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Offseason report card for 06 from the main site


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MIAMI -- Based on a whirlwind, wheeling and dealing offseason, you definitely will need a scorecard to recognize the 2006 version of the Florida Marlins.

 

Their roster almost completely overhauled, Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera are the only remaining Marlins from the 2003 World Series championship team. The lone returnee on the coaching staff from that magical season is first base/infield coach Perry Hill.

 

With so many new faces, including manager Joe Girardi, logic says the Marlins' modest, but franchise-best, three straight winning seasons streak is about to end.

 

As tough an uphill climb as it appears, don't tell Girardi he is about to endure more than his share of losing. The optimistic first-year, 41-year-old skipper doesn't want to hear it.

 

"It will be exciting," Girardi says of the Marlins' makeover. "Don't underestimate these kids. I use the example, Derek Jeter, you look at his stats. First year, 1996, and you look at his stats last year, there's not a lot of difference. Now, someone is going to say, 'Well, he's a mature superstar now.' But his numbers are not much different.

 

"So that's my point. Just because you don't know who these kids are, you know, because a lot of them came from other organizations that were highly touted, doesn't mean they can't play. Derek Jeter hit .300 his rookie year, drove in 78 runs, there's not a big difference. Don't underestimate a young club."

 

The Marlins are banking that Girardi's upbeat, no-nonsense style will rub off quickly. The team certainly will miss the production of stars like Carlos Delgado, Josh Beckett, Juan Pierre, Luis Castillo and Mike Lowell.

 

The names in their place aren't household, but they have potential. New shortstop Hanley Ramirez ranked as one of the most promising prospects in the Minor Leagues, and first baseman Mike Jacobs is a left-handed hitter with some pop.

 

Cabrera provides a bonafide cleanup hitter coming off back-to-back All-Star 30-homer, 100-RBI seasons. Willis, meanwhile, paced the Major Leagues with 22 wins in 2005.

 

Season in Preview

A lot can change by Opening Day, but as 2005 becomes 2006, this is who is projected to take the field for the Marlins:

CF Eric Reed

LF Chris Aguila

RF Jeremy Hermida

3B Miguel Cabrera

1B Mike Jacobs

C Josh Willingham

SS Hanley Ramirez

2B Josh Wilson

SP Dontrelle Willis

SP Jason Vargas

SP Brian Moehler

SP Josh Johnson

SP Scott Olsen/Yusmeiro Petit

CL Travis Bowyer

Schedules: Spring | Regular season

Tickets: Spring | Regular season

More previews:

 

In Willis and Cabrera, Florida has two pretty strong building blocks. From within, prize prospect outfielder Jeremy Hermida has all the talents to be an All-Star for years to come.

 

How fast the young players mature will dictate how effective the team can be in 2006.

 

"A big part of my job is making sure that these guys understand that they belong in the big leagues and they can do it," Girardi said.

 

Offseason report card: Following through on his directive to cut payroll, general manager Admin Beinfest succeeded in moving a number of pricey contracts. He effectively moved $41 million of the remaining $48 million owed to Delgado, as well as dealing the full contracts of Lowell ($18 million), Paul Lo Duca ($12.5 million) and Castillo ($10.75 million). So in terms of getting value and executing his money-trimming mandate, Beinfest and his staff deserve high marks. Talent evaluators from around the league feel the Marlins acquired some nice talent -- albeit young, unproven talent -- in return. The fruits of the deals in all likelihood won't be seen fully in 2006. So it's difficult to place an accurate grade on what transpired the past few months. Based on how the club unloaded so many proven veterans and replaced them with talented prospects, the odds are against the club seriously contending in 2006. Grade on scale of 1 to 10: 3, it's too early to tell.

 

Arrivals: 1B Jacobs (trade), RHP Yusmeiro Petit (trade), INF Dan Uggla (Rule 5), SS Ramirez (trade), RHP Anibal Sanchez (trade), RHP Sergio Mitre (trade), LHP Renyel Pinto (trade), RHP Scott Tyler (trade), LHP Michael Megrew (Rule 5), INF Alfredo Amezaga (free agent), RHP Travis Bowyer (trade), RHP Harvey Garcia (trade), RHP Jesus Delgado (trade), RHP Ricky Nolasco (trade).

 

Departures: 1B Delgado, RHP Beckett, 3B Lowell, C Lo Duca, 2B Castillo, CF Pierre, RHP A.J. Burnett, RF Juan Encarnacion, SS Alex Gonzalez, LF Jeff Conine, RHP Todd Jones, RHP Antonio Alfonseca, INF Damion Easley, RHP John Riedling.

 

The Road Ahead: Even though the club promises to be very young, and not overly experienced, the search for bargain-priced veterans will continue. The closer role is up in the air, and the front office is looking to solidify center field, left field and second base.

