Inbox: How do Marlins plan to power up in 2013?
Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers questions from fans
How will the Marlins address their power issue? We seemed to have no offense this year due to the fact that we couldn't drive in runs. You can't steal home.
-- Eddie R., Youngstown, Ohio
At the recent news conference introducing Mike Redmond as manager, president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said, "We need more pop."
Aside from Giancarlo Stanton, there aren't too many power threats. Stanton belted 37 home runs, second in the National League to Ryan Braun's 41.
But behind Stanton's 37, the most homers hit by a Marlin was 14, and that was by a player -- Hanley Ramirez -- who spent only half the season in Miami before being traded. Justin Ruggiano connected on 13, followed by John Buck (12), Jose Reyes (11) and Logan Morrison (11).
The Marlins clearly need another power bat, preferably from the left side. The biggest on the market is Josh Hamilton, but his asking price appears to be out of Miami's price range.
A couple of right-handed options are B.J. Upton and Justin Upton.
The signals we are getting is that the Marlins won't likely be in the market for high-profile free agents, and Alex Rodriguez, according to the Yankees, isn't expected to be traded.
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The model the Marlins appear to be leaning toward is the one of 2006, when they got younger, but added bargains. In that year, they were able to obtain such players as Dan Uggla, Cody Ross and Miguel Olivo, affordable talents who possessed power.
Bringing back Ross would make sense, but at this point, it is unclear if the Marlins are thinking that way.
To a point, I understand that the front office wants to win with pitching and defense. ... I think you need to be able to score runs also.
-- Gary R., Rochester, N.Y.
You are right that the offense needs to improve, but the theory of winning with pitching and defense is the most fundamental in sport. Quite simply, if your pitching can keep the score down, you have a chance to win.
Look at the Giants. They've won two World Series titles in three years relying heavily on dominant pitching.
Miami's roster, as of right now, features three veteran starting pitchers -- Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Ricky Nolasco. Obviously, all three had their inconsistencies in 2012, but each of them also threw more than 190 innings, which is very valuable. All three have track records, and they project to be the foundation for the '13 squad. I don't think they are actively looking to trade any of them. Perhaps that could change during the season, if Miami is not in contention by the non-waiver Trade Deadline.
The quickest way to turn things around is to have a quality rotation and a defense that doesn't cost them extra outs.
Why didn't the Marlins keep Ozzie Guillen? He's a proven winner. Ozzie is a great manager and was a great player. What are three reasons for him leaving?
-- Vinny C., Farmingdale, N.Y.
Despite his successes in the past, Guillen's fate inevitably was decided by one simple fact -- lack of performance. Bottom line is, the team didn't win, and upper management determined a change was needed.
Three reasons for the move: 1) Record. 2) Underperformance. 3) Change the clubhouse culture.
This is not to say that all the fault fell on Guillen, but the 2012 team was assembled to win, with many high-priced veterans. Even Ozzie made it clear that the sport is a business. When you don't win, there are consequences. In the eyes of the front office, a new voice was needed.
Do you see new hitting coach Tino Martinez making a difference to the offense?
-- Steve N., Southwest Ranches, Fla.
This is an interesting hire, because Martinez is a proven winner with no previous big league coaching experience. He was part of four World Series teams with the Yankees. That alone brings credibility to what likely will be a youthful lineup.
Can Martinez coach? We will see. He hasn't done so at this level, but that doesn't seem to be an impediment in the game any more.
The growing trend is to go with respected former players not too far removed from their playing days. It's happening at the managerial level for a number of clubs. A prime example is Redmond, who retired as a player in 2010.
If you display leadership and can command respect, you could be a candidate.
We will see what philosophies and approaches Martinez instills in the players. Ultimately, it is a case of management believing in the person and that he can get the job done, despite not having ever been on a big league staff.
Why did the Marlins carry outfielders who barely hit .200 and refuse to bring back Chris Coghlan?
-- Frank R., West Palm Beach, Fla.
The decline of Coghlan is another one of those baffling storylines within the organization. The 2009 National League Rookie of the Year Award winner made the Opening Day roster, but he never got on track in a backup role, batting .140 in 39 games. Coghlan spent a majority of the season at Triple-A New Orleans, where he hit .284 in 84 games.
Obviously, the Marlins carried other outfielders who didn't produce big offensive numbers. Gorkys Hernandez hit .212 in 45 games, Bryan Petersen was at .195 in 84 games and Scott Cousins was at .163 in 53 games. Cousins no longer is with the organization.
Basically, the team felt that the others were more deserving of being in the big leagues late in the season. Hernandez, obtained from the Pirates in the trade for Gaby Sanchez, is out of options, and he will get a long look in Spring Training.
Coghlan is playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic, where he is batting .229 in 19 games. One thing of note: He's playing second base. Perhaps if Coghlan remains with Miami, he will get a look in the infield.
Coghlan has been dealing with injuries and inconsistencies since 2009, and his future with the franchise certainly appears to be in doubt.