Feb 23, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Miami Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich (76) makes a running catch on a bases loaded hit by St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Oscar Taveras (not pictured) at Roger Dean Stadium. The Marlins defeated the Cardinals 8-3. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Marlin Maniac Roundtable Discussion: Does the Blue Jays Struggles Justify Owner Jeffery Loria?

Jeffery Loria’s lies and deception from last offseason still has lingering effect on the Marlins and the Blue Jays, as well as the respective fanbases. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

On Marlin Maniac, it is our goal to give you not only the latest updates on everything Miami Marlins related, but also top notch analysis and opinions on the Marlins roster and play. Although there are plenty of great Marlin blogs out there, we want to make MM your one-stop blog for all your Marlins information.

In order to do this, we have come up with a new idea that involves all the writers that will hopefully build up some debate in the comment section. We are going to do a bi-weekly roundtable discussion segment, where we discuss the top Marlins-related topics. We will look at between three and five questions each time and may try to find more ways to incorporate the viewers in this as we go on as well.

Here is a look at the burning questions surrounding the Marlins we discussed this past week:

1. The blockbuster deal from November looks to be going the Marlins favor in the early going, does this justify Jeffery Loria’s actions to you?

Ehsan: No. I have said the trade was not a bad baseball one from the onset. The problem with the trade was the timing. Loria broke his promise to field a competitive team and instead went back to pocketing the revenue sharing. Loria may feel smart when he looks at how the Jays are playing, but no one else in South Florida, or baseball for that matter, are too happy with his decision.

Geoff: I don’t care if we traded Mendoza for Ruth, DiMaggio, and Rose.The fan base in Miami is fragile, and the optics of what he did this off season have done what may prove to be irreparable harm to the future of the franchise. Now, it may take ten years of teams in the thick of a pennant race to rebuild the fans loyalty to the point where game tickets are hard to come by.

James: No, but I am not sure the fact that our sloppy seconds haven’t helped Toronto much makes him feel like he made the right decision.

Justen: Maybe to some people. He’s not liked very well by a lot of Marlins fan. The way he handled everything with the franchise over the past year/year and a half has been atrocious. Doesn’t justify anything for me.

Will:  Still hate him. While I was never high on Buehrle, even JJ has lost it so it is nice to know this trade is evened out. Really excited about Jake Marisnick!

Placido: No, of course not. The real tragedy of the trade has nothing to do with the particular players that were traded away or received, but instead with the realization that the millions saved would not be reinvested into the roster.  If Loria had made the trade then turned around and signed Stanton to a long term deal and signed 1 or 2 of semi-significant free agents all would be fine because it would have been viewed as a baseball move made to improve the team’s results on the field (of course, what free agent would ever sign with Loria after the trade?).

Alex: No. The problem with the November trade wasn’t the baseball aspects. It was that Loria showed he really didn’t give a darn about building a likable franchise for the fans.

Andy: I don’t waste my enregy talking about Mr. Loria anymore

David: It’s not the trade that is so horrific, it’s the fact that the money was not reinvested in the team in the form of a Stanton extension or a free agent signing. It absolutely is not justified, regardless of how the players play, because it’s another example of Loria doing something for purely monetary reasons.

Daniel: The Marlins fire sale or “market adjustment” as baseball people too cowardly to admit what they did involved moving three very big name players to the Toronto Blue Jays in return for a series of top prospects. The “big three” were pitchers Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Shortstop Jose Reyes. The Marlins received in return Jake Marisnick, Adeiny Hechavarria, Brad Mathis and Justin Nicolino. The only player that came to Miami to have played this season in the majors is Hechavarria. Marisnick and the others are good prospects but are not close to joining the big club. Henderson Alvarez is the player who will most likely join the Marlins rotation once he returns from injury.

The question we were asked to answer is, “The blockbuster deal from November looks to be going the Marlins favor in the early going, does this justify Loria’s actions to you?” The simplest answer is no, but there is one issue that can’t be ignored which complicates the issue, dependability. Johnson, Reyes and Buehrle have historically been All-Star type players, often at MVP and Cy Young levels. But for the crafty lefty and the power right-hander father time has been following them for a long time. It might have caught up.

 

2. With the Marlins already calling up top prospects Jose Fernandez and Marcell Ozuna, how soon will it be before Christian Yelich gets the call to the majors?

Ehsan: Early-to-mid-June was my prediction in the preseason and I still feel good about that today. Yelich has started to hit really well with the Jacksonville Suns and with the continued struggles and injuries filling the Marlins roster, he is their best option to roll out there for the rest of the season.

Geoff: His trip to the DL has set his clock back to July, I’m afraid.  He still needs his AA at-bats to season him for the bigs.  I’d be happiest seeing him sometime after the midsummer classic.

James: I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see him on the big league club before the All-Star game.

