It is no secret, when the city of Miami approved the building of the new Marlins ballpark and Jeffery Loria decided it was time to change the entire color scheme and logo of the team, I got just a little miffed. Having had the nickname, “ManOfTeal” since shortly after the expansion draft in 1992 I pretty much saw my life flash before my eyes. Where did my identity go? Who am I now?
I have finally come to grips with the new Miami Marlins color scheme and logo, like I had a choice, but I will NEVER, EVER, accept that gaudy monstrosity out in right center field. I will stick to my guns on this one and say that somebody needs to kill that thing with fire.
I was recently in my basement going through some old trunks and such and came upon some old Florida Marlins items. My nostalgia got the best of me and I smiled for the first time in a long while about anything having to do with my beloved Marlins. I found these items and I figured I would share them with you. Enjoy:
Some of you may already be aware that I was at the very first Marlins game in Spring Training in 1993, I found these little items in my old trunk.
And, in case you wanted to get a better look:
The Marlins played their Inaugural season spring training games at the Cocoa Expo because Space Coast Stadium, now the spring training home of the Washington Nationals, had not yet been built.
Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed this little trip down memory lane.
Till next time…..
After Sunday’s disappointing 4-1 loss to the Nationals, the Marlins run differential now stands at exactly -100, third worst in MLB. While it’s been a surprise to many that the Marlins have fared so poorly this season, it’s more surprising that the club managed to stay in contention through most of July with such a run differential.
In general, outscoring opponents (a positive run differential) leads to a positive winning percentage, whereas teams being outscored by opponents usually end up with negative winning percentage. The more extreme the run differential, the higher or lower the corresponding WP%.
Yet the Marlins, now 49-60, sit only 11 games under .500, despite a run differential that suggests their record should be much worse. According to Baseball Prospectus’ Adjusted Standings,—which uses a team’s run differential—a record of 43-65 would better reflect how the Marlins have played this season. Similarly, ESPN’s Expected Win-Loss calculates the club’s record as 42-66. The large disparity between expected and actual wins makes the Marlins one of the “luckiest” teams in all of baseball, although that seems very hard to swallow. (The Cardinals, on the other hand, hold the title of unluckiest team in all of baseball.) Note: We’ll examine how the Marlins have been able to outperform their expected record in a separate post.
The Marlins made an adjustment to their starting rotation on Monday, albeit not the one that has been speculated about over the last several days.
Instead of dealing ace Josh Johnson, who it appears the Marlins are intent on keeping according to most reports, Ozzie Guillen announced that Carlos Zambrano would be heading to the bullpen while southpaw Wade LeBlanc will take his spot.
It’s hard to argue with taking Zambrano out of the rotation, as he has put up some atrocious numbers, especially over the last couple months. Big Z has posted the fourth-worst FIP of any NL starter in the month of July and his numbers from June weren’t much better. The most incredible stat of all is that since June, Zambrano has posted a BB/9 rate of over seven.
After all that I’ve just said, it’s clear that LeBlanc at the very least can’t be a downgrade to what Zambrano was currently giving them. He’s pitched well out of the bullpen this season for the Fish with a 1.15 ERA in 11 games, and now he’ll get a chance to show the club what he can do in his first regular starting role since his time with San Diego.
Prior to the trade, Sanchez was toiling in Triple-A New Orleans hitting around .290 after a dreadful start in the majors. Them trading Casey McGee to the New York Yankees for Chad Quails left first base open for Sanchez, who will likely start at first base for the Pirates with Garrett Jones moving to right field.
What does this mean for the Miami Marlins?
A better Logan Morrison.
Knee issues have curtailed both of Morrison’s only two full seasons in the Major Leagues. It was because of Gaby Sanchez that Morrison was playing left field in order to get his bat in the lineup. The 24-year-old is in the DL now and likely for the rest of the season after struggling through 93 games hitting .230 with 11 home runs and 36 RBI.
Morrison has the benefit of the doubt because his injured knee was never fully healed and can be blamed for his struggles. Hopefully for the Marlins that’s the case.
Just after reports were made of the Marlins acquiring Zack Cox for Edward Mujica, Miami made news again as they’ve shipped Gaby Sanchez to Pittsburgh in exchange for Gorkys Hernandez and the 33rd pick of next year’s draft.
