Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Time to Face Facts: The Marlins Are Good

This joyride of a season has now reached 14 games, and the Marlins sit atop the National League East at 9-5. Predicted by nearly every analyst to finish last, there were clearly some miscalculations. What were they?

1. Hermida and Jacobs: Contributor Mike had some choice words for Mike Jacobs this week. Regardless of what any scouts or sabermetric proponents say, the guy keeps hitting homeruns. I watched his ABs carefully tonight. Yes, he's been feasting on fastballs, but I maintain what I argued before; he set himself up for it. In his HR tonight, he patiently waited for a 2-0 count before getting the juice. Maybe his greatest gift is that he knows his limitations and bats around them.

Hermida, on the other hand, is finally achieving his early potential. When I think of a South Florida parallel, Olli Jokinen comes to mind. It's as if the light bulb went off last summer, and now everything is falling into place. Between Hanley, Hermida, and Jacobs, the Marlins have a bit of a murderer's row.

2. Supporting Cast: In 2003, a number of Marlins had career years. It seems to be happening here too, with the likes of Alfredo Amezaga, Jorge Cantu, Robert Andino, etc. Luis Gonzalez has fit in beautifully as the 4th OF (homered tonight), and with Wes Helms replacing Jason Wood, there isn't a weak spot on the offense.

3. Bullpen: The bullpen has been nothing short of Fish-tastic. So Marlin-ous has this group been, that they've completely covered for the starters to date. The bullpen hasn't failed in a single game, maintaining every lead they were given. If this keeps up, the Marlins could be showing some resemblance to the 2006 Angels.

I don't blame the experts for undervaluing the Marlins. Few could have seen this coming, but for the above reasons, we can now say the Marlins are officially a good team.


Imber said...

While the Marlins have been nothing short of impressive, I do think it's a little early, in Mid-April, to call them a good team. If they're hanging around in May into June, then yes. I think one thing that's an issue is I believe they came into tonight with a starter's ERA of 7.17. There's only so long until the bullpen, which has been fantastic, burns out. It's been quite a start, but I want to see them keep it up.

ASponge said...

It is premature, but it's not as premature as...say, 5-3.

I think the Marlins are showing they're at least a middle-of-the-road team, if not better. That's far better than predicted.

Rate said...

14 down, 148 to go.

There's still a loooooong road to plow.

That being said, they definitely are doing much better then predicted.

Bryce Adams said...

Anytime your club is playing above .500 ball and winning alot of close games you have more then enough right to boast a little.

Future Fish said...

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too early to call them good.

but it's a really nice run right now

Anonymous said...

Damn, I just visited this blog for the first time, but you just lost all credibility with me. How the hell can you say the Marlins are a good squad??? That's like saying Joe Crede is a better than David Wright because he had a hot start. Truth be told, the Marlins are bad at best.

Jay Warman said...

Truth be told Calm Bobby, it's too early to say they are "bad at best".

While 9-5 is a small sample size, you have no evidence to support the fact that YOU THINK they are "bad at best."

What's worse than bad anyway?

Whatever it is, the Marlins aren't it.

ASponge said...

The bigger point, Calm Bobby, is that the Marlins are missing half their rotation, had no Hermida for a week, and were projected last in the NL.

The word "good" means more of "much better than anticipated." I hope you'll continue to give the blog a chance. We appreciate your readership, disgruntled as it is.

Anonymous said...

I like the blog, I'll continue reading. But the Marlins are still a bad team. Jacobs, one of the sole offensive contributors, has the biggest hole in his swing I have ever seen. He will slow down, and he will slow down soon. Sure, I'd like to see the Marlins compete, but it's just not realistic. I can only see them being decent if the young guys play way over their heads and the organization adds an extra arm or two to the rotation.

Jay Warman said...

Does anyone remember 2006? Hello? That team started 11-31 and almost made the playoffs. But some people never learn than anything can happen in baseball.

Jay Warman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.