A rival scout sizes up the MARLINS
This team does not lack ability, especially the starting pitching and the closer. That's really valuable.... JOSE FERNANDEZ is unbelievable. His fastball touches 98, his slider is 86--88, and he has a plus change. Real power stuff. He loves the big moment. The only way to beat him is to hope he has a stomach virus.... HENDERSON ALVAREZ pitched that no-hitter at the end of the year, but he's still coming into his own. He gets in trouble sometimes with fastball command, but that's just from throwing too hard.... One of the most undervalued guys out there is TOM KOEHLER. He has four pitches: mid-90s fastball, changeup, curve, slider. The slider is the out pitch.... Bringing in JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA to catch was a good move with such a young staff. But in that ballpark his power is going to be minimized.... If GIANCARLO STANTON stays healthy and sees enough strikes, he could hit 50 to 60 home runs. He'll see a full dose of breaking balls and will get walked a lot.... I haven't been too impressed with GARRETT JONES this spring. He might hit a mistake, but the ball's not jumping off his bat. They were hoping he could protect Stanton, but most teams are going to pound him inside till he proves he can do something with it.... ADEINY HECHAVARRIA is a special defender at short, a tick behind Andrelton Simmons. And he's just a baby.... They'll struggle to score runs, but other teams will struggle to score against them. There's a dangerous team here. They could make people who say they'll be in the wild-card hunt look real smart.
2014 Projected Statistics and Run Totals by ROTOWIRE.COM
PROJECTED RUNS SCORED
NL AVERAGE 667
PROJECTED RUNS ALLOWED
NL AVERAGE 677
Miami held on to closer STEVE CISHEK at last year's trade deadline, a move that led to a few easier ninth innings in a 62-win season but did little for the team in the long term. Now, Cishek is making $3.8 million in his first year as an arbitration-eligible player, nearly 10% of the Marlins' projected payroll, and unlikely to do more than provide a few easier ninth innings on the way to 72 wins. Miami has done a reasonable job of collecting talent and can look forward, if ownership allows, to a window of contention opening in 2015. Paying Cishek an ever-increasing salary to accumulate saves is wasteful, especially when the lesson of his career—he was a fifth-round pick out of a Division II school—is that short relievers can be developed inexpensively. The Marlins should shop him for prospects who can play the infield corners and get to the majors soon. Fringe contenders such as Baltimore, Cleveland and Seattle all have bullpen questions. Miami has the answer.
BRAD MANGIN FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (STANTON)
TOM DIPACE (FERNANDEZ)