An artist’s rendering of the new Marlins ballpark, scheduled for completion by Opening Day 2012
In 2009, the Marlins were indeed competitive once again, falling just short in the wild card race to finish the season at 87-75, the third best record in Marlins history. There were a number of positives, including Chris Coghlan, named Rookie of the Year in 2009. Coghlan led the majors with 113 hits in the second half, the most in the majors since 1965. SS Hanley Ramirez led the NL in batting for ’09, with a .342 avg. and a .954 OBP, his highest since joining the league. SP Josh Johnson, 15-5 with a 3.23 ERA, solidified his status as the ace of the staff, and SP Ricky Nolasco continues to show promise, finishing at 13-9.
In 2010, the Marlins will once again be one of the youngest teams in the majors, and they open the season with several roster questions. First base remains a concern, with Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison competing for the starting nod. If neither player stands out, it’s conceivable that Jorge Cantu could slide over to play first, with Emilio Bonifacio manning the hot corner. Bonifacio worked this offseason with former Marlins’ standout Luis Castillo to raise his on base percentage and elevate his game. 2B Dan Uggla, who signed a one year, $7.8 million deal during the offseason, will continue to provide punch, and the catching tandem of John Baker and Ronny Paulino has proven to be very effective.
The back end of the starting rotation could be the key to the Marlins’ overall success in 2010. With Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco secure as the Nos. 1-2, several pitchers are competing for the remaining 3 spots. Anibal Sanchez appears to be regaining the form that showed such promise during his rookie year of 2006, when he was 10-3 and pitched the fourth no-hitter in Marlins’ history. Sanchez, along with Rick Vandenhurk, Andrew Miller, Chris Volstad, Sean West and Craig Hensley, are all in the mix. If for nothing else, the Marlins will have depth.
While Opening Day 2012 is still a long ways off, the Florida Marlins will do whatever they can to entice a Marlins fan base that thus far has been fickle in their loyalty. Their play on the field in 2010 could go a long way towards swaying the allegiance of those fans…Have you had an opportunity to check out www.diy-sports.com/?refId=1110 yet? A great MMORPG baseball game that’s growing fast.. Check it out !!