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Florida Marlins: How to Address Their Current Offensive Situation

The Marlins are clearly in a rough patch. These past few days they have been on a horrible losing streak, based mainly on the fact that they are not knocking in runs.

The pitching hasn’t been stellar, but it certainly hasn’t been bad. Statistically the Marlins have been strong in the pitching department, but lately their woes have had a lot to do with their offense.

Since their three-game sweep against the San Francisco Giants, the Marlins have gone 19-for-111 with runners in scoring position (RISP), for a .197 batting average. 

This offensive drought has motivated management to fire hitting coach John Mallee and replace him with former big-leaguer and ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez.

The hitting coach could be a solution to this problem, but there are many other factors that are causing this drought, and one of them is the third base position.

The Marlins have been in a very tough spot regarding their third base position. It was thought that young Matt Dominguez would take the hot corner, but due to a poor spring, the organization felt that he  needed more seasoning in the minors. All of the sudden Dominguez got injured, and the Marlins were left with a rotating third base between Emilio Bonifacio and Gregg Dobbs.

The Marlins are in need of a third baseman, not to discredit Boni or Dobbs. But Florida needs consistency in their lineup, and neither of these players are capable of that. 

In order to fill that gap, it was suggested that the Marlins dip into the trading block and possibly make a run for Aramis Ramirez or David Wright. Unfortunately neither of these players are viable options. Ramirez is having a very poor year and the asking price for him is very high. Meanwhile, Wright is also having a subpar year and the idea of acquiring him from a division rival would probably make this trade a lot less likely to happen.

Even If the Marlins are going to make trades, it’s important to recognize that the Marlins farm system is dry. There are no big prospects that can be used as trade bait, so don’t be expecting a big deal anytime soon.

So with the lack of third baseman in the Majors and a weak farm system, where does this leave the Marlins?

The answer to this question is harsh and people may not like to hear it; but the Marlins are going to be offensively subpar for the rest of the season. However, there is a bright side to this and its that Hanley Ramirez is coming off the disabled list soon.

Even so, the only thing that the Marlins can do right now is make amends with what they’ve got, and they do have a lot of talent. But they have an inconsistent lineup that needs to be addressed soon in order for the Marlins to continue what has been so far a strong season.

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Florida Marlins Review: Can The Fish Offense Contend In The Nl East?

The Florida Marlins enter this year with a new ball club. They have so far made some necessary subtractions and some great additions,but as the Marlins make these changes division rivals are making strong notable improvements and these worry fans within the NL East.

Never the less the Marlins have made some big moves this off-season and here we will review their importance and value to help the marlins offense secure a playoff spot this 2011 season.

This review will take an in depth look at each position and how it has changed for the 2011 season.

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The San Francisco Giants Claim Cody Ross Off Waivers

On Friday it was announced that Cody Ross was claimed off waivers by the San Francisco Giants.

The move to claim Ross was done primarily to block the San Diego Padres from acquiring Ross, after center fielder Tony Gwyn Jr. obtained a season ending injury.

In the tight NL west division, claiming Ross was a very good decision, since there are now few available center fielders that the Padres can acquire.

This move is excellent for the Giants since they have left their NL West rivals in an awkward position to fill their CF hole, giving the Giants a big edge.

This move, even though a good strategic one, has now created a rather confusing outfield since there are now six outfielders and it will be interesting to see which ones will start and which ones will be placed in a utility role.

If it were up to me ,I’d put Cody in the starting lineup because he has a good bat and is one of the most clutch players in the NL, but also because his defense could prove to be extremely valuable in the spacious AT&T park.

This move has now given this Giants team and edge, and it also has given the Marlins a chance to bring back up top prospect Cameron Maybin.

And a big plus for the Marlins is that they can shed a good amount of payroll by getting rid of Ross’ salary, and avoiding another year of arbitration.

This move, in the end, benefits both teams and is definitely going to make a huge difference for the Giants in the NL West and Wild Card race.

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5 Things the Marlins Need to do to get to the Playoffs

The Marlins are having a rather poor season but don’t count them out of the Playoff hunt yet, they are just one winning streak away from being in the reach of their first playoff appearance since 2003.

But after a sweep by the Reds, the Marlins need to make serious adjustments in order to stay alive and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Here are the 5 thing that the Marlins are going to have to do to get to the postseason.

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Can MLB Umpires Own Up To Their Mistakes?

For the past month the marlins have had a rough time with umpires and controversial calls.

The first event was the foul ball that was fair and would’ve given the marlins a walk off win against the NL east rival Phillies.

Now just recently against the Reds, in a rather important series, Marlins catcher Bret Hayes was in an at-bat where he was hit on the leg with a pitch and the home plate umpire called it a foul tip.

The pitch on instant replay clearly demonstrated that Hayes couldn’t have swung and touched the ball since it was very inside.

