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Marlins: On pitching, Wilson, Karros or Beltran?

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Check out this piece of the article (its in bold)


Having an ace is the key to staying in race




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The Marlins are on a losing skid and hitting so poorly, manager Jack McKeon is bemoaning the departed bats of Ivan Rodriguez and Derrek Lee and suggesting he'd welcome a trade to infuse the lineup.


So unless the Marlins trade for Eric Karros or Carlos Beltran or Preston Wilson in the next few weeks, their problems will remain, right?


Well, not exactly.


Even if the Marlins can't dramatically snap out of this power outage, they can stay in the National League East race with fine pitching, consistent pitching, the kind of pitching they've gotten from only one starter this season.


''I can't sit here and say we've pitched great,'' catcher Mike Redmond said, his perspective behind the plate the organization's best.


The same starting rotation that boasts the NL's finest collection of arms with inning-gobbling ability and potential for greatness has lived up to its billing only in flashes so far this season.


And you need only ask the Marlins to identify their ace to understand performance in flashes is too fleeting to suit anyone.


''Josh Beckett can be an ace,'' pitching coach Wayne Rosenthal said. ``Brad Penny can be an ace. A.J. Burnett can be an ace. And Carl Pavano has proved by results he can be an ace. So to me there is no ace.''


The ace is not Penny because after a fine performance earlier this season, the team has lost each of his last four starts.


It's not Dontrelle Willis because although he was a compelling story last year, he has settled into a consistent inconsistency that speaks of his great need to improve as much as his great talent.


Beckett is not the ace because his 2003 heroics haven't carried over this season. He's been injured, which is the reason he's pitched only once this month and hasn't been World Series unstoppable when he has been healthy. While he still may return to last fall's fabulous form, it is troubling he hasn't won a game since May 20.


And then there's Pavano, the team's most consistent starter.


''He's been as close to an ace as we have,'' Jeff Conine said. ``He's been nails every time out. That's what you look for in an ace, a guy who can give you a good performance every time he goes out. And he's done that every time.''




Pavano has the lowest ERA of any Florida starter, has pitched the most innings, and has been a living, breathing W each trip to the mound recently. The Marlins have won his last five starts.


But while Pavano is forging All-Star numbers, it's impossible to predict whether he can continue to carry the staff and unfair to ask him to do so.


That's why Burnett's performance Sunday was both encouraging and important.


Burnett is coming back from elbow reconstruction surgery, the kind of surgery that has ended major league careers, so his path to consistency is lined with potholes and detours he must navigate.


But from the looks of the last two starts, it seems Burnett's surgeon was following the $6 million man credo. The doctor rebuilt Burnett stronger, faster, better.




In his fourth appearance this year, Burnett yielded two runs on three hits in seven innings. He pitched six shutout innings against the White Sox in his previous outing.


''It's a step toward the goal of making a comeback,'' Burnett said.


If Burnett can make good on that comeback, he will add something more valuable than a run-producing hitter -- a run-denying pitcher.


He might breathe life into the team the same way Willis did last year, the way Beckett did last postseason.


He might even give the Marlins an ace.



hmmm, Wilson, Karros or Beltran.


I certaintly will take Preston back.

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I think Salguero was making a point. I don't see anyway we get Preston back.

thank you


and Karros doesnt have a place on this team either


all he was saying is that pitching wins, we dont need a bat I see his point, but when does it become evident that the team needs a bat. how many games of only scoring 1-3 runs a game? How many games back do we have to drop?

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I would bring back preston wilson. Whenever he gets around 600 at bats he produces. When he isnt healthy, then he isnt that good. 2002 was his only poor season here. Last season and in 2000 he had over 30 homers and 100 rbi.


Finley would still be easier to get because he is older. Preston is only 29 so he has plenty of years left. If the rockies took some contract, that would be nice to bring him back.

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