Sanchez has been a disaster this year, hitting just over .200 and not displaying much power at all. He’ll get a fresh start in Pittsburgh where he’s expected to possibly get a chance to obtain an everyday role at 1B. Hernandez, who was in the Nate McClouth trade a few years back hasn’t been anything special either, but he’s solid defensively and also gets a fresh start on a new team. This sounds to me like the Marlins just wanted to unload Gaby Sanchez. That said, they’ve managed to turn a lousy 1B and a reliever into a third-base prospect and a soft-hitting outfielder in just under ten minutes.
The Marlins aren’t done unloading this 2012 team. According to Peter Gammons of the MLB Network, they’ve sent reliever Edward Mujica to St. Louis in exchange for 2010 first-rounder Zack Cox.
Mujica has struggled this season, posting a FIP just north of 4.5 while striking out only six batters per nine innings. He’s come up successful on occasion for the Marlins this year, however, so the bullpen does get worse. That said, it’s a rebuilding year for Miami so they should be just fine. Zack Cox, a 2010 first rounder hasn’t lived up to expectations as of yet, but he’s still fairly young and has every chance to succeed. I imagine he’ll see time at 3B once September rolls around and could compete for a starting job next season.
Over the past week, we here at Marlins Daily have been all over the Miami Marlins’ latest wheeling and dealing as we approach the July 31st trading deadline. We’ve looked at things extensively from the Fish’s perspective in terms of the players on the way out, but now it’s time to take a look at the players the club has added to their organization to see what Marlins fans can expect to see over the next few seasons.
RHP Jacob Turner
Jacob Turner, rated the Tigers’ #1 prospect entering each of the last four seasons by Baseball America, is a 21-year-old righty with the potential to be a top-of-the-rotation starter in the near future. Despite struggling in his first six career big league starts (three in 2011 and three this season), Turner is still considered to be one of the game’s top pitching prospects. His fastball, which sits in the low-90′s, isn’t overpowering, but it’s Turner’s secondary stuff (curveball and changeup) that garners the most recognition. Turner has also made some changes to his arsenal since last season, ditching the cutter he used during his first taste of the big leagues for a slider that could become another out-pitch for him in the future. It’s worth noting that Turner has faced minor elbow and shoulder issues in the past, including a bout with shoulder tendinitis as recently as spring training. Fortunately for Turner, because the Marlins aren’t in contention for a playoff spot this season, there won’t be a need to push the limits of his arm and will have the ability to shut him down at a moment’s notice. And although the numbers from his major league career may frighten Marlins fans, it’s helpful to keep in mind that Turner is still just 21 years old and if he can improve the spotty command he’s shown in 2012 with some more seasoning at AAA New Orleans, he’ll be a valuable part of Miami’s rotation in 2013 and beyond.
C Rob Brantly
It appears that the Miami are not allowed to trade their star players despite greatly under-performing. Trade a .246 hitting Hanley Ramirez for a Dodgers pitcher who could bring just as much baseball value as Ramirez was bringing this year and you get Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports calling Marlins ownership “con men.”
But how does two trades that bring in two pitchers that could end the season in their rotation count as a fire sale?
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Miami Marlins have declared Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle off-limits. They are committed to Buehrle and believe that with the departure of Hanley Ramirez, Reyes will play better. They will also keep Giancarlo Stanton, Heyman writes.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports via Twitter that the Marlins are also reluctant to trade Emilio Bonifacio, saying that as Omar Infante’s replacement at 2B, his speedy play suits Ozzie Guillen’s style.
It’s quite possible that the Marlins maybe adding by subtracting.
The Marlins were finished 8th in the National League in runs scored with 717 runs at the end of the 2005 season. After their offseason “fire sale” that sent nearly all of their veteran players, they finished the 2006 season with 41 more runs than their 2005 season total.
Just because big names depart doesn’t mean the Marlins are giving up. Just because four players were traded (two of them entering free agency) for two pitchers projected to finish 2012 in the rotation, doesn’t mean it’s a fire sale.
Fans unconditionally cling on to their well known players. Miami fans are no different. But they equate their departure via trade to surrendering. If the Marlins decide to trade Ricky Nolasco (4.80 ERA) would the Marlins fans cry about it? Probably, but that doesn’t mean that the Marlins are going to be worse without him.
