Jump to content

Marlins need to improve their defense


Eddie Altamonte
 Share

Recommended Posts

http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/content/pri...10/c2343231.jsp

 

 

Notes: Defense needs to improve

01/11/2008 10:00 AM ET

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

 

MIAMI -- When the Marlins get to Spring Training next month, one of the early messages manager Fredi Gonzalez will deliver is for the club to collectively do a better job of protecting the baseball.

Pacing the Major Leagues in errors in 2007 still gnaws at the organization, which has traditionally prided itself on defense.

 

The Marlins committed a league-high 137 errors last season, and their fielding percentage of .977 also ranked at the bottom.

 

Throughout last year, Gonzalez frequently told reporters that he would review the numbers on all aspects of the team after the season. In recent months, he has more closely examined the statistics, especially on defense. He believes a change is in order.

 

"We're going to go into Spring Training this year and that's going to be our main focus," Gonzalez said during an interview session last month. "I'm going to address the guys about that.

 

"[i was] playing around with the stats after the World Series, and the more I saw them, the more upset I got."

 

Of the total errors, 28 came from the pitching staff, a figure that is just too high.

 

Aside from second baseman Dan Uggla and left fielder Josh Willingham, no Marlins player ranked in the upper half of the National League in defense at their respective positions.

 

"Other than Uggla and the Hammer [Willingham] -- they were middle of the pack -- we ranked if not last, then second to last in the Major Leagues in every position," Gonzalez said. "So I'm going to bring that up in Spring Training."

 

The errors resulted in Florida allowing 98 unearned runs, the most in franchise history. The 2006 Marlins surrendered 76 unearned runs.

 

The previous high was 89 in 1998, the year when the Marlins dropped a franchise-most 108 games.

 

There will be some new faces in the lineup this season, now that third baseman Miguel Cabrera and catcher Miguel Olivo are gone.

 

The third-base spot will be a competition between Jose Castillo and Jorge Cantu. At least for now, those are the two front-runners.

 

Behind the plate, Mike Rabelo and Matt Treanor are the primary candidates to split the catching duties. Rabelo was acquired from the Tigers as part of the Cabrera-Dontrelle Willis trade.

 

"Obviously, we have to [improve] as a team," Gonzalez said. "It's not going to be an individual thing, and we have to instill pride into it and say, 'Hey, let's take care of the baseball.' Because, you know, we won 71 games last year and we led the league in errors.

 

"If we could have just eliminated 30 of those errors or 40, I'm not saying we'd have won the division, but you know [in 2007], we could have won 80 games maybe, or 75 games."

 

Tiger factor: December's blockbuster trade with the Tigers has restocked the Marlins with at least three players who are expected to make the squad on Opening Day.

 

Rabelo will compete at catcher, while 20-year-old Cameron Maybin will have every chance to win the starting center-field job.

 

Left-handed pitcher Andrew Miller is envisioned as a top-of-the-rotation starter. If he throws well, there is a chance Miller could get the nod to pitch on Opening Day. The field is that wide open.

 

Rabelo caught Miller in Detroit, and he sees a lot of talent.

 

"His stuff is electric," Rabelo said. "I had the opportunity to catch him a lot last year. He's got very good stuff. He throws hard. His pitches have got a lot of movement. He's a great guy, a great person and a good teammate."

 

Maybin saw limited action with the Tigers late last season after he was brought up.

 

Listed at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, Maybin is one of those rare baseball talents who combines great speed with power potential.

 

"He's a super freak," Rabelo said. "From what I've seen, his upside is unbelievable. But most of all, for as young as he is, he's got a great head on his shoulders. I think that's going to make him just blossom."

 

FanFest approaching: Details are still being mapped out for the upcoming FanFest.

 

FanFest will be held at Dolphin Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 9. It is also the first day that individual game tickets will go on sale. Tickets will be available at www.floridamarlins.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


no suprise here, we knew the organizaton would get on gonzalez to focus in on this and send an early message in spring.

 

When you look at it though, Maybin and Castillo are the only real defensive upgrades we have recieved and we don't know if they will even be in the opening day lineup. Other than that, all we've done is stress other players to step up and improve their defense (Ramirez, Jacobs, Hermida all need to improve) which isn't the same as going out and getting better defensive players.

 

Edit: a Robelo/Treanor combo, regardless of how they split it, is better than an Olivo in every defensive aspect....can't believe I forgot him....

 

Even with the 3 (Robelo, Castillo, Maybin) it's not going to be enough to make us an average defensive team but with them alone we probably dragged ourselves out of the bottom 3 in the league. The rest of the guys are going to have to be improved or replaced if we want to return to an above average status.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having a third baseman who can play his position at an average or above above level automatically makes Ramirez a far better shortstop, which is not say we know yet who the third baseman will be, or even if it will be either Castillo or Cantu, but there's no guarantee, except for range on Castillo's part, that they will bring improved defense to that position.

 

The entire outfield needs to step it up and it remains to be seen what kind of improvement Maybin is in 2008. Hermida showed improvement towards the end of last season but has a long way to go to be even average nevermind (we hope) the player he was projected to be. And same is true of Willingham, who has terrible range towards center which only puts more pressure there. My sense is Ross is better defensively than Willingham and with better range but I can't quantify that (not really enough playing time) and he still has to prove his wickedly improved bat in '07 wasn't a fluke. There's really nothing in his historical numbers to say this was predictable but some players take longer to develop than others and he might be one of them.

