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Admin's 2006 Review / 2007 Outlook

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Yes, it's that time of year again. It's time for my 2007 Season Outlook. As with previous years, the outlook will begin with a summary of the past season and off-season and will follow-up with a preview of the 2007 season along with my predictions.

2006 Review

The 2006 season was a magical one. What started out as a 11-31 train wreck ended with a wild-card run that was the definition of wild. The 2006 Marlins team saw it all during the 11-31 stretch to begin the year. Bad luck, bad timing, bad decision making ? it seemed at times no matter was tried it would fail. The team quickly was learning that winning ballgames was not going to be an easy task. The names, well they were not easy to recognize or in some cases pronounce correctly for fans and broadcasters alike. The team was in utter disarray. The fans spirit however was as strong as ever. Sure, expectations were low for many going into this season but more importantly the Marlins fans are a patient bunch and we all understood the tide would turn soon enough.

Monday, May 22, 2006 was upon us. The Marlins stood at that 11-31 low point. Fresh off a 7 game losing streak, they entered Dolphin Stadium to face the Chicago Cubs. The Marlins won this game and followed up with 3 more wins in a row. The team was making a statement, they were learning to play with each other and the bounces were starting to go there a way just a bit more. The starting rotation was tossing gems day after day. The young lineup was bringing runs home in every way possible and the shaky bullpen had a bit more foundation as well.

When June 22, 2006 rolled around the Marlins won another game and stood at 31-38. What a difference a month makes. Yes, folks they were 20-7 since being swept by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Take a moment to think about that. A team filled with rookies not only went 20-7 in a month but did so after being crushed into an 11-31 start by tough losses game after game. Some teams would lose all confidence and crumble and never be able to recover from such a start. The Marlins though? I don't think so. They used it as motivation to show everyone they are not a 11-31 team, they are something much more.

Since we've been checking in a month by month basis, why not just skip ahead to July 22, 2006 now. After a win against the Pirates the Marlins sat at a record of 44-52. Now, yes this record is worse than June but think about it in another way -- it is about the same as the June 22 mark and shows the team was now playing consistent baseball. The pitching was clicking, the bats were cracking and Joe Girardi's crew was showing the baseball world that they were going nowhere.

It's time for August, I'm going to alter my method a little here and go to August 29th because it is an even better day. August 29, 2006 the Marlins stood at 65-66 after a win at St. Louis. Yes, you read that right ? 1 game under .500. The story was being written right in front of us and honestly I don't think a story this amazing could even be written. It sounds too good to be true. The Marlins had a month left of baseball and were not only in the wild-card race but were near the top of it.

The season concluded on October 1. The Marlins finished 78-84 as they took some tough losses down the stretch. The key was not the final record but the fact they stood at 73-71 just a few short weeks earlier. From 11-31 to 73-71. 62-40, twenty two games over .500 after a disastrous start. The Marlins didn't just show they were a talented group of young players ? they showed they were a resilient group as well. They fought and scrapped for their wins. The season included milestones such as the 4th no-hitter in franchise history on September 6th and several rookie records. 4 starters with ten wins or more, and a record number of rookies slugging 20+ homeruns. Hanley Ramirez won the Rookie of the Year, Dan Uggla was the first Rule V pick ever to make the All Star Game in his rookie year. If this season was a book, it'd be #1 on the Bestsellers list.

There's a good chance none of us will ever witness a season as amazing as 2006 again, but that is ok because us Marlins fans will always have those memories and we'll remember them fondly when this group hoists the World Series trophy in the not too distant future.

Off-Season Review

When the dust cleared from the amazing 2006 season, it was time to begin work on the 2007 season. What were the Marlins missing? What could they retain? The Front Office had a lot of work to do to keep the train (pardon the pun Dontrelle) moving. Well, it was an interesting off-season. A little quieter than some may have figured or hoped for but all in all a productive one. Let's take a look at the moves made this off-season.

The Losses ? Joe Borowski, Adam Bostick, Joe Girardi, Wes Helms, Matt Herges, Brian Moehler, Chris Resop, Jason Vargas

The Gains - Aaron Boone, Fredi Gonzalez, Kevin Gregg, Matt Lindstrom, Henry Owens, Alex Sanchez

Let's take a little more detailed look at the key losses.

