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MLB Countdown Questions...

Fish4Life

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MLB.com is doing a 20 Questions countdown to Spring Training series. They have done articles on questions such as Which young hitters will make The Leap? How good will Matsuzaka be? Will anyone hit 60 home runs?

Well, for those who didn't know this and I am not sure if its been posted already but I was reading to see whats ahead in the series and on Thu. Feb. 15 the dominant question is; If pitching wins, who tops the Marlins?

It will be interesting to see how they take a look into our pitching staff and prospects! Should be an interesting article. I will post it when it comes out but just wanted to start the thread to see what others think about how MLB views our pitching.
 

Big_Rob

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I think one of the biggest compliments I heard last season, from a Braves' announcer I believe, was that the Marlins' young staff was the best he'd seen since the early 90's braves (Glavine, Smoltz, Avery). I'm not sure if Ron Gant said that or not, but I know he's infatuated with our rotation.


:gofish
 

Eddie Altamonte

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I think one of the biggest compliments I heard last season, from a Braves' announcer I believe, was that the Marlins' young staff was the best he'd seen since the early 90's braves (Glavine, Smoltz, Avery). I'm not sure if Ron Gant said that or not, but I know he's infatuated with our rotation.


:gofish

I see the comparison for sure, except I feel the Marlins' rotation is deeper and better than that Braves rotation
 

TSwift25

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Rotation wise, we're ridiculously strong, but the "pitching" wins axiom has evolved for me. Pitching is now (in the age of overly specialized bullpens) 1st pitch to last out. So unless our 5 are going to go for the complete gamer 8 out of 10 times, we're only slightly above average unless we address that bullpen, big-time. One good arm (Tank) and one live one (Owens) doesn't make for a strong or capable bullpen.
 

Eddie Altamonte

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Rotation wise, we're ridiculously strong, but the "pitching" wins axiom has evolved for me. Pitching is now (in the age of overly specialized bullpens) 1st pitch to last out. So unless our 5 are going to go for the complete gamer 8 out of 10 times, we're only slightly above average unless we address that bullpen, big-time. One good arm (Tank) and one live one (Owens) doesn't make for a strong or capable bullpen.
Don't forget Pinto, he has solidified his spot in the bullpen
 
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Rotation wise, we're ridiculously strong, but the "pitching" wins axiom has evolved for me. Pitching is now (in the age of overly specialized bullpens) 1st pitch to last out. So unless our 5 are going to go for the complete gamer 8 out of 10 times, we're only slightly above average unless we address that bullpen, big-time. One good arm (Tank) and one live one (Owens) doesn't make for a strong or capable bullpen.

Looks like I need to change my username :rolleyes:
 

TSwift25

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Rotation wise, we're ridiculously strong, but the "pitching" wins axiom has evolved for me. Pitching is now (in the age of overly specialized bullpens) 1st pitch to last out. So unless our 5 are going to go for the complete gamer 8 out of 10 times, we're only slightly above average unless we address that bullpen, big-time. One good arm (Tank) and one live one (Owens) doesn't make for a strong or capable bullpen.

Looks like I need to change my username :rolleyes:

Umm...why? Pitching still wins. :rolleyes:
 

rferry

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Rotation wise, we're ridiculously strong, but the "pitching" wins axiom has evolved for me. Pitching is now (in the age of overly specialized bullpens) 1st pitch to last out. So unless our 5 are going to go for the complete gamer 8 out of 10 times, we're only slightly above average unless we address that bullpen, big-time. One good arm (Tank) and one live one (Owens) doesn't make for a strong or capable bullpen.
Granted. However, there's a chance. We have a ridiculous amount of pitching depth in the majors and high minors. We look to have a very good rotation and bullpen over the next few years. The problem is in the mean time, we must suffer through the pains of shaking that talent out. If only a few assert themselves, we're close to golden on the pitching side.
 

Fish4Life

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If pitching wins, who tops the Marlins?
GM Beinfest continues to stockpile strong young hurlers
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

MIAMI -- Perhaps more than any team, Florida Marlins management has discovered that quality arms don't necessarily have to come at a premium price.

It's often wondered how a low-budget organization like the Marlins can repeatedly contend.

The answer is simple.

Pitching.

General manager Admin Beinfest, one of the craftiest roster architects in the game, has emphasized a basic formula for success: stockpile pitching.

"The philosophy is that pitching sets the tone," Beinfest said. "You go out there early and shut your opponent down, it changes the rhythm of the game, and you give yourself an opportunity to win."

