Apr 23, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Miami Marlins trainer looks at the arm of right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) after a hit by pitch in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Twins won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-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. On a scale from 1-10, how concerned are you about Giancarlo Stanton‘s performance thus far?
Ehsan: My level of concern with Stanton sits currently at a low three or four. Stanton has proven himself to be a slow starter, but as the weather heats up, so does he. It’s been a lot colder early on this season, so that combined with his shoulder issues may have played a role in his early season struggles. I have 100% faith he will turn things around.
Geoff: Seven. I’m not seeing the plate discipline I had hoped would offset the bad pitches.
James: On a scale where 1 is least concerned and 10 is most concerned, I would say 9 1/2.
Justen: 4. That’s the type of player he is. He is a power hitter going through a bit of a slump. He’ll break out of it sooner rather than later.
Alex: 1. Not concerned at all. Career .228/.318/.344 hitter in March and April. I do wish he hit cleanup over third, though.
Placido: My concern on Stanton is about a 2. He has been a traditionally slow starter. I have no doubt that he will hit a hot streak soon where he will hit 6 or 7 HRs in a 2 week span and his numbers will all of a sudden be back to normal. He does however need to accept that teams will pitch around him all season and adjust accordingly.
Will: 2- I think he is just trying too hard, along with a few others. Getting settled in will propel Stanton.
Andy: 5. It has been well documented that Giancarlo does not do well in April so at this point I’m not that worried, but if he continues to perform like this late May early June then it will be time to worry.
David: I’d put my concern level at a 6. I don’t believe that any player “wants” to play badly, or accepts bad numbers and is okay with them. However, I’m concerned about his injury history, and can’t help but think that there’s something nagging him. He’s also prone to slow starts in April, so I think he’ll pick it up. My biggest concern, other than injury, is that he’s going to get inside his own head.
2. What can manger Mike Redmond do to jump start his offense?
Ehsan: There is not much he can do right now. He just needs to send out his best players and hope they turn things around, mainly Stanton.
Geoff: 600VAC shock collars
James: I honestly don’t know, maybe shake up the lineup? I just don’t know if this team cares enough to win. They look look like they are just going through the motions just because they have to.
Justen: Either switch up the lineup or convince the front office to sign a free agent. Carlos Lee is available and would definitely help out the offense.
Alex: I don’t think he should feel obligated to start Juan Pierre at leadoff (or at all) despite how much I love JP. Stanton should be batting cleanup. Above all, patience is probably the best thing to have for Redmond. There’s no way the Marlins could hit this bad all season.
Placido: Unfortunately Redmond has little to work with so the impact of any change will probably be minimal. One thing I do think he needs to do is put Ruggiano in the clean up spot and move Polanco up to #2 in the order. With Stanton back and hopefully getting on base, having someone behind him with extra base hit potential to drive him in is a necessity. So far, Ruggiano has proven to be the only hitter who can provide some power.
Will: Ride out the wave, better times are coming. Do not blow out Jose, Brantly. Find out if Cogs has anything left in him.
Andy: Demand that a move be made that one or two more established hitters be put on the team. We are getting on base but we are not performing in the clutch to score those runners. Redmond needs to demand that we get better clutch hitters to help boost this well-depleted offense.
David: Absolutely nothing. As Phil Hartman’s immortal Bill McNeil character on NewsRadio once said, “Nobody cares how beautiful the souffle is if the appetizer is turds-in-a-blanket.” Redmond has been given nothing to work worth, so it doesn’t matter who he starts or where they hit in the order.
3. Which player has impressed you the most early in the season? Which player has been the biggest disappointment (aside from Stanton)?
Ehsan: Jose Fernandez has been the most impressive. Yes, he has been rocked his last two times out, but he has shown some great composure for a 20-year old. Things will turn around. As for most disappointing, I think that has to be Juan Pierre. He needs to be the table setter for the lineup and has not gotten on base at a good clip at all, early on.
Geoff: Nice poise from Jose Fernandez. Pick any regular from the batting order.
James: Greg Dobbs has been the biggest surprise while Jose Fernandez has been the biggest disappointment. It only took two outings for the rest of the league to figure Fernandez out.
Justen: Placido Polanco has been quite impressive. Who would have thought that a 37-year old would lead this team in hits, batting average, and on base percentage. Chris Coghlan has been most disappointing, not much positive to say about him. Crazy to think that at one point he was rookie of the year. So much potential did not pan out.
Alex: It’s a small sample size and likely won’t keep up, but it’s never been Kevin Slowey‘s fault for a loss. He’s let up five runs in his four starts. On the disappointing end, perhaps the hype was unwarranted, but after once hoping Rob Brantly could sit in the heart of a lineup and put up a decent average, he’s got a meager .200/.268/.280 with 12 strikeouts. Again these are tiny sample sizes and should be taken with a grain of salt.
Placido: It’s hard to pick anyone but Jose Fernandez as the most impressive player on the season. Even though he struggled in the last start, the first two outings were pretty amazing for any pitcher and even more so for a 20-year-old who had never pitched above single A. Biggest disappointment for me has to be Juan Pierre. While I did not expect him to be an all star, I did think he was going to provide a steady performance in LF. Hit in the 280-290 range, steal some bases and play steady unspectacular defense. Instead he has hit below .200 and made several defensive miscues.
Will: Impressed by Jose Fernandez of course. Also like what Polanco has done. Disappointed in Solano, Pierre, and the pen (outside of Ramos)
Andy: Jose Fernandez has impressed me the most. At the beginning of the season I said he was going to join the club at the end of the season and have no real impact on the team. Boy am I glad he has proved me wrong so far. All he needs is some offense around him and he will be a great pitcher this season. Biggest disappointment I would have to say is Juan Pierre. As the established vet and leader to these young players he has a low batting average a low OBP and is shaky in left field. Hopefully he can shake these off as the season progresses.
David: Kevin Slowey has impressed me the most. I never thought he’d look like a big-league pitcher. Steve Cishek has been the biggest appointment to me, even bigger than Stanton. He hasn’t looked good all year. I have almost as little confidence in him this year as I had in Heath Bell last year. Almost.
As you can see, we all love our Miami Marlins, even despite owner Jeffery Loria. We however do not see eye-to-eye on every Marlins related matter. That is why we would love to hear your answers to these three burning questions as well. Please let us know in the comments what you thought of our answers and give it a shot to answer as well.