With pitchers and catchers set to report to spring training in 10 days, today we get started with our season preview of our pitching staff. Who better to kick off this preview than the reigning National League Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez? It is difficult to write something about Fernandez that hasn’t already been written in the last 12 months, but that is not going to stop me from trying.
Save for shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, the Marlins will have an entirely new infield next season -- which is a good thing they also have Perry Hill lending his defensive expertise to the new crew. According to a Boston Glove report that was published Sunday, Hill ranks as the best infield coach in the majors. He was the only member of the Marlins' coaching staff to receive mention.
Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter will continue its distinction as the state’s busiest baseball venue with the arrival of the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday and the Miami Marlins on Feb. 16. The two teams share the facility, with their practice fields spread out behind the main field. About a week’s worth of workouts (all open to the public) will lead up to a full schedule of games on the main field. The stadium will host a Grapefruit League game every day from Feb. 26 to March 27, barring postponements.
All five AL and NL East Division teams train in Florida, as do the perennial NL and AL Central Division contending Cardinals and Tigers, respectively. Those two organizations have advanced to the LCS three straight seasons.
Hours later, Mexico won the game, 3-2, to advance to the tournament final Saturday, when it will face the winner of Friday's game between Venezuela's Navigantes del Magallanes and Puerto Rico's Indios de Mayaguez. "I'm very proud and I'm happy that I'm going to get an opportunity with Miami," Marmol said. "We'll see what happens, but I'm imagining I'm going to be pitching in the final two innings."
Miami's bench has officially added some more power and versatility. The Marlins on Friday afternoon announced the signing of free agent Jeff Baker, who becomes a platoon option at first base and a candidate to play several positions. "We are very excited to add such an experienced player in Jeff Baker," president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "Offensively and defensively, we like the options that his versatility will provide [manager] Mike Redmond."
Marlins reliever Mike Dunn is getting a head start on the discipline and dedication it takes to endure the daily grind of Spring Training. This week, Dunn is taking part in Fox Sports' salute to the military. The initiative is bringing Spring Training to the troops at Fort Bragg U.S. Army post in North Carolina. The past few mornings, Dunn has been up at 5:30 a.m. ET to run a mile in step with the rest of his group. The lefty has trained, dined and interacted with the soldiers.
Around The League
Ralph Kiner interacted with nearly every important baseball figure of the 20th century and seemed to know all of their stories, too. He was also an epic figure in baseball himself, and he never even came close to wearing out his welcome.
The D-backs did not officially announce the signing of free agent Bronson Arroyo on Saturday because the right-hander still must undergo a physical exam, but his new teammates expressed their approval of the move.
The Dodgers announced the signing of free-agent starting pitcher Paul Maholm to a one-year Major League contract Saturday, eight hours after he appeared in the Spring Training clubhouse.
At Fish Stripes
Trevor Williams and J.T. Realmuto come in at #11 and #12 on the 2014 Top Marlins Prospects list. Both players drafted in the first 50 picks of their respective classes, these two have a lot of hype to live up to in 2014.
The Miami Marlins signed former Cubs closer Carlos Marmol to a one-year contract on Thursday. Here are some reactions from around the league.
The latest inbox article from MLB.com's Joe Frisaro asks about the ongoing Giancarlo Stanton situation, the Jeff Baker signing, and the chances of the Marlins being a competitive team this year.