As the Marlins continue to rack up wins this spring, scouts are beginning to take notice at what is going on in South Florida and they seem to really like it. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, projections for the Marlins future are continuing to climb.
Said another [scout]: “Their team is better than the Phillies and Mets. Their pitching is very deep, and they have a power staff. All high quality starters.”
It is no secret in baseball that Miami is built around a large stable of talented arms, the true question is whether they will make the right decision with who to keep and who to trade. Heading into this season, many people, (me included) viewed Koehler as nothing more than a 5th starter/long reliever who didn’t impress much. After his solid spring, sentiments are beginning to change in favor of Koehler.
Among players that have impressed the most this spring: Pitchers Brad Hand and Tom Koehler. Each has allowed one run in 12 innings; one will be in the rotation, one likely in the bullpen. “Koehler’s stuff has gotten better,” one scout said. “He’s already a No. 4-type starter and could end up being a No. 3.”
Of course this is good news for Marlins fans, but we have been touting the Marlins pitching for quite some time now. I truly believe that they have one of the best pitching staffs in the National League, and it will be on full display this season. If anything, they may have too many talented arms, which is never a true problem.
One issue that I see is with Jacob Turner. While Turner hasn’t been terrible this spring, I can’t see him hanging on to a rotational spot in the long run. They can’t send him down to the minor’s since he is out of options, and I believe he is someone whom the Marlins will be looking to move in a trade this season. He will get the nod as the 4th starter to start the season, but if Hand and Koehler continue to pitch well, one of them is going to come out of the bullpen and take his spot.
The National League East is an interesting division, in that you have two teams that are head and shoulders better than the other 3 teams. there really isn’t a middle of the pack team this year. That being said, someone will have to take third, and so far this spring, it would appear that Miami could be poised to claim that spot. Also keep an eye on Atlanta. Their pitching staff is falling apart, and it is tough to win 92 games without a solid pitching staff. Their lineup is very good, but it might not be enough.