The Marlins haven’t been searching like crazy for a number four hitter but, look no further. Playing in the final year on his current contract (set to expire this upcoming winter), Texas native Jorge Cantu might be surprised to not get an extension. July will be here before you know it. Talks might heat up concerning contracts and bonuses and all that talk about money. Aside from trading for or signing a power hitting first baseman (either in 2010 or 2011), it might be a problem for the team to not resign the 28 year old (he will be 29 years old come time for free agency). For those new to hearing about Jorge Cantu, he started his career with Tampa Bay’s then Devil Rays as a utility man. Now playing third base full time in, it could be possible he might stick to one position (that being third or first), if the club decides to resign him.
The start the Marlins are off to in 2010 might be translated a ‘positive cog wheel’ that should be kept in motion. Jorge Cantu is now an intricate part of this ‘Florida Marlins Machine’ spearheaded by All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla, 2009 NL Rookie of the Year outfielder Chris Coghlan, and 2009 NL Batting Champion & 2006 National League Rookie of the Year, shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Given a 1 year, 4.5 million dollar deal [last winter avoiding arbitration] it would be dumb for the club to not offer a multiyear deal. After losing Nick Johnson this past offseason (who’s currently playing for the Yankees as a designated hitter), first base has opened up a spot for Jorge Cantu. Gaby Sanchez is given full rights to first base now with Jorge Cantu moving to third base.
Moving up from the number three spot to clean up role in one year’s time, the team sounds impressed with his productivity. For those who are unaware, keep an eye on his consistent productivity and decent protection in the lineup. He won’t replace and OBP fiend in Nick Johnson, but he will damn sure give it what he’s got. He’ll be an everyday player, that’s for sure.
Losing the opening games of the recent three games series (against the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers), Cantu provided the Marlins with a five RBI game going 2 for 5 while raising his current batting average to .320. If you can count on Hanley Ramirez getting on base 3 out of 4 times, Cantu can add to offensive production if given the amount of playing time he’s been given over the past two seasons, Cantu has so far proved himself worthy as the man for the job as the cleanup hitter. The Marlins would end up winning both series in Citi field and at home two games to one.
Hurting his wrist in a game early last season might have been the culprit of Cantu only clocking 16 HRs in 2009. Managing to hit for power, get on base via the base on balls and drive in 100 RBIs is what a Marlins corner infielder should be doing. Gaby Sanchez hasn’t had much big league experience and Emilio Bonifacio has had the lowest OPS of any starter in the majors in 2009. OUCH! Jorge has put up over 35 HR over 180 RBIs and hit 40+ doubles in the past two seasons (his only seasons in Florida) as a third and first baseman. He managed to strike out less in 2009, thus keeping a higher batting average. What would happen if he doubled his batting cage time? I’m curious.
Locking up a first baseman (if Gaby Sanchez loses the job) might be a concern; however, I would be surprised to not find a once utility infielder turned everyday third baseman and power hitter a contract negotiation talk this season.
‘Fish makes a Splash’ (First six games of the 2010 season, FLA W/L 4-2 )
Jorge has 3 extra base hits (currently tied with Sanchez), and 5RBIs which leads the team. ->.350 BA
I say he’s heading down the road of consistent offensive productivity. I’d count on someone to make him an offer during the summer. Sign Jorge Cantu to a multi-year as your third baseman. He’s in the position (at 28 years and still in his prime) to get a contract extension.
He’s a free agent after the 2010 season. Included in this Free Agent winter is player Albert Pujols, Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Prince Fielder, Derek Jeter, A.J. Pierzynski, Victor Martinez and Bronson Arroyo.
Jorge Cantu is entering his third season with Florida (7th career year in the majors)
Marlins: A Bullpen & Fredi Gonzalez Problem
Who: The Florida Marlins & The New York Mets
What: Second Game of the 2010 season
Where: Citi Field (Queens, New York)
When: Wednesday April 7th 2010
Problem: The bullpen, the decision maker.
Up by four runs, the first win of the season was at hand. One walk, one wild pitch, a balk, a headache. I did not like to see Ricky Nolasco hold his head watching his win slip at the seams.
