Tagged: MLB

Marlins Burning Questions: Will the 2012 Offseason Make the Marlins a Playoff Team?

SABERMETRIC LOOK AT THE MARLINS OFFSEASON

WAR
Reyes: 5.8

Bell: 1.7
 Buehrle: 3.7
Zambrano: 0.7

LeBlanc: 0.2
Rowand: 0.9

NET WORTH: 14.0 Wins gained

Volstad: 0.1
Vazquez: 2.5
Hensley: -0.2
Lopez: -0.1
Net Worth: 2.3 Wins Lost

TOTAL: 11.7 Wins Gained

Now, some stuff will change.  Morrison and Stanton will get better so more wins will be gained that way and the defense is a little worse and some other deductions in WAR will happen, but as of 2011, if the Marlins had had these guys and lost the players they lost in the offseason they would have been about 84-78 or so, so it looks as if 85 or 86 wins are possible give or take some.  Now with four teams that’s not a playoff team but with 5 it very well could be.  I personally think the Marlins could do better than that but they need Johnson to be healthy and Zambrano to be good and not wild.  The Marlins have gotten a lot better for sure and these moves should make them better and should probably work out good.

A LOOK AT THE PLAYERS
Bell: He’s a good closer and some view him is overrated but I think he’s rated just fine.  He will get some saves this year but he may start a slower decline pretty soon and moving parks shouldn’t have a huge effect because I feel that Marlins Park will be more of a pitcher’s park, though not completely.   He’s a pretty good signing and it gives the Marlins a legit closer wand rounds out the Marlins bullpen and makes the team better.  He should have about a 1.5-sh WAR the next few years and he has a chance of having a really great year too, he’s a good signing.

Buehrle: He’s the perfect number three starter and though at the end of the deal he will be doing a bit worse-like 4.00 ERAs, this year he should do pretty good and this year be one of the league’s better number three starters.  This should be one of the better signings of the offseason and he should have a really good year and help the Marlins a lot, of of their best signings of the offseason

Reyes: They needed what he does.  They now have another all-star, who is younger and is fast and can play a pretty good shortstop.  His 2012 should be pretty close to his 2011 except with a lower batting average, but still a .300.  he’s the best signing and should help the most mostly because his talent is the best.  The Marlins will like this guy and he’s a special player worth what they signed him for
Zambrano: He has talent but he’s a big risk, he should easily improve on last year if he has the right attitude but the question is how much and I say not by too much considering his indicators have gotten lower each season and he’s starting to climb in age.  The thing is that he only has to be a five starter though and that he can be.  He could be an above average guy there at best and most ;likely should do his job, for this season.

Others: Rowand wll be a good fourth outfielder and LeBlanc has some talent for a few spot starts when needed and since both cost close to nothing, those are pretty good small pickups.

LOSES: Other than losing a few role players who weren’t even that good, the Marlins lost Vazquez, who is pretty good but they made up for him and more with Buehrle.

BOTTOM LINE: These moves make the Marlins a really good and tough team for 2012 and 2013 but after that they need to use their youth some because some of their signings will start declining.  They should be a playoff contender until then though, but it will be tough in this division.  I could see the Marlins winning as low as 84 games or as many as 94, but realistically it looks like 86-87 is a good number and without the moves they’d probably be about an 80 win team.  These moves could help them into the playoffs.  As for me, I say they’re still a but short but if they start hot they can stay hot or grab another bat in July and they could easily make the playoffs.  They are a good teams and because of these moves they are great

Thanks for reading Marlins Fans! Remember to follow me @Niktigs and this Marlins blog @MarlinsNation1 on Twitter and also Like Us on Facebook Marlins Nation!

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Marquise Cooper Interview

Marquise Cooper is an outfielder in the Miami Marlins organization.  He played for Single-A Jamestown last season and was drafted in the third round of the 2009 MLB First Year Player Draft.  He is from Fresno, California.  Be sure to give him a follow on Twitter @MarquiseCooper

Niklas: What was your favorite team and player growing Up?

Marquise: Favorite Team was the Oakland A’s and favorite player growing up would have to be Ricky Henderson.
Niklas: Good choice.   I’ve heard you’re fast so that makes sense.  Who is faster: You or Emilio Bonifacio?

Marquise: (Laughter)Bonifacio is faster, but,  I’m coming.