When Beinfest became Florida's general manager in 2002, he inherited a pretty strong collection of arms that included Ryan Dempster, Carl Pavano, Matt Clement, A.J. Burnett, Brad Penny and Josh Beckett.

Although all these flamethrowers have moved on to other teams, Florida remains well-armed to compete in the tough National League East.

Dontrelle Willis, now 25, is the ace of a rotation that last season included the first foursome of rookies in MLB history to post 10 or more wins. Those four, who round out the impressive young staff, are Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez, who tossed a no-hitter last Sept. 6 against Arizona.

A year ago, Marlins starters ranked third in the National League in ERA at 4.22. Compare that to the World Series champion Cardinals, who rated 12th in the NL with a 4.79 ERA. The Mets, winners of the NL East, ranked eighth at 4.67.

When Florida's pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter on Saturday, the coaching staff will instill in the starters the need to adjust.

"Big league hitters, when they see a guy for the first time, the pitcher, I believe has the advantage," pitching coach Rick Kranitz said. "Now, they pretty much know what they throw. It's time for us to step up. Obviously, we're going to stay with our strengths. We never go away from our strengths, and early, we're going to see what the league has and how certain teams and certain hitters try to approach us."

Kranitz has been given a great deal of credit for the maturation of the staff. A year ago, he had the daunting task in Spring Training of first evaluating who the starters might be. It was an open competition with dozens of candidates for four spots.

"Starting pitching. It's the hardest thing to find, and we talk about growing our own," Beinfest said.

Promoting from within has become a trademark of the Marlins.

To remain competitive with a low payroll, developing quality, young pitching is essential. A review of what top pitching is getting on the free agent market is proof. Consider that in an offseason in which the Giants signed lefty Barry Zito to a seven-year, $126 million deal, the Marlins projected rotation appears to be the biggest bargain in the league.

Florida's projected five starters will collectively earn $7.970 million. That's Willis at $6.45 million plus Johnson, Olsen, Sanchez and Nolasco each at $380,000.

"Pitching, I think it's so valuable," Beinfest said. "It can get very expensive with free agency. ... I think this winter demonstrated it."

The depth in the rotation has the Marlins feeling they have a collection of starters that ranks up with some of the best the game has seen in recent years. Willis, Olsen and Johnson, for instance, have the makings to rival the staff of the A's a few years ago, when Zito, Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson anchored the Oakland rotation.

Stockpiling pitching in Florida certainly has been by design.

After the 2005 season, the Marlins made drastic roster changes, trading away high-priced veterans. A number of them were pivotal parts on the 2003 World Series title team. In all, six major trades were made from Nov. 24 to Dec. 16, 2005. Of the 15 players acquired in those deals, 11 were pitchers.

Going back to 2002, Beinfest's first season with the club, the team has made more than 20 transactions. In all, 51 players were obtained in those deals, with 34 being pitchers.

Additionally, the organization leans heavily toward pitching in the annual First-Year Player Draft. In the 2002 draft, Johnson and Olsen were selected in the fourth and sixth rounds, respectively.

The 2002 draft was the only year of the current administration in which a pitcher wasn't taken by Florida in the first round.

The desire to pick pitchers was punctuated in 2005, when the team used all three of its first-round selections, plus two sandwich picks, on pitchers. In all, five pitchers were claimed before Florida made its second-round selection.

Already, scouts around the league are marveling at the 2005 class, which includes Chris Volstad, Ryan Tucker, Sean West and Aaron Thompson. And the top pick in 2006, Brett Sinkbeil, is a rising star in the Minor League ranks.

"You never have enough," Beinfest said. "I think to break ties, we'll take pitching. We believe you can, if you need, trade pitching for position players."

Beinfest's thought process to lean heavily toward pitching emerged while he was in the Seattle system in the mid-1990s.

"We had tremendous offensive teams, and we were a little light on the pitching," he said. "It was hard to win as consistently as you wanted. That's when I really started to think about that. Now this isn't a new idea, but pitching really is the catalyst if you really want to be successful consistently.

"That was really cemented when we got to this ballpark [Dolphin Stadium]and when we watched the team in '02, and we came forward in '03 with the pitching, speed and defense. It just appeared that in the National League and this ballpark, pitching was essential."

Beinfest pointed out to obtaining stars like Sanchez and Gabby Hernandez, another rising talent in the system, came at a high price. Sanchez was brought in from Boston as part of the Beckett/Mike Lowell deal. Hernandez, who has a chance to be called up during the season, was a product of the Mets' system. He came to Florida for Paul Lo Duca.

