2009 Florida Marlins Baseball Preview

The Florida Marlins (84- 77) may have a payroll of under $22 million, but they always seem to manage to stay in the race. Although they haven't been to the playoffs since 2003, when they won their second World Series in less than 10 years, they continue to stay competitive. This season the farm is healthy and the team is young and talented.

The first three spots in the rotation look to be fairly strong while the last two are questionable. Top starter Ricky Nolasco (15- 8 W/L, 3.52 ERA, .239 BAA) has a sound array of pitches that includes an 89- 93 mph fastball, slurve, cutter and change. He has a penchant for giving up too many homers. Josh Johnson (7- 1 W/L, 3.61 ERA, .275 BAA), who's coming off of Tommy John surgery, offers two- and four-seam fastballs. Both pitches are animated and come in at 92- 96 mph. Chris Volstad (6- 4 W/L, 2.88 ERA, .240 BAA) is a young guy with a nice upside. His curveball and changeup can put batters away. Volstad's down, driving fastball comes in at 90- 94 mph. Both Anibal Sanchez (2- 5 W/L, 5.57 ERA, .267 BAA) and Andrew Miller (6- 10 W/L, 5.87 ERA, .289 BAA) are coming back from injuries. Matt Lindstrom (3.14 ERA, 5 SV, .270 BAA) with his 95- 99 mph looks to be the potential closer.

Hanley Ramirez (.292 BA, 59 RBI, 17 HR, 51 SB) utilizes quick bat speed and great hand-eye coordination to generate hits. He possesses fine base stealing speed. Jorge Cantu (.277 BA, 95 RBI, 29 HR) is a homerun hitter who likes the ball over the plate. He's got a good eye for breaking balls too. Dan Uggla (.260 BA, 92 RBI, 32 HR) makes pitchers pay for their mistakes. Uggla is a real RBI and homerun guy. Cody Ross (.260 BA, 73 RBI, 22 HR) and Jeremy Hermida (.249 BA, 61 RBI, 17 HR) can knock in some runs. John Baker (.299 BA, 32 RBI, 5 HR) is a selective hitter with good power to right.

The defense on this club is questionable. The infield's best defender is Ramierz at short. He's average but can also get careless. At third, Dallas McPherson lacks quick reactions while at the other corner Cantu is a liability. At second, Uggla plays hard all the time but is a bit below average. Catcher Baker is slow, drops balls and reaches for pitches. He's more of a backup. The outfield is a bit better with average play from Cody Ross in right, Jeremy Hermida in left and Alfredo Amezaga in center.

President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest and GM Michael Hill are adept at recognizing and developing talent. They have to be with the lack of cash in the budget. Manager Fredi Gonzalez, now starting his third season, has grown into the position. He connects with his young players and knows how to motivate them. Last season, he was awarded the Sporting News NL Manager of the Year Award.

The fact is this team has talent on board and they will be dangerous. Don't expect them to win the division but they could manage to sneak in once again via the Wild Card spot. They did that in 1997 and 2003 and won the World Series both years. If either the Phillies or Mets falter and the NL Central's top teams bash one another, these Fish could swim into the playoffs.

Read more on the Marlins other NL East division opponents, New York Mets, Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves.

For more info on the Marlins check out the MLB official page for Florida.


2009 Baseball Preview

The 2009 Major League Baseball season is here and Maddux Sports once again has unveiled their annual preview of this years summer pastime. We go in-depth on all 30 baseball teams as well as our divisional predictions including order of finish. To find your favorite team click on the division links to the right. At anytime you can return to the 2009 baseball preview page.

09 MLB Division Previews

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