Posted on: March 1, 2012 10:33 pm
By Matt Snyder
All of a sudden, in just one offseason, the Miami Marlins have undergone a complete makeover. They have a new name, logo and stadium. New, more colorful uniforms are part of the deal as well. Still, that's all window-dressing if the on-field product resembles the 72-90 one from 2011. And it doesn't. Not only did the Marlins bring in three highly-coveted and high-priced free agents, but they traded for fiery Carlos Zambrano and brought in one of the most outspoken -- and, at times, effective -- managers in baseball. How Ozzie Guillen's new-look troops fare in the 2012 season remains to be seen, but two things are certain: More people will be in attendance to find out and it's not going to be boring.
Major additions: SS Jose Reyes, LHP Mark Buehrle, RHP Carlos Zambrano, RHP Heath Bell, LHP Wade LeBlanc
Major departures: RHP Javier Vazquez, C John Baker, RHP Burke Badenhop, RHP Chris Volstad
1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Emilio Bonifacio, CF
3. Hanley Ramirez, 3B
4. Giancarlo Stanton, RF (a.k.a. Mike Stanton)
5. Logan Morrison, LF
6. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
7. John Buck, C
8. Omar Infante, 2B
1. Josh Johnson
2. Mark Buehrle
3. Anibal Sanchez
4. Ricky Nolasco
5. Carlos Zambrano
Wade LeBlanc is the injury replacement.
Closer: Heath Bell
Set-up: Edward Mujica, Mike Dunn
Important bench players
C Brett Hayes, IF Greg Dobbs, OF Scott Cousins, OF Bryan Petersen
Prospect to watch
For this year, there really aren't many guys on the radar ready to jump in and immediately help. Third base prospect Matt Dominguez is in Triple-A, but he's now blocked by one of the team leaders in Hanley Ramirez. All the other highly-ranked Marlins prospects are in the lower-levels of the minors. So we'll go with Dominguez here for this reason: Should he have a big first three months in Triple-A while the Marlins are in the thick of the pennant race, he makes for good trade bait at the deadline. Maybe they could use him to upgrade the bridge to Heath Bell or even as part of a package to landing a really good center fielder.
Fantasy breakout: Logan Morrison
"Morrison's track record suggests both his walk rate and BABIP should rebound, and in fact, his .268 BABIP from a year ago looks like the result of some horrendously bad luck. He is a strong bet to improve on his OBP and, at worst, maintain the home run power he displayed in 2011. Add in some improvement and subtract out his minor league demotion and DL time from last season, and Morrison suddenly profiles as a No. 3 mixed league OF." - Al Melchior [Full Marlins team fantasy preview]
Fantasy bounce-back: Hanley Ramirez
"Ramirez had a miserable first half last season, and just when he started to get untracked, he suffered a shoulder injury that led to season-ending surgery. As the season progressed, Ramirez adjusted and started hitting more line drives and flyballs, and his batting average and power numbers rose accordingly. Even though his overall stats were pale compared to his norms, a good sign for Ramirez was that his home run per flyball rate was not much lower than usual." - Al Melchior [Full Marlins team fantasy preview]
Everyone behaves, Ramirez and Johnson stay healthy and have big seasons while the youngsters (Stanton, Morrison) develop into stars. Especially now that there are two wild cards, the Marlins have a great shot at the playoffs with this group. And once you get there, anything can happen, so I'd say an optimistic outlook has them winning the third World Series in franchise history. If you look at the upside in the offense and rotation in particular, it's hard to argue against a best-case scenario being a championship. Then again ...
Utter disaster. The club doesn't respond to Guillen, Johnson injures his arm again, Zambrano melts down, Morrison quibbles with management over Twitter, Ramirez starts slow and demands a trade due to wanting to play shortstop again ... you get it. I can't think of another club with such high-peak and low-valley potential entering the 2012 season. This group of personalities could be the new Bronx Zoo champion or a catastrophic mix on the field that finishes last. Almost literally, anything could happen. As I said in the intro, it certainly won't be boring. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
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Tags: 2012 spring training, Anibal Sanchez, Brett Hayes, Bryan Petersen, Carlos Zambrano, Edward Mujica, Emilio Bonifacio, Gaby Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Dobbs, Hanley Ramirez, Heath Bell, John Buck, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Logan Morrison, Mark Buehrle, Marlins, Matt Dominguez, Matt Snyder, Mike Dunn, Mike Stanton, NL East, Omar Infante, Ozzie Guillen, Ricky Nolasco, Scott Cousins, spring training, spring training 2012, Wade LeBlanc
Posted on: December 18, 2011 2:24 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.
