Hello Marlinmaniacs! My last article I wrote about 3 players who are getting over-looked this off-season who have a chance to make this season special. Today, I will do the opposite and write about 3 players who could be left out of the picture if they do not step up right away. The roster is full of talent, all of which is needed. Despite the fact of the talented roster, prospects in the farm system are waiting for someone to slip-up so they can get their turn. Lets take a look at 3 players I think need to step up immediately in order to maintain a spot on the roster:
Chris Coghlan– Coghlan, the 2009 Rookie of the Year, showed incredible potential and promise going into the 2010 season. The second baseman converted outfielder led the entire league in hits the last 2 months of baseball. Showing a solid contact-first swing, above average speed, and an ability to get on base, the future looked bright for Coghlan. However, Chris hit a cold slump early into the 2010 season and never pulled himself out. Not only were his numbers sub-par, but Coghlan faced a number of injuries. After a walk-off win by Wes Helms, Coghlan was injured pieing his former teammate in the face. This was just a stepping stone to a number of nagging injuries and problems that hindered Coghlan’s development. Young players today face big problems if they cannot stay healthy. Not only has Chris missed most of the last 2 seasons, but he has lost 2 years of big league development. This is a major concern to the franchise because we all know that development is a key to future success. 2012 is a big year for Coghlan in a number of ways. Not only will he have to battle his tail off for an outfield spot, but he is also facing the question if he will even be on the team. If Coghlan can bounce back and pull himself out of this deep hole he dug himself in, then he will add another great dimension to this team. We all know that he is capable of playing solid baseball. He can add innings in the IF and OF, as well as providing another solid stick in the line-up. However, if Coghlan still shows he is in a funk, then the former Rookie of the Year could find himself being a career minor league option.
Chris Volstad– Would everyone agree if I said Chris Volstad is the biggest tease in Major League Baseball? The former first round pick, Volstad has had his moments for the Marlins. Volstad, who seems to always be inconsistent, actually has a good arm with some nasty movement to his pitch’s. However he just cannot seem to put it all together. One game he will look like he belongs in the rotation and the next he looks like he should be working at Hardees. I just do not understand the guy. A career 4.59 era, he seems to always factor in the decision, win or loss. To his credit, I will say that Volstad always shows promise at the end of year. For some reason he will turn the switch on and pitch like he deserves to be on the squad. Like the 2 previous seasons, Volstad showed promise at the end of last season leaving the franchise with a puzzled question. What do you do with him? It is hard to let a guy go when he is young and showing promise, but then again this has been the story for 3 years now. Just 25, Chris Volstad could improve his consistency and make a mark for the Marlins. If this happens, he could bring another live arm to the rotation and add another young and promising arm for the future. However, if Volstad is lucky enough to get another shot and blows it, I am 100% confident in saying that it will be his last.
Gaby Sanchez– Yes I know..Gaby was the Marlins only all-star. So why would he be on this list? Simple, Gaby has not shown that he has the ability to play complete during a full major league season. The past 2 years, Sanchez has started out on fire. Basically leading the Marlins in every offensive category at all-star break, Gaby at first seems like he is an above average player at 1B. However, something seems to wear him down and causes him to lose his touch that he demonstrates the first half of the season. Both years he has started, Gaby has been over .285 at all-star break. After break, Gaby fell to .240 in both seasons at some point. With some streaky hitting at the end of the year, Gaby managed to hit a respectable .273 and .266 in his past 2 season. However this is simply not good enough for the Marlins and they have made that clear. With trade rumors at 1B and the rumors of Morrison moving to 1B, Gaby is finding himself in a little hole. Don’t get me wrong, Gaby is a talented ball player and should never have to play a game in the minors “non injury related” again. He has a good swing, above average power, and plays great defense. But the Marlins are striving for better and Gaby knows it. If a trade is not made, Gaby will need to show the organization he is ready to handle a full major league season at a consistent basis. If he can do this, I believe Gaby can remain in Miami for the foreseeable future. However, if the same streak continues and the fire burns out, Gaby could find himself on the trade block very soon.
In conclusion, all these Marlins are blessed with talent and the ability to play the game. They are all young with the chance to have a promising career in the Majors. However, each player has a nagging bug that is stopping them from taking the next step and these need to be fixed as soon as possible in-order for them to remain Marlins. My prediction? I say Coghlan ends up becoming a 4th outfield option and ends up tuning his game up a little more. Volstad will end up on another teams roster fighting for a spot in their rotation while Gaby starts for the Marlins next season. Again that is just my opinion and I would love to hear your thoughts! Follow me on twitter @WillStanifer and let me know what you think!