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Team Power numbers difficult to repeat


Eddie Altamonte
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http://www.palmbeachpost.com/marlins/conte...rlins_0223.html

 

Team's power numbers will be difficult to repeat

By Joe Capozzi

 

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

 

Friday, February 23, 2007

 

Power ball

 

The Marlins set a team record for home runs last season:

 

2006: 182 Leader: Dan Uggla, 27

 

2001: 166 Leader: Cliff Floyd, 37

 

2000: 160 Leader: Preston Wilson, 31

 

2003: 157 Leader: Mike Lowell, 32

 

1996: 150 Leader: Gary Sheffield, 42JUPITER - Of all the surprising statistics posted by the inexperienced Marlins last year, the most glaring number might be their 182 home runs, a franchise record.

 

Hall of Famer Tony Perez said he hopes he's wrong, but he predicts that record still will stand when the 2007 ends.

 

"It's hard to repeat a power year,'' said Perez, a Marlins special assistant who hit 379 home runs in a career that included back-to-back championships in 1975-76 with the Cincinnati Reds' "Big Red Machine."

 

"They will be pitched differently. The pitchers will adjust to them. They will hit good but I don't think they'll hit more home runs than they did last year. That's hard to do.''

 

As an example, Perez cited Miguel Cabrera, who hit a career-high 33 home runs in 2005. He followed that up by hitting 26 last year while his batting average rose to .339, second in the league and a Marlins franchise record.

 

"You would have thought Cabrera (would lead the team in homers) but he was pitched differently,'' Perez said.

 

"His power wasn't the same because he's the big guy on the team so they pitched him tough. But he was a good enough hitter and he was smart enough to go the other way and go with the pitches. That's why he hit (.339)."

 

Second baseman Dan Uggla, who was an unknown when spring training started last year, wound up leading the team with 27 home runs, a record for a Marlins rookie.

 

"Never would have guessed that,'' said Uggla, who paired up with Josh Willingham (26) to become the first pair of rookie teammates to hit at least 25 home runs since Al Rosen (37) and Luke Easter (28) of the 1950 Cleveland Indians.

 

"I told myself it would be nice to hit 20. It worked out good.''

 

This year? "Id like to hit 30 to 35,'' Uggla said, "and I think I'm capable of it.''

 

Florida's 182 home runs, which surpassed the 2001 franchise mark of 166, ranked sixth in the National League, just two behind St. Louis and eight behind the Mets. The Braves led the league with 222 home runs.

 

Johnson setback? Josh Johnson's flat-ground throwing session was cut short Thursday. "It didn't feel as well today as it did (Wednesday),'' he said.

 

Johnson, who has had a sore right forearm since Jan. 19, won't throw today but will try to resume throwing on Saturday.

 

Noteworthy: Six players on the 40-man roster signed contracts Thursday: outfielder Eric Reed and pitchers Matt Lindstrom, Paul Mildren, Jesus Delgado, Harvey Garcia and Logan Kensing.

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yawn

 

they're gonna break it this year again

Not necessarily.

 

I expect declines in home run numbers from both Uggla and Olivo. And I don't think Cabrera will cover the gap. And I'm still skeptical that Hermida and Jacobs will up their game.

 

Assuming a decrease in Uggla and Olivo, Hermida's still got enough room to grow this year to last (I mean, he's going to hit more than 5 HR's), and Cabrera can grow as well, at least back into the 30 home-run neighborhood.

 

My contention is that while I expect across the board production to decline from Uggla and Olivo, when it's just relevant to power numbers, we're talking maybe a combined drop of 10 HR's from those two (they combined for 43 last year) Hermida alone could be expected to be up his production by 10...past that it's gravy.

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yawn

 

they're gonna break it this year again

Not necessarily.

 

I expect declines in home run numbers from both Uggla and Olivo. And I don't think Cabrera will cover the gap. And I'm still skeptical that Hermida and Jacobs will up their game.

i expect hermida to actually hit but that still requires him to not be on the DL. hopefully uggla goes with pitches this year

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I expect a drop in Uggla's home run total alone to be 10-12. And Hermida does not appear to be developing into a power hitter.

 

If that's true you're expecting us to contend with the Nationals for dead last.

 

Nothing wrong with that, it's your opinion, but if you're expecting fall off the cliff production from Uggs and Olivo, little improvement from Hermida then we're in big trouble. We weren't a great offense last season outside of the power numbers, brilliant in spots but not good, and we're going to have an awful bullpen this year.

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I think the record will be worse this year, but not substantially worse. Uggla's decline will be much more impactful than Olivo's. I don't really see how Uggla hitting 15 home runs instead of 27 will cause the Marlins to be a last place contender.

 

When you expect your #1 power hitter from a year ago to see his production more than sliced in half, to go with an expectedly terrible bullpen and other decreases in production elsewhere, and you were a 4th place team a year ago, last place looks like the only option.

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I expect a drop in Uggla's home run total alone to be 10-12. And Hermida does not appear to be developing into a power hitter.

 

If that happens I would expect him at least to make it up in other areas, for example, his average and OBP. If he hits 15 hrs, but hits in the low .300s and has an OBP of 360-380, that would benefit the team just as much as 30-35 hrs. Same thing for Hermida, who OBP-wise will be able to hover around .400 if he maintains a .300 avg.

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While I find it hard to believe that 9 players will reach double digits in homers again, IMO think that some players power numbers will increase Hermida if healthy will hit way more than 5 homers and Hanley's HR's should increase by at least 5-7 more than last year. I also think Boone will provide the power lost from Helms.

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Wow...I am amazed that there is so little faith in Uggla. The guy doesn't end the season as well as he was hitting at other times, and so a guy who just put up one of if not the best rookie 2B seasons ever will now fade to mediocrity? If Uggla benefitted from hitting in front of Cabrera, then he will probably be getting to do it all season, and that means they will still have to pitch to him. Plus I think having led the team in HRs last season will reduce the # of times they call for him to waste an PA with a sac bunt.

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While I find it hard to believe that 9 players will reach double digits in homers again, IMO think that some players power numbers will increase Hermida if healthy will hit way more than 5 homers and Hanley's HR's should increase by at least 5-7 more than last year. I also think Boone will provide the power lost from Helms.

I would not expect Boone to provide that much power.

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