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Fish Bites: Pitchers Are the Key Edition

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Another day, another Fish Bites to roll out the best in Miami Marlins links. Make sure you Fish Stripers read what is going on in the rest of the Marlins world, including all of the best Marlins blogs in the business.

-'s Joe Frisaro reports that Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle will be key to the Marlins' attempt at contending in the NL East. Buehrle's signing simply replaces Javier Vazquez's performance from last season, as we can expect them to be very similar. But if Johnson remains healthy 2012, we may see a three- to four-win improvement from what we saw last year. That sort of performance is huge.

- Remember when I endorsed guys like Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt for contracts this season? Remember when I endorsed an extension for Anibal Sanchez? Well, Ehsan Kassim of Marlin Maniac actually has an interesting theory on why the club has not jumped on any of these: they are looking to make a big splash next free agency. The cost of ace-level pitchers like Matt Cain, Zack Greinke, and Cole Hamels, however, is going to very steep. I wonder if the Fish will really offer $18 to 20 million a season for a starter nearing age 30?

- Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel talked to Marlins hitting coach Eduardo Perez about Hanley Ramirez. Perez said he is concerned about Ramirez's mechanics after his shoulder injury. I'm no scouting or hitting expert, so I can buy into that. But as Perez was saying, Hanley was hitting about as well as he had for his career overall prior to the injury (which I'll remind you all occurred when he was going "all out" on a fly ball that he did not have a strong chance of snatching), so you hope he does not tinker with his swing too much to compensate for the shoulder or the bad year from before.

- Dave Gershman of Marlins Daily has a cool interview with pitching prospect Austin Brice. I'd advise Dave to go with bold for his questions and normal text for the answers; I don't think people like reading bold text for extended periods of time. All in all, though, I'd say that interview was "DOMINATION!"

- The stadium is set to open in less than two months, but it is "92 percent" complete. We know that the aquarium, roof, and panels are set. The garish home run sculpture will be soon, for better or worse. The name should be interesting to see.

- This isn't entirely Marlins-related per se, but this guy says that every time the Fish do something successful, he gets a kidney stone. If Marlins fans have their wish, his ureter is not going to have a good 2012.

Around the League

- The Cincinnati Reds have signed Ryan Madson, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports (h/t MLB Daily Dish).

- If you haven't seen this already, Colin Wyers of Baseball Prospectus shows that Jack Morris was not highly considered in the 1980's either. Where is this idea that he was the most dominant pitcher coming from?

- Adam Darowski of Beyond the Box Score uses his wWAR methodology (which counts Wins Above Replacement and gives extra credit for elite seasons) to find out how exclusive the Hall of Fame really is.

- Speaking of the Hall, Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus and Wezen-Ball fame has accounts of the Hall candidates of this year from when they were prospects.

At Fish Stripes

- It was all about history on Tuesday. First, we unveiled the Fish Stripes All-Time Florida Marlins Team third baseman. Congratulations to Mike Lowell.

- Next, we asked for voting for the All-Time team's shortstop.