 

http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/...t=.jsp&c_id=fla

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Guest markotsay7

I would like to see Olivo behind the plate and Willy in left, with Aguila and Reed perhaps sharing time in center, or the better one in ST getting the spot.

 

I also disagree with Willis/Vargas at the top, having two lefties back to back.

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I would like to see Olivo behind the plate and Willy in left, with Aguila and Reed perhaps sharing time in center, or the better one in ST getting the spot.

 

I also disagree with Willis/Vargas at the top, having two lefties back to back.

 

i dont think having two lefties in the top of the rotation matters.

 

if there the 2 best then they have to be up there

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Guest Moneyball

I would like to see Olivo behind the plate and Willy in left, with Aguila and Reed perhaps sharing time in center, or the better one in ST getting the spot.

 

I also disagree with Willis/Vargas at the top, having two lefties back to back.

 

 

Agreed on all points. :thumbup

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My version of 2006:

 

Starting Lineup

SS Hanley Ramirez - Though probably not ready I'd be surprised if he does not start and bat leadoff.

2B Pokey Reese - I think they wanted a veteran in the IF. I am not a fan of Pokey, but he'll play.

RF Jeremy Hermida - Get used to this spot Jeremy.

3B Miguel Cabrera - Only person that won't think too much about batting cleanup.

1B Mike Jacobs - A Jacobs/Helms platoon should be fine.

LF Josh Willingham - Get the feeling he will have a better year than Hermida...anyone say ROY?

C Miguel Olivo - Give us a glove and an arm and we'l be happy.

CF Eric Reed - I don't believe it's Reed or Aguila on opening day, but for now it's Reed.

 

Bench:

Matt Treanor - Could end up starting.

Lenny Harris - Is it time to fill his spot?

Dan Uggla - Rule V pick will stay with team.

Chris Aguila - Solid backup in OF and off the bench to bat.

Josh Wilson - 2b/ss

Wes Helms 1b/3b

(Honestly, I'd like to see Lenny Harris retire and we give someone else some at bats. It is not like our season lives and dies on a pinch hit or two. His veteran leadership would be missed as a player but I believe that Girardi and his coaches bring enough youth and energy to the dugout for the youngsters.)

 

SP

Dontrelle Willis - ACE

Sergio Mitre - He simply has more exp. than some others vying for the job....not much...but some.

Jason Vargas - He could be beat out on Spring Training...but I think he deserves a spot in the rotation.

Brian Moehler - A veteran to buy us time until one of the prospects proves his worth.

Scott Olsen - A fixture for years to come.

(My staff breaks up the lefties and also breaks up the veterans...hopefully to help prevent any extended losing streaks. Moehler is not what we'd call a stopper, but he will not be rattled on the mound on a 5 game losing streak.)

 

 

Bullpen

Joe Borowski - It's obvious they told him he'll close games or at least be given the opportunity to do so.

Travis Bowyer - Closer in the making.

Chris Resop - He needs to find his game in the majors.

Randy Messenger - Needs to build on last season.

Nate Bump - If he is in the organization he has to be here, no? I am am not a Nate Bump fan.

Josh Johnson - Could start if Mitre fails.

 

Obviously things will change...

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My version of 2006:

 

 

 

I'm just going to provide an alternative idea for argument's sake.

 

Reed/Aguila CF

Willingham C

Hermida RF

Cabrera 3B

Jacobs 1B

Helms LF

Uggla 2B

Pokey SS

Bench: Olivo, Reed/Aguila, Wilson, Harris, and Amezaga.

 

Willingham is a lock to bat second in my mind. His OBP is needed desperately from that spot in the order. Also, despite all of us thinking he will automatically play LF, I still think they would LOVE it if he could handle the catching duties. Olivo is viewed as insurance, and will only get seriously playing time if Willingham can't cut it. I say they give him a shot. He's probably a top 10 offensive catcher next year if he can handle it, and should get better with the bat once he adjust to big league pitcher. Hanley should go to double AA for some more seasoning, and I see them trying to move Andino to 2B in the minors as well which is why they aren't in there over Wilson and Amezaga. I've thought about the Helms signing also, and I can see him getting playing time occasionally in LF on this team very easily. Especially against lefties. This team is going to need Jacobs playing all the time, so I can see lineups where they both co-exist. I think the lineups are going to change drastically from week to week if they get no more players, so this is just something else they could do early in the year. I think Hanley will be an allstar break call up at earliest.