Niklas: How was Jamestown and the team?

Marquise: Jamestown was fun.  I had fun with a lot of the guys… the team was great.  I was sorry the season had to finish that way, though.

Niklas: What was it like being drafted in the 3rd round right out of high school?

Marquise: It was crazy because I got drafted on my graduation day right before I walked on stage.  But, I’m truly blessed and thank God.

Niklas: Sounds like a great day.   Do you view yourself as a lead-off hitter?
Marquise: Yes, it was a wonderful day.   But, yeah I do  (view myself as a lead-off man).

Niklas:   What is your approach at stealing a base?
Marquise: Good lead and reading the pitcher until that slight mistake…

Niklas: What do you think of the Marlins stadium?
Marquise: it’s real nice.  Can’t wait to play in it!

Niklas: Is there any reason you wear number 9?
 Marquise: It’s my lucky number.

Niklas: Cool… nice number.  How do you feel about playing center field in the MLB?  There are a lot of big hitters in your division and you could be real busy.

Marquise: I like playing center field and I love to get action every chance I get.

Niklas: How do you feel about the moves the Marlins made this offseason and their chances in 2012?

Marquise: I think they made some good moves and it turns out good for the Marlins in 2012

Niklas: What has been your best moment in baseball?
Marquise: I have a lot of good moments in baseball, but, putting in the jersey is something I love to do.
Niklas: That’s a really good thought.  How has the minor leagues been as far as the experience so far?

Marquise:: Minors have been good.  I get to play in a good stadium… meet some great people…

Niklas: What type of glove do you use and why?

Marquise: I use Rawlings… no reason, it was just the first glove I got.

Niklas: Sweet, that was my first glove too.

Niklas: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen in the minors so far?
Marquise: (Laughter) Funniest thing so far happened this past year on the road when I was on the bus.  We had a joke off and it was hilarious… classic moment!

Niklas: That had to have been funny!  Best MLB Stadium…

Marquise:  My favorite stadium has to be Angel Stadium because I had a pre-draft workout there and it was really nice!

Niklas: Best MLB Player Ever

Marquise: Hank Aaron

Niklas: Best Marlins Player right now
Marquise: I would say Mike Stanton.
Niklas: Best Game you’ve ever played in

Marquise: Hmmm… I would say early in the year (2011) in Jamestown.   I went like 4-5 with a couple of stolen bases and a diving catch.

Niklas: Sounds like your style of play.  So who wins the 2012 World Series?
Marquise: Hopefully the Miami Marlins.   They got my vote!

Niklas: Favorite Vacation Spot

Marquise: Vegas

Niklas: That wraps it up.  Thanks so much Marquise and good luck in 2012!

Marquise: No problem and thank you.  You take care.

This Interview was done by Niklas Jarvinen, follow him on Twitter @Niktigs and follow this awesome Miami Marlins blog on Twitter @MarlinsNation1

Tom Koehler Interview

Tom Koehler is a pitcher in the Miami Marlins organization.  He played for Triple-A New Orleans last season.  He has been pitching in the Marlins system since 2008, when he was drafted in the 18th round of the MLB Draft.  He is from the Bronx, New York.  Thanks for the interview Tom.  You can follow him on Twitter @TKREFRESH22.  I would also like to thank him for his help in getting this interview recovered after it was lost!

Niklas:  Hi Tom. To start off,  what was your favorite team and player growing up?   I imagine this could be hard being from the Bronx in the 1990s!

Tom: Actually, it wasn’t  hard for me at all.   My father and grandfathers were all Yankees fans so it was an easy choice.   Even though they struggled in the early 90s,  the latter part of the decade was pretty rewarding.   My favorite player was Roger Clemens.   His work ethic and ferocity on the mound are unparalleled.

Niklas: Clemens was a great pitcher. So how do you feel now that you are so close to playing for the Marlins?   This is it…it’s the next step forward.

Tom: It very exciting.   I am very appreciative of the opportunities the Marlins have given me thus far and look forward to helping the team in  any way I can for years to come.

Niklas: Yes, the Marlins are a great organization. How did it feel to be drafted? What was that day like for you?

Tom: It was great!   It is something that you dream about the first time you lace up your Frank Thomas Big Hurt Reebok cleats as a kid.   I was a senior in college and I was just hoping that a team would give me a chance.   I am fortunate that the Marlins did just that.

