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2013 Fantasy outlooks: Miami Marlins

Michael Hurcomb
Fantasy Writer
  •  

There are definitely dates in Marlins history that hold significant meaning.

Such as April 5, 1993, which was the first game and victory in franchise history. Or Oct. 26, 1997, which was the date of the Marlins' first World Series title, and Oct. 25, 2003, which was the second time the Marlins were world champs.

2013 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

Although, not all memories are pleasant. Just ask any Marlins fan about Nov. 19, 2012 and you are likely to hear some curse words being thrown around like paper airplanes because it marked the death of Miami's 2013 season.

It's probably unfair to say the Marlins' season is over before it begins, but the front office didn't help the organization gain any competitive advantage by dealing regulars Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Emilio Bonifacio to the Toronto Blue Jays in November in return for a bevy of prospects.

Though, Marlins fans should be used to this since this is not the first firesale in team history. If you recall, the Marlins cleaned house after winning their first title in 1997. Kevin Brown, Moises Alou and Gary Sheffield were among a cast of stars sent packing.

The 1998 Marlins lost a franchise-worst 108 games, so if history repeats itself, the team -- and its fans -- could be in for a bumpy ride in 2013.

2013 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Juan Pierre LF
2. Placido Polanco 3B
3. Logan Morrison 1B
4. Giancarlo Stanton RF
5. Justin Ruggiano CF
6. Rob Brantly C
7. Donovan Solano 2B
8. Adeiny Hechavarria SS
Bench Greg Dobbs INF/OF
Bench Gorkys Hernandez OF
Bench Chris Coghlan OF

The Marlins' firesale began last July when Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez were traded, but the the team has been stocking the farm system in the process. The organization is now flush with emerging players like Jacob Turner, Jake Marisnick, Adeiny Hechavarria, Zack Cox, Justin Nicolino and Rob Brantly.

It's just the Marlins didn't add any major free-agent signings, with aging veterans Juan Pierre and Placido Polanco serving as the team's lone "significant" offseason additions.

The flurry of moves infuriated slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who has been looking for his own way out of town, but he is just going to have to adjust to the rebuilding process in Miami.

Let's not forget the Marlins also dropped manager Ozzie Guillen after one year, replacing him with former Marlins catcher Mike Redmond. Nothing against Redmond, but at least Ozzie was entertaining, which could have helped distract from the impending nightmare that might take place on the field this season.

The Marlins have finished dead last in the NL East two years running, losing at least 90 games each season. They must like the view because it doesn't appear Miami will be climbing out of the cellar in 2013.

Bust ... Justin Ruggiano, outfield

2013 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Ricky Nolasco RHP
2. Henderson Alvarez RHP
3. Jacob Turner RHP
4. Wade LeBlanc LHP
5. Nate Eovaldi RHP
ALT Alex Sanabia RHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Steve Cishek RHP
2. Mike Dunn LHP
3. Ryan Webb RHP
4. Dan Jennings LHP
5. Scott Maine RHP

Ruggiano finally burst onto the scene in 2012 at the ripe age of 30. In 91 games, Ruggiano hit .313 with a .374 on-base percentage, .535 slugging percentage and .909 OPS. There was a two-month span from June through July where Fantasy owners couldn't leave Ruggiano out of lineups. Unfortunately, it didn't last. He hit just .273 with a .331 OBP, .427 slugging percentage and .758 OPS in his final 42 games. He still had an impressive BABIP (.375) in that 42-game span, but Ruggiano struck out 49 times over his final 42 games, which is disconcerting heading into 2013. The power potential is there, as Ruggiano slugged .490 in the minors, but it's just difficult to overlook the fact that Ruggiano didn't become a breakout star until he was 30 years old. Fantasy owners shouldn't be reaching for him on Draft Day, as the risk outweighs the reward.