Joe Borowski ? The Marlins were unable to hold onto Borowski. His superb 2006 campaign translated into a nice free agent contract from the Cleveland Indians. While Borowski was the rock at the end of the bullpen, the Marlins could not justify investing much money into the closer's role and have elected to go with a younger option in 2007.

Joe Girardi ? Some Marlins fans would say that Girardi had little to do with the fantastic 2006 campaign. Others would tell you he's the main reason for it with his fiery attitude. My personal opinion is this team was talented beyond belief and was as good or better than their record shows ? however I attribute the ability to dig out of the 11-31 start greatly to Girardi. He never hung his head, he didn't quit and he made sure his players didn't either. He kept them focused and fighting and he helped them reach their talent levels.

Wes Helms ? He was the spark off the bench, whenever a clutch hit was needed he would deliver it. He also filled in nicely during starts in 2006. His presence will be missed in 2007 and he could hurt the Marlins directly in the many division games vs. his new team, the Philadelphia Phillies. He wouldn't have had a starting job on the Marlins and he was seeking one so it was just not a good situation for him to remain in Florida.

Those detailed as well as the others that I did not detail will be missed but the people replacing them will hopefully do a good job and aid the Marlins to a successful 2007 season. Speaking of, let's get to that outlook.

2007 Outlook

The core of the 2007 roster remains the same as 2006, one major difference though ? now everyone knows who these guys are. That is a good thing in terms of respect but could be a bad thing in terms of opposing players having a "book" on the Marlins players. Batters will need to make adjustments as will pitchers as now they have been seen and heard loud and clear. I'm now going to break down the projected starting lineup and rotation to make some predictions on what I think they will bring to the table in 2007.

Hanley Ramirez ? The reigning Rookie of the Year, and starting shortstop for the Marlins put up tremendous numbers in his first season. He did everything the Marlins could hope for and I think his second year will be great. I project a .305 AVG, .380 OBP 15 HR 65 RBI season for Ramirez. Oh and he'll steal 45 bases as well. Power numbers a tad down from the 17 in 2006 but otherwise improvements across the board.

Dan Uggla ? Speaking of Rookie of the Year, Uggla was in the running for the award and considered the favorite to win it for most of the 2006 campaign. He ended the season on a bit of a down note which may have cost him the award to his teammate. For 2007, I project the following for Uggla: .275 AVG .335 OBP 25 HR 85 RBI. While the numbers may be slightly lower than 2006, they are still very respectable.

Miguel Cabrera ? What can be said about Cabrera that isn't already known? He's a machine, a player that is necessary to the lineup on a daily basis, his absence changes everything about the team when he is not in the lineup. Here are my 2007 projections for him: .332 AVG .435 OBP 32 HR 120 RBI.

Josh Willingham ? I'm not predicting fielding stats but I do foresee Willingham's glove improving in 2007. I believe it will be a pleasant surprise. As for his offensive numbers, I'm going to say his line will be: 285 AVG .380 OBP 22 HR 80 RBI

Mike Jacobs ? Jake's rookie season was just about all Marlins fans could have hoped for. He did a fine job at first base and was a member of the rookie HR record group. I think we will see a slight improvement in 2007 and my predictions are .270 AVG .330 OBP 21 HR 80 RBI

Jeremy Hermida ? His rookie season was a disappointment partially because of injuries. High expectations helped his stats seem even more disappointing. I am confident that in 2007 he is going to put up better numbers. What numbers exactly? Well, here are my projections for Hermida's 2007 season: .282 AVG .350 OBP 23 HR 95 RBI

Miguel Olivo ? A great addition to the team in 2006. He handled the young staff well and handled himself at the plate well also. Here are my predictions for his 2007 campaign, .265 AVG .330 OBP 17 HR 75 RBI.

Reggie Abercrombie ? As of the time this outlook is written the CF job is in a battle between several players but I am going to predict Abercrombie wins the job and will make predictions on his season based on this. Here are my predictions for his 2007 season, .250 AVG .310 OBP 10 HR 55 RBI.

