Tag: Florida Marlins

Florida Marlins Must Stay but the Toronto Blue Jays Must Go

In an article written yesterday, it was suggested that Major League Baseball must eliminate two teams and realign into two seven-team divisions for each league (Eliminate Florida and Seattle).

There were many comments indicating that eliminating the Florida Marlins was a poor choice, especially since they have been World Champions twice since they were created in 1993. The fact that they are challenging the overrated Philadelphia Phillies this season was another factor.

Many who commented wanted to eliminate the Chicago Cubs or Boston Red Sox, which is ridiculous.

Both teams are excellent draws at the gate, are among the original teams that have existed for well over 100 years in their original city and ball park and have a tremendous following in their city and in the country.

In 2010, the Cubs and Red Sox each drew over three million fans. The Marlins attendance was about 1.5 million, a figure that used to be excellent, but one that the greedy owners now consider almost unacceptable.

Only the Cleveland Indians and the Oakland A’s (about 1.4 million each) drew fewer fans than the Marlins. Both the Indians and A’s are among baseball’s original 16 teams, although the A’s were originally in Philadelphia and then in Kansas City. Both teams have too much tradition to be eliminated.

Yes, it is paradoxical to radically realign both leagues yet claim that tradition should prevent the Indians or A’s from being contracted, but there is another factor.

Having the A’s in the same division with the San Francisco Giants and the Indians in the same division with the Cincinnati Reds would boost attendance and intensify existing rivalries.

An acceptable move would be to keep the Marlins and eliminate the Toronto Blue Jays.

Last year, the Jays drew a little over 1.6 million fans, which was the fifth-worst attendance figure in baseball. They are an expansion team in a foreign country. They have no real rivals since the Montreal Expos moved.

Blue Jays players are paid in Canadian dollars, which is a problem. The currencies are close ($1 U.S. to $.95 Canada), and players have complained.

Now that America and Canada are involved in a life and death struggle against terrorism, there are often passport or related problems when American teams visit Toronto. This is not an attempt to limit baseball teams to the United States, but not traveling to Canada might be helpful.

Tampa Bay is another good choice for elimination. They have had attendance problems despite putting winning teams on the field. Last season, they drew a little over 1.8 million.

More important than the owners’ greed is the fact that there are many players without the talent to be Major Leaguers. Eliminating two teams would strengthen the remaining 30 teams.

It was stated before that many of today’s top players could hold their own with players from any era. Today’s top pitchers probably have more talent than pitchers of any other era.

The problem is that there are too many teams, which weakens every team. Two teams must be eliminated.

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Florida Marlins: Three Finalists Remain for the Stadium Naming Rights

With the new season just underway, the Marlins are now focusing on trying to seal the deal on the name of their new stadium set to open in 2012.

Originally, the ballclub had hoped to have had the deal sealed during Spring Training and then again much earlier in the offseason but there have been delays along the way.  

Team President David Samson told Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal that the ballclub is in discussions to reel in one of the three companies for which the stadium will be named after. Samson did not disclose the companies with whom the Marlins are talking for obvious reasons.

All signs point to a deal being completed sometime by the end of April. 

Currently, the ballpark as been referred to publicly as “New Marlins Stadium” or “Miami Ballpark” in documents. 

The team is also pitching naming rights for the four ballpark quadrants/entrances, and could go to market for a sixth deal for the ballpark plaza.

Last September, I posted ten possible names for the new stadium, all with a local flavor of the biggest companies in South Florida or in Florida overall. 

Atop of that list was Carnival Cruise Lines, Bacardi (alcoholic beverage), and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. 

Out of the three, Carnival seems like the best name for reasons disclosed in the slideshow, however it has a tie-in with the Miami Heat since their owner is Mickey Arison, owner of Carnival Cruise Lines and for that reason it is likely it won’t happen.

My darkhorses from the same list would seem to be Publix, a grocery company familiar with the citizens of Florida and Hard Rock, the cafe with it’s headquarters in Orlando and it’s chain of theme restaurants around the country could look to expand into baseball. 

