The New York Mets and Miami Marlins squared off earlier today. The game was seen on MLB Network. This is going to be one of the few Spring Training Game reviews we will do this Spring Training. As I do not live in Florida, I cannot attend any games at this point, my best bet is watching on television. Let me get started with the game review.
The starting pitcher for the Miami Marlins in this game was Carlos Zambrano. He is a pitcher of interest to watch this spring. How he fares this season could be a major determining factor in how the Fish do.
As with most spring training numbers, you can throw them away. The numbers, especially this early in the spring, do not mean much. If you were to look at Zambrano’s stat line today, you would figure trouble for the Marlins.
"1 1/3 innings, 3 hits, 3 runs, 4 strikeout, 3 walks."
Ozzie Guillen said he “loved the way the ball was coming out of his hand.”
The important aspects for the Marlins to take from this start would be that Zambrano recorded all his outs on strikeouts, something he struggled with last season. Part of that can be attributed to Zambrano being able to constantly hit 93 and 94 on the radar gun.
Do not let the box score trick you, throw away those stats. There is no way in hell that Zambrano pitched worse then Sean West. Absolutely no chance.
On the other hand, looking at the stats, Hanley Ramirez has come out firing at his critics. All off-season long we have heard about how Hanley would not adjust to moving to third, that he would throw a hissy fit on his way out of Miami via trade. Not happening so far.
In 5 at-bats, Ramirez is hitting .600 with a massive home run today. This is great to see for Marlins fans, but it is too early to determine that Ramirez is back to his former self. The swing does look good though, hopefully means he is all the way back from his shoulder issues. As I said in my third base preview, I believe Ramirez’s power should return in 2012 as a result of his shoulder being 100%.
Jose Ceda, the young right handed reliever is making a strong case to make the team. Ceda pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball today. The thing I found most impressive about him was that he was hitting 96 on the radar in early March. That could mean he is using too much strength right now or that he is just tapping into some of the power his right arm has. That remains to be seen. He was rather impressive today though.
Another player trying to hook on with the Marlins is outfielder Austin Kearns. Kearns hit a big line drive home run today. His swing looked good and I admired his patience at the plate. If Kearns can stay healthy and play adequate defense, not only does he have a shot to make the team, he could be in position to potentially steal some playing time in center. His defense in center has been hit or miss so far in his career, so how he plays out there will go a long way of determining if he makes the team.
The last player I was impressed with today was Scott Cousins. He opened the game up with an opposite field double off of Mike Pelfrey to start the game. His swing looked great. Cousins was also able to swipe a bag later in the game and he also drew a walk in his 5 plate appearances. Cousins, like Kearns is fighting for a roster spot on the 2012 Miami Marlins.
Tune in tomorrow for the continuation of the Miami Marlins season preview. Also, Marlin Maniac will debut two new writers tomorrow. We are very excited for you guys to read their content.