Saturday, October 08, 2011

How the Marlins can Contend in 2012

There has been a lot of talk about the Marlins and how they need to have a great season this year. They are moving to Miami and finally have a new stadium. The Marlins went 72-90 finishing last in the NL East. Their goal this season is basically to be this year’s Diamondbacks.  So I was looking at their roster and was wondering what needed to be done to make this turn around possible. I discovered that the Marlins starting pitchers are predominantly a ground ball inducing staff.  Look at the potential first 4 starters next season (in order of highest groundball percentage).

Groundball Percentage
Chris Volstad
Ricky Nolasco
Anibal Sanchez
Josh Johnson*

 2010 Stats
As you can see each pitcher gets a ground ball over 40% of the time. Looking at those numbers it’s pretty easy to see that their starters should be having success based off the low SIERA’s but for some reason their ERA’s anywhere close to that. I looked into this and saw that their infield defence was rather unspectacular.

2011 UZR
Gaby Sanchez/1B
Omar Infante/2B
Greg Dobbs/3B
Hanley Ramirez/SS

Clearly they need help on the left side of their infield. Ramirez and Dobbs both cost the Marlins 4.8 runs last season. Neither of the two played a full season but if they had they would have combined to cost the Marlins 20.2 runs. I feel that for the Marlins to compete next season they need an upgrade defensively at third and shortstop.
Looking at the free agent market getting an upgrade at these positions shouldn’t be very difficult. I think the Marlins should sign Clint Barmes to play SS, and Kevin Kouzmanoff to play 3B.
Barmes with the Astros last season, posted a 7.9 UZR in his first 1000+ innings at SS since 2006. In 2006 then with the Rockies he had a 7.4 UZR and a 9.4 UZR/150 so that shows that last season was not a fluke year. Kouzmanoff posted a 0.6 UZR last season and a 1.4 UZR/150. Those numbers are very low due to the fact that this was his first season that he didn’t play 1000+ innings at third base. Looking back at previous seasons the numbers show he has been an excellent defender. In 2010 he posted 16.1 UZR and 17.5 UZR/150, and in 2009 his UZR was 7.5 and had a UZR/150 of 9.9. If he gets 1000 innings this season I expect him to have another excellent season defensively.
Now only Ramirez is under contract, Dobbs is a free agent. So Ramirez needs to find a new position. He is the Marlins best offensive player. I think he should switch to center field and replace Chris Coghlan. The defence of the outfields is not crucial because of the groundball pitchers. So Coghlan should go because he is the weakest hitter of the three Marlins outfielders.
 Coglan hit .230/.296/.368 last season. Kouzmanoff had a very similar batting line .235/.284/.372. The Marlins are not going to lose much if any with having Kouzmanoff. Dobbs hit .275/.311/.389 last season. Barmes has a very similar line, .244/.312/.386.
With these changes the Marlins will have basically the same offensive output while greatly increasing their defence. I feel that if that if these players are acquired and can play like they have in the past then the Marlins will be a good team that should contend for the playoffs.
Comments are appreciated let me know how I’m doing and what I can improve on. Also you can follow me on twitter @PaulBerthelot You can like Ol Ball Game on facebook too


  1. Although i agree with replacing Cogs, i dont think Hanley will be very understanding of position switch as drastic as SS to CF, i do think he would welcome a move to 3B if they sign Jose Reyes which is a pipe dream but a good one...

  2. How about getting Ramirez from the Cubs to play third Base? He is a Free Agent.

  3. I do agree with you Jesse, I highly doubt Hanley would switch poitions but really his defence is a liabilty and managment should consider moving him off of SS

  4. I dont like the Ramirez idea, just becasue he had a -9.4 UZR at 3B last season. His bat is great but for my scenerio he wont work. I also dont know what the Marlins are going to spend this offseason and if they have room in the budget to afford him.