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Florida Marlins: 2011 MLB Season Preview


Last Year: 80-82, 3rd in NL East  

Manager: Edwin Rodriguez


C- John Buck (R) 

1B- Gabby Sanchez (R)

2B- Omar Infante (R)

3B- Donnie Murphy (R) 

SS- Hanley Ramirez (R)

LF- Logan Morrison (L)

CF- Chris Coghlan (L)

RF- Matt Stanton (R)

The Marlins definetly have some talent in this lineup, but the team will miss Dan Uggla’s power. Hanley Ramirez is still the most dangerous player on the team. Ramirez still has 25 home run power and the ability to hit over .300 and steal 30 plus bases. The 27-year-old Gaby Sanchez will be moved to the fifth spot in the lineup though he is an ideal sixth place hitter. Sanchez’s numbers are solid for any position on the field but are below average for a first baseman. Sanchez has 20 home run power and should put up a solid line of .275/.345/.455. The versatile Omar Infante will bat in the two hole and should hit .300 with 7-10 home runs and will be holding the spot for some of the franchise’s prospects. Donnie Murphy will got the shot at 3B to start the season, but I don’t envision him there for very long. My bet is that Dominguez gets called up some time this year. 

Marlins fans are excited to see what right fielder Mike Stanton can do with a full season in the majors. In 396 at-bats, Stanton hit 22 home runs, and I think he will hit anywhere from 35-40 home runs with with a .260/.340/.550 line. Stanton will strike out 30 percent of the time, but his power is worth it. Logan Morrison will bat in the lower half of the lineup after getting more than 200 ABs in the second half of last season. Check out Morrison’s projected line in the breakout player section. Chris Coghlan will bat leadoff for the club after hurting his knee in a pie celebration last season. Coghlan struggled in his sophomore season after in impressive rookie campaign, and many are predicting numbers in between the two seasons. A .295/.360/.430 line and 10 home runs can be expected in this rebound season. Offensively, John Buck will be an upgrade of the group the Marlins had in the lineup for 2010. He won’t have the same numbers he had in hitter friendly Rogers Centre, but he can help the Marlins with 15-18 home runs and .250-.270 average down in the bottom of the order. 

The Marlins were a below-average defensive team in 2010, and I think they will be worse in 2010. Chris Coghlan didn’t play a great LF, and I think he will be even worse in CF coming off of knee surgery. Mike Stanton is the best defensive player the Marlins have, but he is negated in the outfield by the below average Logan Morrison. The team’s only significant upgrade was John Buck behind the plate. Gabby Sanchez and Omar Infante are average on the right side of the infield, but Hanley Ramirez had a tough year in terms of range. Matt Dominguez should help him out one the left side with his above average glove and range. Overall, this is should be one of the league’s poorer defensive units. 


IF/OF- Emilio Bonifacio (S)

IF- Wes Helms (R) 

OF- Scott Cousins (L) 

C- Brett Hayes (R) 

OF- DeWayne Wise (L) 


RHP- Josh Johnson 

RHP- Ricky Nolasco 

RHP- Javier Vazquez 

RHP- Annibal Sanchez

RHP- Chris Volstad

The Marlins’ rotation pitched fairly well in 2010 and it is the strongest component of this 2011 team. Josh Johnson has proved over the last two seasons that he is one of the top five starting pitchers in baseball. Johnson has great control, walking only 2.35 per 9 innings, and strikeout stuff. His 95 MPH fastball has tons of movement and he works a very good slider and average change off of it. Johnson will average almost a stirkeout per innings and with his excellent groundout and HR rates should make him a contender for the CY Young. The inconsistent Ricky Nolasco will start behind Johnson. Nolasco has the talent to be a consistent number two starter in this league, but he has been the recipient of some bad luck recently. His ERA has been 5.06 and 4.51 over the last two years but xFIP says that he should have been pitching at 3.28 and 3.55. His K/BB is an excellent 4.43 over the last three years, but he has been hurt by a low LOB percentage. I expect Nolasco to put up an ERA in he 3.75-3.90 range and K/BB of 4.

