2011 MLB Preview: Florida Marlins

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2011 MLB Preview: Florida Marlins
Marc Serota/Getty Images

9 Innings Blog will be bringing you previews of every Major League Baseball team for the next 30 days. This is in accordance with our 30 teams in 30 days series. Today, we are bringing you the 2011 preview for the Florida Marlins. The Marlins have a very young team and are looking to try and reclaim some kind of prominence in the NL East this season.

The Marlins finished third in the NL East last season with an 80-82 record which wasn’t bad considering the kind of team they had. Other than the 80 wins, the Marlins did not have very many highlights from the 2010 season.

Towards the end of June, the team fired manager Fredi Gonzalez and replaced him with Edwin Rodriguez. Gonzalez is now the manager of the Atlanta Braves replacing retired manager Bobby Cox.

The Marlins also had Phillies starter Roy Halladay throw a perfect game at SunLife Stadium, which was the second in the 2010 season and the 20th in MLB history.

Josh Johnson had an outstanding season going 11-6 with a 2.30 ERA and recording 186 strikeouts. On the offensive side, SS Hanley Ramirez had an up-and-down season clashing with the manager and batting .300 hitting 21 homers with 76 RBI.

However, the Marlins traded away a big part of their team in Dan Uggla. The offseason for Florida started with Uggla not being able to re-sign with the team and he ended up getting traded to Atlanta for 2B Omar Infante who will fill in for Uggla.

Florida did sign RHP Javier Vazquez from the Yankees. Vazquez was 10-10 with a 5.32 ERA for the Yankees sharing time between the rotation and the bullpen last season.

Florida also signed catcher John Buck from Kansas City to upgrade their catcher position. Buck hit 20 homers with 66 RBI and a batting average of .281. He was the biggest signing for Florida as they look to win their first division crown.

But in a division with Philadelphia and Atlanta, the Marlins at best could finish third this year, but I think they may slip up and could finish just behind the Mets. Anything is possible nowadays.

Key Addition: John Buck, CA

Breakout Player: Mike Stanton, OF

Prediction: Third NL East

Starters
C: John Buck
1B: Gaby Sanchez
2B: Omar Infante
3B: Matt Dominguez
SS: Hanley Ramirez
OF: Mike Stanton
OF: Chris Coghlan
OF: Logan Morrison

Pitching Rotation
SP: Josh Johnson
SP: Ricky Nolasco
SP: Anibal Sanchez
SP: Javier Vazquez
SP: Chris Volstad

RP: Burke Badenhop
RP: Randy Choate
RP: Ed Mujica
RP: Mike Dunn
RP: Ryan Webb
RP: Clay Hensley
CP: Leo Nunez

Bench
C: Brett Hayes
3B: Wes Helms
INF: Donnie Murphy
UTL: Emilio Bonifacio
OF: Scott Cousins

Top Prospects
1). Matt Dominguez, 3B
2). Chad James, LHP
3). Christian Yelich, LF
4). Jhan Marinez, RHP
5). Ozzie Martinez, SS

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