2012 Miami Marlins Season Preview
The most active team in every fashion during the offseason, the Marlins are looking to give the Phillies a run for their money this season for the division crown. Bringing in World Series champion Ozzie Guillen to manage the squad gives the squad legitimacy, as does the massive acquisitions of Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle. The new-look Miami Marlins mean business, and they now have the lineup to conduct business with the best of the best. Reyes led the national league with a .337 batting average in 2011, up 55 points from his previous mark. The speedster swiped 39 bases and presents solid defense at shortstop, which brought with it a move to third base for Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez looks to recover from his sub-par season where he also missed two months due to a shoulder injury. Carlos Zambrano was also added to the mix this winter, bringing with him a level of production that will be unknown until he hits the mound. Zambrano has finished in the top 5 of Cy Young voting three times but has struggled with his control recently. The 30-year old had an ERA of 4.82 in 2011, but many believe a change of scenery is what he needs to get back to his old form. Giancarlo Stanton, formally known as Mike Stanton, hit 34 HRs in his first full major league season and has become one of the league’s best hitters at the age of 21. He’s known for hitting booming home runs, and hit the longest homers that Citi Field, Nationals Park, Coors Field and Sun Life Stadium saw during the 2011 season. Stanton is worth the price of admission by himself. Miami might be the most exciting team to watch in 2012 and it’ll open up the season against the Cardinals on April 4 at the brand new Marlins Park. The game will be the first of the 2012 season played on U.S. soil.
2011 Florida Marlins Season Preview
The Florida Marlins may have missed out on the playoffs last year, but they were certainly one of the most exciting teams to watch - at times, ac their hitting could be impressive and their pitching dominant. With a number of talented young players, Florida is poised to compete in the NL East once again. Although Florida lost star second baseman Dan Uggla to the division rival Atlanta Braves, they have plenty of pop in the lineup to make up for him. The Marlins biggest asset is shortstop Hanley Ramirez. The smooth-as-silk middle infielder batted .300 in 2010 while smacking 21 home runs - and some considered it a down year. Ramirez is joined by a number of capable role players including second baseman Omar Infante and left fielder Chris Coghlan, who had a breakout season last year. As is the case with their lineup, the Marlins' pitching staff is largely centered around one player - Josh Johnson. Although his season was cut short by injury, Johnson still managed to rack up an impressive 186 strikeouts while winning 11 games. If he can stay healthy, look for him to be among the best pitchers in the NL. Joining Johnson at the top of the rotation is Chris Volstad. The 6-foot-8 righty has a tremendous upside and is poised for a breakout season. Florida also added some veteran leadership to the rotation by acquiring Javier Vazquez who, while at times unreliable, has shown flashes of greatness throughout his career.
2010 Florida Marlins Season Preview
While some Major League Baseball teams are still looking to capture their first World Series title, the Florida Marlins have already won two Championships, even though they're one of the youngest franchises in the league. Never out of contention, the Fish will be in the thick of the race for postseason play throughout 2010. It's easy to find a reason to go to the ballpark when your team fields a unique talent like the Marlins' shortstop Hanley Ramirez. The indisputable face of the franchise has already been recognized as the 2006 National League Rookie of the Year, and just last season won his first batting title and finished second in NL Most Valuable Player voting. With the 26-year-old Ramirez tattooing the ball at the plate, flashing his glove in the field and tearing around the base paths, Marlins ticketholders are sure to see some fireworks at Sun Life Stadium. In true Marlins' fashion, the club is relying on youthful vigor over experience in the fight for wins this season. The team will turn to the young arms of Josh Johnson and Chris Volstad to blow hitters away, and hope that highly touted prospect Gaby Sanchez can live up to the hype as he joins the squad this season.
2009 Florida Marlins Season Preview
The Florida Marlins do not have to look far for inspiration heading into 2009, because the Tampa Bay Rays showed what was possible last season. The Rays shocked the baseball world by advancing to the 2008 World Series. The goal for the 2009 Marlins should be similar; to take control of a tough NL East division and then move quickly through the playoffs. If the Florida Marlins can play that script, then there could be an all Florida World Series in the very near future.
2008 Florida Marlins Season Preview
The Florida Marlins have for the past few seasons been considered major postseason contenders in the National League. Injuries, however, have dashed those hopes for success. Florida fans will look for their team to be healthy this season and will hope that superstar Miguel Cabrera stays with the team. Watch Marlins fans fill Dolphin Stadium this season to support the Marlins to another World Series title in the franchises young history.