Javier Vazquez struggled in his return to New York because of his drop in velocity from 91.7 MPH in 2009 to 88.7 MPH in 2010. In some of those starts, Vazquez was throwing an 84-86 MPH fastball that PITCH/FX misleadingly called a change up. I don’t think his velocity will come back, and it seems all the years of throwing 200 plus innings have caught up to him. No matter what, Vazquez will welcome the opportunity to return to the NL. Annibal Sanchez did well in his first full season in the majors throwing has best fastball in years (91.3 MPH). He relies heavily on his dominant slider, but he will mix his change and curveball effectively. I like his chances repeating similar numbers in 2011 with 7.5 K/9 and having a 3.50 ERA. Chris Volstad relies on his sinking fastball to induce groundouts, but he is BB, K, and HR rate have kept him from being a from being a reliable starter. He needs to work on his command and his HR rate if he is to improve. 


RHP- Leo Nunez (Closer) 

RHP- Clay Hensley 

RHP- Ryan Webb

RHP- Edward Mujica  

LHP- Randy Choate  

LHP- Mike Dunn  

RHP- Burke Badenhop or RHP Brian Sanches 

The Marlins remade the bullpen in the offseason but the team decided to keep Leo Nunez as closer. Nunez had a good season in 2010, using his devastating change-up to strike-out 1 per inning and recording a 3.46 ERA. Nunez isn’t one of the best, but he is cheap and can get the job done for the Marlins. Clay Hensley became Florida’s main setup man after posting a 2.16 ERA. Hensley changed his approach by throwing his curveball more often. It was one of the more effective pitches during the season and transformed Hensley from mop-up man to setup man.

I like what the Marlins did with the rest of the bullpen by acquiring hard throwing Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica from the Padres. Both have decent control and Mujica will strikeout 8-9 per 9 innings. Ryan Webb, a groundball specialist, is the type of reliever the Marlins have lacked in the past. Randy Choate is a sidearming left-handed specialist who is tough on lefties, but gets killed by right-handed hitters. Mike Dunn will join Choate as the other lefty out of the pen. Dunn throws hard (avg 94.8 MPH) but his control leaves a lot to be desired. 


RHP- Shawn Hill

IF/OF- Greg Dobbs (L)

IF- Ruben Gotay (S)

OF- Dewayne Wise (L) 

IF- Donnie Murphy (R) 

BREAKOUT PLAYER- Logan Morrison  

Logan Morrison has the ability to become a consistent .300 hitter for this Marlins team. While he does have the tendency to strikeout, he does possess wonderful plate discipline and the ability to get on base consistently. He isn’t a power hitter, but I can see Morrison can hit to all fields and to the gaps. I see Morrison hitting close to .295/.390/.440 with 12-15 home runs this season. 

PROSPECT TO WATCH- 3B Matt Dominguez

Dominguez is considered the Marlins’ top prospect, but there are questions concerning whether or not his bat is ready for the show. Defensively, he is considered above average and ready to make an impact. He has the ability to hit approximately 15 home runs but only expect a line around .250/.320/.400 in his first season. He might not be ready, but I say its worth the risk for the Marlins to throw him out there. 


The Marlins have a good enough rotation and enough offense to make a run in the AL East. I don’t think they will stay in it for the entire season, but the Marlins should finish above .500. The group has talent but the young players just are not ready yet to be a contender. The team has a good rotation, solid lineup, and improved bullpen. I get the feeling they will finish 3rd in this division, but crazy things have happened over the years.  

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Florida Marlins Third Base Battle: Donnie Murphy or Emilio Bonifacio?

From the beginning, the battle for third base was supposed to go to top prospect Matt Dominguez. He could field well but could not hit well, thus prompting Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez to send Dominguez to Triple-A for some seasoning. 

There’s no doubt that he will be back to help the Marlins in their playoff run, but until then, there are two players left to battle it out for the position.

Donnie Murphy is known to Marlins fans for his game winning hits during the time he was called up in the summer of 2010, giving him the name Donnie $^@# Murphy. More of a glove than a bat, Donnie can also hit as well. In 2010, he hit .318 in 44 at-bats.