Josh Johnson ? As of the writing of this outlook Johnson's arm is a concern but I am going to project stats as if he will start the year in the rotation and remain relatively injury free throughout the year. I do think his numbers will decline from his rookie season a little. My prediction is 10-10 with a 3.95 ERA.

Dontrelle Willis ? The veteran of the staff and leader of the team will help lead them on the mound as well as off it. My prediction for his 2007 season are as follows, 14-11 with a 3.45 ERA

Scott Olsen ? I believe Olsen is going to be the standout member of the rotation in 2007. He's going to be the ace and is going to the All Star game as well. His pitching line will be 19-5 with a 3.02 ERA.

Ricky Nolasco ? 2006 was an interesting year for Nolasco. If you take away the games against New York, you'd see his stats were much improved. Unfortunately for the Marlins and Nolasco ? New York has a team in our division. Here are my predictions for his stats in 2007, 11-9 with a 3.45 ERA.

Anibal Sanchez ? In 2006 he threw a no-hitter, I was at the game and it's a game I will never forget. Besides the no-hitter he had a fantastic rookie season in which he would've been a Rookie of the Year contender most likely had he been called up earlier. For 2007, I am predicting that Sanchez goes 13-10 with a 3.30 ERA.

Now it's time for the team wide predictions.


I am predicting a 89-73 record. This record will be good enough for 2nd place in the National League East and a Wild-Card berth. As for what the Marlins will do play in the playoffs, well this outlook is for the 2007 regular season so no predictions on that just yet. I predict All Star appearances by Cabrera, Olsen, and Ramirez. A Marlin will not want the MVP, Cy Young, or Rookie of the Year award. Gold gloves will go to Hermida and Willis.

So that's the outlook for 2007, hopefully most if not all of these predictions are accurate. Thank you for reading and GO FISH!
 

Mauer7

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great review, Admin. I wish someone would have written a book on the '06 Marlins.
 

Ramp

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Admin, might want to change that blurb about Hermida and a gold glove....

better chance of Randy Messenger starting Opening Day
 

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Admin, might want to change that blurb about Hermida and a gold glove....
better chance of Randy Messenger starting Opening Day

I'll go write Messenger into my Opening Day Lineup Card then. :mischief

Seriously, I think Hermida is going to have a solid year at the plate and in the field. Maybe I'm being an optimist but let's see how it goes.
 

Das Texan

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The Losses – Joe Borowski, Adam Bostick, Joe Girardi, Wes Helms, Matt Herges, Brian Moehler, Chris Resop, Jason Vargas

Who cares about Bostick? I will personally miss Herges, one of my favorite relief pitchers ever. Resop and Vargas I'm glad to see gone. They werent ever going to help us. Helms will be a tough loss though.

The Gains - Aaron Boone, Fredi Gonzalez, Kevin Gregg, Matt Lindstrom, Henry Owens, Alex Sanchez

Fredi I am convinced will do a great job as manager. He did a great job in the minors as a manager and I expect that to carry on. Gregg is an underrated pickup. Lindstrom and Owens, we will see. At least one makes the club. Boone, I dont know what he has left. Hopefully he has a little something left. Sanchez I hope is cut.

2007 Outlook

The core of the 2007 roster remains the same as 2006, one major difference though – now everyone knows who these guys are. That is a good thing in terms of respect but could be a bad thing in terms of opposing players having a "book" on the Marlins players. Batters will need to make adjustments as will pitchers as now they have been seen and heard loud and clear. I'm now going to break down the projected starting lineup and rotation to make some predictions on what I think they will bring to the table in 2007.

Hanley Ramirez – The reigning Rookie of the Year, and starting shortstop for the Marlins put up tremendous numbers in his first season. He did everything the Marlins could hope for and I think his second year will be great. I project a .305 AVG, .380 OBP 15 HR 65 RBI season for Ramirez. Oh and he'll steal 45 bases as well. Power numbers a tad down from the 17 in 2006 but otherwise improvements across the board.

