Who is really the best baseball team in the majors? I honestly don't know but I try to figure that out by using basic and advanced statistics. I live for talking about baseball, it's my biggest drive in my life and I will jump on the opportunity to talk baseball with anyone, even with people who I don't really like. For me, Baseball is a piece of art that sits in my mind all day, ready to be painted on at any point of the day.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Conversation: The Florida Marlins in the National League East

About a week ago, the Florida Marlins signed future star-pitcher Ricky Nolasco to a 3-year extension worth $26.5 million. This pretty much means that they are ready to go forward into the future to take that next step up and become a legitimate contender, maybe by winning 90 games or more instead of the usual .500 winning percentage. Maybe even compete with the Phillies, though they probably will not beat them since the Phillies pitching is just too good. But now the Marlins have a great pitching staff of their own with the signing of Javier Vasquez and now that Josh Johnson is healthy, after missing the last month of the season, the Marlins are indeed ready to move foward. Look at this rotation and tell me that it isn't good (you would be crazy to think anything less of it):

1. Josh Johnson, 26 years old
2. Javier Vasquez, 34
3. Ricky Nolasco,28
4. Chris Volstad, 24
5. Anibal Sanchez, 26

My point is that all of these pitchers, with the exception of Vasquez, are young and have loads and loads of potential. They brought in Vasquez to groom all of them. And with this great pithing staff, they also have a solid offense which is led by Hanley Ramirez. But they also have young players with bright futures: Gabi Sanchez at firstbase, powerful Mike Stanton in rightfield and Logan Morrison in left (keep in mind that Morrison hit 20 doubles in 244 at-bats in 2010 which turns into about 50 doubles in 600, so he has potential for power even though he had just 2 home runs in 2010). They brought in Omar Infante to tighten up defensively and we also know that he can hit very well. They signed John Buck to do the catching who had a career year in 2010 and will likely do well in the National League, that is, when he's not hitting against the Phillies.

But one thing that bugs me is the Dan Uggla trade. Dan Uggla was traded to the Atlanta Braves. Yes, I think it made perfect sense to move him being that he and the Marlins were not able to agree on a contract extention. The thing that annoys me is this: Now that they have traded Uggla (to a division rival!!), does this mean that they are starting to re-bulid? Or is it just a trade to get him out of Florida and bring in some fresh names? It seems like it was just to get Uggla out of Florida since they only got Infante and lefty-reliever Mike Dunn. The Marlins tried to negociate a 4-year, $41 million contract with the powerful secondbaseman before being moved to the Braves. He wanted to get out and so the Marlins followed suit but they got barely anything for him. They didn't get any prospects for him. That is the part that bugs me. Because they didn't get enough talent for what he was worth so it makes me think that they are facing the fact that they can't make the playoffs. Or maybe Floida GM Michael Hill had a brain fart.

If they were able to keep Uggla, they would probably win about 90 games or more. But now, they will probably win 85 games but since Uggla is still in the NL East, Florida might win 83 games, but wait theres more. Since the Phillies are so good, Florida is now about an 80 win team, again.

Uggla, last year, hit 33 home runs and had 105 RBI and 100 runs scored with a line of .287/.369/.508 in what his arguably his best season. He has a good career ground ball to fly ball ratio: .63. His career SECA is .350 and his ISO is .224. He also makes pitchers work like no other, in his career, he sees 4.04 pitches per plate appearance and in 2010, he saw 4.20 P/PA.

The Braves are going to have a fun season in 2011...O wait a second, the Phillies are the beasts of the east.

(Statistics in courtesy of: espn.com and fangraphs.com)

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