Normally you read the headline ‘Marlins trade all-time homerun leader’ you would figure same old budget cutting Fish, thinking with their wallet. The Dan Uggla situation was different. The front office offered up a fair deal for the 30-year old slugger, it just was enough to him. The baseball debate wasn’t whether the Marlins were being cheap, it was can they replace Uggla’s bat? Just two seasons ago, the Marlins boasted a lineup with four infielders that hit over 28 homeruns. Now three-quarters of that infield are gone and Florida’s looking to sure up its defense. The new philosophy still has fans are wondering is the Fish have enough power to contend against the arms of the NL East.
The Marlins have lost 67 homeruns from last year’s opening day lineup. The loss however may be a bit over stated. Fans should put Cody Ross and Jorge Cantu to rest. For their popularity, the pair combined for one more homerun last year than new Marlins catcher John Buck. The 30-year old backstop signed a 3-year $18 million contract in the offseason, money that was designated to go to Uggla. It’s always difficult matching a career year at Buck’s age, but the Fish got only 9 homeruns between their four catchers last season.
The next part of this power restoration is a full year of Mike Stanton. The 21-year old mammoth hits homeruns with ease and authority. In a rookie campaign that spanned just one hundred games, Stanton had more homers on the team (22), than any of his current teammates last season. He was the only Marlin to post a slugging percentage over .500. Add the fact that he hit 21 homeruns in just over fifty AA games; Stanton should fit the role of Florida’s main power supply quite nicely.
Hanley Ramirez may be the most important factor in putting punch back into Florida’s lineup. The $70 million man was somewhat of a glorified singles hitter in 2010. Hanley saw a tremendous drop off in extra base hits last year. In his first four big league seasons he averaged almost 43 doubles a year. In 2010 he hit just 28. That number has to improve. For goodness sake he’s Hanley Ramirez not Alfonso Soriano 2.0. The power in this lineup doesn’t seem like a glaring hole. With youth, free agents and improved play from Hanley, the Marlins should have plenty of pop to even make Rich Waltz forget the name of their former 2nd baseman.
About the Author
Written by Brendan Tobin
Life long Marlins fan who's had the privilege of covering the team the last 2 seasons for Sports Talk 790 The Ticket in Miami, FL.