 

Starters; Willis, Vargas, Mitre, Moehler, Petit

Pen; Borowski, Bowyer, Resop, Olsen, Johnson, Messenger, Bump

 

Regardless of whatever upside you think all the rookies have, Petit is clearly the most polished of the rookies (not including Vargas) for immediate insertion into the rotation. I think Olsen and Johnson should start the year in double AA and get a dozen starts each minimum, but I think both of them will open on the big league team. They have no lefty RP, and I can see Olsen filling that role initially just coming in to kill people with the slider. I think not throwing them out their every 5th day and getting work out of the pen, and in long relief, will really help both of them for the short term. I'm thinking let Moehler and Mitre get 12-15 starts then start phasing them into the bullpen for those two. Think Jason Marquis 2001, 130 IP (38 GP, 16 starts).

 

Next year is when it's going to get interesting though. Anibal is going to need to start, and Nolasco, Pinto, and Tankersly will be ready or close to ready to make jumps to the big league club also. Pitching staff is going to get crowded soon..... which is going to be great. I can't wait to obtain a young CF or 2B that can hit leadoff.

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My Version Of 06...

 

Line up:

Cf- Reed

lf- Willingham

Rf- Hermida

3b- Cabrera

1b- Jacobs

2b- Uggla

ss- Ramirez

C- Olivo

 

Rotation:

Willis

Vargas

Moehler

Olsen

Johnson

 

Pen:

Borrowski

Bowyer

Resop

Messenger

Megrew

Bump

Mitre

 

Bench:

Treanor

Harris

Reese

Aguila

Helms

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Hoping I won't start a raging "Agula is God/Aguila Sucks" debate, it seems to me one thing he has going for him going into spring training is his ML experience, both during the season but also his knowledge of what decision-makers are looking for during spring training.

 

Obviously performance matters but all things being equal come the end of March (and some trade or acquisition that changes the mix) I expect he has a leg up on most of the outfield candidates not named Hermida.

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2006 Hitting:

RF- Jeremy Hermida

CF- Eric Reed

LF- Josh Willingham

3B- Miguel Cabrera

2B- Pokey Reese

1B- Mike Jacobs

SS- Hanley Ramirez

C- Miguel Olivo

 

-- Lenny Harris

C- Matt Treanor

-- Wes Helms

OF Chris Aguila

-- Andino / Uggla

 

2006 Pitching:

SP- Dontrelle Willis

SP- Jason Vargas

SP- Scott Olsen

SP- Yusmeiro Petit

SP- Josh Johnson / Sergio Mitre

 

RP- Nate Bump

RP- Joe Borowski

RP- Randy Messenger

RP- Travis Bowyer

RP- Mike Megrew

RP- Chris Resop

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I Have:

 

1) Reed-CF

2) Ramirez-SS

3) Hermida-RF

4) Cabrera-3B

5) Jacobs-1B

6) Willingham-LF

7) Uggla-2B

8) Olivo-C

 

Rotation:

 

1) Willis

2) Vargas

3) Johnson

4) Olsen

5) Moehler

 

Bullpen:

 

1) Bowyer

2) Borowski

3) Resop

4) Messenger

5) Mitre

6) Bump

7) Kensing

 

Bench:

 

1) Treanor

2) Aguila

3) Helms

4) Reese

5) Amezaga

 

I think there is a good possibility Hanley won't be ready for opening day and pokey will start in his place. I think Uggla will be on the roster weather or not he wins the starting job and I believe it's Reed's job to loose in ST. If Amezaga shows potential in ST I think we'll choose him over lenny, just based on his age.

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C - Olivo

1B - Jacobs

2B - Reese

SS - Amezaga

3B - Cabrera

LF - Willingham

CF - Reed

RF - Hermida

 

Bench:

C - Treanor

2B - Uggla

3B - Helms

OF - Aguila

OF - Lenny

 

 

SP - DTrain

SP - Vargas

SP - Moehler

SP - Olsen

SP - Johnson

 

CL - Borowski

SU - Bowyer

MR - Messenger

MR - Ligtenberg

MR - Bump

MR - Resop

LR - Mitre

 

 

That's a little depressing but I think it probably the most realistic.. hopefully a few of the young guys (Petit, Sanchez, Hanley, Pinto) are able to make the opening day roster, but I don't think Hanley needs to be rushed.

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Guest markotsay7

Pen:

Borrowski

Bowyer

Resop

Messenger

Megrew

Bump

Mitre

 

 

You really think a starter who has never pitched above A ball and put up a 5+ ERA in rookie league and low A last year in 9 innings after major arm surgery is in our pen solely because we took him in the Rule V?

 

And Mitre has more MLB experience than anyone else sans Willis, he's in the rotation, no doubt in my mind.

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Guest Juanky

And Mitre has more MLB experience than anyone else sans Willis, he's in the rotation, no doubt in my mind.

Willis and Moehler both have more career innings than Mitre. Vargas, while he has been in the Majors one season to Mitre's three, threw more innings last season (73.2) than Mitre ever has in a season (60.1, last season being his highest of three). Olsen only got around to throwing 20.1 Innings last season (due to injury), but his numbers were similar or better (prorated of course) in every category across the board and he has much higher upside. I'll give you Mitre over Johnson, but I'd prefer Petit over both of them anyways.

