The Miami Marlins just came off a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers in which their past was on display. With Hanley Ramirez making his Miami return so soon following his trade to the Dodgers, many Marlins fans were left reminiscing about the past with Ramirez and wondering what might have been. Of course, many others were just getting on his case after years of frustrating with his antics and the inability of those Marlins teams with Ramirez to make the playoffs.
- When Ramirez did return to Marlins Park, he received more boos than cheers. Despite his legacy with the team, that should not surprise anyone who knows about the situation with the Fish. Ramirez's perceived attitude with the Marlins got him significant flak with a subset of the team's fan base, and there is no surprise that upon his return, those fans would be the loudest vocal critics of him. Oh well, in a year or two, he will likely just be another player.
- While Ramirez is heading out after his return to Miami, one of the newest members of the Marlins' organization is heading on its way in. Catcher prospect Rob Brantly had been raking in Triple-A and has been brought up to the majors to replace backup catcher Brett Hayes. Vice president of player personnel Larry Beinfest and manager Ozzie Guillen both said that Brantly is likely to get significant playing time despite the fact that he will not depose John Buck as the starting catcher.
"When you give up the kind of guys we did to get him, it’s because we felt he can be an everyday catcher in this league," Beinfest said.
Manager Ozzie Guillen said: "We’re going to try to figure out playing time and how many games a week because he’s being brought up to play."
We discussed Brantly yesterday once the move was made. It would seem that his best bet is to spell Buck every three or four games against right-handers along with typical backup duties as the day starter after night games if necessary.- Speaking of the Marlins of the future, John Sickels of SB Nation's Minor League Ball posted his preseason top 20 prospects review. From the sound of it, the big jumpers are Jose Fernandez, who is heading into the top 10 or 20 prospect lists of the entire league for next season, and Adam Conley, who has had a nice season in Single-A and High-A and is climbing the Marlins' rankings. On the other hand, it looks like we cannot count on Chad James to develop very well, as he has stalled in Double-A.
- The Marlins have had some trouble in the minor leagues as well, as a former and a current Marlins farmhand have been suspended 50 games for illegal substance use. Matt Milroy, who was drafted in the 11th round this season, was suspended 50 games, while former Marlins second round pick Bryan Berglund, was also suspended. Berglund was apparently released Wednesday.
- Looking to the future, Chris Jaffe of the Hardball Times wonders if Mark Buehrle has the stuff to reach 300 wins. I'd be inclined to agree that it will be difficult for him to get there, he just is not dominant enough in any given season.
Around the League
- Doug Fister of the Detroit Tigers has had amazing success since last season, particularly the second half of last year. Dave Cameron of FanGraphs thinks his performance is reminiscent of Mike Mussina, and David Laurila has an interviewing highlighting Fister's desire to keep things simple.
At Fish Stripes
- As mentioned earlier, Rob Brantly was promoted to the majors, presumably to split time with John Buck and spell him against righties on occasion.
- On Friday, we discussed the ugly possibility of a Carlos Lee return. I think he would be better suited finding a first baseman or DH starting role elsewhere, but if he really likes Miami, it cannot hurt to have him as a bench bat in the Greg Dobbs mold. Except if it forces Logan Morrison into left field.