Found February 20, 2013 on
What a difference a year makes. At this time last year the Miami Marlins were the darlings of spring training. They made a bunch of high profile moves to inject some excitement into the franchise as they opened their new stadium. Fast forward to today and Miami is coming off a 93 loss season and they have jettisoned almost all of their impact players.
As of now, Miami is still home to the most promising young slugger in baseball, Giancarlo Stanton. However, Stanton will be eligible for arbitration in 2014 and free agency after the 2016 season. How long he remains a Marlin in anybody’s guess, but there are no shortage of teams that would be willing to unload their top prospects in order to obtain the best young power hitter in the game.
Other than Stanton, this team significantly lacks not just star power, but proven commodities. The pitching staff is one of the most inexperienced in all of baseball. The line up is littered with young, inexperienced players and guys that are way past their prime. No matter how you break it down, it’s going to be a long summer in South Beach.
The Marlins do have some good young prospects, but their top two, RHP Jose Fernandez and OF Christian Yelich, are still two years away from the major leagues.
Best case scenario: The best case scenario for the Marlins is that they are able to stay out of the cellar in a loaded NL East. Maybe they can nudge past the Mets and finish in 4th place, that would at least be progress. It’s unrealistic to expect anything more from this thinned out squad.
Most important Marlins: Obviously Giancarlo Stanton is the most important player on this team. His 37 homers were the second most in the NL and he led the majors with a robust .608 slugging percentage. ”He’s a monster,” said first year manager Mike Redmond. “And he’s a monster in that lineup. It’s going to be a tremendous opportunity for one of these guys to hit behind him and have a chance to drive in a lot of runs.”
Placido Polanco will likely bat in front of Stanton in the Marlins line up which means he should see a lot of pitches to hit. Polanco also provides a veteran presence to a very young team and should be a stabilizing force for Miami at third base.
Potential breakout players: Catcher Rob Brantly came over from the Tigers in the Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante deal. A lefty, Brantly posted a .290 batting average with 3 homers and 8 RBI in 100 at-bats for the Marlins last year. He has the potential to be a future all-star and could be one of Miami’s better hitters this season. How’s this for impressive, in the minor leagues, Brantly struck out just 129 times in 1,077 plate appearances.
Jacob Turner was also acquired from the Tigers, in the same trade as Brantly. He was just 1-4 in 7 starts for Miami after the trade. However, he did post a 3.38 ERA, 0.98 WHIP. He’s a talented youngster who might be better served pitching in the NL than the AL.
Worst case scenario: This roster is littered with players like Polanco, Juan Pierre, Chone Figgins, and Casey Kotchman. It’s not that they are bad players, but they can’t serve as the core group of a winning team in 2013. They will also be counting on a lot of unproven youngsters which isn’t a good formula for success. Owner Jeffrey Loria has already alienated the fan base and a 100 loss season seems inevitable. Worse case, Miami could set a new MLB record for futility.
Areas of concern: The projected starting 5 for Miami’s pitching staff features exactly zero players who finished 2012 with a winning record. It also features 4 guys who are completely unproven; Jacob Turner, Henderson Alavrez, Wade LeBlanc and Nathan Eovaldi. Their best pitcher, Ricky Nolasco is not an ace and will likely be traded away if he has any semblance of a good season.
Another major area of concern is that Miami has no depth. If any of their key players suffer injuries it will result in this team further resembling a AAA squad and serving as a punching bag for the rest of the National League.
Who needs to bounce back from a down 2012: Logan Morrison played in just 90 games last season and ended up having knee surgery in September. If this team is going to stave off 100 losses, they need Morrison in the line up. The bad news is that Morrison is not yet running at full strength and may not be ready to roll in April. The 25 year old belted 23 homers in 2011 and could provide some, albeit very minor, protection for Stanton.
Jeffrey Loria needs to bounce back from his awful 2012. He spent years lamenting that this team couldn’t compete without a new stadium. He then finagles a new stadium, largely at taxpayers expense, and goes on a spending spree last off season. The product on the field was a complete debacle and Loria responded with yet another fire sale that has gutted the Marlins franchise yet again. Short of selling the team, I’m not sure what he can do to bounce back. When he inevitably ships off Stanton to save himself more money, that will probably be the last straw for the few remaining die hard fans of the Marlins.
