Despite a disappointing inaugural season as the "Miami Marlins", things won't get any easier in 2013. There have been several indications that the front office will be shaken up, with many speculating that Larry Beinfest will be demoted and Dan Jennings will have more authority and power in terms of personnel decisions.
This past Wednesday, Major League Baseball released the 2013 schedules. Miami's schedule has them competing within the division for the first fifteen games of the season, as the Marlins will open the year in Washington D.C. and travel to New York for three games against the Mets before heading home to face the Braves and the Phillies, respectively.
Manager Ozzie Guillen will make his return to Chicago in May, as the Marlins travel to the south side of the windy city to take on Guillen's former team from May 24-26.
"Yes, I'm looking forward to that," Guillen said. "I'm going to sleep in my house. That's very important...Going there, how I'm going to feel? I don't know. I might feel weird. I grew up in that ballpark. It's like going to your old house.
In addition to the series against the White Sox in Chicago, the Marlins have a pair of two game, home-and-home interleague series. Miami will play the Twins at Target Field on April 22-23 and will host Minnesota on June 25-26. The Marlins will also play the Rays at Tropicana Field on May 27-28 while hosting the Rays on May 29-30.
Miami also is scheduled to play Cleveland at Marlins Park, travel to Kansas City, and will finish out the year with a season-ending home series against the Tigers.
-Pitcher Jacob Turner, who was acquired from the Tigers in the Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante deal, won his first game as a Marlin on Friday night against the Reds. Turner held the Reds to two hits and no runs over seven innings. "Any time you can build upon one start to the next, you know you're doing something right. I'm excited about that," Turner said. "The biggest thing was trying to stay aggressive all night. And when I didn't get ahead, I was able to make quality pitches when I was behind in the count and not really give in."-ESPN writer and Baseball Tonight analyst Buster Olney has recently said that he doesn't believe that the Marlins are playing hard, which led to manager Ozzie Guillen, who recently reactivated his Twitter account, sending critical tweets in Olney's direction. "When you say I lose control of my team, [that] they're not playing hard, you're not watching this ballclub play," Guillen said. "Say we're losing, yes. We play terrible, yes. We've been bad all year. But [say] they not play hard, that's a lie."
-Ex-Marlin Hanley Ramirez wasn't satisfied with David Samson's answer, which was "We just couldn't win with him," when he was asked why it was time to trade Ramirez. In the Los Angeles Times, Ramirez responded to Samson's comment by asking "Are they winning without me?"
-Infielder Gil Velazquez was called up prior to Friday night's game, as it appears that Donnie Murphy's season is over. "I was going to be leaving in a month and a half for winter ball [in Mexico]. Now time with my family gets cut even shorter. I'm happy to be here, though," said Velazquez, who played in two games during a brief call-up with the Marlins last month.
-Catcher Rob Brantly has recently been hot at the plate, however on the Marlins' last road trip, Brantly didn't look as solid defensively. "He's handled the pitching staff pretty good. That's something that's not easy. He's handled the pitch staff not throwing the ball well. Hitting, all the scouting reports say he's going to be a pretty good hitter. Now, we're trying to get him better behind the plate and he's doing it."
-Marlins ace Josh Johnson has made it a goal of his to try and reach the 200 inning mark this season. Johnson has pitched 179 1/3 innings this season. "I'm getting all my starts in, and I'm trying to get to 200," Johnson said.
-Manager Ozzie Guillen has recently said that even though when the Marlins signed Jose Reyes they thought he would be the leadoff hitter, Reyes will be batting third next season. "I don't think he's a true leadoff hitter," Guillen said. "Even though he's been leading off all of his life. He wasn't walking much. His on-base percentage is not that great. It's good. I don't mind him hitting second or third."
-Although the Marlins did not meet expectations in 2012, Guillen still believes that he should be managing the team next season. "Of course I do, 100 percent," Guillen said. "Why? Because I know what I am doing. I know what I can do and I'm not afraid of this job, and I love the challenge. But does any time go through my mind say, 'Wow, I might get fired.' No. Sometimes you say, 'Wow, I wish I got fired because I can go home, relax and not deal with this anymore."
-Owner Jeffery Loria expects a quick turnaround, as the Marlins are likely to finish under .500 for the third consecutive season. Few positions are actually set, and Miami has shown that they are not afraid to spend money or make blockbuster trades to address their needs. "I don't think [a turnaround is] going to take long at all," Loria told reporters this week.
-Marlins' prospects Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich were both named to the 2012 Baseball America All-Star team. Fernandez was 14-1 with a 1.75 ERA between his stints with Miami's two Single A affiliates. Yelich hit .330 with 12 homers in 106 games for Jupiter this season.
Around The League
-Former Marlin Anibal Sanchez kept the Tigers a game out of first place after an impressive performance in Detriot's 5-3 victory over the Indians on Saturday night.
-Commissioner Bud Selig requested on Friday that all Major League Baseball teams in the United States lower their flags to half-staff through sunset on Sunday in support of the government response as the nation mourns the slaying of four Americans this week in Libya.
At Fish Stripes
-Even though he is now a Dodger, Hanley Ramirez's struggles at the plate have continued. Check out his season splits with the Marlins and Dodgers here.
-Miami president David Samson has recently reflected on a disappointing 2012 season.
-How have the Marlins handled pitching prospects such as Jose Fernandez in the past? Find out here.