After losing the third base job two years ago, Emilio Bonifacio has turned himself into a speedy super utility player with the ability to play in the outfield and infield. He says he’s ready for a second go-around. The problem with Bonifacio is still his hitting. In 2010 he hit .261 in 180 at-bats, but when he does get on base he is a top threat to steal.

So far it looks like Donnie Murphy is the favorite to win the starting job. Which would be something that manager Edwin Rodriguez would like to do while having Bonifacio assume the role of super utility man.

The Marlins have until Thursday to announce their final 25-man roster.

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MLB Fantasy Projections, No. 98: How Good is Florida Marlins’ Mike Stanton?

Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.

Mike Stanton was widely regarded as the No. 3 prospect in baseball at this time last season, behind Stephen Strasburg and Jason Heyward. Baseball America has noted Stanton’s five-tool package and “light-tower power.”

Stanton has done nothing to suggest otherwise, as he’s produced prolific power numbers over the last three seasons:

  • 2008 (A): 39 HRs, 97 RBI, .293 BA
  • 2009 (A, AA): 28 HRs, 92 RBI, .255 BA
  • 2010: (AA, MLB): 43 HRs, 111 RBI, .278

Twenty-two of Stanton’s home runs in 2010 came with the Marlins in just 359 at-bats, good for an impressive AB/HR of 16.3. To compare, Josh Hamilton (16.18), Ryan Howard (17.74), Prince Fielder (18.06) and Adrian Gonzalez (19.06) were less procifient in the same department last season.

Given a clean bill of health (Stanton has missed the last three weeks with a strained quad muscle), the 21-year-old has a legitimate shot to hit 30 to 35 HRs. He could return to action early this week, but there’s still no guarantee he’ll be ready by Opening Day.

The time missed this spring will likely drop Stanton from fourth in the Marlins’ lineup to fifth or sixth upon his return. An Adum Dunn-like batting average may ensue as he develops, but his prodigious power potential makes him a fantasy asset—especially in keeper and dynasty formats.

2010 stats 396 45 22 59 5 .259
2011 FBI Forecast 615 75 33 90 5 .255



Fantasy Baseball Insiders’ 2011 Big Board:

Latest from Fantasy Baseball Insiders:

30 Teams in 30 Days Fantasy Preview:

MLB Trades: Fantasy Impact:

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MLB Rumors: Luis Castillo Might Return to the Florida Marlins

According to the Palm Beach Post‘s Joe Capozzi, the Marlins have begun discussions on bringing back former Marlin great Luis Castillo, who was recently released by the New York Mets

Castillo, 35, won three Gold Gloves with the Marlins and was a three-time All-Star while winning World Series rings in 1997 (though he didn’t play in the postseason) and 2003. Currently Castillo holds the franchise records in games played (1,128), runs scored (675), hits (1,273), stolen bases (281), walks (533) and triples (42).

A Castillo return to Miami wouldn’t be a response to reuniting the former Marlin to finish his career where it all began but, in part, due to the recent struggles of Matt Dominguez. A week and a half ago, his average was at .353 but that has dipped to near the Mendoza Line as more of the seasoned pitchers have been out there, as opposed to the invitees and minor leaguers with the season nearing.  

However, Castillo would be far cry from his Marlin days, which also included a team record 35-game hitting streak in 2002. Last season, the 35-year-old hit .235 in 86 games with 17 RBI, no home runs and eight stolen bases with the Mets as he was plagued with injuries. 

Other viable candidates for a bench spot would be Emilio Bonifacio, Donnie Murphy, Wes Helms and Ozzie Martinez. 

Yet there is no denying that Castillo has outstanding plate discipline and brings with him a switch-hitting bat, qualities that neither of the aforementioned bring combined. In the past three seasons, despite shaky numbers, he has drawn 158 walks versus 118 strikeouts in 315 games. 

In a strikeout-happy Marlins lineup, Castillo would bring balance, and if he stays healthy throughout the season would bring an advantage over the younger alternatives. It would seem as though Castillo’s return to the Marlins is a no-brainer to say the least. 