See Ya Lata “W”. For Ricky that is. The Marlins did eventually win in extra innings on an RBI single up the middle. Thanks to a slightly off mark throw from center, the Marlins sneak a run in right under the tage (Baseball = a game of inches). First win of 2010….
At least you changed to the alternative black uniforms. (Best uniforms in baseball, by the way). Fun Fact: Each of the only two times the franchise finished with 90 or more wins went on to win the World Series). I am heavy on superstition, especially in sports. Make the postseason.
It’s a possibility ]from what I read] in articles, and a couple of team overall productivity numbers it could possibly spill the end of managerial run for Fredi Gonzalez. As much improvement in the win column the team has produced over the past three seasons, rumors and fans alike have swirled multiple ideas about changing managers (need citation).
Everyone understands the Phillies have dominated baseball in National League over the past 3 most recent season. It doesnt look like Philadelphia’s success rate will slow down anytime soon. Give the Phillies credit. They’re hot.
Its little changes around the team to help protect guys like Hanley and Dan in the lineup that can help boost the offense and confidence.
Can we sign an everyday first baseman? Is this talk even worth having? Can we input a philosophy in place to establish a championship winning attitude today? Can we get more reliable pitchers in our bullpen? Do we have enough ‘discipline’?
(If I decide to show my face in Florida to see the Marlins this season, I’ll go to see Ramirez and see the Marlins play a well respected team, pitcher, position player and/or all of these. I know I’m not alone here because I have seen Marlins games packed out last season when the Yankees arrived.
Where are we seeing changes? Are there any?
I’d expect (and wish to see) something done with Fredi Gonzalez’ position if this year the team finishes with either less wins than last year or finish the east in 3rd.
Who’s taking the job to lead a young group to the postseason?
Memo to Larry Beinfest, Michael Hill: begin pre planning NOW. Not the team is any way, shape, or forms in bad standard; but acknowledge that in order to compete in baseball right now, you could use a power corner infielder, a reliable number 2 starter, and more importantly a set bullpen that holds leads (8 out of 10 times I’d say). Not one that can make every possible mistake at its first chance with its team deep into the game with a comfortable lead.
The team’s current payroll is now about both the Padres and Pirates. I bring up these two teams because they are the teams in present day baseball that emphasize young talent (preferably home grown).
Johan Santana crushed Marlins hitters all day. Can we see a worse start? Is there going to be worse.
This is a short term repercussion(s) that makes a person like myself calm other fan(s) in any type of panic with a reality slap.
So we finally hit opening day, sit down and watch our team(s). Inning one, nothing. Inning two, nothing. “Are you kidding, what’s the hope for our 7 8 9?” You shake it off after a couple of batter later, select hitters have figured out the mighty Johan; somewhat, but almost to the point where that changeup looked more tempting to a hitter, than a can of cake frosting looks tempting to the world’s poorest dieter.
I know that guy. I refuse to say his name.
Josh Johnson is undefeated against the Mets… I mean the Mets. (See what the Mets did? Their thought process?)
If your on the ‘next day effect’ like every other die hard wishing it was a different feel, fine; react how, where and when you will. Aside from the fact that we dont have an established corner at first base, the face that the bullpen ERA could be lower, or just knowing Atlanta and Philadelphia are the heavy favorites. The thing to keep in mind to lower your heart rate from a state of panic or ‘caution’ (if you will) is that they look better on paper. Hating the other, needless to say is another option (one I use frequently).
Have Hope. At least a little.
Don’t even pose concern about the next game.
I won’t even throw good numbers out there (this team didn’t only finish second last year, but their winning record has gotten substabtially better).
If you do want to bad mouth Johnson and the rest of the teams errors on one game, do either one or two things:
Follow another sport
Lounge out on the beach all day and night with now worries (though there are other way to stop stress and worry :P).
IT’s ONE GAME. Quit acting like a little girl and stand proud. Throw the Florida hat on with pride.
Are you aware this is the 18th year in the Florida Marlins establishment?
The goal for April 5th: Win. This is pretty much ‘set in stone’.
