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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
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara not utilizing fastball this season
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(1:02 am ET) Red Sox closer Koji Uehara has been throwing an unusual amount of offspeed pitches to start the season. Uehara has thrown fastballs on just 15 percent of his pitches this season, compared to 50 percent over the last three years, according to the Boston Herald.

Manager John Farrell isn't reading too much into it.

"He's going to go with what he feels," Farrell said. "Every 3 mph is about a foot distance in traveling to home plate. So there's a little bit different reaction time. But regardless of velocity there still needs to be the use of (the fastball) just to create separation between his fastball and his split."

Uehara is 1-1 so far this season with a 4.15 ERA and three saves in 4 1/3 innings.


White Sox send reliever Daniel Webb back to Triple-A
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(4/26/2015) White Sox reliever Daniel Webb , who was called up Sunday as the 26th man for the team's doubleheader against the Royals, was sent back down to Triple-A Charlotte after the game. 

Webb pitched in 57 games last season for the White Sox but was one of the team's final cuts in spring training. 


Diamondbacks struggling to fill in void at third base
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/26/2015) Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale knew his team wasn't going to go the entire season without an injury. But the skipper was hoping to avoid the issue he currently has at third base, according to AZCentral.com.

With Jake Lamb on the disabled list with a foot injury, Aaron Hill and Yasmany Tomas have struggled to put it together, combining for a .559 OPS in the last five games.

"Yeah, that's huge," Hale said. "You're going to have injuries all year. There's going to be a multitude of them for every team. If you can't make the adjustment — if guys can't come in and fill the void — then you're going to be in trouble as a club."

Tomas is hitting .286 in 14 at-bats this season while Hill is scuffling along at .156 in 45 at-bats.


Phillies pitcher Chad Billingsley allows seven runs in rehab start
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/26/2015) Phillies pitcher Chad Billingsley allowed seven runs in five innings of work in his third rehab start in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, according to Philly.com.

Billingsley, who is currently on the 15-day DL with an elbow injury, added three strikeouts and two walks in the appearance. He has yet to appear in a major league game since 2013 while dealing with multiple elbow injuries.


Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez still working out of funk
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/26/2015) Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has yet to put things together at the plate so far this season. Gonzalez is hitting just .197 with two home runs in 66 at-bats and it's wearing on him a bit, according to the Denver Post.

"I'm not in a good place. I'm still hitting (.197)," he said. "But I'm happy that I'm healthy, and that I'm playing, and that we are winning. I think we are having a good month so far as a team."

Manager Walt Weiss thinks he's really close to seeing Gonzalez get all the pieces together and go on a run.

"I saw real good signs from CarGo, hitting the ball hard the opposite way," Weiss said. "It wasn't just the couple of hits he got. It was the way he got them. Those are things that he had been working on. Then, to get results like that, is always encouraging."

Report: Josh Hamilton trade expected to be completed Monday
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(4/26/2015) The trade of outfielder Josh Hamilton from the Angels to the Rangers is expected to be completed Monday, with Hamilton then reporting to Texas' spring training site in Arizona to continue his rehab from offseason surgery, per MLB.com. 

The trade was rumored to have been completed Sunday, but complications arose in finalizing the deal. The Rangers are expected to hold a press conference announcing the trade on Monday. Hamilton is expected to play several games in Triple-A before being called up to the Rangers. 


Dodgers' Jimmy Rollins not concerned with early slump at the plate
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/26/2015) Dodgers shortstop Jimmy Rollins isn't worrying just yet about his struggles at the plate, according to the Orange County Register.

"Well, some people like to panic. That has never been my MO," he said. "I have, what, 50, 60 at-bats, I'm not sure. So if these are my worst 50 at-bats this year – I'm glad they're happening now. (If they are his worst at-bats) it’s going to be a very good year."

Rollins is hitting just .186 in 70 at-bats so far this season. He believes he's still been taking good swings at the plate, just not finding the gaps in the defense.

"It's hard to compute if you just look at numbers," he said. "I'm getting myself in good counts, just not finishing it off. I know it's coming. I'm hitting some off the end, some are getting in just a little bit. But the swing path is right. It's just a click here, a click there.

"The process is good. You have to continue to trust in the process and believe in the process. You get oriented in just results – especially at times like this – then you're trying to make all these technical changes and that's when you go from one to two to 100. So the process is right. Executing it is about fine-tuning."


Angels OF Matt Joyce hopes hit signals end of slump
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(4/26/2015) Angels outfielder Matt Joyce saw his eight-game hitless streak come to an end Sunday with an eighth-inning single that ended an 0-for-26 skid. The right fielder, who figures to be a fixture in Los Angeles' lineup with the expected departure of Josh Hamilton, said he hopes the small start will lead to bigger things, according to the Los Angeles Times

"Sometimes it's a tough game," Joyce said. "It seems like you try everything, and you put in so much time and effort and work, it gets to be frustrating. It gets to be hard to swallow and accept it, and hard to keep showing up and grinding it out."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he will continue to stick with Joyce, who is hitting just .140 on the season. 


Mets starter Jonathon Niese struggles vs. Yankees
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(4/26/2015) Mets starter Jonathon Niese was not sharp Sunday in the finale of the Subway Series against the Yankees, lasting just five innings while allowing six runs and eight hits. Niese was betrayed somewhat by his defense, which committed four errors behind him, leading to two unearned runs. 

Niese was spotted a 2-0 first-inning lead, but he quickly gave it back, allowing a first-inning homer to Alex Rodriguez and then giving up four second-inning runs as the Yankees broke the game open. 

"You can't look into it too deeply," Niese said to MLB.com. "It's a loss. It's a tough loss. Obviously we want to win, but we've just got to get through it, learn from it, move on and play better."

Niese, who threw 86 pitches, saw his ERA rise to 2.74 in absorbing his first loss of the season. 

"I just wish I could have a couple pitches back," Niese said. "But I threw them. The results were what they were. I've just got to move on."

Niese will look to get back on track Saturday against the Nationals.


Nationals considering keeping Yunel Escobar at third base
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/26/2015) Nationals manager Matt Williams will have a decision to make when his regular third baseman Anthony Rendon comes back from injury. With Rendon on the shelf, Yunel Escobar has shifted to third and Williams is considering leaving him there even after Rendon returns, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

The team is unsure yet what will happen when Rendon returns, but one theory has Escobar staying at third and Rendon shifting to second base, according to Heyman.

Escobar is hitting .292 with five RBI in 65 at-bats while slotted at third base.


 
 
 
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