Niklas: Nice cleats! Sounds sweet. Now you have been a starter your whole career.  Since the rotation is full,  how do you feel about the possibility of  moving to the pen in the majors.

Tom: I just want to win.   Do not get me wrong, I love starting.   You get to set the tone for the game, but,  if they want me to come out of the pen, then that’s what I will do.   I would play CF if they thought it was the best way to win.

Niklas: So how was New Orleans?

Tom: New Orleans is a very interesting city full of rich history. They are still rebuilding from the flooding a few years back, and it’s very muggy.   But it’s a pretty cool place to play.   But from what I have heard Miami is just a little bit better.

Niklas: New Orleans sounds very rich in history. What do you think your best pitch is?

Tom: Everyone’s best pitch should be their fastball.   But, for me,  it’s all about strike one.   Things get a lot easier once you get ahead.

Niklas: Speaking of strike one, what’s your mentality out on the mound?

Tom: It’s all about keeping my team in a position to win that game.   I want to get the hitter out as fast as I can and get my team in the dugout so they can go hit.   You can’t score any runs when your out on the field.

Niklas: What do you think about your pro career so far?  You had a very special season in 2010.

Tom: I believe it’s been successful, but,  no one has ever been remembered for what they did in the minors, not even Crash Davis.  2010 was great, but,  I don’t want to be remembered for 2010.   I want to have a respectable big league career to talk about.

Niklas: Yes. Very true. What do you think will happen for you in 2012? Give me a prediction…

Tom: The only thing that I can predict is what I can control, and,  that is I will give it my all everyday and compete in all situations.

Niklas: Ok. What do you think about pitching in the NL East. There are some good teams and scary hitters.

Tom: Good, yes.  Scary, no.  It will be like pitching anywhere else. You have to trust your stuff, trust your catcher and trust your preparation.  Then everything else takes care of it self.   Respect all and fear no one.

Niklas: You are very focused  and sound like you have the attitude you need to be a pitcher. Now on a lighter side. What’s the funniest thing you have seen in the minors, or have done.

Tom: One of the funnier things I’ve done was win the dance off at a Hornets game. However, the  most funny things that go on have to stay in the locker room.   Let’s just say there has been some good victory dances and bus trips.

Niklas: I know. I have heard some stories of riding the bus. What did you think of the Marlins offseason?

Tom: It’s been very exciting.   They have gone out and made some serious moves. Hopefully it draws in more fans and puts a great product on the field.

Niklas: I think it should. So do you think the new ballpark will be a pitchers park? Do you like it?

Tom: I actually have not seen the park, but,  it looks very colorful and very nice and from what reports are its unlike another park. It was the perfect way to end a long season.

Niklas: Did you ever pay much attention to scouts or even a GM who might want you as part of a deal?

Tom: No it’s a business, that’s not something we as ball players can worry about. If something were to happen then you have to deal with it.

Niklas: Ok, now did you know you shared a birthday with a baseball great??? If not, take one guess.

Tom: Hammerin Harmon(Harmon Killebrew), no I had no clue but I just looked it up when you asked me that question, that’s pretty cool.

Niklas: Ok. Cheater…(Laughter). Rapid fire time.

Niklas: Favorite MLB Stadium

Tom: Old Yankee Stadium

Niklas: Best team that you ever saw

Tom: 1998 Yankees that went 114-48

Niklas: Best hitter and best pitcher in the MLB

Tom: Albert Pujols and Roy Halladay

Niklas: Best MLB Game you ever saw?

Tom: Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.

Niklas: Favorite food?

Tom: My moms baked Ziti.

Niklas: Super Bowl pick

Tom: The New York Football Giants

Interview was taken by Niktigs, be sure to follow me on Twitter @Niktigs and this awesome Marlins blog on Twitter @Marlinsnation1

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Christian Yelich Interview

Christian Yelich is an outfielder in the Miami Marlins organization.  He was named their top prospect by Baseball America and he played for the Greensboro Grasshoppers last season.  I want to wish Yelich the best of  luck and I thank him for his time. Please Follow Him on Twitter @ChristianYelich

Niklas: What did it feel like being a first round draft pick?

Yelich: It was such a good feeling and something I’m proud of to this day.

