The Marlins that we are familiar with are the annual laughing stock of the National League East. Here is a look at the current starting lineup from July 13, 2013.
1- LF Justin Ruggiano (current team leader in HR… with 12)
2- 3B Ed Lucas
3- RF Giancarlo Stanton (Legitimate franchise OF)
4- 1B Logan Morrison (Twitter sensation)
5- CF Marcell Ozuna (Talented rookie OF)
6- 2B Derek Dietrich (Rookie)
7- SS Adeiny Hechavarria (Rookie SS with some serviceable MLB talent)
8- C Jeff Mathis (kicked around veteran C that provides some type of consistent leadership)
9- SP Jose Fernandez (Very young, VERY talented kid that needs to learn from veteran SPs)
Ok so this is the best daily starting lineup, and as long as Stanton and his power bat stay healthy in the 3 hole there can be 70-75 wins in their seasons. Is this the type of team that deserves to have a brand new stadium worth 100s of millions dollars built for them? Let’s take a look at some of the talent by position that has passed through the Marlins team roster. In the last 7 years. Granted I am picking and choosing only a few people, but this is just an illustration of what could have been.
OF- Giancarlo Stanton, Alejandro De Aza, Cameron Maybin,
3B- Miguel Cabrera(3B/1B),
SS- Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez(SS/3B)
2B-Omar Infante, Dan Uggla
1B- Gaby Sanchez,
C- John Buck,
SP- Anibal Sanchez, Mark Buehrle, Jose Fernandez, Andrew Miller, Ricky Nolasco, Dontrelle Willis, Carlos Zambrano
RP- Steve Cishek(closer), Heath Bell, Edward Mujica , Leo Nunez
Ok so with this limited list of players that have come through the Marlins system in recent years, how is it so tough for the management of the Marlins to hang out to these players for the prime production years of their careers? Ineptitude, that’s how. The ownership is all about the $ and not prestige. MLB is a multi-billion dollar per year business and the marlins sure act like it. One of the lowest if not the lowest payrolls in the league and possibly one of the worst fan bases if we take the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals as any indication. Looking at this roster that the Marlins have assembled in less than a decade if they could have persuaded a few key members to stay imagine what could have been? How hard would it be to attract some free agents to come to Miami and fill in the gaps in this roster? No state tax, a brand new stadium, and even if Miguel Cabrera had stayed and had the bat of Giancarlo Stanton in the wings to provide protection, there would be high profile free agents knocking on the door of the Marlins to sign with them. Not the other way around.
Just for fun let us make a starting lineup for tomorrows return from the All Star Break with the players that they have had combined with their current roster.
1- SS Jose Reyes
2- 3B Hanley Ramirez
3- 1B Miguel Cabrera (2012 Triple Crown winner)
4- RF Giancarlo Stanton
5- 2B Omar Infante
6- CF Cameron Maybin
7- LF Alejandro De Aza
8- C John Buck
9- SP Jose Fernandez (2013 All Star)
Now this is a team that could inflict some damage on an underachieving National League East, and possibly make the playoffs at least a wildcard spot. Just sayin. Last off season when they attracted high profile guys like Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell was a great stride but trading them all the next off season in one deal to the Blue Jays for far less talented prospects was a regression. The tumultuous roller coaster of the Miami Marlins is a head scratcher at best. I just wish that the ownership would take their role serious in MLB and that is to produce a competitive team to run out there every day. With common sense and maybe an open wallet they could have had a playoff team in the last decade. It’s sad really to see great young players (Stanton, Fernandez, Ozuna) already being talked about in trade rumors and eyeing a way out after their initial contracts. Just an observation from a baseball fan.