Friday, The Miami Marlins announced a group of 22 players that have been invited to Spring Training. 11 have already been signed to minor league deals while the other 11 will have earn a deal in spring training. The group will have a shot to impress the coach’s and organization in order to earn a roster spot. The list includes:
Pitchers (Already signed to Minor League deal)
This is an interesting group in my opinion. Delany has major league experience with the Twins and Rays. While he struggled at the major league level in his brief opportunities, he has put up very good minor league numbers. While I do not see him cracking the majors out of Spring Training, he adds depth in the minors and will be a candidate for a call-up if the fish struggle on the mound. Gaudin is the most interesting pitcher in the bunch. Not only does he have a lot of major league experience (has pitched for 6 different clubs), but he has enjoyed some success at the major league level. Now I wouldn’t call his a career a success at all, he sports a 4.63 ERA and walks a fair amount of batters. However, he does have 36 career wins and has a decent strike out ratio. Gaudin will have a fair chance in Spring Training, most likely starting in the minors. However, look for his name to come up a few times this season when an extra arm is needed. Glover, at the age of 35, has major league experience as well. He is another example of a man who has had his moments in the league, but cannot perform them on a consistent basis. Martin was actually a first round pick in the 2001 draft. Injuries and growth issues affected his development, which is why he just broke into the league in 2009. He will be interesting to watch, but most likely a minor league career player. Ray has major league experience and actually looked good in the last brief appearances. With a low walk ratio, he will look to impress the organization for a chance to show that he has what it takes. Jones, the only lefty of the bunch, was the first round pick for the Braves in 2005. Jones actually has enjoyed a solid minor league career and is waiting for his chance to make a mark. He will have every opportunity to impress in the minors this year for a chance in the future rotation.
Infielders (signed to Minor League Deal)
Nick Green was an interesting pick-up. He was actually Bostons starting short-stop a few years ago and has a healthy amount of major league experience. Green, mostly known for his glove, will do his best to earn a spot on the bench for a utility role out of spring training. Solano is a quick infielder that came from the Cardinal organization. He will have his shot, but will most likely have to accept his deal with another year in the minors. Tiffee has 3 years of major league experience, although it was short lived. Interesting enough, he seems to tear up minor league ball with his bat but cant make the transition over to the majors. He is a nice experimental piece in my opinion. Velasquez, 32, has major league experience as well. Something to keep an eye on..Gil was named a minor league all star last year and is coming off a year where his bat was very hot. He is someone interesting to watch out for.
Outfielders (signed to Minor League Deal)
Aaron Rowand is the headliner of the group of guys battling. Rowand, a former gold glover, comes from the Giants looking for a change and another opportunity. Rowand brings a lot of little things to the table that can help a team win. While his average will not blow you away, he is a decent hitter with some pop in his swing. He plays excellent defense and brings a veteran presence to a relatively young team. Aaron Rowand, in my opinion, will win a spot on the major league bench and contribute a healthy amount this year for the Marlins.
11 more have been invited with a chance to earn a deal, and I will discuss these guys in my next piece. Who do you hope to see make the team?