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Ex-GM's and Scouts analyze Marlins moves


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Scouts, ex-GMs analyze Marlins

 

 

SUNDAY BUZZ COLUMN

With everybody expecting this to a long and losing season for the Marlins, who open Monday in Washington, we solicited personnel evaluations from three former general managers (John Hart, Steve Phillips, Jim Bowden) and three veteran scouts. Some feedback:

### The rotation of Ricky Nolasco, Nate Eovaldi, Wade LeBlanc, Wilson Alvarez and Kevin Slowey “is going to kill their bullpen because they will have a lot of five-inning starts,� said one AL scout who watched the Marlins a lot this spring. “It might get ugly quickly. Your No. 1 starter [Nolasco] would be in the back of a rotation of a championship team.�

Other views from the three scouts, who asked that their names not be used because of club policy: “It’s a bad sign when Wade LeBlanc is your No. 3 starter. Heck, I would pass on him as a No. 5 starter.�… “Nolasco has gone backward. The only consistent pitch he has left is his curveball.�…. “Alvarez is a better pitcher than he showed in Toronto. The key for him is getting good sink on his fastball.�… “Liked how Eovaldi looked this spring. He’s going to be a solid major league starter.�

Sirius Radio’s Phillips: “It’s a pretty thin rotation. Slowey doesn’t have the stuff to get away with a mistake.� But Hart said the good news is “Eovaldi and Henderson have good stuff. The development of a third pitch is key for Eovaldi.�

### One scout said signing 37-year-old third baseman Placido Polanco, who missed time with back problems in 2012, was “stupid. You’re not going anywhere, and he’s going to end up on the disabled list.� Hart said “I wouldn’t want to play him everyday� because of injuries.

But Phillips said Polanco “is one of the smartest players and best situational hitters around. You’re not going to get power or speed, so he needs to hit over .300 to be a functional asset.�

### The evaluators believe Juan Pierre will be productive, at 35. “He’s a nice place card until Christian Yelich is ready,� ESPN’s Bowden said.

Phillips said: “He’s got something left, but he doesn’t have a great on-base percentage [.346 career] because he’s not the most patient guy. He’s not a prototypical leadoff hitter.�

### Bowden predicts Adeiny Hechavarria “will become an above average shortstop and a No. 2 hitter eventually. I really like his range.�… Phillips: “I don’t expect him to hit much.�… Hart: “I love guy defensively. He’s a special defender.�

### The evaluators bemoaned the lack of protection around Giancarlo Stanton. “He’s going to be in a lot of 3-1 counts and needs to be patient,� Phillips said. “It’s going to be a challenge, but he’s up for it.�

### Some were skeptical whether Justin Ruggiano could duplicate last season’s breakout. “Chris Coghlan has had a great spring, and he needs regular at-bats to be productive,� one scout said. “Give him 250 at-bats, and if he doesn’t hit, then you know [2009] was a fluke. When he’s driving the ball the other way, he’s a pretty good player.�

### On catcher Rob Brantly: “I don’t think [.290 in 100 Marlins at-bats last year] was a fluke,� Hart said. “I’m not saying he’s Buster Posey, but he has a chance for a nice future.�… But a scout who watched him this spring said: “He’s got a ways to go defensively. And he needs to work on his game-calling.�

### A scout said second baseman Donovan Solano “would be more of a utility player on a good team. I’m not sold on him as a starter, but he’s a better player than I gave him credit for.�

### The evaluators are hopeful Logan Morrison will get back on track once he returns from knee issues. “I think he can hit .300 with 15 homers and 80 RBI,� Bowden said. But “is that production good enough at first base?� Despite the 23 homers in 2011, “he’s not going to be a big power bat long term,� Phillips said.

### One scout said Casey Kotchman, who is filling in at first for Morrison, “looks much better than he did last year. Defensively, one of better first basemen in baseball.�

### A scout, on the bullpen beyond closer Steve Cishek: “Really like A.J. Ramos’ arm. To me, Ryan Webb should be better; he has regressed. Mike Dunn overthrows and can’t command consistently.� But “Jon Rauch was a good signing,� Hart said.

### Bottom line? “It going to be a tough year,� Phillips said. “With a lineup without a lot of power, they’re going to have to win a lot of low-scoring games.� But one scout said: “If you factor in the minor league systems, I’d rather be the Marlins than the Mets.�…

And another said: “Mike Redmond will create a more professional clubhouse than Ozzie Guillen did.� Hart: “Redmond is an overachiever. Are they going to make a [playoff] run? No. But I don’t see this as a hopeless case.�

 

-Barry Jackson. Miami Herald

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Poor Henderson Alvarez ... first he was Anderson Perez, now he's Wilson Alvarez.

 

I always forget his real name.Just wanted to let everyone know that I like to spend my evenings sitting on my balcony with a cold beer just contemplating what crazy name Jack McKeon would call Alvarez.

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Poor Henderson Alvarez ... first he was Anderson Perez, now he's Wilson Alvarez.

 

I always forget his real name.Just wanted to let everyone know that I like to spend my evenings sitting on my balcony with a cold beer just contemplating what crazy name Jack McKeon would call Alvarez.

Probably Hernando de Soto or something.

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