The Fish Have Been Caught in a Snag

Kyle WardContributor IMay 11, 2009

The Florida Marlins were off to a hot 13-1 start and playing well until they ran into the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Obviously, the Pirates’ advance scouts saw holes in Bonifacio’s swing as the Bucs handcuffed both Hanley Ramirez and Emilio Bonifacio. 

The Marlins have been struggling to get wins from their rotation as they went through 20 straight games without a win from a starter, 14 short of the Major League record.

They have Anibal Sanchez out until after the All-star break with a shoulder injury suffered in Miami.  

Crafty pitchers like Jamie Moyer and Aaron Cook will handcuff them as the Marlins are either rakers or big time whiffers, just ask Jorge De La Rosa, he struck 12 on May 9.  

Josh Johnson is 3-0 and has shown he is their ace.  Ricky Nolasco has been scuffling of late sitting at 1-3 on season heading into May.  Matt Lindstrom has 6 saves out of 8 opportunities. 

He continues to struggle on high pitch count innings when he tries pin down a save.  The Mets gave up on him because they felt he couldn’t add a second pitch other than his 100 mph fastball.  

Cameron Maybin is barely hitting over the Mendoza line at .204, but with the arrival of Chris Coghlan to the lineup, that could push him off the field regularly.  

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Maybin has 33 strikeouts through 84 at bats.  Dan Uggla is also struggling at the dish as well hitting under .200, and scuffling.

Hanley Ramirez continues to rake, but having more of a compact season compared to last season.   Here is an overall summary and grade of the opening day lineup:

1B Jorge Cantu: Cantu has been a delightful hit with 8 homers and 32 RBIs.   His wrist continues to nag him but if he keeps raking, he may get an All-Star nod. Grade: A-

2B Dan Uggla:  He’s hitting the ball hard and well.   He will come around, though.   When his bat comes back alive, that could be scary for Marlins foes.   Grade-C-

SS Hanley Ramirez: Hanley has not hit as many homers as he did in 2008 at this time, but the compactness of his at bats are being more productive.  His defense is better than most will advertise.  Grade- B+

3B Emilio Bonifacio:  His opening day was over the top, but he has come way down to earth sense then.  His arm is great, his speed is overwhelmingly making him a past on the base paths.  He needs to start hitting more extra base hits the fish to keep playing well.  Grade: C+

LF Jeremy Hermida:  This his most important season in Florida.  He must be more productive or he won’t make it in Miami.  He just needs to stay healthy and have more productive professional at bats.  Grade: C

CF Cameron Maybin:  This guy is 5 tool player, he admitted earlier this year that he doesn’t want to be just a home run hitter.  He must produce consistently or he’ll be in New Orleans before long. He has great speed when its showcased, but he does need some polishing.

RF Cody Ross:  This guy has been the wild card so far.  Cody hit at least 20 homers in 2008, but he’s hitting only .221 so far, but he will come around once the weather gets warmer. Grade: C+

C John Baker:  Baker has been a solid battery mate for the Fish in 2009.  He hits second in the batting order, which is rare in the game.  He has a patient eye at the plate, hitting .288 at the dish.    Grade: B-

SP Ricky Nolasco   Ricky has great stuff.  He hasn’t won since opening day, but his stuff hasn’t been been well put together all year.  He has to be able to hit his location and throw his Change-up for strikes.   Grade: C-