Dan Uggla – Speaking of Rookie of the Year, Uggla was in the running for the award and considered the favorite to win it for most of the 2006 campaign. He ended the season on a bit of a down note which may have cost him the award to his teammate. For 2007, I project the following for Uggla: .275 AVG .335 OBP 25 HR 85 RBI. While the numbers may be slightly lower than 2006, they are still very respectable.

Miguel Cabrera – What can be said about Cabrera that isn't already known? He's a machine, a player that is necessary to the lineup on a daily basis, his absence changes everything about the team when he is not in the lineup. Here are my 2007 projections for him: .332 AVG .435 OBP 32 HR 120 RBI.

Josh Willingham – I'm not predicting fielding stats but I do foresee Willingham's glove improving in 2007. I believe it will be a pleasant surprise. As for his offensive numbers, I'm going to say his line will be: 285 AVG .380 OBP 22 HR 80 RBI

Mike Jacobs – Jake's rookie season was just about all Marlins fans could have hoped for. He did a fine job at first base and was a member of the rookie HR record group. I think we will see a slight improvement in 2007 and my predictions are .270 AVG .330 OBP 21 HR 80 RBI

Jeremy Hermida – His rookie season was a disappointment partially because of injuries. High expectations helped his stats seem even more disappointing. I am confident that in 2007 he is going to put up better numbers. What numbers exactly? Well, here are my projections for Hermida's 2007 season: .282 AVG .350 OBP 23 HR 95 RBI

Miguel Olivo – A great addition to the team in 2006. He handled the young staff well and handled himself at the plate well also. Here are my predictions for his 2007 campaign, .265 AVG .330 OBP 17 HR 75 RBI.

Reggie Abercrombie – As of the time this outlook is written the CF job is in a battle between several players but I am going to predict Abercrombie wins the job and will make predictions on his season based on this. Here are my predictions for his 2007 season, .250 AVG .310 OBP 10 HR 55 RBI.

Josh Johnson – As of the writing of this outlook Johnson's arm is a concern but I am going to project stats as if he will start the year in the rotation and remain relatively injury free throughout the year. I do think his numbers will decline from his rookie season a little. My prediction is 10-10 with a 3.95 ERA.

Dontrelle Willis – The veteran of the staff and leader of the team will help lead them on the mound as well as off it. My prediction for his 2007 season are as follows, 14-11 with a 3.45 ERA

Scott Olsen – I believe Olsen is going to be the standout member of the rotation in 2007. He's going to be the ace and is going to the All Star game as well. His pitching line will be 19-5 with a 3.02 ERA.

Ricky Nolasco – 2006 was an interesting year for Nolasco. If you take away the games against New York, you'd see his stats were much improved. Unfortunately for the Marlins and Nolasco – New York has a team in our division. Here are my predictions for his stats in 2007, 11-9 with a 3.45 ERA.

Anibal Sanchez – In 2006 he threw a no-hitter, I was at the game and it's a game I will never forget. Besides the no-hitter he had a fantastic rookie season in which he would've been a Rookie of the Year contender most likely had he been called up earlier. For 2007, I am predicting that Sanchez goes 13-10 with a 3.30 ERA.

Hanley is going to be an absolute stud in this league for an absolute long time. I expect his numbers to improve across the board this year, including homers. Uggla I dont expect as great a year, we will see. Your numbers for him are definitely homer numbers.

I dont think Hermidia will put up that kinda power, but he damn sure better improve on last year or the bust label is going to start to appear. If Reggie is our starting centerfielder, I'm going to be sick. That's all I have to say about that.


Dontrelle, Scott and Anibal are going to start to establish themselves as the faces of this staff. Dontrelle already has and he should continue to be a great arm, he isnt an ace though, so either Olsen or Sanchez need to step into that role. Having said that, Dontrelle is a very good 2 in this league. But I just dont see Dontrelle as the absolute stopper in a big game. He still remains a bit too streaky for me.

Nolasco and Johnson I think fall off a bit from last year's pace. Johnson is hurt already and who knows when he is actually going to pitch. Nolasco I wouldnt be shocked to see an ERA in the 4's. Great kid, but eventually he should find his way into the bully or into another organization.