Niklas: What’s it like being the top prospect according to Baseball America?

Yelich: It’s an honor.   I’ve worked hard for it, but with that being said,  I need to continue working hard to get better and improve my game.

Niklas: Yes, I don’t know if you saw our website, but,  we have a video of you hitting a walk-off home run for Greensboro.   How did that feel?


Yelich: That was actually the first time I hit a walk-off homer and it came at a good time.  That was the best game I’ve been a part of.  Hopefully it sparked our run in the playoffs.

Niklas: Hard to believe that was your first walk-off HR, How was Greensboro?  How about the team?

Yelich: Greensboro was a great place to play and we had a good group of guys who played hard every night.

Niklas: Seems like it was fun.  How was the transition from first base to the outfield?

Yelich: I never actually played a lot of first base but I was labeled as one.  The transition to the outfield is going well and I’ve been working at it with our outfield coordinator.

Niklas:  What is your best tool… your speed, power, fielding, or hitting ability?
Yelich: I’d say my hitting ability but also my ability to be a balanced offensive player and steal some bases and hit some home runs

Niklas: So what’s your mentality going to the plate?

Yelich: I’m just trying to get a good pitch and hit it hard and I feel if I can do that, the results will be there in the end.

Niklas: What has been your best moment in baseball up to this point?
Yelich: Winning the SAL championship this year.  There’s nothing like winning it and it was a great group of guys to play with.

Niklas: You seem like you were on a great team.  What was your favorite team and player growing up?
Yelich: The Yankees growing up because of Derek Jeter.  I liked how he carried himself on and off the field.  He is a class act.

Niklas:  So watching them lose in the 2011 ALDS must
not have been fun for you.  Who’s stronger, you or Stanton?
Yelich: Definitely Stanton.  (Laughter)

Niklas: Who’s the funniest player (or manager) on the Marlins?
Yelich: Gotta say LoMo.   I don’t know him well,  but  the times we have talked, he’s been hilarious.

Niklas: I can only imagine what was said.  So how has your MLB experience been so far?

Yelich: It’s been great.  I’ve learned a lot so far and I believe I’ve improved as a player.

Niklas: What does 2012 behold?  Are you going to spring training?  What level will you start at?
Yelich: I’m not going to big league camp, and, I’m not sure what level I’ll be a.   I’ll know once camp breaks.

Niklas: What do you think of the new Marlins ballpark?  Will it be a hitters park?

Yelich: From the pictures I’ve seen it looks nice.  As far as a hitters park, I can only hope, but, we’ll see.

Niklas: Would you rather hit a walk off Grand Slam with your team down by three or make a diving catch that saves the game?

Yelich: In reality,  either one because we would’ve won.   But, for the purpose of the question, I’d say a Grand Slam…

Niklas: Favorite MLB Stadium
Yelich: Yankee Stadium
Niklas: Best Team You Ever Saw
Yelich: 1998 Yankees

Niklas: Second Marlin to say that team…Best Hitter and Pitcher in the MLB
Yelich: Pujols as a hitter and Cliff Lee as a pitcher

Niklas: Good choices.  Best MLB game you ever saw
Yelich: Game 6 of 2011 World Series

Niklas:Favorite food

Yelich: Mexican
Niklas: Super Bowl Pick

Yelich: Patriots… Tom Brady is a proven winner and he’s married to a super model.
Niklas: Can’t argue with the second thing you said, though, I’ll be pulling for the Giants

Niklas: Thanks so much for your time Christian.   Best of luck, and I know I will see you on the Marlins soon!

Yelich: No problem, I appreciate it.

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Beau Wright Interview

Beau Wright Pitching

Beau Wright is a Left-Handed Pitcher in the Miami Marlins organization.  He was drafted in the 48th Round of the 2011 MLB Draft and pitched eleven games, six starts  in rookie ball last year, putting up a 3.98 ERA.  Wright was previously drafted by the Twins in 2009 and is from Los Alamitos, California.  I would like to wish good luck to Beau in 2012 working his way up the system to the show.  Thanks for a great interview Beau, and enjoy!  Follow him on Twitter @BeauLeft34

THE INTERVIEW

Niklas: What was your favorite team growing up?  Being from Cali there were a lot of options.  Who is  your favorite player?
Beau Wright: I was always a Dodger fan because I was always on the Dodgers for my youth league teams.  My favorite player was Ken Griffey Jr.
Niklas: So the Giants winning it all in 2010 must have not been fun.
BW: Well, when they won it wasn’t too fun but my uncle works for them so I was happy for him
Niklas: Sounds cool for your uncle… Speaking of the World Series, what do you think of the Marlin’s moves and their chances to win it all?
BW: I like the moves,  anyone would.  As for the World Series,  anyone has a shot in my book.  It’s all about putting it all together

Niklas: Funnier  person, LoMo or Ozzie?
BW: I would have to go Ozzie.

