Marlins Spring Training: A Torture Guide
The Miami Marlins are back! In Jupiter! Wait, don't leave! There are a couple of things you might want to keep an eye on between Heat games and Dolphins TMZ Sports news.
The Marlins aren't entering the 2014 season with many expectations, or much hype, and real baseball is still a month away, but here are a few things to watch as the Marlins warm up throughout March:
New faces! Oh, no, they aren't that good. The good news is the Marlins went out and spent some money. The bad news is the Marlins spent that money at the Dollar Tree, and SpaghettiOs are for dinner. Dammit! Hey, we know what the Marlins are about at this point, so we might as well scrounge through the $5 DVD bin and find something worth watching once or twice. With additions such as Matt Angle, Rafael Furcal, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, it's as if the team sought out every single player who batted eighth for another team. You know that guy in your fantasy league who's in last place and decides to drop his entire team and then proceeds to build an entirely new team off waiver-wire pick-ups? He's the Marlins! Because screw it!
Who will "win" the fifth starter spot? Anthony DeSclafani, Brian Flynn, Brad Hand, Jonathan Bugsbulberry, Andrew Heaney, Tom Koehler, Alexis Rodgarciaiano, Justin Nicolino, and Kevin Slowey are the contestants on the crappiest game show ever. Actually, I made up two of those names, but I'm not telling you which ones, because you're reading a Marlins spring training preview, and you deserve to be punished.
Can anyone hit? Like, literally, just one person, can he hit? The Marlins ranked last in the National League in average, OBP, SLG, and runs scored last season. I'm no MLB analytics guru, but I have seen Moneyball three times, and I feel confident saying that seems bad. The addition of Saltalamacchia and a healthy Giancarlo Stanton should help, but beyond that there isn't exactly any Silver Slugger Award winners in this lineup. What I'm saying here is watch for Marlins attempting to touch home plate, because you might not see it too often.
How much more superawesome can Jose Fernandez be? Fernandez's rookie-of-the-year campaign may be just a taste of things to come, mainly because he's training like a World's Strongest Man competitor. He has spent the offseason pulling cars around high school tracks and biking triple-digit miles in just a few days. Even the most jaded Marlins fan still keeps up with what Jose Fernandez is doing. He's one of the few things left worth watching.
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