The Pitching Matchup:
Ace Josh Johnson snubs the mound and brings his career high totals in 2009 (15W, 200+ IP, 30+ GS) to face Johan Santana and the ‘Injured Reserved’, the New York Mets. From making the All-Star team in ’09 to finishing in the top 4 Rookie of the Year candidates with teammates Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla several years ago, Johnson is 22-6 with a sub 3.40 ERA since making a return after Tommy John Surgery in 2007. Not too bad? Just Incredible. Think about asking for more money Josh, if you could.
Johan Santana (making the opening day start for the fifth time in his career) went 5 2.3 innings allowing only 1 earned run, going on to win the opening day start against the Reds last season. This might be a good thing to read if your a Mets Fan. Considering this will be first regular season start after coming off surgery, the two time Cy Young Award winner will need to be carefully observed and not over extended. -> Don’t expect a longer start than 5 2.3 IP for Santana.
Fun Facts ->
Johan’s carrer numbers against Florida are 5-1 with a 1.68 ERA. Hmmmmm…….
A few days after agreeing with MLB to increase payroll (in early January 2010), the Marlins signed their 6’7 ace right-hander, to a four-year deal worth $39MM. Both Johnson and Hanley Ramirez are locked up in the frnachise well after the 2012 season (intro to the new ballpark). Very, Very Smart. I like wise moves.
If I don’t see dominant pitching performances, I’ll turn the television off and throw this thing out the window to make a point. Kind of hate it when numbers like these raise expectations. I would be concerned if Johan takes a beating at the hands of the fish. I’d be happier to see Josh earn his paycheck this week🙂 .
T h e S t a r t e r s
SS Alex Cora LF Chris Coghlan
2B Luis Castillo CF Cameron Maybin
3B David Wright SS Hanley Ramirez
1B Mike Jacobs 3B Jorge Cantu
LF Jason Bay 2B Dan Uggla
CF Gary Matthews Jr. C Ronny Paulino
RF Jeff Francoeur RF Cody Ross
C Rod Barajas 1B Gaby Sanchez
LHP Johan Santana RHP Josh Johnson
NYM 1.Newly aquired Jason Bay (turning down offers from Red Sox) makes the debut in the 5th spot in the lineup. 2.Pagan, Reyes, Beltran – Inactive.
FLA 1. ROY in 2009 Chris Coghlan leads off. Hopefully we can see the second half ’09Coghlan rather than the first half ’09. 2. How many games will Gaby Sanchez see at first base? He starts today. 3. OF Brett ‘B.C.’ Carroll and RHP Brian Sanches – inactive.
FUN FACT ->
Are you aware the last times (other than 2009) Florida finished in second place, they won the Wild Card and wound up winning the World Series?
GOOD LUCK TO THE START OF THE MARLINS IN 2010. THE N.L. EAST IS A WAR PATH.
information, citations -> baseball-reference.com, wikipedia.org, mlb.com (mets, marlins site)
Though some people know that I blog on Yankees (Pregames, player coverage, what have you), I’m using more time to cover something brand new to me. If I off on a stat (God, I hope not) or misinterpret a position, player(s), give me a break. It’s the beginning; I will get better. For now, enjoy my Marlins Coverage.
On the day after the first game of the 2010 regular season at Fenway (which is what a Yankee Red Sox game is like every time these two teams meet), I’m hopping on the Marlins bandwagon. I’ve seen highlights of Hanley Ramirez, Josh Johnson, and Dan Uggla; never quite got the whole regular season ‘observation’. Maybe I can appreciate this team projected to finish behind Philadelphia and Atlanta. Not bad for a team with extremely low payroll (which is the least I can say for a team like the Padres in the recent past).
It’s also to my knowledge this team will not only change venues come 2012, but team cities as well (Miami). Good for them. Hopefully this won’t look like Great American Ballpark (Home of the Reds. IMO, one of the most awful looking present day stadiums).
Ready for the team to get off to that quick 1-0 start?
I’ll cheer on the Yankees year round. Now I’ll reciprocate for the Florida Marlins. Good Luck Fish!!!!!