The new-look Miami Marlins went out and spent some cash on big free agents this offseason, but had that cash been around (or, you know, owner Jeffrey Loria willing to spend it before getting his new ballpark), the team could have kept some of the notable talent in South Florida. While the Marlins sent Josh Beckett and Miguel Cabrera out after winning a World Series, it's intriguing to think of what could have been had the Marlins stayed homegrown.
1. Logan Morrison, CF
2. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Mike Stanton, RF
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Alex Gonzalez, SS
7. Brett Hayes, C
8. Robert Andino, 2B
1. Josh Johnson
2. Josh Beckett
3. Chris Volstad
4. Jason Vargas
5. Livan Hernandez
Closer - Steve Cishek
Set up - Chris Resop, Chris Leroux, Sandy Rosario, Alex Sanabia, Rick VandenHurk
Long - Brad Hand
Notable Bench Players
The bench is deep and versatile, including young and old alike, infielders and outfielders. Some of those guys include Gaby Sanchez, Edgar Renteria, Ross Gload, Matt Dominguez, Mark Kotsay, Chris Coghlan and Jeremy Hermida. Of those, Sanchez and Dominguez are good, young players that are just blocked by superstars, while the rest are clearly bench players.
Gonzalez, Cabrera, Stanton? Does any pitcher want to face that heart of the order? That's two MVP-worthy players plus the best young power hitter in the game. The bottom of the lineup offers a respite, but it's not like it's a wasteland. The top of the rotation can stand in just about any postseason series, throwing Johnson and Beckett back-to-back.
Of course, once you get past the two Joshes, things get a little easier. And once you get past them to the bullpen, the road gets a little easier, as well. Cishek may one day be a closer, and had three saves last year, but there's a reason the team went out and signed Heath Bell. Morrison probably isn't the first choice to play center field, but he's athletic enough to do it, and having Stanton in right helps out, as well. Cabrera hasn't played third base since 2008, but it was a way to fudge the lineup a bit.
Comparison to real 2011
The Marlins were 72-90 in 2011, the same as their Pythagorean record. Of course, they didn't have Johnson for most of the season, so it's hard to really predict where he'd be with this squad. This team is probably better than the 2011 team, scoring more runs, but also struggling in the rotation, just as the regular Marlins did. Better than the 2011 team, this team is not as good as the 2012 team is shaping up to be.
Next: San Francisco Giants
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Tags: Adrian Gonzalez, Alex Gonzalez, Alex Sanabia, Brad Hand, Brett Hayes, C. Trent Rosecrans, Chris Coghlan, Chris LeRoux, Chris Resop, Chris Voldstad, Edgar Renteria, Gaby Sanchez, Heath Bell, Homegrown, Jason Vargas, Jeremy Hermida, Josh Beckett, Josh Johnson, Josh Willingham, Livan Hernandez, Logan Morrison, Mark Kotsay, Marlins, Matt Dominguez, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Stanton, NL East, Rick Vanderhurk, Robert Andino, Ross Gload, Sandy Rosario, Steve Cishek
Posted on: July 17, 2011 7:28 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
The Cubs have been bad enough this season without help -- but they got it on Sunday when second base umpire Lance Barrett erred when calling Marlins runner Brett Hayes safe on Kerry Wood's pickoff throw.
The game was tied at 4 with two outs in the eighth when Wood tried to pick Hayes off. With a correct call, the Cubs are out of the inning. However, afterward Emilio Bonifacio hit an infield single to load the bases before Wood walked in a run and then gave up a two-run single to Logan Morrison.
After the game, Mike Quade went off (from the Chicago Tribune):
Wood agreed, calling the call "terrible." According to the Tribune he added: "He's right on it, right there on top of it, and he butchered it."
