MIAMI MARLINS PREVIEW

A look at Miami Marlins starters for 2013

 

MARLINS STARTERS

1B | Casey Kotchman | 18

Age: 30

Birthplace: St. Petersburg

Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 220

Bats/Throws: L-L

About: Knowing that projected first baseman Logan Morrison likely would start the season on the disabled list, the Marlins brought in reinforcements by signing the nine-year veteran. Kotchman is one of the top defensive first basemen in the majors. The Marlins will be his eighth team in six seasons.

2B | Donovan Solano | 17

Age: 25

Birthplace: Barranquilla, Colombia

Ht./Wt.: 5-9, 189

Bats/Throws: R-R

About: Solano made his major-league debut last season, becoming only the 12th player from Colombia to play in the big leagues. Brother Jhonathan, a catcher with the Nationals, made his debut eight days later in a game against the Marlins. Solano can play multiple positions, but the Marlins have him penciled in as their second baseman.

SS | Adeiny Hechavarria | 3

Birthplace: Santiago De Cuba, Cuba

Age: 23

Ht./Wt.: 5-11, 180

Bats/Throws: R-R

About: Hechavarria was one of seven players acquired by the Marlins in their 12-player trade with Toronto in November. The slick-fielding shortstop made his big-league debut with the Blue Jays on Aug. 4 and hit .254 with two home runs in 126 at-bats. One of two players in the projected everyday lineup (Rob Brantly at catcher being the other) with fewer than 200 major-league at bats.

3B | Placido Polanco | 30

Birthplace: Santo Domingo, D.R.

Age: 37

Ht./Wt.: 5-10, 190

Bats/Throws: R-R

About: The Marlins are crossing their fingers that the back problems that limited the 15-year veteran to 90 games last season are behind him. Polanco is a career .299 hitter and brings a steady infield glove. Polanco is a product of Miami-Dade Community College (Wolfson Campus).

LF | Juan Pierre | 9

Birthplace: Mobile, Ala.

Age: 35

Ht./Wt.: 5-11, 175

Bats/Throws: L-L

About: A prominent member of the 2003 Marlins who won the World Series, Pierre returns to South Florida after a seven-year absence in which he spent time with the Cubs, Dodgers, White Sox and Phillies. Pierre hit .307 and stole 37 bases last season for Philadelphia. Ranks third on the Marlins’ all-time list with 167 steals.

CF | Justin Ruggiano | 20

Birthplace: Austin, Texas

Age: 30

Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 205

Bats/Throws: R-R

About: Obtained in a low-level trade with Houston last May and made an immediate impact, hitting .313 with 13 home runs in 91 games. Can play any of the three outfield spots and hit equally well at home and on the road, but his home run numbers dipped at Marlins Park, as they did with most players. Might be asked to share time in center.

RF | Giancarlo Stanton | 27

Birthplace: Panorama, Calif.

Age: 23

Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 205

Bats/Throws: R-R

About: Quickly emerged as one of the majors’ elite sluggers with tape-measure power. Was the Marlins’ lone selection to the All-Star team in 2012 but was unable to participate due to knee surgery that caused him to miss a month. Also played for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

C | Rob Brantly | 19

Birthplace: San Diego.

Age: 23

Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 205

Bats/Throws: L-R

About: Obtained with pitcher Jacob Turner from Detroit in the deal last July that sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers. Showed promise with the bat, hitting .290 in 100 at-bats with the Marlins late in the season, but his defense needs work. Threw out only 18 percent of base stealers with the Marlins but had a 32 percent success rate in the minors.

SP | Ricky Nolasco | 47

Birthplace: Corona, Calif.

Age: 30

Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 223

Bats/Throws: R-R

About: The Marlins’ all-time franchise leader in wins and strikeouts. Obtained in a 2005 trade with the Cubs that sent Juan Pierre to Chicago. The highest-paid player on the roster ($11.5 million) and entering the final year of his contract. As a result, there’s a possibility the dependable right-hander will be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

SP | Nathan Eovaldi | 24

Birthplace: Houston

Age: 23

Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 215

Bats/Throws: R-R

About: Obtained from the Dodgers in the deal that sent Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate to Los Angeles last July and quickly firmed up a rotation spot. Despite a 4-13 overall record last season (3-7 after joining the Marlins), scouts tend to give Eovaldi high marks for his “stuff.” Figures to be the No. 2 starter behind Ricky Nolasco.

SP | Kevin Slowey | 47

Birthplace: Conroe, Texas

Age: 28

Ht./Wt.: 6-2, 200

Bats/Throws: R-R

About: Signed as a non-roster invitee, Slowey made a strong enough impression in spring training to not only work his way onto the roster but also forge his way into the rotation. Once a mainstay in the Minnesota Twins’ rotation, Slowey hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011 due to injuries and hasn’t won since 2010.

SP | Henderson Alvarez | 37

Birthplace: Valencia, Venezuela

Age: 22

Ht./Wt.: 6-1, 210

Bats/Throws: R-R

About: Obtained with five others from the Blue Jays in the 12-player deal in November, Alvarez doesn’t blow away batters. With Toronto last season, Alvarez averaged only 3.8 strikeouts per nine innings — the second-lowest ratio among the 121 pitchers to total at least 120 innings last season.

SP | Wade LeBlanc | 25

Birthplace: Lake Charles, La.

Age: 28

Ht./Wt.: 6-3, 214

Bats/Throws: L-L

About: Being one of the few left-handed candidates, LeBlanc figured to win a spot in the rotation. If not, he would also fit the role of long reliever. LeBlanc did both — started and relieved — for the Marlins in 2012 after spending the first part of the season in the minors.

Closer | Steve Cishek | 31

Birthplace: Falmouth, Mass.

Age: 26

Ht./Wt.: 6-6, 218

Bats/Throws: R-R

About: Heath Bell is gone, much to the relief of Marlins fans, and the closer’s job goes to Cishek, who has done everything right so far. Cishek impressed everyone in the World Baseball Classic with his ability to work out of jams that he inherited and gained some valuable experience as the Marlins’ ninth-inning man after Bell lost the job. Cishek recorded 15 saves.

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