Tuesday, March 12, 2013

30 Teams in 30 Days: Miami Marlins

30 Teams in 30 Days: Miami Marlins (Blue Jays South) 

Loria smiles, Miami cries...Toronto cheers!
2012 Record: 69-93 (5th in NL East)

Key Additions: 
Juan Pierre (1 year, $1.6MM)
Yordy Cabrera (Trade with ARZ)
Justin Nicolino (Trade With TOR)
Adeiny Hechavarria (Trade With TOR)
Jake Marisnick (Trade With TOR)
Henderson Alvarez (Trade With TOR)
Jeff Mathis (Trade With TOR)
Placido Polanco (1 year, $2.75MM)
Jon Rauch (1 year, $1MM)
Chone Figgins (Minor League Deal)
Kevin Slowey (Minor League Deal)
Casey Kotchman (Minor League Deal)
Austin Kearns (Minor League Deal)

Key Subtractions: (Here we go...)
Heath Bell (Trade With AZ)
Jose Reyes (Trade With TOR)
Josh Johnson (Trade With TOR)
Mark Buehrle (Trade With TOR)
Emilio Bonifacio (Trade With TOR)
Carlos Lee (Elected Free Agency)
Juan Carlos Oviedo (Formerly Leo Nunez) (Minor League Deal with TB)
Carlos Zambrano (Elected Free Agency)

Which new guy will help the most in 2013?

The 2013 Miami Marlins, despite losing some of their best players, did bring a lot of new faces into town. One would usually look at youngsters Adeiny Hechavarria or Henderson Alvarez, but I don't think that they will shine this year as much as some say they will. The chances of prospect Jake Marisnick arriving in 2013 are slowly diminishing, with him breaking his hand in spring training. This leads me to Juan Pierre. It may not have seemed this way, but Juan Pierre played just like Juan Pierre has played his entire career in 2012 with the Phillies. Even at 36 years of age, Pierre still has the ability to steal 30 bases. Every year that Pierre has played, he has stolen at least 30 bases, which is really quite remarkable. The Marlins may not have a lot to look forward to in 2013, but at least they can count on one juan guy to provide some speed and excitement on the basepaths.

Spring Training Battles

There is really only one significant Spring Training battle for the 2013 Marlins, and that is the fight for the 5th spot in the rotation. With Ricky Nolasco, Henderson Alvarez, Nathan Eovaldi, and Jacob Turner all being locks for the rotation, it only leaves one spot for the likes of Wade Leblanc, John Maine, Alex Sanabia and Brad Hand. In my opinion you can throw Sanabia and Maine out of the question, because if either of them were to win the job, the Marlins would be throwing out 5 righties in the rotation. Plus, Maine hasn't pitched a major league game since 2010, and his stats in the minors have been horrid to put it nicely, and Sanabia hasn't posted a FIP in the minors below 4 since 2010. Between Leblanc and Hand, I would give the clear edge to LeBlanc, as he has some pretty decent MLB statistics, and much much higher upside.

Questions Heading into the Year

Just how bad will the Marlins be?

I believe that it has already been established, the 2013 Miami Marlins will be nothing short of a circus act. Other than Giancarlo Stanton, will there be a player who posts a WAR upwards of 2? Possibly not. (Maybe Hechavarria, Cishek, Nolasco, or Pierre).

Although they will be terrible in 2013, I was surprised to see just how bad the Marlins were in 2012. If they can catch a few breaks, win a few 1 run games, Orioles-esque, you could see them matching or improving on their win total from 2012. That should provide some perspective.

Is a Stanton trade inevitable?

This year, slugger Giancarlo Stanton will appear to be a man amongst boys on his team. Giancarlo doesn't appear to be a headcase, but no man in his right mind would actually want to play in Miami right now. You could see Stanton demanding a trade midseason when he realizes how bad of a situation that the team is in. Somewhere down the line, you're going to have to pay Stanton, something, and as we know, Jeffrey Loria doesn't like doing that to players. Trading him sooner than later would probably maximize his trade value. If I was a betting man, I would wager that Stanton won't be a Marlin come 2014.

Prospect who will make the biggest impact in 2013

Coming into his first full season in the majors, Adeiny Hechavarria is poised to show just how good he is on the defensive side of the ball. Many, including myself, don't believe that Hechavarria will ever be a productive shortstop offensively, but his defense makes up for it. The combination of his great range and strong arm is one that should bring home a few gold gloves( or whatever award you want to use to measure defense) in the future, possibly even as early as 2013, especially because the advanced defensive metrics will now be used to choose the Gold Glove winners. I don't think that Hech will be a star in 2013 by any means, but I think he will make a name for himself, at the least.

Projected Roster (via mlbdepthcharts.com)

Projected 'Go-To' Starting Lineup
1 LF Juan Pierrevs RHP  
2 3B Placido Polanco
3 RF Giancarlo Stanton  
4 1B Logan Morrison* +  Questionable for start of season: KNEE SURGERY ON 9/7/12 
CF Justin Ruggiano 
6 C Rob BrantlyBA#6  vs RHP  
7 2B Donovan Solano 
8 SS Adeiny Hechavarria BA#7

Projected Bench 
C Kyle Skipworth* 
IF Nick Green
IF/OF Greg Dobbs*   
IF/OF Chone Figgins**
OF Gorkys Hernandez vs LHP

Projected Starting Rotation
1 RHP Ricky Nolasco
2 RHP Henderson Alvarez  
3 LHP Wade LeBlanc
4 RHP Nathan Eovaldi  
5 RHP Jacob Turner  

Projected Bullpen 
CL RHP Steven Cishek
SU RHP Jon Rauch
SU RHP Ryan Webb
MID LHP Mike Dunn
MID RHP Chris Hatcher  
MID LHP Daniel Jennings  
LR RHP Tom Koehler

Projected Disabled List
Position Players
C Jeff Mathis +  FRACTURED COLLARBONE ON 2/23/13 

Projected 2013 Record: 65-97 ( 5th in NL East)

Everything about this 2013 Marlins team is ugly. From their stadium, to the sculpture in left field, to their rotation, to their bullpen, to their lineup, to Logan Morrison's twitter account. Is anyone going to show up to the games? Most likely not. Loria is in hot water now, but when the attendance at Marlins Park is at a record low, that water will become boiling, and I can say with confidence that he will deserve every bit of criticism he receives. It's only a matter of time until Bud Selig and his army of old rich men do something about it, but until then, Miami will get to watch bad baseball and enjoy having a crook as their owner.

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