|2007 Postmortem: The Florida Marlins|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on December 22, 2007
Last in the NL East 18.0 games out.
Home Runs: Miguel Cabrera 34
Average: Hanley Ramirez .332
RBI: Miguel Cabrera 119
Runs: Hanley Ramirez 125
Steals: Hanley Ramirez 51
Wins: Dontrelle Willis 10
ERA: Dontrelle Willis 5.17
Strikeouts: Dontrelle Willis
Saves: Kevin Gregg 32
Highlight of the season: Playing spoiler to the New York Mets the final weekend and taking 2 out of three games to eliminate the favorites and keep them out of the playoffs entirely. This came immediately after the Marlins swept a three game set from the Cubs which allowed the Brewers to stay in the mix right up until the final weekend.
Low point of the season: From the middle to the end of August the Marlins couldn’t seem to buy a win going 2-14 with many of those losses coming against extremely weak opposition including St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and San Francisco.
Best move of the season: Adding Kevin Gregg to the bullpen in the offseason. Gregg who had spent most of his career as an unspectacular middle reliever, blossomed as the team’s closer notching 32 saves in 34 chances. He posted a career best 3.54 ERA and averaged better than a strikeout per inning.
Worst move of the season: Trading for Armando Benitez in June didn’t work out quite the way that the Marlins envisioned. Instead of getting a proven closer who they felt might have improved the team what they got was a guy who just didn’t seem to have all the right tools anymore and who got roughed up four times in the first month. His numbers as a Marlin? an ugly 2-5 with no saves and a 5.73 ERA.
Key Player: Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez didn’t get the same credit that teammate Miguel Cabrera did but Ramirez hit .332, hit 29 home runs, drove in 81, scored 125 times and stole 51 bases while posting a .386 OBP. More importantly he’s young, in shape and tied to the Marlins for at least another couple of seasons.
Up and Coming Player: Jeremy Hermedia the Marlins right fielder, a former first round draft pick, made tremendous strides during the 2007 season. The 23 year old posted .296-18-63 in his first whole season in the majors. It’s impressive considering that he only managed to get 429 ABs and batted sixth in the lineup which wasn’t exactly a prime hitting spot for this team.
What went right: The Marlins talent development machine rolled on and plenty of young players came forward to strut their stuff. The Marlins ranked sixth in runs scored in the National League behind names like Josh Willingham, Dan Uggla and Jeremy Hermedia.
What went wrong: While the offense chugged along and scored plenty of runs the pitching went south, further south than South Florida. The Marlins posted the worst ERA (4.96) in the National League and ranked 28th overall ahead of just Baltimore and Tampa Bay. The starters were awful, the relievers on the whole were awful, and the team just gave up far too many runs.
Offseason Preview: The Marlins already made big headlines by dealing away their two most expensive players for young talent but losing a player like Miguel Cabrera was tantamount to admitting that this team isn’t going to be making a run at the NL East title anytime soon.
This cost cutting move which allowed the team to get out not just from under the contract of Cabrera but also allowed them to shed that of Dontrelle Willis, a contract which seemed as ugly as WIllis’ 5.17 ERA.
So don’t expect much from the Marlins this offseason they won’t be doing much, and expect the same in 2008.