Now it's time for the team wide predictions.


I am predicting a 89-73 record. This record will be good enough for 2nd place in the National League East and a Wild-Card berth. As for what the Marlins will do play in the playoffs, well this outlook is for the 2007 regular season so no predictions on that just yet. I predict All Star appearances by Cabrera, Olsen, and Ramirez. A Marlin will not want the MVP, Cy Young, or Rookie of the Year award. Gold gloves will go to Hermida and Willis.

So that's the outlook for 2007, hopefully most if not all of these predictions are accurate. Thank you for reading and GO FISH!


Definitely a bit of a homer pick. I dont think we win that many games. But I think thats a testament to the parity of this league. We could finish anywhere between 2nd and 4th easily. Right now I put us 3rd. We will see how things shake out. Cabrera will be an allstar and Willis isnt winning the gold glove unless Maddux retires. Oh and neither will Hermida.


And thats that as far as my thoughts.


Homer.


:bandit
 

Ramp

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Seriously, I think Hermida is going to have a solid year at the plate and in the field. Maybe I'm being an optimist but let's see how it goes.
:lol :lol :lol

He is an average defender... but hey, optimism is nice I guess
 

IrishHarrington

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Now it's time for the team wide predictions.


I am predicting a 89-73 record. This record will be good enough for 2nd place in the National League East and a Wild-Card berth. As for what the Marlins will do play in the playoffs, well this outlook is for the 2007 regular season so no predictions on that just yet. I predict All Star appearances by Cabrera, Olsen, and Ramirez. A Marlin will not want the MVP, Cy Young, or Rookie of the Year award. Gold gloves will go to Hermida and Willis.

So that's the outlook for 2007, hopefully most if not all of these predictions are accurate. Thank you for reading and GO FISH!


I think Marlins are a hard team more so than any team to predict a win total for because the have alot of talent and alot of question marks , if everything goes right the Fish stay relatively healthy , and the good arms in the pen translate into good relief pitchers 89-90 games could happen that said it would not suprise me in the least of the pen turns out to be a disaster and the Marlins win 75 games .....i am going to take the middle road and say 80-82 wins and a third place finish
 

TheDon

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Nice post Admin.


A nice recap and a positive outlook of things to come.
 

MarlinFan10

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The 2003 season was far more amazing than 2006, your review of 2006 is far too strong.
 

Wild Card

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A little too optimistic, but nonetheless a thorough analysis.

Everyone said the same thing before 2003. Dig back to the season previews that both me and Admin wrote in '03, we both predicted above 90 wins with a wild card birth, and people were calling us "a little too optimistic". Turns out we were right, and then some...
 

pierremvp1

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Nice review and projection Admin. Well written. It's good that you're optimistic.
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Just 1 small point...On Willinghams's glove. I agree with you it will probably get better. It's scary to think of the possibility of it getting worse.
 

FutureGM

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I would say that your predictions are a little too optimistic, but I certainly won't complain if we do that well.

I disagree that Abercrombie will be the starter. I see it right now as Alex "Dirty" Sanchez's job to lose. If Reggie ends up as the starter, he's going to bat around .220.

I would say that the two biggest losses were Borowski and Helms. Wes was a huge boost off the bench, far more than I would ever have predicted. Aaron Boone is a decent replacement for Helms, but I doubt he will be as good as Wes was. Borowski was only one of our two vets in the bullpen, and the most consistent of all our relievers the entire year. I think we'll be missing him a lot more once the season gets underway.

My biggest complaint has to be the bullpen situation. Very little was done to solve the problem, besides two minor trades. Hopefully someone like Mike Koplove will make the team and contribute, as the Marlins refused to give any of a plethora of FA gambles a shot. We could have had someone like Mike DeJean, who has been good in the past, for peanuts if we wanted. Same with Danny Graves. I don't know why we didn't continue the route we took the past several years by signing a former closer who was struggling (Jones, Borowski, Benitez, etc.) when it has worked so often lately.
 

TheDon

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With all due respect, saying Borowski was one of the our most consistent relievers (if true) is not saying much.


Saying he was consistently average would be a fair statement.
 

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