The club thinks either Olsen or Mitre can step up to the challenge, or maybe both.
Someone will have to pick up that slack, and new pitching coach Mark Wiley says he plans to challenge right-hander Sergio Mitre and left-hander Scott Olsen to be the guys.
Mitre made 27 starts and pitched 149 innings in 2007, both career highs. Olsen made a career-high 33 starts and pitched 176 2/3 innings, four innings shy of his career best set as a rookie in 2006.
If the starters stay healthy, there's no reason they can't replace Willis' numbers, Wiley said.
"I told Sergio, 'We got to get you to where you're a 200-plus-innings-a-year guy. But there's certain things you have to do to be able to do that. You've got to be able to battle in games where you don't have your best stuff,'" Wiley said. "They've got to learn to do that."
Mark Wiley knows a heckuva lot more about pitching than I ever will. But I don't think Mitre is candidate for 200 innings in 2008. Last season he pitched over 109 innings more than he did in the previous season. If the Marlins plan on being careful with him, I would guess the max number of innings will be around 180. Which ain't too bad. Possibly in 2009, Mitre will be ready to be a 200 inning man.
Olsen, on the other hand, could do it. It will all depend how far he pitches into the games he starts. Olsen's mechanics are sound, so the determining factor will be how well he can handle the defensive mistakes behind him. And there will be some, hopefully not as many as last season, but some nonetheless.
Treanor should probably catch Olsen in the upcoming season.