Now as I had expected manager Edwin Rodriguez defended his catcher and began to talk to the Home Plate Umpire Phil Cuzzi. What Rodriguez said was unclear, but I’m extremely sure that he had asked for help from the first base umpire.

Though from what I can only guess is arrogance, Cuzzi felt it unnecessary since he thought he had the call right.

He was clearly wrong.

I don’t care if he was hit or not, it doesn’t bother me at all. What does bother me is when a manager asks for a second opinion it should be given, especially when the home plate umpire doesn’t have a full and complete view of the play.

One of those calls have already cost the marlins a game and it’s a shame to lose games on bad calls.

An umpire shouldn’t feel  embarrassed about a bad call, and if he is in doubt he should consult the call with his umpiring crew (that is one of the reasons why they are there).

This is a call out to all umpires, use your umpiring crew, just because you screw up once doesn’t mean you have to continue to look like a fool by saying that you got the call right when you clearly didn’t.

After this controversy I strongly suggest the MLB make changes to the way umpires referee games. It is frustrating to players, frustrating to fans, and takes a toll on the sport.


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MLB All-Star Game: Will Pitching Win This Year’s Midsummer Classic?

This years Midsummer Classic is filled with great talent from both leagues. However, one of the biggest differences that the two leagues have are the pitchers available to them.

The National League have the edge in the pitching department. They possess the best pitchers in the game at the moment, but will that win them the ball game?

I say yes it will. 

Both teams have great lineups and I really can’t say that one teams offense is better than the others. 

But what I can tell you is that one of these teams are going to have a tough time scoring runs. That team will be the American League.

The American League’s offense is brilliant as it features many MVP candidates and RBI machines, but these guys are going to have to face pitchers who rarely give up runs during starts.

The majority of NL pitchers are leading the Majors in ERA and in strike outs. Can the American League batters figure the NL pitchers out?

I seriously doubt it.

Because of the better pitching the National League will be able to hold on to early leads.

Even if the American League does get an early lead they will have a very tough time to add on to it.

The American League also features some great pitching, but their pitching will not be good enough to hold on to leads. Pitching is the American League’s achilles heel.

The superiority in pitching alongside a good defense will be enough for the NL to win this years midsummer classic.

My Prediction: 4-1 NL winners

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MLB Sluggers Need Not Worry: Why Home Run Derby Doesn’t Affect a Players Swing

The Home Run Derby is known as a great opening event to the All-Star game, yet it is unfortunately losing popularity amongst players.

Many players have opted not to take part in the event, as they believe it will affect their swing during the second half of the season. 

That’s a bogus excuse, and I’ll tell you why.

The MLB is an organization of professionals who work day-in and day-out, and the Home Run Derby is nothing more than heavy batting practice. I cannot see why they think that one batting practice session will affect their swing. 

The players who participate in the derby have batting practice and batting coaches. If the derby somewhat affects their swing, than the players can adjust their motion in no time.

My theory is that when a player hits a slump after the Home Run Derby, he will try his best to blame it on the derby. This way, he won’t have to take the responsibility for his slump.

Which is really unfair.

Players hit slumps because of a psychological factor, or because they cannot identify pitches.

A player doesn’t go into a slump because he hit 20+ HR during batting practice. 

This is just an absurd rumor that players will believe so that they don’t have to risk ruining their swing. 

Because of this theory, many star players with great power numbers do not want to participate, which is a darn shame.

This year’s Home Run Derby was full of first timers who probably shouldn’t have participated. 

The lack of interest from players in this event will cause a serious decline in popularity amongst fans. 

I find this to be extremely sad and unfortunate, due to the history this event has.

The derby is a great addition to the All-Star game. It is an event strictly for the fans that will slowly be neglected just because players are getting superstitious. 

This superstition must stop now.

To finish off, I would like to congratulate all the batters who participated in this year’s derby. They at least tried to entertain the fans by “risking” their swings.

I just hope that, for the sake of the fans, next year’s Home Run Derby will have more star players involved. 

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Trade Bait: Ricky Nolasco Drawing Yankees Attention

The New York Yankees so far are having an excellent season, but they are still fighting for first place in a really tough AL East division.

The Yankees want to get to the playoffs, and to get there they need to pursue bottom of the rotation help during this trade deadline, and from what it looks like, the Yankees have interest in the Marlins’ Ricky Nolasco.

On Friday night during Nolasco’s start in Arizona, there were numerous scouts from many teams; one of those scouts belonged to the New York Yankees.

It is unclear what the scouts were looking into, but from assumption we can guess that they were looking into both starting pitchers of that game, Dan Haren and Nolasco. The Yankees may have certain interest in Dan Haren, but the pitcher of the most interest to the Yankees was probably Nolasco.

Nolasco pitched extremely well in that game, demonstrating consistency as he pitched seven innings of two-run ball. Nolasco can be consistent and will almost always pitch five innings or more in a start, something that could help the Yankees greatly in maintaining their AL East lead.

