Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2008 - Florida Marlins

Another trade makes the teams picks for me, as Florida sent Scott Olson and Josh Willingham to Washington. Florida today, Nats later.

Record: 84-77
Pythagorean Record: 81-80
Third Order Standings (from BPro): 81-80
My Prediction: 73-89
Over/Under: Over 68.5 - Correct

Bad pitching all over the place. The only big bright spot for the Marlins was the emergence of Ricky Nolasco as a top-of-the-rotation type starter. 212 IP, 3.52 ERA, 7.9 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 3.98 tRA, 117 tRA+. That control is new, as it had been 3.8 BB/9 the year before (in very limited time). If he keeps the walks down to a rate close to that then he should be able to continue his success. The aforementioned Scott Olson had a fine 4.20 ERA but only 5.0 K/9 and a bad 5.38 tRA, and lefties Andrew Miller (of the Miguel Cabrera trade) and Mark Hendrickson were similarly bad (tRA's of 5.02 and 5.53 respectively). Josh Johnson and 21 year-old rookie Chris Volstad only pitched half-seasons, but both show some promise for 2009 (tRA's of 3.99 and 4.19). The pen had some moderately effective arms in it, but wasn't any better than the rotation.

The offense boasted one of the best offensive middle-infields in baseball, with Hanley Ramirez continuing his slugging from the shortstop position (.301/.400/.540, 33 HR, .412 wOBA, 124 wOBA+) with some actually improved defense and Dan Uggla butchering the ball with both the bat (.260/.360/.514, 32 HR, .383 wOBA, 116 wOBA+) and the glove (as evidenced by his 3 errors in the All-Star game alone) at second. Jorge Cantu came back from the dead two years after driving in 117 runs for the Devil Rays to hit .277/.327/.481 with 29 HR while playing a poor third-base, and Mike Jacobs completed the trip around the powerful infield by hitting 32 HR with a sad .247/.299/.514 line at first. Josh Willingham (.254/.364/.470, .376 wOBA) and Cody Ross (.260/.316/.488, 22 HR, .348 wOBA) added even more pop from the outfield. If only they had some defense.

The Marlins were in contention for much of the season, even trading a prospect for Arthur Rhodes late in the year. Perennial MVP candidate (or at least he should be) Hanley Ramirez will keep the team interesting all by himself, but the organization has shown an ability to compete once every few years on a shoe-string budget so they can't be counted out.

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