Expect a fine for both -- even though they were right. Check out the screengrab from MLB.tv below:
Posted on: November 16, 2010 3:43 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:08 pm
The Marlins made finding a starting catcher one of their top offseason priorities, and it looks like they've quickly addressed that need. They are on the brink of a three-year deal with Blue Jays free agent John Buck, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com has confirmed.
Florida got just a .226/.289/.338 line out of six catchers last season. Ronny Paulino, who played the most games (85), had his season end because of a failed drug test. His suspension extends into the first part of next season, and it sounds like he could be on the outs with the organization. The other three catchers the Marlins used most gave them nothing at the plate: Brad Davis (.204), Brett Hayes (.211) and John Baker (.213).
Buck, 30, was picked up off Kansas City's scrap heap last winter on a one-year contract and had an All-Star season, batting .281 with 20 homers and 66 RBI.
The Jays were afraid he would end up out of their price range, and traded Colorado for Miguel Olivo two weeks ago, though they promptly made the curious move of declining his $2.5 million 2011 option. We'll see whether the Jays start negotiating in earnest with Olivo at this point, because they need a veteran to help J.P. Arencibia break in next season.
UPDATE: The Sun-Sentinel is reporting that the deal is worth $15-20 million. That's huge money for the Marlins, and huge money for a guy who batted .235 with an on-base percentage under .300 for six seasons prior to 2010. The Marlins certainly had a huge need at catcher, and Buck was one of the better options, but you can understand why the Jays bailed out on the bidding.
-- David Andriesen
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Posted on: September 2, 2010 4:29 pm
Being a catcher for the Marlins is like being a drummer for Spinal Tap.
The latest future victim is Mike Rivera, who played with Milwaukee in 2009 and has also appeared with the Tigers, Padres and Brewers. Rivera, 35, has been signed and assigned to Triple-A New Orleans, the Miami Herald 's Clark Spencer writes .
Spencer also notes Marlins catcher John Baker will undergo Tommy John surgery on Friday and will miss the 2011 season. The Marlins also have Ronny Paulino serving a 50-game suspension and lost Brett Hayes to a dislocated shoulder thanks to Nyjer Morgan on Tuesday.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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Posted on: September 1, 2010 9:34 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2010 10:27 pm
It seemed like a matter of when, not if, the Marlins threw at the Nationals' Nyjer Morgan on Wednesday night.
Everyone in the ballpark knew payback was likely after the outfielder barrelled over Marlins catcher Brett Hayes on Tuesday night, causing a season-ending shoulder injury. It came in Wednesday's fourth inning, when Chris Volstad hit Morgan. Morgan responded by stealing second and third, with the Nationals already trailing 14-3.
Then Morgan came up again in the sixth and the fireworks really started, as Volstad threw a ball well behind him. According to this video and accounts of those at the game via Twitter, Morgan charged the mound and took a few wild swings at Volstad, connecting with a left, before being taken down by a Gaby Sanchez clothesline. Volstad then got a couple of punches in on Morgan as benches emptied. This wasn't your normal baseball scrum, this was a real fight.
Morgan has put up quite a tally lately: allegedly throwing a ball at fans and drawing a seven-game suspension, mowing down two catchers (though at least the one against Hayes looked clean), apparently cursing a Marlins fan Tuesday night, then inciting a bench-clearing brawl.
UPDATE: Nationals pitcher Doug Slaten plunked Sanchez in the midsection in the seventh, earning the hook for himself and manager Jim Riggleman.
-- David Andriesen
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Posted on: September 1, 2010 12:38 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2010 6:41 pm
Who knew that Nyjer Morgan's actions against the Cardinals Saturday might be the culprit for a Tuesday loss against the Marlins?
After drilling Cards catcher Bryan Anderson with an elbow, Morgan found himself in the thick of another collision with a catcher -- but while this one may have been warranted, it still fired up the opposing team.
"The only thing that kind of fires you up is you've seen the way he's been playing the last week or so," Marlins third baseman Chad Tracy said of the play to MLB.com.
