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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
Yunel Escobar (hand), Michael Taylor (knee) still out for Nationals
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(3:34 pm ET) The Nationals will once again be without two key members of their lineup on Saturday, as both Yunel Escobar (hand) and Michael Taylor (knee) are out of Saturday's lineup against the Marlins.

Both players were injured during Thursday's game and will be missing their second straight game with their injuries. The Nationals have not passed along any updates on their status, so they are both considered day-to-day at this point.


Red Sox C Ryan Hanigan (calf) scratched from lineup Saturday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(3:16 pm ET) Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan was scratched from Saturday's lineup against the Mets due to a tight calf muscle. Hanigan was set to make his first start behind the plate since Tuesday, but instead he'll give way to Blake Swihart.

The severity of Hanigan's injury is not yet known.


Braves' Williams Perez gets lit up by Yankees, optioned to minors
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(3:04 pm ET) Braves starter Williams Perez was torched by the Yankees in his outing on Friday. The rookie right-hander was lit up for eight runs on five hits over 1 2/3 innings, as the Yankees clobbered the Braves 15-4.

Perez (4-5, 5.56 ERA) gave up five runs in the very first inning, including a three-run home run to Didi Gregorius. He allowed three more in the second before finally getting the hook.

Perez had a dreadful month of August, as he went 0-4 with an ugly 8.44 ERA in five starts--and that includes a complete game, two-run outing that resulted in a loss.

Following his latest blowup, the Braves optioned Perez down to Triple-A Gwinnett.


Giants SS Brandon Crawford (oblique) still out Saturday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(2:55 pm ET) Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford remains out of the starting lineup Saturday against the Cardinals. Crawford will miss his fourth consecutive game due to an oblique strain.

He is making progress however, as Crawford played catch Saturday for the first time since sustaining the injury on Tuesday. He is also expected to take some swings, though a clear timetable for his return to the lineup has not been revealed. 


White Sox relievers Daniel Webb, Zach Putnam swap places on DL
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(2:40 pm ET) The White Sox have activated right-handed reliever Daniel Webb from the 15-day disabled list. Webb had been out since early August with a back issue.

To make room for him on the 25-man roster, Zach Putnam has been placed on the 15-day DL with a right groin strain (retroactive to August 27).


Giants C Buster Posey sitting Saturday following rough night
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(1:48 pm ET) Giants catcher Buster Posey is out of the starting lineup for Saturday's game against the Cardinals. Posey got banged up behind the plate and at the plate on Friday, including getting hit by a pitch in his elbow.

He was likely going to have Saturday off anyway, with a day game following a night game. But his availability for late-inning duties remains in question. Manager Bruce Bochy did say he only expects Posey to miss one game, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

Andrew Susac will be the battery-mate for starter Ryan Vogelsong on Saturday.


Red Sox LF Hanley Ramirez (shoulder) still out on Saturday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(12:26 pm ET) Hanley Ramirez's fatigued shoulder will keep him out of the Red Sox lineup for at least one more game, as he is sitting against the Mets on Saturday. Ramirez was scratched from Friday's lineup when his shoulder started acting up, and he was not used in the game.

Alejandro De Aza will take over in left field on Saturday. It is not yet known if Ramirez will be available off the bench.


Blue Jays recall Drew Hutchison to start Saturday; Thole optioned
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:28 am ET) Blue Jays right-hander Drew Hutchison has been recalled to start Saturday's game against the Tigers. Hutchison was sent down to Triple-A Buffalo following his most recent outing, a start on August 16. The Blue Jays did not need a fifth starter up until now, so they moved the young pitcher to the minors to keep him fresh.

Hutchison is 12-2 this year, but he does own a 5.06 ERA over 24 starts with the Jays--a testiment to Toronto's offensive prowess.  

Hutchison did make a start for the Bisons since his demotion, allowing two runs on three hits over four innings on Sunday.

To clear room for him on the roster, catcher Josh Thole has been optioned to Triple-A. He is expected to return to the club shortly after rosters expand on September 1.


Tigers OF J.D. Martinez gets rare day off on Saturday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:15 am ET) The Tigers are giving outfielder J.D. Martinez his first day off in over two months, as he is being held out of the starting lineup on Saturday against the Blue Jays. Martinez had started every game for the Tigers since June 24.

The All-Star outfielder has been enjoying a career-year in 2015, and he has maintained his good fortunes lately. Over his last 10 games, Martinez owns a .308 average with three home runs and eight RBI.


Red Sox DH David Ortiz has tight heel, likely to sit Saturday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(9:24 am ET) Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was lifted from Friday's game against the Mets in the bottom of the eighth inning due to tightness in his left heel. Ortiz left his mark before leaving the game, as he went 2 for 3 with his 27th home run of the season in the 6-4 victory.

Ortiz is unlikely to play on Saturday, and his status for the series-finale on Sunday is still in question.


 
 
 
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