2012 Archives http://marlinsbigcatch.com/table/2012-articles/march/ Tue, 23 May 2017 20:43:10 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Jose Ceda to have Tommy John Surgery http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/jose-ceda-to-have-tommy-john-surgery.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/jose-ceda-to-have-tommy-john-surgery.html News came out yesterday that Jose Ceda would not be with the Marlins on Opening Day as he was diagnosed with an elbow strain, but the news got worse today as it is being reported now that Ceda is going to have Tommy John surgery on April 3rd.  This leaves a pretty good sized whole in the Marlins bullpen that while talented lacks a lot of depth in terms of bringing up guys from the farm system to replace them.  Ceda played extremely well in the minors last season and worked his way up to a big league roster spot in the middle of the season he struck out 21 and held opponents to a .211 batting average in 20 1/3 innings.  With the rest of the bullpen seeming secure (Heath Bell, Steve Cishek, Randy Choate, Mike Dunn, Ryan Webb, Edward Mujica, Wade LeBlanc) their are five pitchers that are believed to be in contention for Ceda's spot; Chad Gaudin, Rob Delaney, Gary Glover,Robert Ray, and Beau Jones.  Personally I believe the two front runners for the sport are Robert Ray (4 2/3IP, 1H, 1W, 9K this Spring) and Chad Gaudin (14 1/3IP, 2ER, 2R, 11H, 6BB, 11K).  Gaudin was originally in camp as someone who was trying to make the team as a long reliever, but after the way that Wade LeBlanc has pitched this spring, their is little doubt that that job is his.  Both these pitchers are right handed and if I had to guess I'd say that Ray is probably going to be the one who gets the job, unless the Marlins are able to pick up another reliever that some teams has decided to let go of.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) March Thu, 29 Mar 2012 20:42:32 +0000
Marlins Make Moves to Finalize Opening Day Roster http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/marlins-make-moves-to-finalize-opening-day-roster.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/marlins-make-moves-to-finalize-opening-day-roster.html Today the Marlins have made a series of moves that have just about ended all discussions on who will be on the teams 25 man roster on April 4th.  Today the Marlins finally released Aaron Rowand who had struggled all spring from the plate (I've pretty much said 2 weeks ago that he was not going to make the team).  Some in the Marlins organization were hoping to see some signs of life from his bat the past week, but when that didn't happen the team decided to scratch him from today's lineup and give him his release.  The Marlins have also optioned Bryan Petersen down to Triple-A New Orleans when he will join Scott Cousins who was sent down a couple off days ago.  Also being re assigned to minor league camps were RHP J.D Martin and middle infielder Nick Green (who struggled just as much at the plate this spring as Rowand.  These moves mean that most likely both Chris Coghlan and Austin Kearns will be on the Marlins bench come their home opener versus the St. Louis Cardinals.  One of the final battle that is still up for contention is the backup infielder spot which is a grudge match now between Donovan Solano and Donnie Murphy, who is hitting his stride as Spring Training is coming to a close.  Like I said Monday, I'd give the edge in this match up to Donnie Murphy, but Solano could be a real assist to the team if any injuries accrue to Reyes, Infante, or Ramirez.  The other has just recently cropped up is for the final bullpen spot now that Jose Ceda is going to start the year on the DL with shoulder soreness, but he could be gone for the whole year.  That spot is in contention between Rob Delaney, Gary Glover, Robert Ray, Beau Jones, and Cad Gaudin.  Right now I'd say the two front runners are Ray and Gaudin, who was though to be more of a long man relieve coming into camp but has done a good job when called upon this spring in just pitching an inning.  So come April 4th look for the Marlins roster to look something like this:

