Marlins on the mend
With a modest payroll, success for the Marlins’ largely rests on the team staying healthy.
Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest touched on that Wednesday during the announcement that Edwin Rodriguez would return as manager.
“We need to keep our starting pitching healthy,” Beinfest said. “We need to keep JJ, Ricky, Anibal and Vollie pitching deep into September. We really can’t afford to lose our starting pitching like we did this year.”
Josh Johnson missed the final few weeks with a back and shoulder ailment. Nolasco was out down the stretch with a meniscus tear in his right knee. Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad pitched down the stretched, and both actually finished up strong.
The Marlins will be counting on Johnson, Nolasco, Sanchez and Volstad to be four workhorses in 2011.
“One of the things we’re looking for the team to do too is to just grow up a little bit,” Beinfest said. “We’ve transitioned a little bit some of the guys who had been here since ’06. … Health and the arms will be important.”
Currently, several players are on the mend this offseason. Johnson and Nolasco are recovering nicely, and neither should have any restrictions when Spring Training gets underway.
Chris Coghlan is recovering from a meniscus tear in his left knee. Coghlan recently was checked out by team physician, Dr. Lee Kaplan. As of now, he doesn’t have a timeline to start baseball activities.
Hanley Ramirez, who was bothered with left elbow inflammation, will soon be examined again by Kaplan to determine when he will begin baseball activities. Ramirez is spending much of the offseason in Miami working out.
John Baker underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, and he hasn’t begun baseball activities.
Sean West, who was in the Arizona Fall League, has been sent home with a left elbow strain. The 6-foot-8 lefty is scheduled to see Kaplan. The team doesn’t think the injury is serious, but more will be known after the visit.
Alex Sanabia, who missed his final start due to a right forearm strain, is making progress. The team didn’t think the ailment was serious.
Also on Wednesday, Beinfest noted that the team has had on-going discussions with Terry Bross, Dan Uggla’s agent, regarding a long-term contract for the power-hitting second baseman. There has been little movement, however, on a multiyear deal with Nolasco, who has two more seasons left in arbitration.
Beinfest said he was given his payroll range for the ’11 season. He didn’t give any estimates, but he noted payroll will be higher than the $46 million in 2010.
Look for Florida’s payroll to be in the $50 million range.
– Joe Frisaro