Breakout ... Steve Cishek, relief pitcher

Unlike Ruggiano, Cishek is entering the prime of his career and Fantasy owners should be getting excited about his potential. In 116 career games, Cishek owns a 2.57 ERA and 1.22 WHIP. He is also striking out 9.2 batters per nine innings. Many Fantasy owners tend to target closers on contenders, but there is plenty of value to be had regarding closers on bad teams. The Marlins could certainly be in a lot of close contests, which would provide ample save opportunities for Cishek, who closed out 15 games for Miami last season. Cishek will probably be passed over in many drafts, but he certainly has the potential to be a great late-round value pick.

Sleeper ... Jacob Turner, starting pitcher

It's true Turner went 1-4 in seven starts with the Marlins last season, but a closer look at his numbers show he had a 3.38 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and yielded 7.0 hits and 1.9 walks per nine innings in those seven starts. His numbers did exactly what you would expect from a pitcher who leaves the DH behind in the American League for the pitcher-hitting National League. Turner is not a great strikeout pitcher and wins could be at a premium in 2013, but don't forget he was a top pitching prospect for Detroit, so the talent is there. He is another Marlins player who could be a great value buy in the late rounds on Draft Day.

Prospects

Jose Fernandez has become a must-add long-term keeper after his breakout year in 2012. The 2011 first-round pick (14th overall) dominated hitters at two levels of Class A, going 14-1 with a 1.75 ERA and 0.93 WHIP. He struck out 10.6 batters per nine innings, while walking just 35 in 134 innings. He shows great command, aptitude and knowledge for a high school draftee, and the 20-year-old hurler might make a quicker-than-expected rise to the majors. ... The Marlins have a solid crop of outfield prospects, led by Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Jake Marisnick, who was added in the November trade with Toronto. Yelich is the best of the bunch and has future Fantasy star written all over him, but he's ticketed for Double-A and more of a long-term keeper. Marisnick had a rough 2012 campaign and scouts are concerned about his ability to handle advanced pitching, but they consider him a five-tool prospect and will likely join Yelich at Double-A this season. Ozuna might not have the name recognition of Yelich or Marisnick, but he has power and is on the 40-man roster. Ozuna owns a .481 slugging percentage and .813 OPS in 452 minor-league games. He's also likely ticketed for Double-A, but might be the first to debut of the bunch because of his roster status. ... Adeiny Hechavarria, who also came over from Toronto, is lauded for his glove, which could keep him in the majors for a long time. Hechavarria might eventually hit for average, but we aren't expecting him to develop into an offensive superstar. ... Zack Cox was a 2010 first-round pick and once a prized prospect in the Cardinals' system, but he has struggled to adapt to pro pitching and has become more of an afterthought. Although, the Marlins picked him up relatively cheap last summer, so a rebirth in the Miami organization isn't totally out of the question. Cox also is on the 40-man roster and given Placido Polanco's fragile state, Cox could be headed for a 2013 MLB debut. ... Left-handed starters Andrew Heaney and Justin Nicolino are names for long-term keeper owners to store away for a rainy day. Heaney, a 2012 first-round pick, has serious strikeout potential and could be a frontline starter for Miami down the road, but he has only six career pro starts under his belt, so he's still at least a couple years away from being Fantasy relevant. Nicolino profiles as more of a mid-rotation arm and his strikeout rate is declining as he climbs his way through the farm system, but the 2010 second-round pick, who was acquired from Toronto, is 16-6 with a 2.09 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 185 1/3 minor-league innings. Nicolino might not debut in the majors until 2014.

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Player News
Mariners sign catcher John Baker to minor-league contract
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11:51 am ET) The Mariners signed catcher John Baker to a minor-league contract Wednesday, reports CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

The deal includes an invite to spring training. Baker will be given an opportunity to compete for the backup catching position. In 2014, Baker hit .192 with no home runs and 15 RBI in 182 at-bats.


Indians 3B Giovanny Urshela expected to be ready for spring training
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11:15 am ET) Indians third base prospect Giovanny Urshela, who sprained a knee ligament in a Venezuelan winter league game in November, should be ready for spring training, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Urshela, 23, is considered the most skilled defensive third baseman in the organization.