  1. Jose Reyes, SS
  2. Emilio Bonifacio, CF
  3. Hanley Ramirez, 3B
  4. Giancarlo Stanton, RF
  5. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  6. Logan Morrison, LF
  7. John Buck, C
  8. Omar Infante, 2B
  • Brett Hayes
  • Chris Coghlan
  • Austin Kerns
  • Greg Dobbs
  • Donnie Murphy
  1. Josh Johnson, RHP
  2. Mark Buehrle, LHP
  3. Anibal Sanchez, RHP
  4. Ricky Nolasco, RHP
  5. Carlos Zambrano, RHP
  • Heath Bell, RHP (Closer)
  • Steve Cishek, RHP
  • Randy Choate, LHP
  • Mike Dunn, LHP
  • Ryan Webb, RHP
  • Edward Mujica, RHP
  • Wade LeBlanc, LHP
  • Robert Ray, RHP
bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) March Thu, 29 Mar 2012 20:09:25 +0000
Marlins Spring Training Week 3 http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/marlins-spring-training-week-3.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/marlins-spring-training-week-3.html You would never guess based on the Marlins poor 1-4-1 record for the week that this may have actually have been the Marlins best week of the spring.  To start off Josh Johnson had two starts last weeks, both against Tampa Bay, and combined he pitched 9 2/3 inning while giving up on two runs while striking out eight.  Johnson now sits at a 2-1 record and while pitching 16 2/3 innings he has struck out 15, 15 hits, nine walks, and has given up a total of 3 runs.  Outside of of the high number of walks, it looks like Johnson is back to being on top of his game and as long as he can stay healthy the Marlins have a shot at challenging the Phillies for the division title.  However, Anibal Sanchez continues to struggle and with only two more probable starts before the beginning of the season he is going to need to get his innings up or their might be a chance that Wade Leblanc could get to pitch in place of Anibal for his first turn in the rotation.  Last Monday Sanchez gave up six runs to Houston in only 2 2/3 inning and so far this spring he has only pitched 4 2/3 innings.  Meanwhile Wade Leblac has been the Marlins best pitcher this spring, although he gave up 4 runs this week, this spring has given up 19 2/3 innings giving up 3 only three earned runs and nine hits while striking out 19.  

The Marlins have also seen some signs of life on the offensive side with many of their players raising their poor batting averages.  Three of the largest spikes in spring batting averages this week have come from Jose Reyes (from .160 to .293), Nick Green (.185 to .217), and Aaron Rowand (from .069 to .133).  For Jose Reyes it is nice to see him getting into a grove as the season nears, but for Green and Rowand who are fighting for roster spots they still have some catching up to do.  Green is competing with Donnie Murphy and surprise candidate for Donovan Solano to make the roster as a backup infielder.  Green does have a higher batting average than Murphy, though Murphy has 11 more at bats, but Solano is batting .382 and has been one of the most productive players for the Marlins all spring.  With Donnie Murphy and Donovan Solano being younger than Green I'd give the edge to one of them to make the spot over Green.  Personally I believe the sport will go to Murphy, but if Murphy struggles the team will not have a problem quickly calling Solano up to replace him.

As for the the fourth outfield spot.  Rowand has really helped his case by actually picking up a few hits,  Last week I'd have placed him as the least likely to win the spot, he has moved up past Scott Cousins who's average has dropped down to .135 and has 13 strikeouts in 37 at bats.  Chris Couglan still would appear to be more likely than Rowand to make the team if just for the simple fact that Rowand is considerably older and his body has taken a lot of abuse over the years.  Yes, Coghlan has had a series of injury set backs since winning Rookie of the Year, he admits that unlike last year he is coming into 2012 100% healthy.  If this is truly the case it would make sense that the Marlins would choose Coghlan, after all the team had high hopes for him to be their starting center fielder at this time last year.  Meanwhile Austin Kearns who was also in contention as the fourth outfielder has probably locked up a sport on the Marlins no matter what.  Kearns is batting .296 this spring with three home runs, eight RBIs, and five runs.  Kearns can play the corner outfield positions as well as first base, and until Greg Dobbs is healthy Kearns can fill in for him. 