Morgan was on second base in the 10th inning of a 0-0 game with Alberto Gonzalez on first. Adam Kennedy hit a chopper to Dan Uggla at second, who flipped to Hanley Ramirez to double Gonzalez off second. Ramirez didn't throw to first, seeing he didn't have a chance to nip Kennedy.
Morgan, meanwhile, ripped around third and made a play for home. Ramirez double-clutched, then fired a high pitch to Hayes just as Morgan barrelled into the catcher.
"I didn't have a chance to get my legs under me," Hayes said, who left the game with an injured left shoulder. While X-rays came back clean, Hayes is due for an MRI on Wednesday.
"Obviously, [Morgan's] track record doesn't help himself -- somebody who does that is looking to hurt somebody," Hayes added. "But, you know, it's baseball."
"It was just one of those plays," Morgan said. "If I had slid, I probably would have hurt myself."
Perhaps, but sliding may have given the Nats the edge in the game.
"If he would have slid at home plate, he would have been safe," Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said, a sentiment Tracy agreed with. "Hayes was more on the right side of the plate."Perhaps the true test of whether the play was clean or not came from Morgan's manager, Jim Riggleman. Riggleman was furious over Morgan's actions against Anderson, benching him Sunday and apologizing personally to Anderson and St. Louis skipper Tony La Russa. He would have no reason to mince words.
"He made the decision and I don't have any problem with his decision," Riggleman said, echoing the sentiment of everyone else involved that virtually any player would have barrelled into Hayes, even as they hesitated to say it was clean.
"I would have said it was clean, if I hadn't seen what he had done earlier in the week in St. Louis," Tracy noted. "But I think he had made his mind up when he came around third that he was going to hit him. You can't really get upset right there, because anybody could have made the decision to hit him."The Marlins plan to recall an additional catcher now that rosters have expanded, although that likely would have happened regardless. Hayes doesn't expect to play for a while, saying his range of motion is not good.
Meanwhile, Morgan is quickly gaining a reputation that he'd be better served without. He engaged in a bit of trash-talking with a fan when taking the field in the bottom 10th, referring to the fan as a "fat bitch." Couple that with his pending seven-game suspension for throwing a ball at a Philadelphia fan last week (although a Phillies fan wrote in to defend Morgan ), and one has to wonder what the heck is going on with Morgan.
UPDATE : MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says Hayes has a separated shoulder. Surgery is not needed, but the rest of his season is done.
He also weighed in more specifically if he thought the hit was clean:
Obviously, we all know last week [against St. Louis] and what he tried to do. Put that aside, and it was a good, clean hit in my opinion. Do I feel if he had slid that he would have been safe, absolutely.
Do I think he decided to run me over as he rounded third, absolutely. That's my opinion. But in terms of the hit, I thought it was a clean hit. Nothing wrong with the hit. I just hope the intentions were good.-- Evan Brunell
Posted on: August 20, 2010 4:31 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2010 4:32 pm
Marlins catcher Ronny Paulino has become the second major-leaguer this season to get a 50-game ban for using a performance-enhancing drug. Paulino says he took a diet drug and didn't know it contained a banned substance.
Drug suspensions are fairly common in the minor leagues, but are now rare in the majors. Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez got a 50-game ban in April, though he was already out with an injury.
Paulino has started 84 games behind the plate for the Marlins, batting .259. With John Baker out with an elbow injury and not expected back for another couple of weeks, rookies Brett Hayes and Brad Davis will be the Marlins' catchers for the time being.
Paulino issued a statement through the team:
“To control my weight this season, I used a dietary pill. Regretfully, I recently learned that the dietary pill contained a substance banned under Major League Baseball’s drug policy. I am ashamed and saddened for disappointing and distracting my family, my teammates, the entire Florida Marlins’ organization, and baseball fans. My heartfelt and most sincere apology.
“I accept full responsibility and all consequences for this mistake and therefore, choose not to challenge my suspension. I was irresponsible for failing to take all precautionary steps in confirming the approval of the dietary pill. Without a doubt, I have learned from my mistake.”Because there are only 42 games left in the Marlins' season, the suspension will continue into the first part of next year.
-- David Andriesen
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