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Marlins are Better than Expected

I know this is true for me.  I never anticipated the team would develop this quickly.  Heading into the "second half" of the season, the Marlins are a half-game behind the Braves and a game and a half behind the second place Phillies.  The club is also seven games out of the wild-card with a record of 38-48.

Should the team go on a strong run down the homestretch, Loria hinted he may loosen the purse strings next year.

Herges thinks this a possibility.

"If we hit .500, that's the least we expect. And by the end of the year, Jeffrey Loria can say, 'Look at what we have.' A couple of tweaks here and there and we're going to win the division next year.''

In order to hit .500 the team would have to play 10 games above .500 for the rest of the season.  This is highly unlikely given that the rookies have never played that long of a season.  In fact there is a legitimate concern about the young pitchers as they are going to log a number of innings that they have never thrown before.

Most of the young Marlins are accustomed to minor-league seasons ending in late August or early September. That is a serious concern for pitchers.

"They're going to go to areas they've never been before," pitching coach Rick Kranitz said. "I think we have to be very careful.''

Pitchers in the Minors rarely throw over 150 innings.  Come September, the rookies will be logging around 180 to 190 innings for the first time in their careers.  Fatigue is bound to set in and that is when solid pitching mechanics are dropped by the player.  Never a good thing.

Let's say I am completely wrong about this (wouldn't be the first time)  and the team finishes strong at .500 and Loria follows through with his hint of adding some players in the off-season.  The way this would be achieved is to unload some of the team's young pitching depth in order to acquire position players (read outfielders).

"We have tremendous depth at that position and we may have to eventually think about using some of that to pick up the slack elsewhere,'' Loria said. "But I'll convene meetings at the end of the season and we'll see where we go.''

Should all of this happen, I still expect Willis to be on the team.  The club has a $15 million dollar payroll - they can afford to pay for an elite starter.  Even with the bad attendance, even with the crappy lease, they can afford an elite starter.