Monday, June 7, 2010

Stanton Time

June 7, 2010

The much anticipated minor league phenom has finally arrived to South Florida after a Florida Marlins series sweep at the hands of the New York Mets. The odd man out was relief pitcher Tim Wood as he allowed three runs in one and two-thirds innings of work, boosting his ERA above five. The move came on the eve of a crucial Philadelphia Phillies series, which begins on Tuesday, and the day prior to the MLB draft, which stretches from June 7th through the 9th. The Marlins find themselves in fourth place in the division (5.5 games behind the lead) and will appreciate the extended offensive production that Stanton may bring to the plate.

According to MLB.com, Stanton is ranked third among all prospects and is the most hyped prospect in South Florida since Miguel Cabrera. In just 52 games of Double-A ball with the Marlins' minor league affiliate, Stanton homered 21 times and was on pace to break the minor league record for home runs in a season. In 2008, he posted a whopping 39 home runs while playing Single-A ball for 125 games. There's no doubt that the kid can legitimately make contact, hit the ball hard and drive in runs.

However a few questions are left unanswered by this call-up. The Marlins still find themselves with a bullpen that is in a state of flux and as inconsistent as ever. Stanton will not resolve Florida's pitching woes. Beyond that, another position player will need to be moved in order to start Stanton in the lineup come Tuesday.
Cameron Maybin seems like the target of replacement, despite his recent improvements on both sides of the ball. Perhaps Stanton will come off the bench at first and fill in during pinch hit and double switch scenarios.

The conclusion is that the move will not be the end all be all for the Marlins. But it could energize the Marlins dugout akin to that of Jason Heyward's arrival in Atlanta.

Thus, Tuesday will be Fish fans' first glimpse at their newest player and the beginning of what may be a revamped Marlins team entering mid-season.

3 comments:

Ask Us said...

FYI, Stanton will be subject of special feature airing during Marlins Live pre-game show on FOX Sports Florida Tuesday night (www.foxsportsflorida.com).

jeezweez24 said...

Still a lot of baseball left but time will run out pretty quickly. Braves are playing old school Braves baseball, the Phillies are bound to get out of their slump because they're just too good, the Mets are unbeatable at home and don't sell out the Nats! I seriously get nervous every time someone other than Clay Hensley comes out of the pen because the rest of the arms have been horrible! We just can't get no one out in the 7th. As for hitting, Hanley needs to get it going because we need the RBI's! And I understand Freddy is trying help him by moving him to the lead-off spot but how is he going to drive in runs?! No doubt Uggla can hit the home run but he strikes out too much! Coghlan has showed us that he's the real deal in the lead-off spot and that helps Hanley! And Stanton, he's going to help the team but I don't think he'd hit for average (Jason Heyward is only batting around .270). He struck out 29% of the time in the Minors and you're just sure that number will go up when he has to face big time pitching. But the kid has talent and I'm stoked to see him hit balls out of the park. Just a little worried for the team!

David J. Verjano said...

@jeezweez24 - I see you have a lot on your mind about the team and are both excited and worried about the near future. I feel the same way.

Touching on your comments about the division, we are actually working on an article regarding the N.L. East (just as a sneak peek it's going to be called "The Most Interesting Division in the Majors"). This division is definitely one of the most sporadic ones in the MLB this season. Where everyone once thought that the Phillies were the undisputed leaders, now there's some doubt.

It will be an uphill battle for the Marlins the rest of the way, but they always make a push for the playoffs late. We can only hope that they don't falter in the final weeks, like they have in recent seasons.

There's plenty to anticipate and it should be an exciting second half for the entire N.L. East. Go Fish!

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