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (Brian Castaldo) March Tue, 27 Mar 2012 15:58:32 +0000
2012 Fantasy Baseball Rankings http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/2012-fantasy-baseball-rankings.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/2012-fantasy-baseball-rankings.html With the start of the MLB season just two weeks away it is time to start drafting for fantasy baseball.  Here are my cheat sheets for the 2012 baseball season.  Quick reminder closers Joakim Soria and Ryan Madson are done for the year and Chirs Carpenter is out indefinently.

Ranking 2nd Base 3rd Base Shortstop Relief Pitcher
1 Robinson Cano
Jose Bautista
Troy Tulowitzki
Craig Kimbrel
2 Dustin Pedroia Evan Longoria Hanley Ramirez Drew Storen
3 Ian Kinsler Hanley Ramirez Jose Reyes John Axford
4 Dan Uggla Adrian Beltre Sterling Castro Jonathan Papelbon
5 Ben Zobrist David Wright Jimmy Rollins Mario Rivera
6 Brandon Phillips Ryan Zimmerman Asdrubal Cabrera Brian Wilson
7 Howard Kendrick Pablo Sandoval Elvis Andrus Heath Bell
8 Chase Utley Brett Lawie Alexi Ramirez Joel Hanrahan
9 Ricky Weeks Alex Rodriguez Derek Jeter Neftall Feliz
10 Ryan Roberts Michael Young J.J. Hardy Andrew Bailey
11 Jemile Weeks Kevin Youkilis Jhonny Peralta J.J. Putz
12 Neil Walker Aramis Ramirez Dee Gordan Jose Valverde
13 Kelly Johnson Mark Reynolds Erick Aybar Corey Luebke
14 Danny Espinosa Ryan Roberts Emilio Bonifacio Matt Moore
15 Dustin Ackley Martin Prado Alcides Escobar Jason Motte
16 Aaron Hill David Freese Ian Desmond Rafeal Bentancourt
17 Omar Infante Mike Moustakas Yunel Escobar Houston Street
18 Jason Kipnis Emilio Bonifacio Rafael Furcal Jordan Walden
19 Ryan Raburn Chase Headley Sean Rodriguez Brandon League
20 Daniel Murphy Edwin Encanacion Stephen Drew Carlos Marmol


