2010 Season Preview: Dave's Outlook

Monday, April 5, 2010

Ten thoughts on the Marlins heading into the 2010 season:
  1. Can Cameron Maybin avoid a repeat of his 2009 start, when he struggled to the point that he was sent down to Triple-A? If not, then Emilio Bonifacio could be making an extended appearance in the starting lineup, and we all know how that worked out last time.
  2. Can one of the following pitchers step up and make 25 starts? Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad, and Nate Robertson will round out the rotation to start the year. Aside from Josh Johnson, last year's rotation was a portrait of maddening inconsistency, as no one else (not even Ricky Nolasco) could stay in the starting rotation for the entire year. We know the Marlins will score a lot of runs, but the teams success will largely hinge on the success of the starting rotation beyond Johnson and Nolasco.
  3. Will the annual Dan Uggla trade derby actually be consummated this year? If the team struggles out of the gate, I know who will be my first pick in this year's trade pool.
  4. Seriously, why is Emilio Bonifacio still on this team? The team seems to think he can be a poor man's Alfredo Amezega. Consider me highly skeptical. 
  5. Leo Nunez starts the year as the Marlins' closer. I'm extremely bearish on Nunez. If the Marlins are still in contention in July, I bet they shop for a new closer. 
  6. Could Josh Johnson see a dropoff following an offseason in which he signed a four-year deal which in his words, "sets up me and my family for life"? Hanley Ramirez was accused of loafing shortly after he signed a multiyear deal. It will be interesting to see if the same accusations pop up when Johnson hits the inevitable slump.
  7. Who will inspire my next mediocre photoshop? Ted knows, the rest of you will have to wait.
  8. Can Fredi Gonzalez last the entire year without getting fired? Jeffrey Loria doesn't seem to like him, despite the fact the Marlins have outperformed expectations in two of Gonzalez' three years at the helm. And who knows, since Loria's last midseason firing turned out pretty well, he may think it a good idea to resurrect. I think I've made my feelings about Fredi clear, and I hope Loria doesn't get an itchy trigger finger.
  9. Will we see Mike Stanton on the big club in 2010? I hope so, but not if he is being rushed. Remember, the kid is still 20 years old.
  10. Do the Marlins have a reasonable shot at catching the Phillies in 2010? I think it's highly unlikely. The Phillies have a more complete rotation and better bullpen, both of which should separate them from the Fish. The best hope for Marlins fans would be a Wild Card berth, which has worked out well for the Marlins twice before
2010 should be interesting. Baseball is here, no more pretending to care about basketball!


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