Justen: Soon. I think it’s a good idea to let the top prospects learn the game more in the MLB and just leave it up to the coaching and the veterans on the squad.

Will: I think Yelich will be up definitely sometime this year, September at the latest. With Ozuna and Jose both looking the part, there is a lot of promise for the future in Miami.

Placido: Since Yelich is not on the 40 man roster, I would think it takes a significant injury to Pierre or Ruggiano to force the move.  My guess is that barring that they wait until August, but with this team it is a mistake to try to apply logic so he will probably be up by June.

Alex: Yelich may have to wait a bit before being called up. I have a feeling that when he does get called up, they want it to be permanent. Unless, of course, ANOTHER Marlins gets injured.

Andy: Well I’ve been wrong with Jose and Marcell so let’s try with Christian. I like Christian and I hope he comes up soon we need his bat power. With that the Fish either have to send down Chris Coghlan or wait for him or Juan Pierre to be put on the DL. I don’t want either to happen so I will go with when baseball opens to a 40 man roster he will be called up.

David: I’m not sure Yelich sees big league time until August, if then. First, Yelich just returned from an injury, so he has some catching up to do. Additionally, when Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton come back, the Marlins won’t have many places to play Yelich. If Ozuna keeps hitting (which, granted, is a big if), he’d presumably go to left, with Ruggiano in center and Stanton and right. Ruggiano isn’t having the season he had last year, but remains a source of power for the Marlins. I’m not sure the Marlins would call up Yelich without regular playing time, and I’m not sure he’d get it on this roster. If there’s an injury or a trade, however, it’s entirely possible we see him sooner.

Daniel: Christian Yelich will get called up to majors if Juan Pierre makes it obvious that he can’t be productive as an everyday major league player. So far in 2013 Pierre has struck out more often and walked less often than his career average. Has a .237/.287/.272 triple slash line a .254 wOBA as well as  a wRC+ of 55.  The JP of 2013 will never be the JP of 2003 but those numbers are unacceptable. If he is to ever get hurt or another player to be replaced Yelich who has been swinging a hot bat in Jacksonville has a good chance to get called up. I’d say that the middle of June, when Giancarlo and LoMo are scheduled to come off the DL is the time when Yelich is most likely to be called up.

 

3. Your biggest concern for the Miami Marlins for the rest of 2013 is ____________ (fill in the blank)

Ehsan: Jeffery Loria. He has continued to meddle in day-to-day affairs an owner has no business being in. Pretty sure the idea to promote prospect Marcell Ozuna before he was ready was Loria’s as well. His decision to start flip-flop Fernandez and Nolasco in a double-header has raised even more issues.

Geoff: Hitting.  Specifically, consistent advancement of baserunners via line-drive base and extra-base hits.  Our starting pitchers desperately need run support, and we’re leaving too many runners stranded, especially the runners in scoring position. Our guys need to be hitting gapper line drives behind the runners, and we’re just not doing it enough.

James: Injuries to the young guys. Fernandez had Tommy John surgery yet, seems like that should be a mandatory requirement for all pitchers.

Justen: Simple; injuries.

Will: Biggest concerns are the facts, we are not that good, and its tough to watch at times. Still, having Jose, Ozuna, and at times Hech, it is fun to watch the young guys play ball.

Placido: The injuries to young players.  Henderson Alvarez, Nate Eovaldi and Giancarlo Stanton are all players the Marlins need significant contributions from in the next few years if they are to become a contending team.  Seeing them injured already so early into their careers does not inspire confidence that they will be able to grow into the star quality players the Marlins need them to be in the next few seasons.

Alex: Fernandez and Ozuna. Don’t want them getting injured or discouraged in the majors when their best years are some time ahead of them.

Andy: Some fan favorites are not performing well, and the back lash from the fans when those players get released, sent down  or traded. This is going to be a big problem Pierre and Coghlan are not doing so well this season but fans love them so the fans will feel hurt again if anything happens to them and that is going to be a big problem for a fan base that already feels no love.

David: My biggest concern is the health of the ballclub. Already this season we had two starting pitchers injured out of nowhere with mysterious injuries that, thus far, are looking to keep each of them out at least 60 days. We’ve had Hechavarria on the 15-day DL. Solano is injured. Stanton and Mahoney were both injured, and then each were reinjured within days of coming back into action. Kotchman is hurt. Mathis has been hurt. The team is thin (evidenced by Kyle Skipworth being the only real 40-man option to recall when Austin Kearns went on the bereavement list) and we can’t afford many more injuries.

Daniel: The bench.

 

As you can tell, Marlins fans still have some very strong feelings against owner Jeffery Loria. He still has his work cutout for him to regain the trust from the fanbase, if that is even possible.

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Tags: Christian Yelich Jake Marisnick Jose Fernandez Josh Johnson Juan Pierre Marcell Ozuna Mark Buehrle Miami Marlins

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