Posted on: March 1, 2012 10:33 pm
By Matt Snyder
All of a sudden, in just one offseason, the Miami Marlins have undergone a complete makeover. They have a new name, logo and stadium. New, more colorful uniforms are part of the deal as well. Still, that's all window-dressing if the on-field product resembles the 72-90 one from 2011. And it doesn't. Not only did the Marlins bring in three highly-coveted and high-priced free agents, but they traded for fiery Carlos Zambrano and brought in one of the most outspoken -- and, at times, effective -- managers in baseball. How Ozzie Guillen's new-look troops fare in the 2012 season remains to be seen, but two things are certain: More people will be in attendance to find out and it's not going to be boring.
Major additions: SS Jose Reyes, LHP Mark Buehrle, RHP Carlos Zambrano, RHP Heath Bell, LHP Wade LeBlanc
Major departures: RHP Javier Vazquez, C John Baker, RHP Burke Badenhop, RHP Chris Volstad
1. Jose Reyes, SS
2. Emilio Bonifacio, CF
3. Hanley Ramirez, 3B
4. Giancarlo Stanton, RF (a.k.a. Mike Stanton)
5. Logan Morrison, LF
6. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
7. John Buck, C
8. Omar Infante, 2B
1. Josh Johnson
2. Mark Buehrle
3. Anibal Sanchez
4. Ricky Nolasco
5. Carlos Zambrano
Wade LeBlanc is the injury replacement.
Closer: Heath Bell
Set-up: Edward Mujica, Mike Dunn
Important bench players
C Brett Hayes, IF Greg Dobbs, OF Scott Cousins, OF Bryan Petersen
Prospect to watch
For this year, there really aren't many guys on the radar ready to jump in and immediately help. Third base prospect Matt Dominguez is in Triple-A, but he's now blocked by one of the team leaders in Hanley Ramirez. All the other highly-ranked Marlins prospects are in the lower-levels of the minors. So we'll go with Dominguez here for this reason: Should he have a big first three months in Triple-A while the Marlins are in the thick of the pennant race, he makes for good trade bait at the deadline. Maybe they could use him to upgrade the bridge to Heath Bell or even as part of a package to landing a really good center fielder.
Fantasy breakout: Logan Morrison
"Morrison's track record suggests both his walk rate and BABIP should rebound, and in fact, his .268 BABIP from a year ago looks like the result of some horrendously bad luck. He is a strong bet to improve on his OBP and, at worst, maintain the home run power he displayed in 2011. Add in some improvement and subtract out his minor league demotion and DL time from last season, and Morrison suddenly profiles as a No. 3 mixed league OF." - Al Melchior [Full Marlins team fantasy preview]
Fantasy bounce-back: Hanley Ramirez
"Ramirez had a miserable first half last season, and just when he started to get untracked, he suffered a shoulder injury that led to season-ending surgery. As the season progressed, Ramirez adjusted and started hitting more line drives and flyballs, and his batting average and power numbers rose accordingly. Even though his overall stats were pale compared to his norms, a good sign for Ramirez was that his home run per flyball rate was not much lower than usual." - Al Melchior [Full Marlins team fantasy preview]
Everyone behaves, Ramirez and Johnson stay healthy and have big seasons while the youngsters (Stanton, Morrison) develop into stars. Especially now that there are two wild cards, the Marlins have a great shot at the playoffs with this group. And once you get there, anything can happen, so I'd say an optimistic outlook has them winning the third World Series in franchise history. If you look at the upside in the offense and rotation in particular, it's hard to argue against a best-case scenario being a championship. Then again ...
Utter disaster. The club doesn't respond to Guillen, Johnson injures his arm again, Zambrano melts down, Morrison quibbles with management over Twitter, Ramirez starts slow and demands a trade due to wanting to play shortstop again ... you get it. I can't think of another club with such high-peak and low-valley potential entering the 2012 season. This group of personalities could be the new Bronx Zoo champion or a catastrophic mix on the field that finishes last. Almost literally, anything could happen. As I said in the intro, it certainly won't be boring. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
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Tags: 2012 spring training, Anibal Sanchez, Brett Hayes, Bryan Petersen, Carlos Zambrano, Edward Mujica, Emilio Bonifacio, Gaby Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Dobbs, Hanley Ramirez, Heath Bell, John Buck, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Logan Morrison, Mark Buehrle, Marlins, Matt Dominguez, Matt Snyder, Mike Dunn, Mike Stanton, NL East, Omar Infante, Ozzie Guillen, Ricky Nolasco, Scott Cousins, spring training, spring training 2012, Wade LeBlanc
Posted on: June 16, 2011 1:47 am
Edited on: June 16, 2011 4:16 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Livan Hernandez, Nationals -- Not only did Hernandez record his 50th career complete game, second only to Roy Halladay among active pitchers, but he also shutout the National League's best offense, holding St. Louis to just three base runners on the night. In all, Hernandez struck out six while allowing three hits. He broke a personal six-game losing streak with the victory, moving to 4-8 with a 3.77 ERA on the season.
