Ricky Nolasco is ready to move on with the 2013 season and pitch for the Miami Marlins. - Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Marlins' position players report today, and amid the excitement of a fresh spring training start are some notes regarding Ricky Nolasco, Chone Figgins, and players out of options.
The Miami Marlins are ready to start spring training camp in full today, as the team's full lineup reports to camp. With baseball season slowly winding up, the Marlins have a number of small stories happening during camp, and some of these are worth discussing.
"I’m just moving forward,’’ said Nolasco, whose agent in December expressed his client’s desire to be traded.
The Fish would like to do the same, but of course, it is inevitable that Nolasco is dealt by midseason, so it is hard for either the player or the team to truly "move on" in this case. Still, the Fish are ready to begin the season with their only remaining veteran starter as team "ace," and it should be a good opportunity for Nolasco to show off his stuff (and yearly disappointing results) away from the shadow of teammates Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez. He has to use the 2013 season to campaign for a job in 2014, not necessarily to make his trade prospects better.
- Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel tweets that the Marlins could use Chone Figgins in a utility role rather than as minor league depth.
Beinfest says could be Amezaga-type RT @ivantheturrible: Odd to think Figgins signing was a good one? He should be a good UTIL guy— Juan C. Rodriguez (@JCRMarlinsbeat) February 10, 2013
Let's not forget that Figgins has likely been the worst regular player in baseball over the last three years, so any value that he brings is likely to be replacement level based on his recent performance. But sure, he can play the corner outfield, second base, and third base, though not nearly at the level he once did with the Los Angeles Angels. There is a very good chance that, if he stays on for a bit, he will play terribly and either be demoted or released by May.
- Marlins manager Mike Redmond wanted to include some old Marlins "legends," so to speak, in the new Marlins' environment, so he invited former Marlins Mike Lowell and Luis Castillo to camp.
"We're working on it," Redmond said. "It's not 100 percent sure, but we're trying to lock down some dates for those guys. I think it's important, when we talk about things like changing the culture.
"For me, it's important to bring back good guys. Guys that I've played with. Guys who are good guys, and were great players with the Marlins. Guys who are great players in the community. Those two guys meant so much to our team, to our franchise. I want to bring those guys back and have them on the field, even if it is just for a couple of days. Just for them to be around."
It sounds like Redmond wants them to be back for morale purposes. Given the downer of an offseason that the Fish just had, such a move actually does not surprise me at all. Maybe the "championship pedigree" of guys like Lowell and Castillo will help these players feel better. More likely, I think, the stories that Lowell and especially Castillo can share about the post-fire sale eras in Marlins history should help the current crop get past these issues.