Scott Olsen was unimpressive in his start today and Mike Koplove was shelled by the Cardinals in today’s loss. The lone pitching star was Ricky Nolasco, who threw two shutout innings in which he struck out one.
Stokes drove in a run with a double and he later scored when the Marlins scored two runs in the ninth inning.
Tomorrow’s opponent for the Marlins are the Orioles. Start time is 1:05 and hopefully we’ll get a better showing then we did today.
In just one hour, the first official spring training game of the season starts and Scott Olsen will throw the first pitch for the Marlins against the Cardinals. Unfortunately, the game is only on MLB.TV and I only have the audio package. Regardless, baseball is here and that’s definitely a good thing.
Yesterday, the Marlins played an exhibition game against the Miami Hurricanes and trounced them 12-7. Miguel Cabrera, Jeremy Hermida and Joe Borchard all went yard for the Marlins. Volstad was the pitching star with 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
This isn’t good although it’s not completely unexpected. Josh Johnson is still feeling soreness in his throwing forearm and he hasn’t thrown off a mound at full speed this spring. The net result is, Johnson probably won’t be ready for the start of the season and he could see time on the DL. That’s definitely not the news you want to hear about a guy who was pegged to be the Marlins number two starter.
Jeff Sackman at the Hardball Times recently took on the task of trying to determine who the Marlins closer will be in 2007. He throws out five names but he also hedges himself by saying it’s pretty wide open at this point and just because someone starts the season as the closer doesn’t mean he’ll end the season that way.
The Marlins lost their arbitration case with Miguel Cabrera and they’ll be on the hook to pay him $7.4 million. That’s a solid raise over the $472,000 he made last year and what I didn’t understand was why the Marlins just didn’t give in. Arbitration is almost lose/lose in my opinion. Even when the team wins, the player loses and you wonder how much ill will he takes with him and whether that gives the player one more reason to bail once free agency kicks in.
This was Cabrera’s first year of arbitration eligibility so he’ll still be a Marlin for the next three years. He’s one of the best players in baseball though and forking over an extra $700k would have gone a long way towards maybe getting a home town discount on a long term deal. I know it’s not my money but it’s my opinion.
PECOTA is looking at another big year for Cabrera. His weighted mean average has him at .318/.405/.568 with 33 homeruns. Not too shabby for a 24 year old. Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard may be the best players in the National League but Carbera is definitely in the next tier of players.
The Marlins definitely have some star power in Miguel Cabrera and Rookie of the Year Hanley Ramirez. Just as important, the Marlins have some solid bench players that can play a variety of roles. With guys like Aaron Boone and Joe Borchard, the Marlins have some depth to go with those stars.
With Miguel Cabrera at third and 2006 NL ROY Hanley Ramirez at shortstop, the Marlins may boast one of the best infields in all of baseball, especially when you add in Dan Uggla and Mike Jacobs. If the Marlins can get through their recent injury problems in the rotation, the Marlins should contend for a playoff spot in 2007. Take a look at these PECOTA projections for the four infielders (weighted mean average):
Mike Jacobs .271/.340/.493 VORP 20.3
Dan Uggla .269/.328/.445 VORP 23.0
Hanley Ramirez .289/.350/.453 VORP 39.8
Miguel Cabrera .318/.405/.568 VORP 68.8
Now that’s some solid production out of your infield.
John Sickels recently did his more then SWAG projections for Hanley Ramirez in a crystal ball column. He predicts a slight drop off from his 2006 numbers this upcoming season but he also projects some solid seasons in there. I like his 2008 numbers because by then the Marlins should be in good enough shape to be making a run. Good stuff here.
With injuries to Anibal Sanchez and Josh Johnson showing signs of injuries, Marlins fans have to be a bit concerned. Regardless, this is a team with a ton of young talent and hopefully they’ll be able to showcase more of that talent in 2007.
In NBCsports.com’s Marlins preview, they do a good job discussing the good and the bad, but the final prognosis is unclear. It’s really hard to peg how well this team will do. If half of their guys have sophomore slumps, then it could be tough. And if the injury bug continues to bite, then that could also be a set back.
Regardless though, this should be a fun team to watch. I expect a solid season from Jeremy Hermida after a rough rookie campaign and then you have mainstays like Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera who will help anchor the team. Should be another great ride in 2007.
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