Fish Bites: Just Days Away

Yoenis Cespedes, recently targeted by the Marlins, hit his first Dominican Winter League home run on Thursday. (AP Photo)

With just about a month away from the time pitchers and catchers are due to report to their spring training facilities, the Miami Marlins will have multiple players showing up to Roger Dean Stadium as a Marlin for the first time next month. With the addition of two new pitchers, Mark Buehrle and Carlos Zambrano, catchers John Buck and Brett Hayes will have their work cut out for them. After being familiar with Chris Volstad and Javier Vazquez, both Buck and Hayes are likely prepared to take on the challenge.

While the adjustment shouldn't take too long, there are noticeable differences between the two pitchers that the Marlins lost this offseason, and the two that they acquired. Tall, right hander Chris Volstad features multiple different off speed pitches and a mid to upper nineties curveball, while the pitcher taking his spot in the rotation, Zambrano, typically has a fastball in the lower nineties range. Additionally, Vazquez, who pitched well for the Marlins last year, relies on his off speed pitches to get outs, while soft tossing lefty Mark Buehrle uses a fastball on the inside corner to compile strikeouts. Despite the differences, both Buehrle and Zambrano will likely make the Marlins a better team.

-The Sun-Sentinel released an article in which Juan Oviedo, known as Leo Nunez during his tenure with the Marlins, wants to fulfill his late father's dream, which was to see his own name on the back of Juan's jersey instead of his friend's. Oviedo had been on the restricted list, but was tendered a contract earlier this week. A trade is very possible.

-Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who has been recently been targeted by the Marlins, hit his first Dominican Winter League home run yesterday. The Marlins had been considered the favorite to land Cespedes, however the Cubs are also seen as potential suitors. If he gets too expensive, the Marlins may quickly lose interest.

-With a new ballpark, a new manager, new uniforms, and multiple new players, the Miami Marlins are being strongly considered for season two of Showtime's "The Franchise". During the show's season debut, the San Francisco Giants were selected as the team for the show's premiere, due to the fact that they had won the World Series with few big names the year before.

-Andy Haines, previously of the Class A Greensboro Grasshoppers, has been named the manager of the Class A Jupiter Hammerheads, after winning a South Atlantic League championship. Former major league pitcher Joe Coleman will serve as the pitching coach on the staff.

-The Miami Marlins will be taking advantage of the speed on their roster this season, as they have decided to grow the grass a little bit longer than the grass at Sun Life Stadium in their new ballpark. The taller grass will increase the number of infield hits. Players who have good range can also take advantage of the longer grass, making better plays more often.

-Third base prospect Matt Dominguez has been ranked eighth out of tenth on MLB.com's list of the top ten third base prospects. After being ranked fourth in 2011, Dominguez will likely have a harder time getting to the big leagues with Hanley Ramirez agreeing to play that position.

Around The League

-Cleveland Indian's pitcher Fausto Carmona, like Juan Oviedo, has been arrested on accounts of using a false identity.

-Japan native Yu Darvish has agreed on a six year, sixty million dollar contract with the Texas Rangers.

-Hall of Famer Gary Carter recently had an MRI which revealed multiple growing brain tumors, according to his daughter's journal.

-The Washington Nationals have extended Gio Gonzalez through the 2016 season, according to several reports.

-Just a good baseball story about former Marlins World Series hero Craig Counsell, and his relationship with Rich Donnelly.

At Fish Stripes

-The Marlins tendered Juan Oviedo a contract, and will likely trade him. Who would want to trade for him, and what could the Fish get in return?

-The All-Time top 50 Florida Marlins using the "Wins Above Replacement" statistic have been named.

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