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Marlins camp report: Likes, dislikes


Guillen, watching Evan Reed, has an eclectic mix that should be very positive in the good times. (US Presswire)  
Guillen, watching Evan Reed, has an eclectic mix that should be very positive in the good times. (US Presswire)  


 The overall talent is extraordinary, with incredible speed (Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio) and enough power (Giancarlo Stanton) and pitching (Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, etc.). The best players are in their prime or heading there, and only seven players on the 40-man roster have hit the age of 30 (Heath Bell, Buehrle, Randy Choate, Carlos Zambrano, Greg Dobbs, John Buck and Omar Infante).

 Stanton may be the game's next superstar. Despite a tremendous lack of experience (he played a lot of football in high school), last year he hit 34 home runs. At 22, he is just starting to learn the game. He has an incredible knack to hit homers but is only in the neonatal stages of his career.

 With so much youth, there is a lot of energy. The clubhouse has a youthful, eclectic mix that should be very positive in the good times.

Miami Marlins
Jon Heyman
Distractions may add up for Marlins, but ability undeniably immense Camp report >>
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 Their bullpen could be a strength, especially if Juan Oviedo, the former closer, makes it back to be Bell's set-up man. Oviedo's agent Andy Mota said the hope is that he receives his waiver (pardon) "any day," though admittedly, he remains uncertain when it's coming. Edward Mujica had a nice year in Miami last year, and Randy Choate and Mike Dunn provide decent left-handed balance.


 The potential for combustibility is there, and Ozzie Guillen -- who knows Buehrle and Aaron Rowand, but not the others -- has to make sure it doesn't all go south. Hanley Ramirez is happy with third base -- so far. Carlos Zambrano has long track record of unhappiness, but Guillen hopes he can bring out the best of his fellow countryman. We'll see.

 Johnson is one of the five best pitchers in the game if healthy. But he missed all but the first six weeks of last year with shoulder tendinitis, so there's a concern in camp about him. He is on track to be the Opening Day starter with no setbacks, and they better hope there are none. For all they spent in the winter, the key remains Johnson's health.

 They could probably use one more left-handed bat in that lineup. Gaby Sanchez has produced solidly but he's been hampered by weak second halves each of the last couple years. Prince Fielder would have fit nicely, and for a while it appeared they may make a run. Owner Jeffrey Loria certainly had an interest after Albert Pujols rebuffed Miami's overtures and signed with the Angels, but club president David Samson didn't not share that interest.

 The bench could be better. Veteran Aaron Rowand figures to make it, bringing a veteran presence. They are OK in the outfield with Chris Coghlan, Bryan Petersen and Scott Cousins all candidates. But now that Omar Infante has established himself as a starter at second base, they aren't loaded with reserve infield help. Brett Hayes is OK as a backup catcher, but they aren't exactly deep there.


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