The Marlins enter the upcoming 2013 season with one real reason to watch: Giancarlo Stanton. This is akin to what the Marlins did after they won their World Series titles, especially in 1997. They purged and got rid of every name you’ve heard of. Out of all the young guys that get playing time this season, only a select few will dot the roster when this team is competitive again. As a baseball fan you have to hope Stanton is one of those guys.
The Marlins honestly could have been decent this season and be in the middle of building a nice team around Stanton if they had only stayed the course. Instead, the Marlins are baseball’s version of the Major League Indians (“This guy’s DEAD!”)
Even with all the depression going on down in Miami, you wake up every day with the sun shining. You can wake up and have a grapefruit on your porch and just enjoy your morning. And you get to watch Giancarlo Stanton vandalize that ballpark all season long like he did the night he faced poor old Jamie Moyer last season. That’s what you have to love about Stanton. I always admire the architecture of ballparks, looking at little intricacies and nooks that a baseball will never reach. With Stanton, you throw that out the window. He’s one of about two or three guys in the sport that is capable of reaching almost any spot in a park with a ball driven off his bat. And that’s worth buying a damn ticket for nightly.
Here are the moves that made the Marlins a candidate for the worst franchise in baseball:
Major Off-Season Moves
So all these teams around baseball are out making huge off season moves, and you sign Juan Pierre (The Bat Boy), and Placido Polanco. Let me remind you it was one winter ago when the Marlins were in on Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes at the same time, and there were whispers that they wanted Pujols and Prince Fielder. Now ownership is just trying to save face with the fan base by telling you they won’t trade Stanton and signing guys like Polanco and Pierre. Entering the season with these guys as your marquee moves is like going into a gunfight with a butter knife. Well done Jeffrey Loria, you blue-haired dipshit.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Do you really want to spend time talking about these guys? I mean I think back to my recent fantasy baseball drafts. Everyone is “in” on Mike Stanton. Buying him as a first round pick. Saying he’s the next guy in baseball to amass 50 home runs. And then everyone goes 25 rounds without selecting another Marlin (one guy took Ruggiano, but he’s the doormat of said league).
And that brings to surface a larger point: the Marlins have really screwed Stanton because the supporting cast is so bad that there will be no reason for opposing teams to pitch to him. At least not to the amount that they would have if the Marlins could have kept Stanton surrounded in that fortress of talent he had around him in the lineup for a minute.
I actually like Rob Brantly a little bit. Just a little. Ruggiano isn’t a .300 hitter, I think he played out of his mind last season. The rest of these guys don’t really scare anyone. The Marlins will be extremely lucky if one of Solano and Hechavarria pans out to be a true player that can stick.
It’s really going to be a long year. Right now this is a D+ lineup, but at least they have Stanton. I hope they build around the guy and he’s in Miami for the next decade. If not, they might as well let the franchise relocate in Raleigh or Indianapolis.
Projected Pitching Staff:
The Marlins are getting younger in their starting rotation, and still trotting Ricky Nolasco out there on Opening Day to get pounded by the Nationals. It’s going to happen. You know they’re going to tee off on him for 6, 7, or 8 runs and the Marlins will be the embarrassment of baseball on Opening Day for sending Ricky Nolasco; ace, out there to the bump like a lamb to slaughter.
The best thing the Marlins could do is insert youngster Jacob Turner into the rotation and see what he, Nathan Eovaldi, and Henderson Alvarez can string together this year.
Steve Cishek is in a boat race with Jose Veras as that last shithead closer that gets taken in fantasy drafts by the guy who neglected saves. And someone tell me why Kevin Slowey is still in a big league rotation? If he makes the rotation I want someone to tell me why you go with a guy like that over a youngster, even if the youngster is raw? You don’t unless you’re the Marlins.
Projected Record and Finish:
72-90, 5th place in the NL East
And they’ll be lucky not to lose closer to 100 games.