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Some notes and thoughts on the Fish


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Sorting through the few unresolved Marlins issues on the eve of pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training:

 

? Outfield: LF/1B Jeff Conine and RF Juan Encarnacion, battling for one OF position, are recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. But unlike Encarnacion, Conine's injury was to his throwing shoulder, and as a precaution, he isn't expected to play in exhibitions until the final two weeks of spring training.

 

Miguel Cabrera prefers left field and likely will stay there if Encarnacion emerges as a starter. But the Marlins have left open the possibility Cabrera could eventually be moved back to right. Conine hasn't played much right field since 2001, and Cabrera would have the stronger arm there. A rival National League GM said he cannot envision Florida finding a taker for Encarnacion's $4.45 million salary.

 

? Bullpen: There's a chance Florida could carry 12 pitchers, especially with a strong spring by lefty Luke Hagerty, who must be put on waivers if he doesn't make the team. But if they keep 11, bullpen jobs figure to go to Guillermo Mota, Antonio Alfonseca, Jim Mecir, Todd Jones, John Riedling and Matt Perisho. Tim Spooneybarger, who's returning from elbow surgery, could start the season at Triple A.

 

Manager Jack McKeon said Mota is the front-runner to close but added he might share the job: ''No one says you have to have [one] closer. In Cincinnati, I had one guy with 27 saves and one with 22.'' That could happen if Mota is inconsistent and Alfonseca excels.

 

Ben Howard and Nate Bump, both 2004 Marlins, are major long shots.

 

? Bench jobs: There will be five or six, depending on whether 11 or 12 pitchers are kept. Three will go to the loser of the Conine/Encarnacion competition; Damion Easley; and the backup catcher (Mike DiFelice or Matt Treanor).

 

Outfielder Chris Aguila, infielder Wilson Delgado (.292 in 42 games for the Mets last season) and pinch-hitter Lenny Harris are favorites for the other jobs.

 

it would be nice to see Luke Hagerty make the squad considering we would lose him if he didnt..... also, no mention of Josh Willingham anywhere, but what do they know :mischief

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? Bench jobs: There will be five or six, depending on whether 11 or 12 pitchers are kept. Three will go to the loser of the Conine/Encarnacion competition; Damion Easley; and the backup catcher (Mike DiFelice or Matt Treanor).

 

Outfielder Chris Aguila, infielder Wilson Delgado (.292 in 42 games for the Mets last season) and pinch-hitter Lenny Harris are favorites for the other jobs.

i know wilson delgado can hit left-handed, but does anyone know what lefties in the minors are even on the radar for making the bench if lenny doesn't?

 

off the top of my head, the only guys from last season i can think of are sutton and wathan.

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Is this the first time that Mckeon has talked about Mota sharing the closers job? I dont have a problem with it, but if it just went from being Motas job to him sharing it with Alfonseca, than that may not be a good sign. I dont care who is pitching in the 9th as long as they hold on to the lead.

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Interesting that Spooney will start the season on AAA roster. Looks like we may not get him till May or June depending on the state of the bullpen.

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From what I've read the reason the Marlins are not rushing Spooneybarger is because they see him as their closer of the future.

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Makes sense, if they need a strong relief pitcher down the stretch they can bring him up. The pen is deep enough as is, a couple of relief pitchers aside from Mota should emerge really strong at the start and that should be enough for then.

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Ben Howard and Nate Bump, both 2004 Marlins, are major long shots.

 

 

 

MUSIC TO MY EARS! We will finally have a decent pen this year! I think Chad Bentz will surprise many but he'll start in AAA. Does anybody know if Ben Howard, Justin Wayne, and Nate Bump will be cut if they don't make the team or will they just go to AAA?

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