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Posts Tagged ‘Florida Marlins’

2011 National League East Preview

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Hanley RamirezWashington Nationals
Strengths: The Nationals can only go in one direction: Up. They added some key pieces in OF Jayson Werth and 1B Adam LaRoche. Rookie sensation SP Stephen Strasburg hopes to pitch before the end of the season after undergoing surgery last year. If he’s half as good as he is hyped to be, the Nationals have a number-one pitcher for years to come. 3B Ryan Zimmerman will also be a key player in 2011.

Weaknesses: Losing 1B Adam Dunn doesn’t hurt so bad when you pick up Jayson Werth, but his presence will be missed. The pitching staff is scary to look at, in a bad way. SP Livan Hernandez and SP Jason Marquis are way past their prime, and the rest of their pitching options are young guys with little experience.

Analysis: It’s hard to predict good things for a team with no pitching. They made some big off-season moves, acquiring Werth and LaRoche, but the offense they provide isn’t going to be enough to turn this team around. Manager Jim Riggleman is going to have to work a miracle to save this team from itself.

Prediction: 5th in NL East

More 2011 NL East Predictions after the jump >>

How Good Are The Marlins?

Marlins Win

After an impressive sweep of the Atlanta Braves, a team no one expected is sitting with the best record in the MLB at 8-1 — the Florida Marlins. Granted, it’s incredibly early to start talking about “best teams” but the red-hot start by the Florida team no one goes to see is hard to ignore, especially when you consider how well they played last year. It looks like Marlins youthful roster took some lessons from their Tampa Bay counterparts by not settling for simply being a good young team.

Now it’s about winning, and, oh look: attendance figures are up by almost 7000 fans. Apparently, everybody does love a winner, even the folks in South Beach. The question is, are the Marlins built for the long haul or is this just a hot start? Speaking of hot starts, the last time the Marlins started a season with an 8-1 record, they won the World Series.

As for the long haul query, the Marlins are built around good young pitchers like Ricky Nolasco, Chris Volstad, and Josh Johnson; as well as great young hitters like Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu, and Hanley Ramirez. Their bullpen isn’t too shabby either. When add all those components up, it’s evident the Marlins do indeed have the makings of a team who can be good, perhaps even great, for an entire season.

Granted, it is still awfully early to make prognostications about where teams will stand in October, but if the Marlins can do things like avoid injury bugs, untimely losing streaks and late-season swoons, it’s easy to see them challenging the big names of the NL East for the entire season, and perhaps even beating them out for a postseason berth — and maybe even a shot at the third World Series title. Meanwhile, the Cubs are still looking for that first one of the modern era, while the Florida Marlins — a team that’s been torn apart and rebuilt more than a street racing-spec Honda Civic — look like challengers.

Again.

That Didn’t Last Long

Pedro Hurt
AP Photo/J. Pat Carter

Exactly two games and four innings into the brand new MLB Baseball season, New York Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez injured the hamstring in his left leg during a pitch follow-through. He’s scheduled to have an MRI this afternoon.

Adding insult to Pedro’s injury, the Mets lost to the Marlins, 5-4.

It’s been a tough road for Martinez since he signed with the Mets in 2005. After making 31 starts that season, Martinez’s start total has steadily decreased. He started 23 in 2006 but was limited to only five last season as he recovered from torn rotator cuff. While he was officially labeled as having a strained hamstring, the MRI will obviously reveal more.

After hearing him describe the “popping” sound and watching him limp off, as a Mets fan, a strain is about the best you can hope for right now.