2007 Team Analysis: Florida Marlins

Pete’s Perspective

    The font page of their team website should read: Under Construction! What in the world are they doing?! While they’re at it, they might as well trade Hanley Ramirez, Kevin Gregg and Dan Uggla as well! All three would get a lot of interest, especially Ramirez. I bet they could get a lot for trading him back to the Red Sox, especially after the year that Lugo had in 2007! Maybe they have “Gone Fishin’” for the remainder of this off season. I’m not even a Marlins fan & I don’t like the trade with the Tigers. I’m not even a fan of anyone in thier division, but I’d hate to be a Marlins fan right about now! Moves like this are just bad for baseball if you ask me! How is this move going to put more people in the seats down in Florida? How is this going to help them get that new stadium that they’ve been wanting to build? Beats the heck out of me! Let’s get on with talking about the 2007 Marlins. We can cringe later as we talk about them moving forward into 2008!

The Offense:

     The good news is that they still have their best player in SS Hanley Ramirez who was better than Cabrera in Average, doubles, runs, stolen bases (by 49) and VORP. He also had a lower SO Rate & hit into fewer DPs than Cabrera and was second only to the Phillies’ Jimmy Rollins in all of the majors offensively at SS. All this and 2007 was only his second year in the majors!

     Miguel Cabrera had another Miggy-like year hitting .320/.401/34/119 (BA/OBP/HR/RBI) and his SO/BB rate was the second lowest on the team due to his team leading walk rate of 12%, but he did hit into the most DPs on the team. Overall, offensively, he was their second best player. For Fantasy Baseball owners, I have Cabrera ranked third overall at 3B.

     Honorable mentions offensively are 2B Dan Uggla at .245/.326/31/88 (BA/OBP/HR/RBI) with a team lead in doubles at 49 (edging out Ramirez by 1) and he had the lowest DP rate on the team with 8.4%. He was also second on the team in runs with 113 behind Ramirez‘s 125. For Fantasy Baseball owners, I have Uggla ranked third overall at 2B. Another mention would be Josh Willingham (LF) whose numbers were .265/.364/21/89 (BA/OBP/HR/RBI). Look for 1B Mike Jacobs number to go up if he can stay healthy in 2008. In only 114 games he hit .265/.317/17/54 (BA/OBP/HR/RBI), but his HR & RBI totals should be more like 25+ & 80+ next year (again, if healthy).

The Pitching:

    The problem with the Marlins in 2007, once again, was their starting pitching! Not one starter had an ERA under 4.50, nor a winning record except for Byung-Hyun Kim (9-5), who picked up after being released with the Rox, was once released only to be re-signed 22 days later during the 2007 season and one by the Marlins and one of their top prospects Anibal Sanchez (2-1). Sanchez, was the other player whom they got along with Ramirez in the Beckett/Lowell deal before the 2006 season. Dontrelle Willis had a bad year in 2007 going 10-15 with 5.17/1.60/146 (ERA/WHIP/SO), but should bounce back to form with the Tigers in 2008 given their offense. No one else even warrants mentioning here!

     As far as the Marlins bullpen is concerned, the difference between it & the starting rotation is like night and day! The bullpen has 1 player with an ERA under 2.00: rookie Lee Gardner (1.94); 2 others under 3.00: Randy Messenger (2.66) and another rookie Henry Owens (2.35); with 5 guys under 4.00: and only 3 guys over 5.00 who we will not mention outside of Armando Benitez! Their closer was Kevin Gregg who had decent stats of 3.54/32/4/7/1.23 (ERA/SV/BS/Hold/WHIP) and also had 87 Ks in 84 innings pitched. He should once again be the closer in 2008. They also had 5 guys with double digits in Holds: Benitez, Justin Miller and rookies Taylor Tankersley, Renyel Pinto and Matt Lindstrom. After looking at the numbers, the Marlins bullpen seems solid; therefore, only their starting pitching holds them back from leapfrogging over the Nationals in the standings.

    For 2008, as I mentioned just now, they NEED starting pitching and with the loss of Willis to the Tigers via “the Trade”, they now really need at least 2 quality starters. They also should be in the market for a thirdbaseman. Why Inge wasn’t in the trade with Detroit is beyond me! They could also use an upgrade behind the plate as well. Maybe recently non-tendered Johnny Estrada would be a good fit here?

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