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Can the Marlins make the playoffs?


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Could Marlins really make playoffs?

Baseball | Sports

 

By BEN CARTER

Many baseball fans thought a team with 20 rookies couldn't compete. After 42 games this season, the Florida Marlins couldn't have offered much of an argument.

 

But since starting the season 11-31, the Marlins have gone on a 27-17 tear that has them far ahead of critics' preseason expectations. Florida even has an outside shot for a playoff spot.

 

"We worked hard and took our share of lumps, but regardless of what was going on on the field, we still came ready and willing to work," Marlins' pitcher Dontrelle Willis said.

 

The Marlins' 11-31 start is the worst start through 42 games in the franchise's 14-year history.

 

Only the 1995 team came close to that mark after 42 games, at 13-29.

 

But improved pitching and steady offensive production have helped the Marlins turn around their season.

 

All-Star third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who is fourth in the National League with a .334 batting average, has been the most consistent in the Marlins' offense.

 

Rookie All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla (.307) has also contributed along with rookie shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who has been key on the basepaths, posting 69 runs scored and 26 stolen bases.

 

The Marlins' pitching is ranked sixth in the National League with a 4.45 ERA, despite relying heavily on young pitchers. The Marlins have started rookie pitchers in five of the last six games heading into the All-Star break.

 

Willis, who lost five games in the month of May, is 5-1 since the beginning of June.

 

Rookie right-hander Josh Johnson has reinvigorated the starting rotation since moving from the bullpen in May. Johnson is 7-2 in his last 12 starts. He has a 2.21 ERA on the season.

 

"We're having fun and people want to come to the field everyday," Johnson said. "We're playing well right now." Marlins manager Joe Girardi said he is pleased with his team's progress _ and attitude. "I think they feel pretty good about the way they're playing. They should.

 

But the players aren't the only ones learning and developing as the season progresses. Girardi, the youngest manager in franchise history, said his first season managing the Marlins has taught him the essentials of leading a major league team.

 

"You learn a lot about yourself," Girardi said. "You learn about your patience, you learn about your preparation, you learn about players and how to motivate players. You learn so much."

 

Still at 10 games below .500 and seven games out in the wild card playoff race, the Marlins have more work to do.

 

"You gotta pitch and you gotta hit when it counts," Girardi said. "That's how you continue."

 

MARLINS IN THE PLAYOFFS?

 

_ Why it's possible: The Marlins' young pitching could continue to improve as it did over the course of the season's first half.

 

Rookies Jeremy Hermida and Josh Willingham both spent time on the disabled list and must stay healthy to contend.

 

No one is running away with the NL wild card.

 

_ Why they won't make it: The Marlins' inexperience is well documented and could be their downfall down the stretch.

 

A young bullpen means there's no "go-to guy" to put on the mound in crucial situations.

 

Miguel Cabrera and Scott Olsen's spat last Sunday in New York could be a sign of dissension.

 

(Ben Carter writes for Scripps Treasure Coast (Fla.) Newspapers, The Stuart News, Fort Pierce Tribune and Vero Beach Press Journal. On the Web at www.tcpalm.com.)

http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/9604

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I think that after 2003, most of us believe that anything is possible. However this team is just too raw to even go into September and have the kind of month that would put them in the position to clinch a playoff spot. I can see it a year or two from now, but not this year.

 

 

It is fun though to see what awaits us when it finally does happen though. :cool

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I agree. A few upgrades at a few positions, such as C and CF, and this team will be extremely good.

 

Holding out for next year, but if we make it this year well thats just gravy.

 

 

Would you stop WITH YOUR IGNORANT OLIVO BASHING!

 

Statisticly, the only superior catchers in the OPS department are Barret, Estrada, McCann and Piazza.

 

Not bad for a guy who's second in the league in CS%.

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I agree. A few upgrades at a few positions, such as C and CF, and this team will be extremely good.

 

Holding out for next year, but if we make it this year well thats just gravy.

 

 

you do know Miguel Olivo is hitting .286 with 10 home runs, right? Well, I got to hand it to Spike. He's going down with the ship even if he continues to be an ignorant slut.

 

 

/boog

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I agree. A few upgrades at a few positions, such as C and CF, and this team will be extremely good.

 

Holding out for next year, but if we make it this year well thats just gravy.

 

 

Jacobs and Willingham are worse, defensively, than Olivo... why wouldn't LF and 1B be holes?

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I agree. A few upgrades at a few positions, such as C and CF, and this team will be extremely good.

 

Holding out for next year, but if we make it this year well thats just gravy.

 

 

Jacobs and Willingham are worse, defensively, than Olivo... why wouldn't LF and 1B be holes?

but they can hit(as can Olivo)

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i personally, having seen Helms from the beginning (I was in Atlanta when he was coming up), would like to see him try the OF. I'd like to see Hermida in Center, Willingham in Right, and Helms in left. I think Wes would do well in LF...not on an everyday basis, but you star him there more often and let him play 1B or 3B once a week and we got something going. As much as I love Cabrera, I'd rather him get the day off in favor of Helms more often as I really like this guy and think he has a lot of potential rotting on the bench

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