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Florida Marlins: Luis Castillo is Another Player Available for a Dollar

A few years ago, the Florida Marlins acquired infielder Wes Helms from the Philadelphia Phillies, who absorbed the remainder of his salary.

The Marlins only had to pay one dollar. 

Now there is another player that the Marlins can pick up for the equivalent of the Dollar Menu item at McDonald’s.

Just recently, the New York Mets released second baseman Luis Castillo. Whether or not he plays this season is irrelevant for the Mets, because they still have to pay him the remaining $6 million of his four-year, $25 million contract. This would be the perfect time to bring back an old friend.

The Florida Marlins seemed set on having Omar Infante at second base and rookie third baseman Matt Dominguez at third.

If that’s the case, they can sign Castillo as a reserve infielder to improve their bench. Dominguez already has the glove for the major leagues, but his bat is still the issue. His current batting average in spring training is .219. Castillo’s spring average is .286, and if the Marlins do sign him, they can have him as their second baseman and shift Infante to third base.

The lineup with Castillo could look like this:

1: Chris Coghlan, CF 

2: Omar Infante, 3B 

3: Hanley Ramirez, SS 

4: Mike Stanton, RF 

5: Gaby Sanchez, 1B 

6: Logan Morrison, LF 

7: John Buck, C 

8: Luis Castillo, 2B 

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Spring Training 2011: Which Florida Marlins Are Hot or Not Thus Far?

We’re halfway through spring training, and it’s come time to evaluate who is on the path for a major league roster and who might be cut or remain in the minor leagues until he can regain his stride.

Through Sunday, the Marlins are 5-10 in the Grapefruit League, but records only matter in the regular season.

Let’s look at who’s hot and who’s not through the Marlins’ first 15 spring training games.

Begin Slideshow

2011 MLB Preview: Florida Marlins

9 Innings Blog will be bringing you previews of every Major League Baseball team for the next 30 days. This is in accordance with our 30 teams in 30 days series. Today, we are bringing you the 2011 preview for the Florida Marlins. The Marlins have a very young team and are looking to try and reclaim some kind of prominence in the East this season.

The Marlins finished third in the NL East last season with an 80-82 record which wasn’t bad considering the kind of team they had. Other than the 80 wins, the Marlins did not have very many highlights of the 2010 season.

Towards the end of June, the team fired manager Fredi Gonzalez and replaced him with Edwin Rodriguez. Gonzalez is now the manager of the Atlanta Braves replacing retired manager Bobby Cox.

The Marlins also had Phillies starter Roy Halladay throw a perfect game at SunLife Stadium which was the second in the 2010 season and the 20th in MLB history.

Josh Johnson had an outstanding season going 11-6 with a 2.30 ERA and recording 186 strikeouts. On the offensive side, SS Hanley Ramirez had an up and down season clashing with the manager and batting .300 hitting 21 homers with 76 RBI.

However, the Marlins traded away a big part of their team in Dan Uggla. The offseason for Florida started with Uggla not being able to re-sign with the team and he ended up getting traded to Atlanta for 2B Omar Infante who will fill in for Uggla.

Florida did sign RHP Javier Vazquez from the Yankees. Vazquez was 10-10 with a 5.32 ERA for the Yankees sharing time between the rotation and the bullpen last season.

Florida also signed catcher John Buck from Kansas City to upgrade their catcher position. Buck hit 20 homers with 66 RBI and a batting average of .281. He was the biggest signing for Florida as they look to win their first division crown.

But in a division with Philadelphia and Atlanta, the Marlins at best could finish third this year, but I think they may slip up and could finish just behind the Mets. Anything is possible nowadays.

