NL East Preview: Florida Marlins

Ryan GaydosSenior Analyst IMarch 24, 2009

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 22:  Cameron Maybin #24 of the Florida Marlins poses during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium February 22, 2009 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

The Marlins will have a lot of young help this year, with the returning Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Jeremy Hermida, and Cameron Maybin looking to make significant contributions.

They also acquired third baseman Emilio Bonifacio from Washington for pitcher Scott Olsen. However, Florida did lose closer Kevin Gregg, who had 29 saves last year. Replacing him is Matt Lindstrom.

The reason why I have the Marlins in third place is because they will not compare to the Phillies or the Mets in terms of their pitching staff.

Josh Johnson needs to come into full stride this year. He only started 14 games, but he did go 7-1. Andrew Miller also needs to step up this year as well. Last year he was 6-10 with a 5.87 ERA in 19 games.

Keep an Eye on: Matt Lindstrom, relief pitcher

Although he injured himself in the WBC, Lindstrom is a young gun who picked up five saves last year with the Marlins. Lindstrom adopts the full-time closer role from Kevin Gregg.

Projected Lineup

1. Cameron Maybin, CF
2. Jeff Baker, C
3. Hanley Ramirez, SS
4. Jorge Cantu, 1B
5. Dan Uggla, 2B
6. Cody Ross, RF
7. Jeremy Hermida, LF
8. Emilio Bonifacio, 3B

Projected Pitching Staff

1. Ricky Nolasco, RHP
2. Josh Johnson, RHP
3. Chris Volstad, RHP
4. Anibal Sanchez, RHP
5. Andrew Miller, LHP

Projected Bullpen

Matt Lindstrom
Leo Nunez
Renyel Pinto
Logan Kensing

Top Prospects

1. Cameron Maybin, CF
2. Mike Stanton, CF
3. Logan Morrison, 1B
4. Matt Dominguez, 3B
5. Chris Coghlan, 2B