Ranking Catcher 1st Base Outfield Starting Pitcher
1 Mike Napoli
Miguel Cabrera
Jose Bautista
Roy Halladay
2 Carlos Santana Albert Pujols Matt Kemp Justin Verlander
3 Brian McCann Joey Votto Ryan Braun Clayton Kershaw
4 Buster Posey Adrian Gonzalez Jacoby Ellsbury Cliff Lee
5 Alex Avila Prince Fielder Curtis Granderson Felix Hernandez
6 Miguel Montero Carlos Santana Justin Upton Tim Lincecum
7 Matt Wieters Mark Texteira Carlos Gonzalez Jeff Weaver
8 Joe Mauer Michael Young Andrew McCutchen CC Sabathia
9 Yadier Molina Michael Morse Josh Hamilton Cole Hamels
10 J.P. Arencibia Kevin Youkills Matt Holliday Zack Greinke
11 Russell Martin Eric Hosmer Giancarlo Stanton Dan Haren
12 Wilson Ramos Freddie Freeman Carl Crawford David Price
13 Jesus Montero Gaby Sanchez Hunter Pence Yovani Gallardo
14 Geovany Soto Paul Konerko Michael Bourne James Shields
15 John Buck Michael Cuddyer Nelson Cruz Jon Lester
16 Kurt Suzuki Ryan Howard Jay Bruce
Matt Cain
17 Billy Butler Ben Zobrist Ian Kennedy
18 Justin Morneau Shane Victorino Matt Latos
19 Ike Davis Lance Berkman Josh Johnson
20 DH Adam Lind Sin-Soo Choo C.J. Wilson
21 Paul Konerko
Brandon Belt B.J. Upton Josh Beckett
22 David Ortiz Calos Lee Adam Jones Madison Bumgarner
23 Michael Young Mark Turnbo Ichiro Suzuki Stephen Strasberg
24 Billy Butler Kendrys Morales Michael Morse Brandon McCarthy
25 Jesus Montero James Loney Jayson Werth
Ricky Romero
26 Josh Williangham Chris Young Daniel Hudson
27 Jason Kubel Brett Gardner Adam Wainwright
28 Edwin Encarnacion Alex Gordon Matt Garza
29 Adam Dunn Corey Hart Tommy Hanson
30 Bobby Abreu Desmond Jennings Ubaldo Jimenez
31 Drew Stubbs Gio Gonzalez
32 Emilio Bonifacio Michael Pineda
33 Jason Heyward Yu Darvish
34 Cameron Maybin Jordan Hellickson
35 Nick Markakis Clay Bucholtz
36 Logan Morrison Shaun Marcum
37 Howard Kendrick
Brandon Beachy
38 Coco Crisp Max Scherzer
39 Andre Either Anibal Sanchez
40 Carlos Beltran Matt Moore
41 Torii Hunter Jaime Garcia
42 Austin Jackson Johnny Cueto
43 Matt Joyce Ervin Santana
44 Michael Cuddyer Justin Masterson
45 Melky Cabrera Corey Luebke
46 Jose Tabata Colby Lewis
47 Alfonso Soriano
Wandy Rodriguez
48 Nick Swisher Jair Jurrjens
49 Jeff Francoeur Doug Fister
50 Angel Pagan Trevor Cahill
bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) March Tue, 27 Mar 2012 00:31:06 +0000
Who will be the 4th Outfielder? http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/who-will-be-the-4th-outfielder.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/who-will-be-the-4th-outfielder.html With both Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton missing the most of the remainder of Spring Training with knee injuries the position of back up outfielder is now extremely important.  Their are several players who are competing for position; Austin Kearns, Aaron Rowand, Bryan Petersen, Chris Coghlan, and Scott Cousins.  With the exception of Austin Kearns most of the players can at least temporarily fill in at all three outfielding positions.  Rowan is still the best defensive player of the group, but none of the other four are that horribly defensively that they would be a serious detriment to the team.  So looking to the offense side of the ball may decide who gets the job.  Going into March 21st game none of the candidates have really been able to separate themselves.  While it is not that uncommon for players to have poor springs, the fact that Rowand is only 3 for 33 and that Scott Cousins has 11 strikeouts already seem like a bit of red flags to me personally. Of the other three Kearns is having the best spring thus far batting .286 with two home runs, and it would not be a surprise if he keeps it up that he will find a spot on the Marlins roster. I still believe that the player with the most upside is Chris Coghlan, and although he has struggled and had injury problems since his NL Rookie of the Year season a couple of years ago I would not be shocked to see the Marlins give him another shot at being on the teams opening day roster.  With Stanton and Morrison not expected to play until the Marlins face the Yankees in the two exhibition games, these five players will rotate the outfieding starting jobs daily for the remainder of the spring.

Scott Cousins 31 5 .161 3 1 11 4 0 2
Bryan Petersen 23 5 .217 5 0 7 3 0 2
Chris Coghlan 17 4 .235 2 2 3 1 0 0
Austin Kearns 21 6 .286 4 5 5 2 2 0
Aaron Rowand 33 3 .091 0 2 5 2 0 0
bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) March Tue, 20 Mar 2012 18:04:05 +0000
Top Marlins Prospects for 2012 http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/top-marlins-prospects-for-2012.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/top-marlins-prospects-for-2012.html Just like last year the Marlins do not have a whole lot of depth in their farm league.  In the MLB rankings of the top 100 prospects only Christian Yelich (#35) and Matt Dominguez (#87) are the only Marlins on the list.  Over the past few seasons the Marlins have seen most of their top prospects rise to the Major League level, this has left the Marlins with a list of top prospects who for the most part are a few years away from being Major League ready.  Also it should be noted for this list I did take Jose Ceda out of the top 10 because he should be in the Marlins bullpen on Opening day.