Key Addition: John Buck, CA

Breakout Player: Mike Stanton, OF

Prediction: Third NL East

CA: John Buck
1B: Gaby Sanchez
2B: Omar Infante
3B: Matt Dominguez
SS: Hanley Ramirez
OF: Mike Stanton
OF: Chris Coghlan
OF: Logan Morrison

Pitching Rotation
SP: Josh Johnson
SP: Ricky Nolasco
SP: Anibal Sanchez
SP: Javier Vazquez
SP: Chris Volstad

RP: Burke Badenhop
RP: Randy Choate
RP: Ed Mujica
RP: Mike Dunn
RP: Ryan Webb
RP: Clay Hensley
CP: Leo Nunez

CA: Brett Hayes
3B: Wes Helms
INF: Donnie Murphy
UTL: Emilio Bonifacio
OF: Scott Cousins

Top Prospects
1). Matt Dominguez, 3B
2). Chad James, LHP
3). Christian Yelich, LF
4). Jhan Marinez, RHP
5). Ozzie Martinez, SS

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MLB Fantasy Baseball 2011 Projection: Will Gaby Sanchez Hold Value?

Gaby Sanchez hit .302 over 1,753 minor league at-bats. The Marlins gave him cups of coffee in the major leagues in 2008 (eight AB) and 2009 (21 AB), before finally handing the former fourth-round draft pick the full-time first base job in 2010. He did deliver, posting the following line:

572 At Bats
.273 Batting Average (156 Hits)
19 Home Runs
85 RBI
72 Runs
5 Stolen Bases
.341 On Base Percentage
.448 Slugging Percentage
.299 Batting Average on Balls in Play

Now the question for fantasy owners is if he cannot only replicate those numbers, but if he can expand on them. Let’s be honest, for as nice as the numbers are, they are far from what we are expecting from a first baseman. Where’s the power? Where’s the big-time average?

Over his minor league career, Sanchez hit just 62 HR, or a home run once every 28.3 at-bats (only slightly better than his 30.1 mark in ’10). In 2009, he had 318 AB in the Pacific Coast League, hitting just 16 HR.

While he did post a nice 46.1 percent fly ball rate, his HR/FB was just 8.7 percent. He had 37 doubles and three triples so, at 27 years old, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him add a little bit of power and see some of those extra base hits fly over the fence. However, given his track record, it’s impossible to expect a huge increase. Putting him in the low 20s seems like a good bet, but that’s far from your prototypical first baseman.

There is room for growth in his average, given his minor league career and a .299 BABIP in ‘10. Throw in a good contact rate (17.7 percent in ’10, but he was at 13.7 percent mark at Triple-A), and there is reason to believe. Like the power, I’m not sure that you can expect a huge increase, but improving to .280 or .290? Sure, why not. 

Again, however, is it enough?

Throw in the fact that he’ll likely be hitting fifth or sixth, and there is actually a lot of reasons to stay away from him. Sure, he’ll be in a position to drive in some runs, but it doesn’t seem like the lineup will allow him to drive in 100, especially if he’s hitting sixth. Scoring runs? I don’t think so. Not hitting that late in the Marlins order.

The whole thing adds up to the following projection:

.285 (164-575), 23 HR, 80 RBI, 90 R, 6 SB, .311 BABIP, .362 OBP, .470 SLG

Those numbers are fine and dandy but not from a first baseman. You need someone who is going to hit a lot of home runs, or at least, hit for a great average and drive in some runs. Without that, you are going to be significantly behind the competition.

As a corner infielder? Absolutely, there’s nothing wrong with him. He’s a solid option and certainly stacks up with the low-end 1B or the majority of 3B as well. If you are in a shallower format, however, there are better options you can look towards.

What are your thoughts on Sanchez? Is he someone you would target? Why or why not?

Make sure to order your copy of the Rotoprofessor 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, selling for just $5, by clicking here.

Make sure to check out some of our 2011 projections:

Barmes, Clint
Buchholz, Clay

Butler, Billy

Choo, Shin-Soo

Ethier, Andre

Freese, David

Hudson, Tim

Hughes, Phil

Jaso, John

Johnson, Chris

Uggla, Dan

Morrow, Brandon

Reyes, Jose

Rios, Alex

Stanton, Mike

Suzuki, Kurt

Wieters, Matt

Willingham, Josh

Young, Michael


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