"We traded some really good players to get the pitching back," Beinfest said. "Anibal Sanchez, Gabby Hernandez and some of the players we got back, they aren't available unless you trade some parts that are premium. A year ago, we had to do that."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
 

TSwift25

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I passionately believe we have too much pitching. And given Beinfest's "we'd rather make a mistake holding a pitcher" comments, I highly doubt we're going to use this depth to get markedly better (*cough* Baldelli, Rios *cough*)
 

Marlins2003

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That's because none of the guys from the 2005 class have proven (or have enough innings under their belts) that they belong in the major leagues yet. It reminds me of the old Paul Masson wine commercial, "We sell no wine before its time".

What you can do in the meantime is trade prospect for prospect or trade prospect(s) for an Angels (example) fourth or fifth outfielder who is an everyday player on half the other teams in baseball. There are teams out there with outfielders like we have pitching.
 

FlummoxedLummox

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What you can do in the meantime is trade prospect for prospect or trade prospect(s) for an Angels (example) fourth or fifth outfielder who is an everyday player on half the other teams in baseball. There are teams out there with outfielders like we have pitching.
We could in theory, I'm just a little fearful that teams don't want to play Beinfest's game. If we could have gotten a comensurate position player prospect that's on the same timeline as our pitchers, then why didn't we? And if we could have acquired a middle of the range major league center fielder, why didn't we? I have a feeling that teams, being aware of Beinfest's plan, are consciously playing hardball with him. They know he needs someone to "play ball" with him if he really wants to remain competitive. They're trying to acquire our pitching at a discount, because they know we need to unload it at some point, while Beinfest expects the value of our pitchers to remain level even though our supply is through the roof.

As I see it, the only time when this scenario will work is just prior to the trade-deadline, and we're willing to move Major League tested pitchers. At that point other teams' desperation would negate the diluted prices of our pitching surplus.
 
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Rotation wise, we're ridiculously strong, but the "pitching" wins axiom has evolved for me. Pitching is now (in the age of overly specialized bullpens) 1st pitch to last out. So unless our 5 are going to go for the complete gamer 8 out of 10 times, we're only slightly above average unless we address that bullpen, big-time. One good arm (Tank) and one live one (Owens) doesn't make for a strong or capable bullpen.
Couldn't agree more. Bullpen will need to develop more if we are really going to become dominant via pitching.

That said I do like the guys we brought in via trades - Owens, Gregg, & Lindstrom. All have good K/BB ratios, especially compared to the guys we gave up for them. Tank & Pinto are bright spots as well, and there's plenty of Lefty batters for them to go after in our division.
 

Marlins2003

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What you can do in the meantime is trade prospect for prospect or trade prospect(s) for an Angels (example) fourth or fifth outfielder who is an everyday player on half the other teams in baseball. There are teams out there with outfielders like we have pitching.
We could in theory, I'm just a little fearful that teams don't want to play Beinfest's game. If we could have gotten a comensurate position player prospect that's on the same timeline as our pitchers, then why didn't we? And if we could have gotten middle of the range major league center fielder, why didn't we? I have a feeling that teams, being aware of Beinfest's plan, are consciously playing hardball with him. They know he needs someone to "play ball" with him if he really wants to remain competitive. They're trying to acquire our pitching at a discount, because they know we need to unload it at some point, while Beinfest expects the value of our pitchers to remain level even though our supply is through the roof.

As I see it, the only time when this scenario will work is just prior to the trade-deadline, and we're willing to move Major League tested pitchers. At that point other teams' desperation would negate the diluted prices of our pitching surplus.

Throughout the off-season I admit to watching two teams I identified as potentially good trade candidates. I follow them everyday online in newspapers and fan-oriented webites. Since Marlins news has been fairly non-existent its been easy. Both are overflowing with outfielders who can't break into high-profile outfields regardless of their player's individual talents.

The two teams are Kansas City and the Angels. With Guerrero, Anderson/Rivera and now Matthews (plus Figgins) they have kids sitting around who couldn't break into the lineup with thermonuclear weapons. And to a great degree the same is true in KC except not only is there no room for guys on the cusp of being everyday players from above, there are first rate prospects pushing them underneath. Both teams are weak in prospect pitching, KC for example. Their 2000-2002 pitching prospects have turned out to be pretty much a bust. Offering a top five or sixth pitching prospect and a Jesus Delgado/Harvey Garcia "type" conceivably (another important word) could land the Marlins a major league ready CFer come the end of March when final rosters cuts are made and GMs start to think that maybe there's something more productive to be done with a kid with .440 OBP than sending him down for yet another year in the minors waiting for Gary Matthews Jr. or David DeJesus' contract to run out.