1. Christian Yelich (OF)- The highest rated Marlins player on the MLB.com Top 100 prospect list looks as though he could be another star outfielder for the Marlins in the not too distant future.  The former 1st baseman has played bother left field and center in the minor leagues and could be ready to join the Fist during fall call ups in 2014.  He is another left handed bat, which the Marlins desperately need, and has the ability to hit to all fields and as he builds strength he should be a 20-25 home runs a year guy in the Majors, while also being able to hit for average as well.  In the field he has a good amount of speed so he can cover a good amount of space and he has pretty good instincts for playing the field.  The only draw back is he does not have a strong enough arm to be an everyday center fielder, so he is projected right now to be a let fielder and hit in the third spot.  Yelich could eventually make Logan Morrison, another first-to-left conversion project, expendable. For now, though, he’ll move up to high-A ball but could see double-A by the end of the season.

2. Jose Fernandez (RHP)- The Cuban native who played his high school in Tampa was the Marlins 1st round pick in 2011.  Right now his stuff is still pretty raw as you would expect.  He has a 93-94 mph fastball and 3 off speed pitches (change-up, curveball, slider) that need some fine tuning, mostly on his accuracy.  Frenandez is a big right hander, but some believe that he is going to need to watch his weight and conditioning as he matures.  He played competitive ball in Cuba as a member of the Cuban national junior team so he already has some high-level experience.  He should start off the 2012 season in low-A and projects out to being a No. 2 starter.

3. Marcel Ozuna (OF)- Ozuna is a right fielder who projects out to come to the Majors the same time as Yelich.  Unlike Yelich he does not project to hit for average like Yelich, only expected to hit .260-.270, but he could average 30 home runs a season during his prime.  He has a tendency to go outside the strike zone and will need to work on his place discipline.  He has a strong arm and is very athletic, and should be fine staying in right field.  People believe that Ozuna could have an extremely high ceiling and is expected to split time this year between high-A and double-A. 

4. JT Realmuto (C)- Realmuto is really starting to come into his own as a catcher.  He was a high school shortstop who the Marlins moved to catcher to take advantage of his strong arm.  He is athletic, has good speed, and thre out more than 40% of runners in 2011 and has a pop up time that is sub 2.0 seconds, though at times he is still a little rough around the edges.  His biggest draw back is that he is overly aggressive at the plate, but if he can control that tendency he should be able to hit for average with some power.  Realmuto will move up to high-A to begin 2012 and seems to have leapfrogged Kyle Skipworth was the Marlins catcher of the future.

5. Matt Dominguez (3B)- Dominguez had every chance a player could ask for last spring to win the starting third baseman job for the Marlins, and he was unable to win the spot.  No one questions Dominguez's ability to play third, and most scouts still believe that he can be an everyday player in the big leagues, but his stock is falling fast.  It is his struggles from the plate that is keeping him down.  His failure to recognize pitches and lack of discipline over shadows what power he does have at the plate.  He is the only other Marlin on the MLB Top 100 list, but his future with the team does not look good.  With Hanley Ramirez moved to third base and Jose Reyes at shortstop, he is blocked from advancing to the big leagues, and a change of scenery maybe the best thing for this potential future gold glover.

6. Chad James (LHP)- James is a solid pitching prospect with a fastball around 90-91 and occasionally jumping to the mid 90s and a good change upHe does need some time to work on his other pitchers.  His slider does not have enough break on it, while his curve has so much spin it is unpredictable.  James finished last year with a 5-14 record in single-A, but that had more to do with the poor play of his teammates than his play on the mound.  Last year he had a 3.80 ERA with 124 strikeouts and 54 walks.  Look for him to start 2012 in single-A and possible move up to double-A at some point this season. 

