Florida Marlins Season Preview 2010

by Terry Bender

Even though I’m a transplant and was not born down here, I have adopted the Florida Marlins as my baseball team.  The team that already has two world championships in it’s short existence is too impressive to ignore, especially for a die hard fan like me.  The simple fact that it’s meager payroll puts them in games they should not be in is very exciting to me, and a reason I don’t hesitate to be among the usually under 10,000 fans each time they take the field.  (Unless of course one of the New York teams is here, when the stadium fills up to the gills.)

Without further ado, here’s my look at the 2010 Florida Marlins baseball season…..

The Marlins start off with one of the best young talents in baseball:  Hanley Ramirez.  The defending NL batting champion can hit for average AND power, something teams covet, especially at his position of Shortstop.  After him, Josh Johnson leads the pitching staff and is among the top NL pitchers.  These two superstars are the quote en quote face of the organization right now, and they will have to put up their regular elite seasons for the Marlins to have a shot at winning the division and compete with the mighty Philadelphia Phillies.

First base is wide open and will come down to Manager Freddy Gonzalez’s gut feeling when the team takes the field in it’s opening game versus the Mets.  Logan Morrison or Gaby Sanchez will start at first after battling it out all Spring.

Cameron Maybin is back from the minors and will get another nod in Centerfield.  Whether he pans out as an every day Major League player is a huge question and may have an effect on if the Marlins have post-season plans in the cards this year.  He had issues striking out early in 2009, and was sent down to triple A to develop further.

After Josh Johnson, the Marlins pitching staff includes the following names:

Pitchers B/T Ht Wt DOB
31 Burke Badenhop R/R 6-5 220 02/08/83
55 Josh Johnson L/R 6-7 250 01/31/84
53 Dan Meyer R/L 6-2 225 07/03/81
47 Ricky Nolasco R/R 6-2 230 12/13/82
46 Leo Nunez R/R 6-2 190 08/14/83
48 Hayden Penn R/R 6-3 200 10/13/84
37 Renyel Pinto L/L 6-4 280 07/08/82
44 Brian Sanches R/R 6-0 190 08/08/78
19 Anibal Sanchez R/R 6-0 205 02/27/84
56 Rick VandenHurk R/R 6-5 215 05/22/85
41 Chris Volstad R/R 6-8 230 09/23/86
64 Tim Wood R/R 6-0 180 11/16/82

My prediction this season is going against the grain from what many other reporters are predicting for the Fish:  I think they will contend for the division title until September.   Final prediction on their record, if I had to make an educated guess is 85-77.

Hopefully, I am wrong and the Marlins make it to the post-season, but with strong teams in other divisions, the wild card may be slightly out of their grasp.  Please Florida Marlins, prove me wrong!