Moore, Stoneman and Beinfest I think are guys who could work together. They are in the best sense of the words, "real baseball men". It's probably not easy to deal with any of the trio but they are all straight-shooters which is at least the first step.
 

DelGOT2Rings

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What you can do in the meantime is trade prospect for prospect or trade prospect(s) for an Angels (example) fourth or fifth outfielder who is an everyday player on half the other teams in baseball. There are teams out there with outfielders like we have pitching.
We could in theory, I'm just a little fearful that teams don't want to play Beinfest's game. If we could have gotten a comensurate position player prospect that's on the same timeline as our pitchers, then why didn't we? And if we could have gotten middle of the range major league center fielder, why didn't we? I have a feeling that teams, being aware of Beinfest's plan, are consciously playing hardball with him. They know he needs someone to "play ball" with him if he really wants to remain competitive. They're trying to acquire our pitching at a discount, because they know we need to unload it at some point, while Beinfest expects the value of our pitchers to remain level even though our supply is through the roof.

As I see it, the only time when this scenario will work is just prior to the trade-deadline, and we're willing to move Major League tested pitchers. At that point other teams' desperation would negate the diluted prices of our pitching surplus.

Throughout the off-season I admit to watching two teams I identified as potentially good trade candidates. I follow them everyday online in newspapers and fan-oriented webites. Since Marlins news has been fairly non-existent its been easy. Both are overflowing with outfielders who can't break into high-profile outfields regardless of their player's individual talents.

The two teams are Kansas City and the Angels. With Guerrero, Anderson/Rivera and now Matthews (plus Figgins) they have kids sitting around who couldn't break into the lineup with thermonuclear weapons. And to a great degree the same is true in KC except not only is there no room for guys on the cusp of being everyday players from above, there are first rate prospects pushing them underneath. Both teams are weak in prospect pitching, KC for example. Their 2000-2002 pitching prospects have turned out to be pretty much a bust. Offering a top five or sixth pitching prospect and a Jesus Delgado/Harvey Garcia "type" conceivably (another important word) could land the Marlins a major league ready CFer come the end of March when final rosters cuts are made and GMs start to think that maybe there's something more productive to be done with a kid with .440 OBP than sending him down for yet another year in the minors waiting for Gary Matthews Jr. or David DeJesus' contract to run out.

Moore, Stoneman and Beinfest I think are guys who could work together. They are in the best sense of the words, "real baseball men". It's probably not easy to deal with any of the trio but they are all straight-shooters which is at least the first step.
The thing that perplexes me the most is that, at the very least, this should be done to balance out our farm system. Yet, we don't do this to fill the patently obvious holes in our MAJOR LEAGUE roster, let alone worry about balance in the minors. I honestly think that - at this point - Beinfest is being too stubborn. A move needs to be made. I'm not saying he needs to trade the entire farm for a Baldelli, etc., but it is clear that we are going to have to give up a little more pitching than we would like to obtain quality players in return. If that's the case, so be it. I know I harp on this, but look at the Lowell deal. We traded away 3 of our better pitching prospects for him, and he was arguably a top 50 prospect at best. Sometimes you have to give a little to get what you want, and a solid CFer and a bolstered bullpen would honestly push the Marlins into serious wild card contention in the NL.
 

Marlins2003

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My thinking has been, as I alluded to above, he is so sure the value of our pitching at both the major league and minor league levels will skyrocket between now and next off-season so (rightly or wrongly) he's going to sit on his goldmine and wait until gold goes over $600 an ounce.
 

FlummoxedLummox

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My thinking has been, as I alluded to above, he is so sure the value of our pitching at both the major league and minor league levels will skyrocket between now and next off-season so (rightly or wrongly) he going to sit on his goldmine and wait until gold goes over $600 an ounce.
Let's just hope that it doesn't plummet to $200 an ounce.
 

DelGOT2Rings

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My thinking has been, as I alluded to above, he is so sure the value of our pitching at both the major league and minor league levels will skyrocket between now and next off-season so (rightly or wrongly) he going to sit on his goldmine and wait until gold goes over $600 an ounce.
In terms of what we are asking for (CFers and closers), he is probably right. However, can we afford to stand pat this year when our payroll will increase exponentially next year? If anything, we should have acquired a shannon stewart type (I'm not advocating...just speculating), so we could have a stop gap for a year before the value of pitching "skyrockets." But, he didn't even do that, let alone bring in someone who could be considered a fixture for a few years. If our starting CFer on opening day is someone currently on our roster, Beinfest has horrendously failed this off-season. Period.
 

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