The fresh, re-branded Miami Marlins stepped into a new ballpark in the Little Havana area in Miami with hype bigger than some fans expected, hype that was regularly shot down and brought back up by the general public, writers, and bloggers. The Fish dropped into their new ballpark on April 4th and battled the Cardinals, a game that unfortunately goes down in history as a four-hit loss. Josh Johnson had given up 10 hits on the night, and the Cardinals’ Kyle Lohse brought a no-hitter into the seventh. Immediately following the game, speculation poured out on social websites, sports networks, and more. The Fish would go on to lose six of their first nine games of the season. To finish up April, they went 8-14, with a .364 winning percentage, and stood in last place.
At the end April, the Marlins were in bad shape. Star-shortstop Jose Reyes had a majorly-disappointing .220 batting average, center fielder Emilio Bonifacio had a .244 batting average, third baseman Hanley Ramirez finished with .207 batting average, and first baseman Gaby Sanchez had a .205 batting average. The only players who seemed to be getting the hitting-portion of the game were Omar Infante, who finished with a 1.070 OPS, a .323 batting average, and a .344 on-base percentage; and Giancarlo Stanton, who was still considered to be struggling at the time, as he finished with a sub-par .247 batting average, .286 on-base percentage, and one home run.
Down the left field corner at Marlins Park lies the home-team’s bullpen. Some familiar faces are in there, from the side-arming Steve Cishek, to the entertaining Edward Mujica. There are some faces you might not recognize, though. Chad Gaudin has hopped around from team to team, minors to majors since 2002. Heath Bell, the first face that we saw come out of the major signings the Fish made during the Winter Meetings last year, boasts a great, effective past with the San Diego Padres. The bullpen, with its recent strengths shown in 2011 and its new additions added in the offseason, was projected to have a pretty darn good year in 2012. Well, so far, that’s not happening.
Well, run support isn’t happening either, you could argue. But deep down in the 14 quality starts of the last 18 outings from starting pitchers, the fact that the $27M Heath Bell has three blown saves, and the five losses from relievers (most in N.L., tied with Chicago Cubs), you can to see that a struggling bullpen is a bit of a problem for Miami.
The Miami Marlins improved to 5-6 last night when they defeated the Chicago Cubs 5-2 behind the likes of third baseman Hanley Ramirez’s three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning. It was Ramirez’s only hit in the game but it was crucial. This is what the Marlins are going to need from him, his power numbers.
Major League Baseball came down on Miami Marlins’ reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo today. Oviedo will be suspended for six weeks upon his removal from the Marlins’ restricted list.
It was made known at the end of last season that Oviedo, formerly Leo Nunez, was playing under a falsified identity. Oviedo was placed on the restricted list at the end of September of last year and is currently in the Dominican Republic doing community service work in order to acquire a new visa.
The Miami Marlins farm system took a major hit today. According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel, right-handed pitcher Jose Ceda will undergo Tommy John surgery next week after being diagnosed with a severe elbow sprain.
Ceda was on his way to earning a bullpen spot this season and possibly more if he had pitched fairly decent. Of course, this all for naught as he’ll be sitting in the dugout for the entirety of the 2012 season.
The Miami Marlins have been doing some late Spring Training shopping. Tuesday, the Marlins contacted the Baltimore Orioles about outfielder Noaln Reimold, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick. The Orioles were not interested being that Reimold is projected to be the leadoff hitter for the Orioles this season as well as their left fielder.
The Marlins already have their outfield set with Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison and Emilio Bonifacio. The Marlins also have Austin Kearns, Greg Dobbs and Bryan Petersen on their bench.
Miami Marlins’ young outfield slugger Giancarlo Stanton has been giving the team his all in the two seasons in which he has played. In his two seasons, Stanton has batted .261/.344/.525 and hit 56 homers while batting in 146 runs. Those numbers sum up just a few reasons why the young slugger deserves a new contract with the Fish, most likely one that locks him up for many years to come.
However, as the news has it, there are conflicting ideas on whether the Marlins have actually discussed giving the 22-year-old outfielder a significant extension. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney was reporting Thursday that the Marlins were going to give him something large. However, Peter Gammons reported that no such offer has been made yet.
Mike Stanton, the young, powerful and up and coming superstar for the Miami Marlins is poised to have a break-out season in 2012. However, you will not see any of Mike Stanton this year.
Stanton told reporters Wednesday that from now on he would like to be called by the actual name that appears on his birth certificate and pay checks and, additionally, the name that owner Jeffrey Loria calls him: Giancarlo.
Miami Marlins 71-year-old club owner Jeffrey Loria told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that he is planning on owning the team for as long as he lives. Loria was quoted saying, “I love this team.”
Loria has been the owner of the Marlins for eleven seasons and has won one World Series as owner, that coming in 2003 when the Florida Marlins defeated the New York Yankees behind the pitching prowess of Josh Beckett.
The Miami Marlins made a bold statement this off-season signing the most coveted shortstop on the market in Jose Reyes. The Marlins organization also made a bold statement when they expected Hanley Ramirez to willingly change positions.
Ramirez is reluctantly switching positions from shortstop to third base to allow offseason acquisition Reyes to play in his primary spot at shortstop. Ramirez indicated Tuesday at Marlins camp that he is content with the move to third base, according to the Palm Beach Post.