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Guest markotsay7

And Mitre has more MLB experience than anyone else sans Willis, he's in the rotation, no doubt in my mind.

Willis and Moehler both have more career innings than Mitre. Vargas, while he has been in the Majors one season to Mitre's three, threw more innings last season (73.2) than Mitre ever has in a season (60.1, last season being his highest of three). Olsen only got around to throwing 20.1 Innings last season (due to injury), but his numbers were similar or better (prorated of course) in every category across the board and he has much higher upside. I'll give you Mitre over Johnson, but I'd prefer Petit over both of them anyways.

 

I think Mitre over Johnson at 5 for sure, and I think Petit is gone by Opening Day.

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Why does everyone keep putting Cabrera batting 4th? Not to criticize that thought entirely, but it is more favorable to the team to have our best hitter batting 3rd in order to get him additional ABs throughout the season. That 1 extra AB per game could make a serious difference in some games. Also, I can't believe that Mitre was forgotten by some posters on here. The guy has some ability that makes him intriguing to watch. He could potentially be a SP with an ERA any from 3.00 to 3.85, which is very solid by today's standards.

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My projection includes a lot of '/'s, but here's the simple version:

 

CF Aguila

SS Ramirez

RF Hermida

3B Cabrera

1B Jacobs

C Willingham

LF Helms / Willingham / Aguila / Reed / Amazaega / Uggla

2B Reese

 

SP: Willis, Mitre, Vargas/Olsen/Johnson/Petit*, Moehler

RP: Borowski, Bowyer, Bump, Kensing, Resop, Vargas/Olsen/Johnson/Petit*

 

* I think we're going to rotate some of the young arms between starting, relieving, the "disabled" list and the minors to avoid putting too much stress on their arms.

 

Megrew is expected to stay on the DL as long as possible.

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Echoing what Rferry said, I suggested a couple months ago the Fish might start the season with as many as seven or eight starters, rotating arms in and out until they're accustomed to and have built up the arm strength to go every five days. Without going back and checking, it seems to me Jeff Fulchino and Josh Johnson are the only guys who have even approached 150 innings in a season, nevermind two hundred.

 

And while guys may be asked to play "out of position" I would think the manager is going to try and score runs, even at the expense of D, if for no other reason than to placate us fans. At first blush the idea of Uggla or Helms in the outfield or Hermida as the CFer might seem miscast, but I suspect Joe Girardi wants to score seven runs opening day at PPS, regardless of the outcome.

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Echoing what Rferry said, I suggested a couple months ago the Fish might start the season with as many as seven or eight starters, rotating arms in and out until they're accustomed to and have built up the arm strength to go every five days. Without going back and checking, it seems to me Jeff Fulchino and Josh Johnson are the only guys who have even approached 150 innings in a season, nevermind two hundred.

 

And while guys may be asked to play "out of position" I would think the manager is going to try and score runs, even at the expense of D, if for no other reason than to placate us fans. At first blush the idea of Uggla or Helms in the outfield or Hermida as the CFer might seem miscast, but I suspect Joe Girardi wants to score seven runs opening day at PPS, regardless of the outcome.

 

 

It's vey interesting that you mention that about the pitchers. I know that high school coaching is different from managing at the higher levels because things change with each level, but that is something that I'm surprised isn't tried more often at any level with developing teams. Most coaches stick with a core of unproven pitchers that they assume are the best that they have rather than use say an 8-man staff until the strongest survive by developing. Many years ago when I got into coaching at the high school level, I had to do this exact same thing. What happened was that I inherited a varsity team from my predecessor whose previous core of pitchers graduated the year before. I only had 2 pitchers that had pitching experience at the varsity level. The rest were moving up from J.V. Until the eventual regular showed that they were capable to handle the majority of the load, I went with an entire staff by commitee. Among the survivors were 2 kids (1 junior & 1 sophomore) that weren't even projected by the previous regime to be pitchers. To make it short, without revealing the school or individuals involved, the following season we were very very successful. There was one downside though; 1 of the highly recommended "studs" didn't pan out at that level and had to change positions, which led to a little drama with the parents until the child transfered to a less successful program.

 

Therefore, yes this strategy can work if things fall into place.

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It wasn't my contention that the Marlins would have a rotation built around seven or eight starters but rather that some number of starting pitchers will be employed throughout the season.

 

Depending on how the season unfolds, you might see Player A throw fifty innings, either go to the pen as the long reliever, and then come back a month or so later, as a starter again.

 

What the Marlins can't do is risk injury this season (other than what happens, happens). They simply have paid too high a price for these arms to not make every effort to let them mature slowly.

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