7. Rob Rasmussen (LHP)- Views on Rasmussen seem to very greatly.  Some people think he is a pretty good prospect, while others see him as nothing more than a future middle reliever.  Ramussan has four pitches (93 mph fastball, a solid curve, slider, and change-up which seems to be by far his weakest pitch) but he needs to work on his location.  When Rasmussen misses his pitches he tends to leave them up in the zone to the batter delight.  Still he has time to mature as he was just in rookie ball last year and will be in the New York Penn League this year.

8. Adam Conley (LHP)- Conley was an inconsistent player in college, but seems to be able to fine consistent good stuff when he is coming out of the bullpen, which has caused some in the organization to disagree on what to do with him.  Their are those who believe he could advance quickly threw the minor leagues if he stays in the bull pen while other wist to try and keep him as a starter.   At his best Conley can sit at 92-95 mph with his four-seam fastball while sinking it at 88-90 mph. Conley lacks a real out-pitch and also has a funky delivery, but it seems to work as he does hide the ball and he is able to repeat the motion with consistency.

9. Noah Perio (2B)- Just like Dan Uggla was for the Marlins Perio is an offense first second baseman prospect, who was room for improvement on the defensive side.  Originally a shortstop he was moved to second because he did not have the range for short and has a weak arm.  He has good hand-eye coordination which allows him to make contact with ball outside the strike zone, but as he advances he is going to need to learn to stay away from those pitches.  Unlike Dane Uggla, Perio does not have huge home run power, but he is a double machine and can really drive the ball.  He is expected to move up to high-A in 2012 and could advance double-A at some point.

10. Mason Hope (RHP)- A fifth round pick in 2011 from Oklahoma, many like his frame to being with and expect big things once he starts to a major league workout regime, including possible a few more MPH on his fastball.  Currently he has a 90-92 MPH fastball that at times can spike to the mid 90s.  He is able to keep batters off balanced with his change-up and curveball.  His curve is pretty good and is his out pitch, but he needs to keep it lower in the zone more consistently as he advances.  He is projected to be a very good No. 3 pitcher.

Honerable Mention: Scott Cousins, Charlie Lowell, Kyle Skipworth, Kyle Jensen, Kevin Mattison, Chris Hatcher, Jesus Solorzano

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) March Wed, 14 Mar 2012 17:27:56 +0000
Recaping Miami Marlins First Week of Spring Training http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/recaping-miami-marlins-first-week-of-spring-training.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/recaping-miami-marlins-first-week-of-spring-training.html This has been an off season of change for the Marlins.  The Marlins have added big names (they signed Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Heath Bell), have changed logos, uniforms, stadium, numbers (Logan Morrison is wearing #5, Scott Cousins is wearing #6), and names (from Florida Marlins to Miami Marlins, Mike Stanton is now Gonzalo Stanton), and this week fans of the fish have had their first chance to see all of these changes.  And what a week it has been. The Marlins have gone 5-2 in Spring Training games and notched another two wins in exhibition games against the University of Miami and Florida International at the new stadium.  In those games the Marlins have used 73 differnt players including 30 pitchers.

The Marlins have gotten some promising play from some of there big name players as in two starts Josh Johnson has looked strong in 3 2/3 innings and has yet to give up a run.  Meanwhile Hanley Rmirez seems to be on a mission to prove that last year was just an aberration as he has gone 7 for 9 with 2 HR and 4 RBI.  The Marlins have also seen a strong start to the spring from Emilio Bonifacio, Omar Infante, Donnie Murphy, Brad Hand and Wade LeBlanc, though a player who is really starting to make a name for himself is backup 2nd baseman Donovan Solano. Solano is 6 for 13 with a run and 2 extra base hits.

However the Fish have also have some players that have some real rust to shake off before the start of the season.  Giancarlo Stanton has started the spring with just 2 hits in 12 at bats and had to go to the hospital for x-rays after being hit by a pitch on Sunday.  Aaron Rowan, who has hoping to make the team as a back up outfielder, and possibly a dark horse for the everyday center fielder job, is 0 for 12 so far this spring from the plate.  Meanwhile Sean West and Alex Sanabia both had rough outings their first time pitching this spring.  Sanabia gave up 6 hits and 3 runs in 1 1/3 innings while West gave up 3 hits, 4 walks and 3 runs also in 1 1/3 innings. 