Josh Beckett, Red Sox -- A complete game, one-hit shutout for the Red Sox right-hander. Remember before the season started and there were questions if Beckett was done as a front-line starter? Not anymore. He improved to 6-2 on the season and lowered his ERA to 1.86 while allowing just a single to Rays No. 9 hitter Reid Brignac, who was the Rays' only baserunner on the day. And the Red Sox needed it, as they weren't exactly pounding Jeremy Hellickson, who gave up four hits in seven innings, giving up a three-run homer to Kevin Youkilis.
Mark Teixeira, Yankees -- Teixeira homered twice in the Yankees' 12-4 victory over the Rangers, marking his 31st career multi-homer game. It was also the 11th time he's recorded homers from both sides of the plate, tying the big-league record held by Chili Davis and Eddie Murray. Teixeira grew up in the Baltimore area watching Murray, so it's even more special for him to tie that record.
Albert Pujols, Cardinals -- Pujols has gotten plenty of praise for his willingness to move to third base as the Cardinals have needed it this season. And with Allen Craig going on the disabled list with a fractured right patella, he may be playing more at third. Is that necessarily a good thing for the Cardinals? It wasn't on Wednesday, as his two-out throwing error in the third inning led to a run for the Nationals and then another error in the third inning helped lead to three runs in the fourth inning of the Cardinals' 10-0 loss to the Nationals.
Marlins bullpen -- Florida had Roy Halladay beaten, after seven innings, Anibal Sanchez left with a 4-2 lead against the Phillies, having allowed just four hits in seven innings. After Randy Choate threw a scoreless eighth, Leo Nunez came in to close it out. Nunez allowed three hits and two runs, sending the game into extra innings. There, Mike Dunn, hit a batter, walked another and gave up the game-winning single to Carlos Ruiz. With two losses on the day, the Marlins extended their losing streak to six and fell into a tie for last place with the Washington Nationals, 10 1/2 games out in the NL East.
Mitt Romney, "Red Sox fan" -- The presidential candidate wouldn't take any political questions in his visit to Tropicana Field, but said he just wanted to "talk baseball." Romney, who said he and his sons are "Red Sox fans true blue" and referred to the Red Sox as "we," admitted he had "no idea" he was going to a game in a dome. It's fine not to be a baseball fan, even for an American politician, but to blatantly pander to the baseball fan is just unseemly. We don't talk politics here, but Romney started it by trying to talk baseball.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 16, 2010 5:37 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2010 6:50 pm
The Marlins are clearly not waiting for the market to be set this winter, jumping out of the gate with multiple deals. After making two trades last week, Tuesday afternoon they completed their second big transaction of the day, sending All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla to Atlanta.
The writing was on the wall for this one earlier Tuesday when the Marlins closed a three-year, $18 million deal for catcher John Buck. The size of that deal indicated the Marlins were not going to be able to commit big money to an Uggla extension -- the second baseman reportedly turned down a four-year, $48 million offer, and Florida started shopping him shortly thereafter.
The players coming back to Miami are 2010 All-Star utility man Omar Infante and reliever Mike Dunn. Infante, like Uggla eligible for free agency after next season, batted .321 last season while playing second, third, shortstop and all three outfield positions. Left-hander Dunn, a former Yankee, bounced between Triple-A and the majors last season, putting up a 1.89 ERA in 25 major-league appearances.
One thing that's not immediately clear is where the Braves intend to play Uggla. Martin Prado is the incumbent at second, but he'll probably get supplanted by Uggla and play some first base and spell Chipper Jones at third. Prado could also play in the outfield.
There's no indication that extensions for either Uggla or Infante are part of the deal.
-- David Andriesen
UPDATE: Frank Wren said on MLB Network that the Braves plan on moving Prado to left field to make room for Uggla.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 15, 2010 5:10 pm
Both Jason Heyward and Alex Gonzalez will be in the Braves' lineup tonight against the Brewers in Atlanta.
Heyward took batting practice at the All-Star Game in Anaheim on Monday and Tuesday, but didn't play in the game. Heyward is playing right field and batting second tonight, with Gonzalez playing shortstop and batting seventh against the Brewers' Dave Bush.
The Braves rookie outfielder injured his thumb sliding into third base on May 14 and told MLB.com's Mark Bowman that he'll wear a guard on his thumb while running the bases.
Heyward was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday and will be in the lineup against the Brewers.
The Braves optioned shortstop Brandon Hicks to Triple-A Gwinnett to make room for Heyward. The team also placed left-hander Eric O'Flaherty on the disabled list with a viral infection -- retroactive to July 10, and recalled left-hander Mike Dunn.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.