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Muckdog
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Florida Marlins
Correspondent - Thor Kolnes
Posted: May 25
The Florida Marlins 2 Month Audit

Since we're approximately two months into the 2003 season, I decided it'd be a good idea to take stock of what the guys had done thus far. The sum of the parts is far greater than the whole, as we've got some guys having wonderful seasons statistically, yet the team still labors in the NL East's rear view mirror. There was a managerial change, as the imperial regime of Jeff Torborg was ousted in a Coup D' Depends, which installed Jack McKeon. He's old. Josh Beckett and AJ Burnett both got hurt, which was no surprise, but Mark Redman's injury was, somewhat. Even more surprising was the fact that his freak accident mattered to the fantasy world. Perhaps most surprising of all is the fact that BRADEN LOOPER IS STILL THE CLOSER. Let's Dish.
Derrek Lee - One Confounding Fish
He defies all conventional fantasy logic and predictability. He steals 11 bases in April, then one in May. He strikes out 25% of the time, yet hit .270 or better three straight seasons, and manages to put up good power numbers. I get a boatload of emails daily about his lack of stolen bases in May. Most want to attribute the steals deficit to McKeon. Not the case at all. You see, Derrek hit .272 in April, compared to .212 in May. His on-base percentage dropped by an almost identical amount. You see, graceful readers, it becomes much harder to steal bases when you are not, in fact, ON BASE. Derrek will soon heat up again, and with his hot bat will come hot feet, and his SB totals will again rise.

Castillo, Lowell, Pierre, Encarnacion, Pudge
Luis has been vintage this year. High average, occasional power, nice run totals, and steals by the pound. What's better is that he's been healthy. Considering he's a free agent after this season, expect him to continue to produce at this level, and expect him to be dealt near the deadline. Speaking of valuable Marlins in contract years, Mike Lowell has established himself as the elite fantasy 3B, although Troy Glaus is starting to make a case. He's hitting .282 with 15 taters and 40 ribbies. Mike will be dealt elsewhere before the deadline, but that can only help, as Pro Player will never be confused as a hitters' park.

Juan Pierre is also doing exactly what he's supposed to do, and doing it well. He's leading the majors with 19 steals, he's scoring runs, and his batting average is an infield single away from .300. Stat of the week: Juan is only owned in 99.7% of ML Universe leagues. What owners are stupid enough to see Pierre and his 19 steals in the FA pool and think "This guy's just not good enough for my team." Do steals not count in that .03%? How come I'm never lucky enough to end up in any of these leagues? ::Sigh:: Anyhoo..back to business. Juan Encarnacion is putting together a productive campaign, with 6 HR's and 12 SB's to date. He won't hit more than 20 HR's, and his average will never end up over .270, but he will continue to run, and he gives you pretty good production across the board. He's a nice fantasy player. Pudge Rodriguez has really cooled down since the first few weeks of the season. He hit .300 in April, but merely .164 in May. His stolen base total dropped from 6 to 2 in that same period of time. However, worry not about Pudge - his numbers will be there if he's healthy. Speaking of his health - Pudge left last night's game early with a foot injury, but x-rays showed nothing. He's fine, but will get today (Sunday, 26th) off as a precaution.

The Pitchers
It's beginning to look like all the Marlins' young aces are doomed to injury-riddled, frustrating careers. AJ Burnett, as you all know, is done until the middle of next season with reconstructive surgery. Josh Beckett will probably return right before the All Star break. He's been DL'ed 3 times already in his brief career. Brad Penny seems like he always has some nagging problem, although he did look great yesterday. We can only hope this bad luck doesn't extend to the next wave of young pitching prospects like Justin Wayne, Tim Spooneybarger, and Dontrelle Willis. Jack McKeon reaffirmed that Tim would be his top setup man in an interview Saturday, which further entrenches BRADEN LOOPER AS THE CLOSER.

However, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see Tim try his hand at starting at some point this season. He's certainly got the stuff to do it. It appears as though Tommy Phelps' impressive performance vs. Cincy Friday has earned him a spot in the rotation, as Miguel Tejera will be bumped back to the bullpen upon Mark Redman's return, which should be later this week. When Beckett returns, expect Dontrelle Willis to be demoted or sent to the pen, so, presumably, Tommy could be in the rotation for a while. Not a bad option for NL Only players. That's it for today. Until next time, don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things.
 

Shamrock

Muckdog
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The guys talks about Spooney possibly starting? Yet he feels hes being overused by Jack so I'd say thats not in the plans at this point. Wonder where he came up with that?

:plain
 

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