The Marlins big name off season additions of Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Zambrano have been very middle of the road thus far in the spring.  Burhrle just finished his second start of the spring in Sunday, and while he has pitched the most innings for Miami thus far this spring he has given up 9 hit and 5 runs in his 7 innings of work.  Carlos Zambrano in his first start had 3 strike outs in 1 1/3 innings of work, but he also had 4 walks, 3 hits, and 3 runs.  Jose Reyes got off to a slow start in his first few games this spring, but after a three hit day against the Nationals he is now 3 for 11 with 3 runs and an RBI.  Finally Heath Bell has done what you would expect from a player from Heath Bell.  In 2 innings of work he has given up 1 hit, no walks, no runs and has struck out 3.

The Marlins have yet to have Anibal Sanchez take the mound since he felt tightness in his right shoulder last Friday (March 2nd).  The Marlins are in no hurry to have him pitch, although he is still expected to be in the Marlins rotation on Opening Day (news now that he could make his spring training debut on Wednesday).  However according to Manny Navarro if Anibal, who won his arbitration case against the Marlins only a month ago, hits another set back than the team could turn to Alex Sanabia or Wade LeBlanc to fill in his spot until his shoulder is 100%.  Wade Leblanc seems to have the edge right now as he has been outstanding in his first two outings this spring.  LeBlanc has given up only 1 hit in 6 1/3 innings and has struck out 8.

A couple of other Marlins players have also been dealing with some minor nagging injuries that have kept them from playing this spring.  Logan Morrison had some soreness in his left knee, Greg Dobbs felt some tightness in his left hamstring, and Chris Coghlan felt tightness in his lower back.  While Dobbs and Morrison are both all but assured to be on the Marlins opening day roster, Chris Coghlan really needs to get healthy soon as he is fighting this off season to make the major league squad as a back up outfielder.

However again it is important to keep in mind that we are still weeks away from the start of the season and at this time last year Matt Dominguez had a high batting average and it seemed like an almost no doubter that he would be the Marlins starting 3rd baseman, and we all know how that ended.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) March Fri, 09 Mar 2012 22:58:14 +0000
Baseball Expands Playoff System http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/baseball-expands-playoff-system.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2012-articles/march/baseball-expands-playoff-system.html It was officially announced this afternoon the MLB and the players union have agreed to expand the baseball playoffs to 10 teams, meaning that there will be now two wild card teams in each league rather than one.  The two wild card teams will play in a one game playoff before facing for the right to play the top team in each league.  One of the reasons for the expansion is to give teams more of an incentive to win the division rather than settling for the wild card.  Since adding the wild card in 1995 one of the things that has come clear is that outside of not having home field advantage and having to face a team with a better record their was little difference between a team that won its division and a team that snuck into the playoffs as a wild card team.  Now wild card teams have to play a game, and most likely use their ace pitcher, before they get to play the top seeded team in the league giving them a clear disadvantage.

Other changes that come with this change to the playoff system:

  • the Houston Astros will switch to the American League so that their will be an even 15 teams in each league.  
  • For the 2012 postseason, the five-game Division Series will begin with two home games for lower seeds, followed by home games for the higher seed. After that, it will return to the 2-2-1 format previously used.
  • Ties for division crowns will be settled by a one game playoff rather than by going on head-to-head records which they had done previously.

This is great news for the Marlins as they were expected to make a push for the playoffs this year with all of the big moves they made in the off season and now the fact that they play in the most competitive division does not but them at such a big disadvantage.  Last year everyone remembers the epic collapses by Atlanta and Boston, under the new system both these teams would have won the second playoff spot.  This year with San Francisco, Arizona, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, and probably another dark horse team expected to be fighting for the playoff spots, it makes it that much easier for the Marlins to get into the playoff with the additional spot available.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) March Fri, 02 Mar 2012 22:32:04 +0000