into something respectable. They have some pieces but little veteran leadership or foresight. Not really sure what the plan is in SoBe besides letting hall of famers leave and rebuilding every 3 seasons. The only thing this franchise should be building is a new stadium. The current ball park is a joke, but with this scouting department and ability to groom major leaguers, if they do ever actually spend money watch out. Then again they may just win a World Series every 6-7 years and laugh at teams like the Phillies and Indians who can't win shit.

Record 71-91

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