Niklas: Yeah, that Soto mask kick puts him over the top.  So what have these last few months been like being drafted and all?

BW: Well since being drafted in the summer of 2010 it’s a great honor and it’s was even better being drafted  the second time.

Niklas:  Yes it’s every baseball players dream.  Now, you were both a starter and reliever last year.  What role do you like better?

BW: I like to start but relieving and closing is just as fun.  Just anytime I’m on the mound is fun for me.  (Laughter)

Niklas: So you could see yourself as a closer?  I like it, the next Billy Wagner, right?
BW: I could and as for the comparison I like it but,  I think our styles our different which suits me better for starting.

Niklas: Yeah, so what was Jupiter like?  Better than California?  Also, How did you like the team?
BW: Jupiter is nice, definitely a different scene for me but nothing is better than Cali!  I loved our team… really good group of guys.  We should have won the GCL championship though!!(The GCL championship was between the GCL Marlins and GCL Yankees)
Niklas:  So, how about your best moment in baseball… could be Little League, high school, college or pro ball.

BW: To this day, it is my no-hitter vs. Lakewood High School.  I struck out 16 and it was for an American Legion final and I was only a sophomore.  That performance really put me on the radar.
Niklas: Oh man, that sounds amazing!  Ok, I don’t know if you saw Justin Verlander on Conan but he eats a bunch of Taco Bell before each start.  Do you have any superstitions before you go out there?

BW: The one thing I do is listen to Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” right before I go warm up.

Niklas: Sounds like a good superstition  that won’t give you a stomach ache.  Does it feel special to be a left handed pitcher since they are so rare?
BW: It does, we are different from  others.  Couldn’t tell you why but that’s the way it is. (Laughter)

Niklas: Yes as a righty myself, I feel like  a clone.  What is your best pitch… that pitch you go to get that last strike swing and miss?

BW: Definitely the inside fastball on righties and lefties.

Niklas:Okay.  How do you feel about the fact you will pitch in the NL East?  There are some good stadiums, teams, and hitters.

BW: I like it.  Every team is good.
N: Sounds like a good attitude.  How do you feel about 2012?  What level do you think you will start at?
BW: I really don’t know (about the level).  I only have 40 innings under my belt coming off surgery.  I’m definitely shooting high though.  This is a big year for me.
Niklas: I know it’s gonna be a big year for you.  How about the new stadium?  Is it gonna be a pitcher’s park?
BW: It looks really cool from the pictures and all I could hope for is it to be a pitcher’s park. (Laughter)

Niklas: Ok, time for rapid fire.  Favorite MLB Stadium
BW: AT & T Park in San Francisco

Niklas: Best hitter and pitcher in the MLB?  You’d least like to face them.
BW: Pitcher… Aroldis Chapman .  I do not want to know what a 105 MPH fastball is like .  Hitter?  I’ll always say Pujols
Niklas: Ok, Best MLB Team ever?
BW: For growing up so far it has been the 2002 World Series winning Anaheim Angels , they did it all.
Niklas: Best MLB game you’ve ever seen?
BW: Well,  I’ll go with a game in which I was actually there.   It was the 2009 World Baseball Classic final between Japan and Korea… unreal game.  Not MLB but it was  still good.

Niklas: Yeah, that was a great game.  Ok.  Favorite Food?
BW: Curry rice.  My grandma from Japan had the greatest recipe for it.

Niklas: Sounds great.  Ok, last but not least.  Who will win the Super Bowl and who are you rooting for?

BW: San Francisco 49ers!!! Not a fan, but,  I’ll take a California team to win.
Niklas: I’m going Giants.  Thanks so much for your time Beau and good luck in your 2012 season and in your career!