 

Rabelo appears to be a step up defensively from everything I've read and we have Baker and Hoover waiting in the wings should the current tandem fail. Neither players are guys you build a team around but either could step in if either Treanor or Rabelo either play their way off the team or are injured.

 

So I'm not sure where this improvement comes from without a defensive third baseman, or for that matter a centerfielder (I still would like Maybin to at least start the season in the minors). Kansas City has a ton of extra CF talent at the major league and high minor league levels, they seem a natural to trade with, but you never hear their name mentioned in the same breath as the Marlins so I wouldn't count on anything there. There's a lot of work to be done to get even minimally better compared to the rest of the League.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

defense and team chemistry is every bit as important as having guys who hit with alot of power...and if you cant see that...you lost your vision in the muck of offensive statistics

team chemistry is overrated

 

winning breeds good chemistry

 

having guys like Paul Lo Duca, Juan Pierre and Sean Casey won't take your team to the next level

Link to comment
Share on other sites

defense and team chemistry is every bit as important as having guys who hit with alot of power...and if you cant see that...you lost your vision in the muck of offensive statistics

 

Relative to their importance to the Marlins in 07, defense is like Alfredo Amezaga, and chemistry is like John Gall. Guys who can hit for alot of power are like Hanley Ramirez.

 

What I am trying to say is defense is kind of important, chemistry is not at all important in the least, and guys who hit for power are extremely, retardly important.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

defense and team chemistry is every bit as important as having guys who hit with alot of power...and if you cant see that...you lost your vision in the muck of offensive statistics

 

Relative to their importance to the Marlins in 07, defense is like Alfredo Amezaga, and chemistry is like John Gall. Guys who can hit for alot of power are like Hanley Ramirez.

 

What I am trying to say is defense is kind of important, chemistry is not at all important in the least, and guys who hit for power are extremely, retardly important.

 

 

Okay. I get it. You have been working for the Yankees the last 7 or 8 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest CrimsonCane

defense and team chemistry is every bit as important as having guys who hit with alot of power...and if you cant see that...you lost your vision in the muck of offensive statistics

 

Relative to their importance to the Marlins in 07, defense is like Alfredo Amezaga, and chemistry is like John Gall. Guys who can hit for alot of power are like Hanley Ramirez.

 

What I am trying to say is defense is kind of important, chemistry is not at all important in the least, and guys who hit for power are extremely, retardly important.

 

 

Okay. I get it. You have been working for the Yankees the last 7 or 8 years.

That's weird, I don't recall him saying that ridiculously overpaying for veteran starting pitchers in their decline is the Hanley Ramirez of offseason goals.

 

Add me to the list of people who think chemistry is largely an afterthought. There have definitely been teams that have won without chemisty and who couldn't stand each other. If that's the case, then logic holds there ought to be teams with chemistry that didn't succeed. How many times have you ever heard, "They're terrible, but man do they ever have some great chemistry."

 

Winning --> Chemistry (That's the direction of the reaction, not the other way around)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

defense and team chemistry is every bit as important as having guys who hit with alot of power...and if you cant see that...you lost your vision in the muck of offensive statistics

 

Relative to their importance to the Marlins in 07, defense is like Alfredo Amezaga, and chemistry is like John Gall. Guys who can hit for alot of power are like Hanley Ramirez.

 

What I am trying to say is defense is kind of important, chemistry is not at all important in the least, and guys who hit for power are extremely, retardly important.

 

Okay. I get it. You have been working for the Yankees the last 7 or 8 years.

That's weird, I don't recall him saying that ridiculously overpaying for veteran starting pitchers in their decline is the Hanley Ramirez of offseason goals.

 

Add me to the list of people who think chemistry is largely an afterthought. There have definitely been teams that have won without chemisty and who couldn't stand each other. If that's the case, then logic holds there ought to be teams with chemistry that didn't succeed. How many times have you ever heard, "They're terrible, but man do they ever have some great chemistry."

 

Winning --> Chemistry (That's the direction of the reaction, not the other way around)

 

I don't rank chemistry real high on my list, at least in the broader definition of the term. It's a plus if it turns out the team has it, but as long as players aren't at each other's throats and are working together for a common goal and not for their individual numbers and paychecks.... That's true team chemistry. However, defense is top priority. And I widen my definition of defense to include pitching, just to clear that up. If a team can put up decent offensive numbers but dosen't work together in the field and end up at the bottom of the list in almost every defensive category, then they end up at the bottom of the standings in their division. Especially teams that are built around defense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cantu is a butcher at 3b

 

I hope Castillo wins the job

 

Because?

 

Besides eating the most sunflower seeds in a minute, Jose Castillo has shown no other skill. He has done nothing at the major leage level but shoot himself in the foot.

He's much better defensively and Cantu is an absolute butcher in the field. At this point I think his defense + whatever he brings to the table will be more important to the team everyday than Cantu's offense + his no defense.

 

I also think Castillo has a little bit of upside to him, but that thinking is definitely in the minority. When we moved Cabs, the one thing that was a given was that we would improve defense at the hotcorner. Now it looks like it could be the same or even worse if Cantu is over there.

 

It's too bad Brett Carroll gave up 3b duties a few years ago

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cantu is a butcher at 3b

 

I hope Castillo wins the job

 

Because?

 

Besides eating the most sunflower seeds in a minute, Jose Castillo has shown no other skill. He has done nothing at the major leage level but shoot himself in the foot.

too bad Brett Carroll gave up 3b duties a few years ago

 

Agreed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



×
×
  • Create New...