2010 Florida Marlins Baseball Preview
The Florida Marlins (87-75) are a good team. In the past two seasons, they have finished eight or fewer games out of first. A decent starting staff and some fine offensive players make this team a possible contender.
Josh Johnson (15- 5, 3.23 ERA, 191 SO) has been working towards become a viable number one starter and this season he may just prove that he is. Johnson is a big man with a big fastball that he mixes with a slider and change. Ricky Nolasco (13-9, 5.06 ERA, 195 SO) and Chris Volstad (9-13, 5.21 ERA, 107 SO) are the number two and three starters. Nolasco throws two and four-seam fastballs, a slider, cutter and curve. He’s got a fine mix of pitches. Volstad, who offers a sound arm and fine delivery, could move up to the two spot.
Both Anibal Sanchez (4-8, 3.87 ERA, 71 SO) and Andrew Miller (3-5, 4.84 ERA, 59 SO) suffered with injuries last season. Healthy seasons will allow them to reach their potential. Leo Nunez (4-6, 4.06 ERA, 26 SV, 60 SO) is a durable closer who can go two innings at a time. His fastball hits the mid-90s and his change can leave hitters confused. He alters speeds at will. The pen offers some good setup men and long relievers.
The potent three-four offensive punch of Hanley Ramirez (.342 BA, 24 HR, 106 RBI) and Jorge Cantu (.289 BA, 16 HR, 100 RBI) are tough to beat. Along with providing fine hitting chops, Ramirez is a talented shortstop. Leadoff batter and left fielder Chris Coughlin (.321 BA, 9 HR, 47 RBI) can spray the ball to any field. He’s got an active bat and can get on base. Second baseman Dan Uggla (.243 BA, 31 HR, 90 RBI) is a homerun threat. He has a difficult time against lefties. Catcher John Baker (.271 BA, 9 HR, 50 RBI) is more of an asset at the plate than behind it. He’s a solid line-drive hitter.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez had a tough act to follow when he was called in to replace 2006 Manager of the Year Joe Girardi. Overall, Gonzlez has been given good marks for shaping the Marlins into a winner. In the hopes of developing their young arms, Florida replaced Mark Wiley with National’s former pitching coach Randy St. Claire. GM Michael Hill and his team do a fine job of evaluating young talent and wisely spending a limited budget.
The Florida Marlins cannot be taken lightly. This is a team that wants to win and has the talent to do so. The Phils are loaded, the Mets have a huge amount of talent and the Braves are deep with arms. The Marlins have youth and the one thing about youngsters is they have no limits as to what they can do with all their energy. They are also extremely durable. This team could be fourth, third, second or first. They are a true spoiler and will make the N.L. East very interesting in 2010.
For more info on the Marlins check out the MLB official page for Florida.