31 March 2012
After their 6-5 comeback win over the Mets on Saturday the Marlins finished off their spring training with a 11-12 record, and although they still have two exhibition games against the Yankees at the new ballpark before the season opener the Marlins made the moves after the game to set their opening day roster. The Marlins sent Wade LeBlanc and Donovan Solano, arguable the Marlins two best players this spring outside of Hanley Ramirez, down to Triple-A New Orleans, this means that Donnie Murphy has secured the final bench spot and Chad Gaudin won the final bullpen spot. While I feel a little bad for both Solano and LeBlanc for now winning roster spots after playing so well, but manager Ozzie Guillen wants both players to keep up their production in Triple-A in case they are needed rather than sit on the bench with the big league club.
The other big news from the last two days has been that Logan Morrison, Giancarlo Stanton, and Greg Dobbs have all been able to return to the Marlins line up and will be ready to go on April 4th. Which means the only player who will not be with the team who the Fish were counting on this year will be Jose Ceda, who will be out all of 2012 with Tommy John surgery. The Marlins have still not named who will be replacing Ceda in the bullpen.
Looking over the stats from the Spring Training games, obviously the productivity of Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, and Omar Infante really does stand out. At the start of the spring it was thought that the Marlins would go 1) Reyes, 2) Bonifacio, 3)Ramirez in the batting order, Infante's productivity this spring may change that. Originally Bonifacio was penciled in for the #2 spot because of his ability to steal bases (had 4 this spring) and thus be able to get himself into scoring position for when Hanley is up, but with Emilio just hitting .218 this spring and Omar batting .364 one has to believe that if his struggles continue in the regular season Ozzie maybe quick to swap Boni and Infante in the order. The other thing that stands out was the poor play of Gaby Sanchez and Mark Buehrle. Gaby batted just .224 this spring and while that is low for him, the more concerning thing is that he was among the team leaders in strikeouts and he actually struck out twice as much as he walked. Last year even when he struggled at the plate in the second half of the season Gaby is someone who usually puts the ball in play and is someone who did not strikout all that often. Buehrle on the other hand, his numbers were just plain bad this spring. In 21 innings, Buehrle gave up 16 earned runs and 28 hits while only striking out 14. Dispite his numbers Manager Ozzie Guillen is not concerned with Mark's performance. Ozzie, who has coached Buehrle the past several season in Chicago, said that Buehrle has never put up good numbers during srping training and has played fine once the season starts. Lets hope that that's still the case now that he is down here in Miami.
Marlins will play the New York Yankees tomorrow at 1:10 from Marlins Park and then again on Monday at 7:10 before their nationally televised home opener on Wednesday against the Cardinals.
By the way if you get a chance to go to a New Orleans Zephers game you may want to check them out. With Wade LeBlanc, Alex Sanabia, Matt Dominguez, Donovan Solano, Bryan Petersen, Scott Cousins, and Chris Hatcher all on the roster among several other good prospects the team should be pretty good.