He likely will begin the season at Triple-A Columbus, but "could get a look" if Lonnie Chisenhall falters, the paper said.


Report: Nationals sign pitcher Casey Janssen to one-year contract
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:47 am ET) The Nationals agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract with pitcher Casey Janssen on Wednesday, sources told FOXSports.com.

The deal also includes a mutual option for the 2016 season and a buyout. In 2014, Janssen made 50 relief appearances and produced a 3.94 ERA.


Hector Neris considered a 'sleeper' to make Phils' bullpen
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:41 am ET) Coming off an outstanding performance in the Dominican Winter League, reliever Hector Neris is a "sleeper candidate" to earn a spot in the Phillies' bullpen, reports Philly.com. Neris, 25, did not give up a run in 18 innings during the league's regular season, then allowed two runs in 8 1/3 postseason innings.

“It will be interesting to see who kind of takes the bull by the horns,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told the website. “We’re going to give some people opportunities to pitch, and typically what happens is the guy that’s performing the best and the guy that’s throwing the most consistently toward the end of spring, those are the guys that will make the club.”

Neris made his major-league debut last August, earning a win with one scoreless inning. That was his only appearance with the Phils.


Report: Mets not close to trading pitcher Dillon Gee
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:11 am ET) While various clubs have expressed interest in Mets pitcher Dillon Gee, the Mets are not in negotiations to trade him anytime soon, reports MLB.com.

In 2014, Gee went 7-8 with a 4.00 ERA. The Mets are less than a month away from spring training and are also believed to be hesitant to depart with any of their starting pitchers.


Report: Matt Albers to throw in Houston on Feb. 10
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9:59 am ET) Wanting to prove his health, free-agent pitcher Matt Albers will hold a throwing session Feb. 10 in Houston, reports 1500ESPN.

Albers was shut down last season because of shoulder tendinitis after throwing 10 innings for the Astros. All teams were invited to the session.


Report: Angels talk extension with closer Huston Street
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:30 am ET) The Angels have broached the subject of a contract extension with closer Huston Street and plan to start negotiations during spring training, reports MLB.com. The team exercised its $7 million opion on Street early in the offseason and "would like to lock the 31-year-old right-hander up before he hits free agency next winter," the report said.

Street converted 41 of 44 save opportunities last year, going 2-2 with a 1.37 ERA.


Marlins announce signing of Ichiro Suzuki
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1/27/2015) The Marlins announced Tuesday they signed outfielder Ichiro Suzuki to a one-year contract.

The deal was expected to be announced once Suzuki passed his physical. He is expected to be the Marlins fourth outfielder as well as a left-handed bat off the bench.


Rays pitcher Matt Moore begins throwing off mound
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1/27/2015) Rays pitcher Matt Moore took a significant step forward in his receovery from Tommy John surgery when he threw off a mound Tuesday, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

"It felt pretty good," Moore said.

Moore had the surgery in April and said he is pleased with the progress he has made.

"I would have thought a while ago I would have been nervous, but I was looking forward to it," Moore said. "And I felt like I had a lot more that could have come out. That's a feeling I've had the last month or so, and that's a feeling I like to have. I think we're in a good spot right now."


Angels' Garrett Richards to begin throwing off mound in February
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(1/27/2015) Angels pitcher Garrett Richards is ahead of schedule in his return from left-knee surgery and will begin throwing off a mound in the second week of February, reports the Los Angeles Times.

General manager Jerry Dipoto said they have been pleased with the progress Richards has made from the surgery.

"Ordinarily, he'd have thrown off a mound a couple times at this point in January, so he's not too far behind where he'd be in his normal throwing preparation," Dipoto said. "It's a matter of making sure the knee is stable and his lower body is in good shape. We're very optimistic, as we have been throughout."

In 2014, Richards went 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA.


 
 
 
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