Due to the Omar Infante trade, Emilio Bonifacio returned to his original position which is second base. His speed and quickness in second will help create a potent double play combo with Jose Reyes, who is expected to play better without Hanley’s presence.
Rookie infielder Donovan Solano is hitting .322 with an .406 OBP, and because of the Hanley trade, Solano will get his chance as a starter in the hot corner.
Justin Ruggiano (.367/.430/.683) will no longer be affected by the return of Giancarlo Stanton because Bonifacio moved to second base.
Gregg Dobbs (.300) will be holding down the fort in right field until Stanton returns. These little moves should make them better immediately.
The Marlins will be hosting the San Diego Padres this weekend and Nathan Eovaldi will make his Marlins debut on Saturday. They are a half game out of last place so it can’t get any worse.
Tuesday night, the Marlins made big waves by trading franchise cornerstone Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers. It was the second blockbuster trade the team had made this July, following the Omar Infante/Anibal Sanchez deal to Detroit, which took place only one day earlier. The Marlins have fully entered “sell mode”, and rumors suggest Josh Johnson is the next to go. But dealing the team’s ace would be a mistake, and it is in the Marlins’ best interests to instead keep Johnson.
By dealing Josh, the Marlins hope to get young players to build the farm system, while at the same time helping the team be competitive next season. Unfortunately, there is a large amount of risk involved in relying on unproven commodities to contribute significantly to the team. Only Mark Buehrle and Ricky Nolasco, both of whom are solid but not spectacular, would be left in the rotation for 2013.(This is assuming Zambrano does not re-sign with the team). Left to fill the remaining void would be the 21 year-old Jacob Turner and 22 year-old Nate Eovaldi–with a total of 22 Major League starts between them. The fifth spot could belong to Wade LeBlanc, or another starter acquired by dealing Johnson.
Recently… And, by recently I mean today, an article was posted by Marlins Daily writer Tony Capobianco about the Toronto Blue Jays interest in Josh Johnson.
This is not surprising. As a Jays fan I’ve learned that GM Alex Anthopoulos is interested in every better than average player made available by any MLB team.
Just sort of expected that every time a player is mentioned as available Jays fans will hear how the Jays have contacted his team’s GM about him.
The article concludes by saying; “Toronto could be the ideal place for the Marlins to unload and even bring in a star third baseman. In a blockbuster trade, the Marlins can send Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson to Toronto for a bounty of prospects and young third baseman Brett Lawrie.”
Now, as Dave Gersham pointed out, the Marlins have every right to ask about Brett Lawrie. And, sure, they do. But, the article suggests that it is a real possibility to acquire Lawrie, and that’s where I come into play.
This is a point-counterpoint thing where I will go into why Marlins fans should not expect certain players and then give you some insight into the Blue Jays farm system for names you may actually hear.
First, why Brett Lawrie is unequivocally unavailable.
Brett Lawrie is, without question, the best young player on the Toronto Blue Jays. The team has Colby Rasmus and Travis Snider, two players constantly ranked in the Top 10 prospects when they came through the system (Rasmus in St.Louis, Travis in Toronto). Lawrie is better.
He is hitting a very consistent .280/.326/.415 this season, which though not overwhelming compared to Bryce Harper or Mike Trout is very, very good considering that when you look at it, Lawrie hasn’t had a hot streak all-season. He hasn’t had one month where he has destroyed the baseball and because of it his numbers are inflated. Hasn’t happened.
That is something that 22-year old ballplayers don’t often have. A true level of consistency.
I grant you, July has been bad, but it also has seen 10-less games (part because of the All-Star break, part because it’s only the 24th).
Trading Brett at 22-years old is like expecting the Angels to trade Trout at 20. It would have to take an incredible, beyond belief kind of deal that the Marlins simply cannot offer with a 28-year old struggling pitcher.
Further, Alex Anthopoulos is obsessed with player control. Every move he makes comes with a player who will be under team control for multiple years after the deal. His goal is to bring in high ceiling talent and prospects and only once has he gone against that (the Happ trade last week), and even then he didn’t trade much prospect depth.
Brett Lawrie is under team control for six years… Josh Johnson becomes a Free Agent in less than two. That is a big discrepancy.