The Miami Marlins had a relatively successful Opening Day, despite losing. It has to be considered that Stephen Strasburg was on the mound, who is arguably the best young ace in the league right now.
The Marlins really don’t have much of a team to show for. Their ace is Ricky Nolasco, who was the No. 4 Pitcher last year, after Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle (who were shipped off to Toronto), and Anibal Sanchez, who was traded mid-season last year to the Detroit Tigers. They are still trying to recover after two fire sales in one season. The first was in the middle of the season in which they traded SS/3B Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers, P Anibal Sanchez and 2B Omar Infante to the Detroit Tigers, and 1B Gaby Sanchez to the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the fire sale after the season, the Fish traded away P Heath Bell to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and gave away SS Jose Reyes, P Mark Buehrle, P Josh Johnson, 3B/OF Emilio Bonifacio, and C John Buck for SS Yunel Escobar and prospects. The Marlins then quickly flipped Escobar to the Rays. After all of this, the Marlins starters are Casey Kotchman at 1st, Donovan Solano at 2nd, Adeiny Hechavarria at SS, Placido Polanco at 3rd, and Giancarlo Stanton, Juan Pierre, and Chris Coghlan/Justin Ruggiano in outfield. This is a very lackluster team, with the only notable name being Stanton, who is arguably the best slugger in the game.
Against the Washington Nationals on Monday, the Marlins’ ace Nolasco gave up only 3 hits to the Nats, and the team as a total allowed 5. This is great, considering that these same Nationals had the best record in the National League last year. The only runs allowed in the game were two home runs from Bryce Harper off of Nolasco.
The Marlins also had some limited opportunities with their bat. At one point, they had runners at first and third with only one out. Casey Kotchman flied out to center, and Placido Polanco tried to tag up from 1st. He ended up getting caught in a pickle between 1st and 2nd. Giancarlo Stanton took advantage of this and tried to score from third, but was thrown out at home.
Although Miami lost the game 2-0, they show some promise.
Follow us on Twitter: @BigPlayTweets