Rewind the clocks back one year. The Marlins were preparing for the 2011 season in Jupiter just like they are now. However, the questions surrounding the team then heading into their last season at Sun Life Stadium were three. The bullpen, the starting rotation, and the young players actually going out there and producing like everyday players. While you could make a case there are still questions about the younger players on the team, the other two topics have been taken care of (Heath Bell, five bonafide starters). Which leads us to our main question heading into this season. How is this going to work? Are the Miami Marlins going to mesh? How quickly? And will they be able to adapt to the new ballpark right away?
This is where Ozzie Guillen comes in. Since the front office has taken care of its part, now its up to Guillen to work his magic. And essentially, he is the right man for the job. Aside from being knowledgeable about the game, he takes time to bond with the players and desires to know what is on their minds. He may not be your best friend, but he cares enough to try. And truly that is what the Marlins need. They have way too many characters on this ball club to have a manager with his own agenda and way of doing it. If Guillen can appease himself to the group, while also getting them to concentrate every game, the rest will take care of itself.
- We start off with Josh Johnson, the ace of the pitching staff. The good news is that he says he feels good after his recent start against the Cardinals. He pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Nevertheless, with him its not about the stats. Its about staying out there for the majority of the season and giving the Marlins a stopper or starter of winning or losing streaks. He's that kind of good.
- Want to see a complete list of promotions for the upcoming season? Capozzi gives you that here. The Marlins have give aways for everyone (including mom).
- Matt Klaassen of FanGraphs says this week that the Marlins have the ninth best first base option in all of baseball. I totally agree. Here is a spot where if the starter (Sanchez) goes out with an injury, LoMo can step in and play first everyday. This works because Morrison isn't very good in the outfield anyway. So while we can all agree the best hitters in baseball usually reside at first, the Marlins have one of the best situations there.
- Demand for Marlins tickets keeps growing. Obviously this is the first season in a new ballpark. But I'm excited to see if the Marlins lock up Stanton, LoMo, and Sanchez, if the numbers will stay this way for the next few seasons. The Marlins have a great core.
- Matt Dominguez will be out a few days after a grounder hit the side of his face in a game on Tuesday. Ozzie originally thought his entire face was busted up. Thankfully that is not the case.
Around the League
- Carlos Guillen retired from baseball. He actually had a nice career. Remember this was the guy (along with two others) that was traded for Randy Johnson.
- Johnny Damon is still lookingfor a DH job. Why don't the Marlins sign him to tutor the young guys in triple A? And then bring him up during inter league road games? I'm guessing though this will never happen.
- What if I told you the number four and five starters for the Red Sox to begin the season are Vicente Padilla and Aaron Cook? It could happen. Amazing how a team with so much payroll is looking for frustrated veterans to round out its rotation.
At Fish Bites
- Preview the Miami Marlins and their current left field situation here. The team has a very patient left handed hitting youngster there that is coming off injury, but the Marlins are expecting big things out of.
- Please vote on the latest Marlins poll below. This week we ask when did you become a fan of the team? For me its easy. When Charlie Hough through out the first pitch.