Rob Neyer talks about new Marlins centerfielder Alejandro De Aza today on his blog. The youngster will skip Triple A and go right into the fire this season. Hopefully he pans out like the Marlins rookies did last year.
Marc Hulet at Baseball Analysts takes a look at what we should expect from last years’ rookie crop of hitters for the Marlins. He provides what he thinks their lines will be in 2007 as well as who their best comporable player is.
Craig Strain previewed the Marlins at the Hardball Times today in their standard five questions format. He talks about whether all of the rookies the Marlins used will go into a sophomore slump and there’s also a discussion on the situation in the bullpen. He closes the discussion with some details on the current state of the team’s pursuit for a new stadium and he wraps it up with a .500 prediction. Solid stuff and a good read.
Just like that, the Marlins closer situation is under control, sort of. The Marlins dealt out of favor prospect Yusmeiro Petit to the Diamondbacks for relief pitcher and former closer Jorge Julio. The right hander has both closed and acted as a set up man for the Mets, Diamondbacks and mostly the Orioles. He was the Orioles closer from 2002 through 2004 but he ultimately lost the job to B.J. Ryan. Then he got traded to the Mets and then subsequently got dealt to the Diamondbacks where he got a battle field promotion and got the closer job back. The guy is a fireballer and he has 345 strikeouts in 357 2/3 innings and he has 99 career saves. He’s one of those high ERA relief pitchers though (career 4.20) so he’s apt to get shelled now and then. And in a way, he’s still living off of his best year, which was also his rookie year back in 2002.
Not a bad deal because Yusmeiro Petit was hardly a high end prospect. He was bombed in a call up last year and only pitched okay at Triple A. Yeah, he’s only 22 but John Sickels only gave him a C+ rating and that’s with some major league experience under his belt. One down side is, Julio might be a rented player because he becomes a free agent at the end of the year so we might only get his services for one year. And the better he throws for us, the more he’ll make on the market and the less likely we’ll get him back.
One idea is, if he goes gang busters as a closer, to make a deadline deal for him. Teams are usually looking for closers and the deadline so we could always deal him for what would hopefully be a better prospect then Petit. Not that I’m trying to get rid of Julio already, just thinking out loud.
I touched on this last month after I read a Hardball Times column about the potential Marlins closers and the job is still up for grabs. Now MLB.com has a story about all of the potential options the Marlins have heading into the season as to who can close. They also talk about how a trade for Armando Benitez could still happen although I’d rather see them stand pat and go with what they have.
MiLB.com previewed the Marlins’ minor league system today in a great column. There’s profiles of players at each stop in the Marlins minor league system as well as a 2006 draft recap. They project Brett Hayes and Todd Doolittle as being under the radar and the predict big things for Gaby Sanchez and Chris Volstad. There’s a ton of stuff in here and it’s a great one shot look at everything and anything minor leagues for the Marlins.
Aaron Boone had three hits and three RBIs and Hanley Ramirez had three hits and two runs as the Marlins edged the Mets 6-5. The win improved their spring record to 10-14 although they’re still in the bottom half of the Grapefruit League.
On the mound, Scott Olsen was roughed up for four runs on six hits in 5 1/3. He walked three but he struck out five.
Yusmeiro Petit gets the start today for the Red Sox in a day game. Game time is 1:05.
MiLB.com recently reviewed the Marlins minor league activity this spring. They present their big question as to how Gaby Hernandez will progress through the system and there’s a Q&A with Brett Sinkbeil. They talk about the surprise of the spring being Rick Vanden Hurk as well as the progress of a few other minor leaguers.
John Sickels’ latest crystal ball is on Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla. He has him going through a definite sophomore slump but then he bounces back with a really nice season in 2008. After that, he never plays a full season and he flames out pretty quickly. Interesting take considering he never repeats what he did in 2006.
Scott Olsen had his best start of the spring today and he threw five innings of two hit shutout ball. He struck out three and walked one. The Marlins also got the bats going and they racked up five runs on ten hits in the 5-1 win. Matt Treanor doubled home two runs while Alex Sanchez and Miguel Cabrera each had two hits a run.
The win puts the Marlins at a pretty poor 5-10 record so far this spring. The Marlins will get to face Daisuke Matsuzaka tomorrow in a day game against the Red Sox. Yusmeiro Petit gets the start for the Marlins.
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