On Tuesday, I took a look at the Miami Marlins hitters projections in the 2012 season. I will include the newest member of the Marlins in my post today, Wade LeBlanc, acquired from the San Diego Padres Tuesday for John Baker. Also, like I stated in my last post, I will include Gio Gonzalez and Mark Buehrle as Marlins off-season acquisitions for this posts sake to look at the potential 2012 team. Without any further ado, here is a look at a Marlins projection for 2012.
Bill James has Josh Johnson pitching 2012 very similarly to his career numbers. While these stats may not be as good as they were in 2010, I believe most Marlins fans would be very happy if Johnson could at the minimum pitch 160-innings next season. In order for the Marlins rotation to be as good as it can be, the Marlins will need a 200+ inning season from Johnson.
Number 2: Gio Gonzalez
Some things that stand out for Gonzalez and why the Marlins are interested in trading for him are that he is young, he is a Miami native, he is under team control and will cost a team friendly salary, he is a left handed pitcher, and he is very talented. A pitcher that can throw 200 innings year in and out is something the Marlins rotation is lacking. Due to injuries, Marlins pitchers do not always throw as many innings as the Marlins hope they can. Gonzalez would bring a left handed arm to a rotation that was dominated by right handed pitchers last season. Gonzalez is young talent and he will likely cost the Marlins some major league talent as well as minor league talent.
I have to start out by saying this, unless the Marlins add Gonzalez or C.J. Wilson, I do not see any other pitcher as the clear number 2 pitcher over Anibal. Sanchez had an amazing season last year. He should have garnered an All-Star appearance over Gaby Sanchez as the Marlins representative, but that did not happen. James has Anibal’s strikeout decreasing next season, but if he can maintain what he did last season in terms of strikeouts, his numbers will be a lot better. Anibal is a very talented pitcher and he has stayed healthy for two straight seasons. The Marlins hope he can make it three in 2012. Sanchez is arbitration eligible for the last time this off-season, so the hope is the Marlins work out an extension with him before he hits free agency. All in all, expect Anibal to put up good numbers in 2012.
Number 4: Mark Buehrle
Buehrle is a good pitcher. He has thrown a no-hitter and a perfect game in his career. However, Buehrle is nowhere near an elite pitcher. Buehrle would be an excellent 3/4 pitcher for the Marlins in 2012. He has a good relationship with Ozzie. With the recent retirement of Perry Hill, questions will surround how the Marlins field behind Buerhle, as he is a contact pitcher. He will not walk or strikeout too many batters. Buehrle has enjoyed a lot of success against National League teams in his career and a move to the NL may help strengthen these numbers even more.
The mystery of Nolasco will continue in 2012. Nolasco has always posted strong periphials, but his numbers do not always reflect that. Nolasco has very high ERA’s yet has a very good FIP and xFIP. What the Marlins get out of Nolasco in 2012 is not a sure thing. Nolasco is extremely inconsistent. When he is on, there is an argument for placing him among the best in the game today. But, when he is off of his game, he is absolutely painful to watch. A strong season from Nolasco in 2012 would do wonders for the Marlins. He would earn every penny of his 2012 $11 million salary if he can be a major reason why the Marlins contend.
Minor League Depth?
In 2011, the Marlins were forced to rush their young pitchers before they were ready because of a lack of minor league depth in starting pitching. The Marlins are hoping that the same problem does not arise in 2012. According to Will Privete’s calculations, LeBlac is not out of options, Chris Volstad should have one left. The Marlins will also have righty Alex Sanabia healthy in 2012 for depth. After that, the Marlins do have Tom Kohler, Elih Villanueva, and Brad Hand in case needed, but none of those in the best case scenario should pitch in the majors in 2012. All six of these guys, in a perfect scenario for the Marlins, should begin the season in the minors and work their way if needed.
Wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. There will be no posts tomorrow from MM. We hope to enjoy the day with our families and watch some good football. I personally have a lot riding on fantasy football tomorrow, so I will be preoccupied by that.
Be safe and enjoy your day!