Frisaro’s inbox, my snark

Yes, it is time once again for another edition of Joe Frisaro’s MLB.com inbox, as answered by yours truly, with my snark included. What do we have in store for this week in questions? Let’s dig right in.

I was watching the MLB Network and the broadcasters were discussing what might happen if Albert Pujols doesn’t sign a contract extension with the Cardinals. They mentioned possible clubs if he didn’t return to St. Louis, and one of the teams was the Marlins. With Florida about to move into a new ballpark, is it possible that the organization would be looking to pick up a marquee player like Pujols as a welcoming gift for their fans?
– Benjamin F., Hollywood, Fla.

Hah, no. Consider that, after 2015, the Marlins will probably want to extend Hanley Ramirez. Then consider that the Marlins probably would not extend the payroll past $70-80M even with the new stadium. With Ramirez taking up a lot of the future payroll and Albert Pujols expected to sign for the remainder of his career at almost $30M, there is almost no way the Fish could afford that kind of commitment. By the way, the Marlins have a few marquee players who are already greeting the fans when the team moves to a new stadium; what will be important is picking up the supporting pieces.

The Marlins have a track record of promoting talented young players. Does the organization have one of the better Minor League systems in the game?
– Leo V., San Bruno, Calif.

It depends on what you mean by “Minor League system.” If you mean the overall player developmental system, it can be argued that the Fish have one of the best systems in the league. But if you are talking about the specific set of minor leaguers in the system right now and their major league potential, you are looking at one of the weakest organizations in baseball right now. Basbeall America recently ranked the organization as the second worst in the game at 29th. It isn’t entirely the team’s fault, as it has graduated Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison, the two players who were buoying the system’s rankings in recent years. With only Matt Dominguez and the pitchers remaining, the team has very few potential contributors left in the organization. It’s a weak system as of right now.

What are the plans for young arms like Jose Ceda, Jhan Marinez and Daniel Jennings now that the team has acquired bullpen help? They all seem to have good stuff, and they are young.
– Alex F., Cape Coral, Fla.

They’re going to the minors ultimately for various reasons. With the exception of Jose Ceda, none of them are major league ready just yet, and the Marlins bullpen is suddenly very loaded.

If Dewayne Wise has an impressive Spring Training, is it possible that he could play center field and then Chris Coghlan could move back to left? Logan Morrison could move back to first or he could also add depth to the bench and fill the lefty pinch-hit role.
– Steve M., Fredericksburg, Va.

Did you just suggest that a good Spring Training from a minor league signing could push Morrison, one of the Marlins’ three best bats, or even Gaby Sanchez to the bench? Do you want this team to lose games? Dewayne Wise is an awful major leaguer, a career replacement-level player who plays just enough good defense to make up for the fact that he cannot hit major league pitching. Suggesting that he could move into the starting lineup in favor of Morrison is bordering on treason.

The Marlins signed Josh Kroeger to a Minor League contract, and he has been pretty effective playing for Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League. He has speed, power and a good knowledge of the strike zone from the left side. Can he be a good candidate for the lefty bat off the bench? Will Scott Cousins or Bryan Petersen get a stronger look over Kroeger?
– Carlos B., Weston, Fla.

Josh Kroeger is a career .276/.333/.440 hitter in the minors and a .269/.319/.435 hitter in almost 3000 PA at the Triple-A level. Hitting a bit better in the Venezuelan league will not convince me that he is much of a player. Then again, neither is Dewayne Wise. Scott Cousins and Bryan Petersen should get looks to get a bench role/backup outfielder spot now that the Marlins have firmly decided that they do not want to make any good additional signings. For my money, putting Cousins in center field and Coghlan at third base might be even better than having Dominguez start this season.

Topics: Albert Pujols, Dewayne Wise, Josh Kroeger, Logan Morrison, Mailbag, Matt Dominguez, Miami Marlins, Scott Cousins

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  • Joe Medallion

    I am hoping for Dominguez to win the third base job and Coghlan move to second.

    • Michael Jong

      Joe Medallion,

      So I am guessing that you want Omar Infante to move to center field? I am actuall not opposed to that move. If you see Coghlan as a future infielder like I do, it would make sense not force him into the outfield for a season only to move him back in later. Instead, why not keep him in the infield and move Infante, who may not be part of the future of the club, to the outfield for a season. The worst that could happen is that Infante plays center field as badly as Coghlan would have, but we don’t take away Coghlan’s chances of playing the infield in the future.

      • Joe Medallion

        My only addition to your comments would be I would like to see what Scott Cousins could do in CF with Infante.

      • Mike

        id prefer the marlins play coghlan at second, dominguez at third, cousins in center, and have infante as a super utility guy

        • Michael Jong

          Mike,

          But if Infante is a league average player (which appears to be the case based on his projections and his recent play), why waste him on the bench in favor of Dominguez, who is unlikely to be ready to face big league pitching? Infante is someone the Marlins absolutely need to start. Coghlan at second and Cousins in CF seems like the best alignment alongside Infante at third, so I like that idea.

          • Joe Medallion

            I agree with the caveat that Dominguez get every opportunity during spring training at 3B. I know his offense needs to improve and maybe he will make sufficient strides in that direction to be successful.

          • Michael Jong

            Joe Medallion,

            Dominguez will indeed get every chance to win the job, but what I’m concerned about is that the Marlins will take 80 PA of sample against inferior pitching than would be seen in the regular season and blows it out of proportion. Let’s say Dominguez goes .330/.360/.430 in Spring Training. How much better is that than if he had gone .260/.290/.360? Maybe five or so hits? A couple bloops here and there and he is suddenly a lot better? If the Marlins don’t take a good look at his hitting and just glance at his batting lines, they won’t be able to see if Dominguez has indeed improved.

            I don’t think he’s ready. He needs minor league time, and this would be the season to do it. Move Coghlan to the infield and try Cousins out at center. It simply CANNOT be worse than playing Dominguez.

  • Isiah
    • Michael Jong

      Isiah,

      I’m not certain about Chris Hatcher as a player. The guy was 25 in 2010 and batted a combined .197/.274/.283 between Double- and Triple-A, and his career .210/.290/.365 line implies that his hitting skills aren’t impressive. It’s as good a move as anything else I suppose, especially if Hatcher has a good arm that can lead to a strong fastball to start (think Mike Dunn, who is a converted outfielder). We’ll see how this turns out.

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