CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

No Previous Article
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Team Health Reports: T... (03/08)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Team Health Reports: S... (03/10)
No Next Article

March 9, 2004

Team Health Reports

Florida Marlins

by Will Carroll

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Lineup

CF Juan Pierre
2B Luis Castillo
RF Miguel Cabrera
3B Mike Lowell
LF Jeff Conine
1B Hee Seop Choi
C Mike Redmond/ Ramon Castro
SS Alex Gonzalez

Rotation

SP Josh Beckett
SP Brad Penny
SP Carl Pavano
SP Dontrelle Willis
SP A.J. Burnett

Closer

CL Armando Benitez

Don't get all excited about A.J. Burnett being listed in the rotation. He won't start there, but since the Marlins believe he'll be in the rotation for the better part of the season, it seemed more important to discuss his situation than it was to take another run at Darren Oliver.

While the World Champion Marlins are far from favorites to return to the Fall Classic, it's fair to say that this team is probably better regarded than the team that now wears rings. It's odd that a team can improve on a championship season and yet be picked for third in their own division by most 'experts.'

As they did last year, the Marlins will need two ingredients to brew up another batch of Fish Fever: pitching and luck. Jack McKeon's lucky cigar burned bright through the off-season after beating back Dusty's magic toothpick, but does Ole Jack still have some luck left? Ironically it was some bad luck that turned around the Marlins season; there's a much better and more thorough description in the Marlins chapter of BP2004, so I'll spare myself some typing here.

Beckett's minor elbow problem, though greatly exaggerated at the time, did allow him to stay fresh enough to do yeoman's work in the playoffs. He may just be the guy you don't recognize in baseball's television spots, but Beckett possesses electric stuff when healthy. Beckett is still young and has not faced a full season's workload in his career, so his yellow is well earned. Add in a horrid attrition rate from PECOTA and Beckett borders on a red light. He's precisely the type of pitcher you want on your team when you have a deep rotation.

Last year's sensation, Dontrelle Willis, broke down under a workload he had never faced. As he wore down physically, his glove-side arm weakened and threw off his dynamic balance. Key on his glove as you watch him pitch instead of the high leg and you'll know whether he'll be sensational or one-hit wonder quickly. (For the record, that famous high leg kick is neither deceptive nor gimmick. It contributes strongly to his linear loading, just in case you were wondering.)

In a recent article, Rob Neyer questioned how anyone can make valid predictions about health in the face of rapidly advancing medical science. There is no better case to answer with than that of A.J. Burnett. Burnett is returning to the mound after only 30-something weeks of rehabilitation. This seems miraculous to some, but to those watching closely, changes to the rehabilitation program for Tommy John surgery actually call for returns in this timeframe...or earlier. Much of the credit for these advances once again goes to ASMI, and a team led by Kevin Wilk and Michael Reinhold.

Burnett is already throwing off a mound and could be back in the rotation as early as May. This seemingly uncharted territory is merely the same challenge of correcting previously flawed mechanics and regaining proprioception on an accelerated time frame. It takes a close watch on the cutting edge of medicine to know this, but it's less alchemy and more hard work than most would expect.

Yes, Pavano is the only green light in the rotation. Who would have imagined that Pavano would not only shake off his seemingly endless stretch of early-career injuries, but also get a World Series ring before Pedro Martinez?

Jeff Conine rates his yellow based more on age than anything. He'd probably be more durable if he could play 1B or DH more than he will. Mike Redmond's risk rises if Castro's legal situation forces Redmond to take on a full catching load, but at current projections, he's a fine backup/platoon catcher.

The rest of the team is young, talented, and looks healthy. As always, any player runs the risk of a traumatic injury. While completely subjective, I have a bad feeling about Juan Pierre. As much as the BP Player Forecast Manager loves him, he fits the profile of speedy players that had early peaks, like Luis Polonia and Willie McGee. One bad hamstring strain and Pierre's value, real and fantasy, plummets. He rates a green light, but sometimes you have to play hunches.

The Marlins aren't favorites to repeat, but this has been no repeat of the last fire sale. A little luck and a lot of health can go a long way.

0 comments have been left for this article.

No Previous Article
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Team Health Reports: T... (03/08)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Team Health Reports: S... (03/10)
No Next Article

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of July 25-27
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Monday, July 28
Fantasy Article The Buyer's Guide: Francisco Liriano
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Bochy and Peavy, Back ...
This is Not Your Father's Baseball Road Trip...
Premium Article The HOF Rule Change
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pack: July 28, 2014

MORE FROM MARCH 9, 2004
Baseball Prospectus Basics: Integrating Stat...
Premium Article Prospectus Today: The 2004 DiSars
Prospectus Triple Play: Chicago White Sox, S...
Marginal Payroll/Marginal Wins

MORE BY WILL CARROLL
2004-03-12 - Premium Article Team Health Reports: San Francisco Giants
2004-03-11 - Premium Article Under The Knife: Sheff Catches a Break
2004-03-10 - Premium Article Team Health Reports: Seattle Mariners
2004-03-09 - Premium Article Team Health Reports: Florida Marlins
2004-03-08 - Premium Article Team Health Reports: Texas Rangers
2004-03-05 - Premium Article Team Health Reports: Cleveland Indians
2004-03-04 - Premium Article Team Health Reports: New York Mets
More...

MORE TEAM HEALTH REPORTS
2004-03-15 - Premium Article Team Health Reports: Chicago White Sox
2004-03-12 - Premium Article Team Health Reports: San Francisco Giants
2004-03-10 - Premium Article Team Health Reports: Seattle Mariners
2004-03-09 - Premium Article Team Health Reports: Florida Marlins
2004-03-08 - Premium Article Team Health Reports: Texas Rangers
2004-03-05 - Premium Article Team Health Reports: Cleveland Indians
2004-03-04 - Premium Article Team Health Reports: New York Mets
More...