BEST OF MAXIM
There was a scary moment at Miami Marlins camp today, when prospect Jose Fernandez hit Marlins superstar Giancarlo Stanton in the head with a pitch during batting practice. The pitch hit Stanton in the area around the base of his head and top of his neck, knocking his helmet off but not sending Stanton to the ground. Stanton reportedly never got dizzy after the incident, but had...
This is not how you get in good with your teammates, Jose Fernandez. During a simulated spring training game Fernandez, Miami’s top pitching prospect, let fly a 95 mph fastball that dinged Giancarlo Stanton, perhaps the only reason to watch the Marlins this year, right in the head. Stanton appears to be OK after the scary incident, which Fernandez is blaming on his profuse sweating...
JUPITER, Fla. Upon entering the Miami Marlins spring clubhouse at Roger Dean Stadium, one sees a rectangle-shaped room outlined with wooden lockers against the walls.
A group of temporary cubicles resides in the middle. Walk to the far side of the black metal section, and there are three consecutive lockers assigned to players wearing Nos. 76-77-78.
Don't be fooled by the high...
It was a rough Wednesday morning for Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton.
Stanton was drilled in the head by a fastball from former first-round pick Jose Fernandez. Stanton walked off the field immediately after the plunking, according to the Miami Herald.
“Stanton didn’t appear to be seriously injured or bleeding, but he was taken to the team clubhouse via golf cart by assistant...
The Miami Marlins have one good player on their roster in Giancarlo Stanton. So naturally the team decided to throw at his head when spring training started.
Prospect Jose Fernandez hit Stanton in the area around the base of his head and top of his neck, knocking his helmet off. Stanton was able to stay on his feet and walk away.
Reports say Stanton never got dizzy but did notice...
Out of all of the bizarre injuries we've written about this winter, none of them have taken place on the field...until now. Miami Marlins first baseman Casey Kotchman cut the ring and middle fingers on his right hand when he grabbed a pop up machine that was falling over. The injury required four stitches, and Kotchman doesn't know when he'll be able to play following...
CHALK UP ANOTHER ONE
Marlins first baseman Casey Kotchman became the latest MLB player to suffer a bizarre injury after he hurt himself while preventing a pop-up machine from falling over.
The Miami Marlins conducted one of the great fire sales in
MLB history over the winter, but star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is “not
going anywhere,” according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Teams can dream if they like. But I heard the 3 defining words from miami on @giancarlo818again: "not going anywhere."
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) February 20, 2013
The Miami Marlins shipped nearly all of their stars out of town this offseason and the coaching staff had to be holding their collective breath on Wednesday. During an intra-squad game, OF Giancarlo Stanton was drilled in the head with a fastball from P Jose Fernandez. Fernandez’s pitch sailed high and inside, striking Stanton in the helmet.
Stanton walked off the field and did...
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- Giancarlo Stanton spotted downcast teammate Jose Fernandez in the Miami Marlins' clubhouse Thursday and flashed him a grin.
"Relax," Stanton said. "Relax."
Stanton was feeling better after being hit in the helmet Wednesday by a fastball from Fernandez, the Marlins' top pitching prospect.
X-rays were negative, there was no sign of...
After a very scary incident on Wednesday where he took a pitch to the head from prospect Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton is doing OK and wasn't diagnosed with a concussion following the incident. He expects to play in Saturday's Spring Training opener against the Cardinals.
Initially after he was hit, Stanton said he felt "loopy"...
The Miami Marlins' best player, Giancarlo Stanton, got cracked in the head by a fastball during Spring Training.
Watch Miami Marlins pitching prospect (though maybe not for very long) Jose Fernandez hit slugger Giancarlo Stanton in the head – with the very first pitch!
Ben and Sam preview the Marlins` season with Daniel Rathman, and Pete talks to Sun-Sentinel Marlins beat writer Juan C. Rodriguez (at 16:59).
Giancarlo Stanton spotted downcast teammate Jose Fernandez in
the Miami Marlins' clubhouse Thursday and flashed him a grin.