The Yankees are probably interested in Nolasco due to the familiarity that he has with manager Joe Girardi. During the 2006 season when Joe Girardi managed the Florida Marlins, he had a great selection of rookie pitchers, and one of those pitchers was Nolasco.

Girardi knows Nolasco’s stuff and will know how to manage him appropriately, giving the Yankees a huge bonus that no other pitcher on the trading block can provide. Nolasco is a low-risk innings eater that can definitely benefit this Yankees team.

Though he is having a rough season, he is showing signs of improvement, and since the Cliff Lee trade, the Yanks need a backup plan.

From what it looks like Ricky Nolasco might just be Plan B for the New York Yankees during this 2010 trade deadline.


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Trade Bait: Could Ricky Nolasco Be Traded To the New York Mets?

The Florida Marlins currently are a team that are indecisive regarding their status as sellers or buyers. 

Meaning that possibly many teams could end up having interest in a pitcher like Nolasco, even possibly the Mets.

The Mets were considered front runners for a possible Cliff Lee trade, but unfortunately that fell through when the Mariners tried to sweeten their deal by asking the Mets to include Ike Davis in the possible trade. 

The Rangers acquisition of Lee leaves the Mets in a position to acquire other possible starting pitchers and in that list are many names like Ted Lilly and Roy Oswalt.

Why not include Nolasco in that list?

Nolasco pitches deep in ball games, walks few, and is a fantastic strike out pitcher. 

His numbers may be considered rather sub par as he has a 4.69 ERA and a WHIP of 1.29. Though the numbers may demonstrate him as an average starter he is still a pitcher that can give a team consistent outings as he almost never pitches less than five innings. 

The Mets could end up being interested in Nolasco, since the big name starting pitchers like Ted Lilly or Roy Oswalt will require a big trade package involving many top prospects and a great amount of cash that the Mets may or may not be willing to deal.

Also the competition from other teams to acquire these big name starters could create a bidding war that the Mets could possibly lose. 

Giving good reason to pursue a pitcher like Nolasco.

To acquire Nolasco there is no need for big name players like Ike Davis. 

It would be a simple trade involving bullpen help, and some prospects.

Possibly a Josh Stinson who has been good in AA ball or possibly a Manny Acosta who is pitching extremely well in his relief roll at AAA. 

Nolasco can also provide a great deal of help when pitching against division rivals. 

In the past especially against the Braves he has produced excellent outings, which could help the Mets take the lead in the division.

Mets fans all around are waiting for a big name starter to come and save their season, yet acquiring those big name starters are a big challenge, and when the trade deadline comes the Mets will want to have a safety net. 

The safety net should be Ricky Nolasco.

He is a low risk innings eater that could be a season changing pitcher for this Mets team. 

So before taking out your big New York check books, take a look at what some young cheap pitching can provide, because in the end the Mets may end up risking too much and gaining little at this trade deadline.

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Florida Marlins: Sellers or Buyers?

As we reach the midpoint of the season, the Florida Marlins have put themselves in an awkward position.

They are currently 38-43, fourth in the NL East division, and 9.5 games out of first place.

The record they have leaves them in a selling position, or does it?

Before we declare the Marlins sellers at this point in the season, we must ask ourselves these two questions:

Is the offense producing?


Are the starting pitchers going deep into games?


Based on these points alone, I can tell you that the Marlins should not be sellers. 

The two main things that make a good team are pitching and scoring runs. The Marlins have proved able to do both.

That means the things that make the Marlins lose is the sloppy defense and terrible bullpen.

Now how can the Marlins improve on this?

Well for starters, it is rather difficult to improve a defense without meddling with the offense, and I seriously doubt that’s the priority for the Marlins.

The current priority in Florida is the bullpen. 

The bullpen right now is made of Leo Nunez—a closer who has not proved to be consistent after blowing way too many saves—and a very consistent set-up man in Clay Hensley, and the rest…

The rest of the bullpen is just flat out terrible.

The Marlins keep on trying to use AAA relief pitchers hoping that they will do well, and, unfortunately, they don’t.

So the Marlins will want to be buyers in this trade deadline, in order to improve their bullpen. 

A selection of players who should be inquired about and pursued are the following:

Octavio Dotel, Matt Capps, Scott Downs, Kerry Wood, and Joakim Soria.

All of the relief pitchers mentioned should be heavily pursued, only if the Marlins can get themselves to a winning record by the end of the All-Star break. 

To conclude, the Marlins are neither sellers nor buyers, but they should be buyers, and they should try their best to get the bullpen help they desperately need.  

If they do get the bullpen help, I can almost guarantee that the Marlins will be back in playoff contention. 

If the Marlins management wants to win, it’s going to be this season. 

The Marlins have the stuff, and to sell it away would be pointless, since they only need to add three more decent relievers to the bullpen.

The last thing that I want to say is that the Marlins are in it to win it. Don’t count them out, because they have proved to be resilient in the past.

It’s just a matter of getting the starting pitching, offense, and bullpen in sync.

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