March 15, 2012; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Josh Johnson (55) throws in the first inning during a spring training game against the New York Mets at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
In years past, the then Florida Marlins always found a way to find a veteran player and sign him to a minor league contract, with the hope that he would make the roster and be successful throughout the season. The most recent example, who is still currently with the team, is lefty Greg Dobbs. Dobbs was brought in on a minor league contract, just a few offseasons ago, to be a strong pinch hitter. Dobbs has been one of the most successful Marlins in recent years, which earned him a two-year, two million dollar contract before the season started.
Not moving away from their original ways, the Marlins tried to do the same thing this year. The team signed veterans Aaron Rowand and Austin Kearns to compete for the fourth outfield spot and be a right-handed pinch hitter off the bench. However, about three and a half weeks from opening day, neither is progressing.
Spots on the roster are hard to come by this year. There may only be one slot remaining in the bullpen, and one for a player to hit off the bench. That player doesn't necessarily have to be Rowand or Kearns, though. If the Marlins feel more comfortable with another lefty such as Bryan Petersen or Scott Cousins, or even a Chris Coghlan, watch for them to take that approach.
-Catcher John Buck has liked what he has seen from all of the projected Marlins starters. Buck said that he feels many will be successful, adding that the key additions may take pressure off of ace Josh Johnson.-Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who manager Ozzie Guillen has recently said he will continue to call Mike, not only has been unable to play due to a sore wrist after getting hit by a pitch, but also will continue to be sidelined due to knee inflammation. Stanton is one of baseball's best young power hitters.
-According to Guillen, if spring training had a Cy Young Award, it would be given to left-handed pitcher Wade LeBlanc. LeBlanc was acquired from the Padres for catcher John Baker. LeBlanc is either going to be a long reliever out of the bullpen, or start in New Orleans (AAA) until he is needed.
-Even though parking is still a big concern for both fans and the ball club, the Marlins are still on the top of the list in terms of season ticket sales.
-We are the Marlins, GO FISH! The Marlins have denied that this is their new theme song, but they also refused to admit that the leaked uniforms were theirs.
-As previously noted, Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton have only heated up an already intense outfield competition.
-Lefty Sean West was cut and sent to AAA. West has had command issues in the past, and has struggled to compete for a roster spot ever since.
Around The League
-There will not be expanded use of instant replay this season, sources say. MLB will aim for the 2013 season.
At Fish Stripes
-How would losing Mike Stanton to injury affect the team's overall success?
-After being sidelined early in spring training, what type of season will Anibal Sanchez have?