1-Kenny Lofton CF
2-Luis Castillo 2B
3-Eric Hinske 3B
4-Miguel Cabrera LF
5-Hee Seop Choi 1B
6-Ramon Hernandez C
7-Chris Aguila RF
8-Jose Vizcaino SS
Had some extra budget in the off-season and spent some money towards upgrading the line-up. The Bench is still fairly weak but more interesting. Willingham and Uggla will get their first extended looks and we get to see what they are made of on the bizarro Marlins.
1- Josh Beckett
Rafael Soriano-Set Up
Chad Fox-Short Relief
Scott Schoenweis-Short Relief
Michael Tejera-Middle Relief
Josh Johnson-Long Relief
April 18: Josh Beckett out two weeks with lower strained back
Another year, another Josh Beckett injury. Not off to quickest start (1-0 4.00 era,4.72 DICE) but still not an easy loss. Overall, things are looking reasonably good as the Marlins are off to a 6-4 start.
22-16 2 GB, Tied For Wild Card
Things looking pretty good. 38 games in the post-season is still a reality.
May 31: Brad Penny out 125 days with severe elbow tendinitis
Not an easy loss to absorb. There were high expectations for Penny but instead his season is pretty much done. Not the best season 2-1 4.79 era....but even that is attributed to bad luck as his DiCE was 3.73. Well, there's always '06. Gives Ricky Nolasco a second chance in the rotation and to bounce back from a rough couple of months.
On a general note, the back end of May didn't go so hot as the Marlins slip to 25-24 falling 4 1/2 back in east and 2 in wild card.
June 4: Kenny Lofton out 25 days with ankle stress fracture
Lofton was signed to solidify the lead off spot and has done just that to tune of 303-4-17 .358/.452. For now, lead off spot is downgraded to Luis Castillo as the Marlins struggle to stay above .500 (27-26)
June 12: Eric Hinske out 172 days with torn ankle ligament
Second time in less than two weeks a free agent acquisition from previous winter is lost to injury. His production of .296/.367/.509 will be missed and will make it easier for opposing teams to pitch around Miguel Cabrera. Sean Burroughs gets a chance to show that he is capable of being more than a throw in to the Pierre-Hernandez trade. 32-28 4 GB NL East, 1 GB Wild Card.
July 4: Miguel Cabrera out 26 Days with Wrist Stress Fracture
Things had been going so good in June only for the worst case scenario to occur on the 4th of July. The Fightin Fish are going to come together and at least tread water without their anchor of Cabrera for four weeks. His .331/.418/.582 production not being in the line-up is a huge blow to this team. Josh Willingham gets a chance to prove himself in Cabrera's place. 45-35 1.5 GB NL East, Leads Wild Card by 1 game.
July 26: A.J. Burnett out 16 days with Strained Knee
Despite the losses to the lineup (Hinske and Cabrera) the Marlins are steam-rolling through July. Not only have the Marlins taken the NL East lead, they have opened up a comfortable 6 game lead. Burnett has had bad luck this year going 6-6 with a 6.30 era (3.95 DiCE)
July 27: Chris Aguila out 16 days with foot stress fracture
Another day, another injury. Aguila has had a rough year, if the Marlins can survive Cabrera's injury i'm sure they should survive this injury.
August 7: Dontrelle Willis out 18 days with sprained finger
Willis has another mediocre year (7-8 4.93 era interrupted by injury). The division lead is up to 7 games and the rotation now has two rookies (Scott Olsen and Jason Vargas) back-ending it.
August 26: Jose Vizcaino out 17 days with sprained knee
The third free agent acquisition to get injured this year. He's been a non factor offensive .222/.279/.269. I'm definitely glad he only got signed to a one year deal. Rookie Josh Wilson gets his first crack at the big leagues due to the injury. Division lead is at 6 games.
September 14: Ricky Nolasco out 17 days with foot stress fracture
An already thin starting rotation loses another starter. A disappointing season (4-10 5.36 era gets even worse). Division lead is down to 4 1/2
October 3: Jose Vizcaino out 106 days with torn knee ligament
And thus his stint with the bizarro Marlins comes to an end. At this point, just finishing out the schedule until the playoffs.
The Marlins may be at 7 years and counting for the playoffs since making the playoffs in real life, but in this Mogul Universe it only took a couple of seasons. The bizarro Marlins end the season at 90-72 (7 games better than their real life equivalent).
NLDS vs Cardinals:
Marlins lose in 4 games to the Cards. The post-season may have been a disappointment but this virtual team gained some post-season experience and showed that they are capable of being amongst the elites in the league.
June 18: Luis Castillo- 300th career steal
The closest to a remarkable moment of a fairly ordinary season .283-1-44.
Miguel Cabrera .308/22/98
Carl Pavano 15-9 3.63 era
Rafael Soriano 7-5 2.04 era 4 saves
Cabrera had a strong year and finally got recognized as an All-Star. Pavano had a solid season and picking up Soriano to serve in the set-up role looked to be a very smart move. All 3 were first time All-Stars
Best Hitter: Miguel Cabrera
Surprise: Sean Burroughs .324-3-47
Buzz Kill: Jose Vizcaino .210-1-38
Best Pitcher: Carl Pavano
Surprise: Josh Johnson 8-4 3.14 era
Buzz Kill: Ricky Nolasco 4-10 5.36 era
Burroughs stepped up to fill the void at third after Hinske went down for the year. Vizcaino was the one free agent aquisation that did not work as planned.
Josh Johnson made his debut as a 21-year old and showed a glimpse of the future. Nolasco followed up his strong rookie audition by enduring a pretty nasty sophomore slump. Till next time.......PLAY BALL