Restoring the rosters: No. 16 – Florida

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This is part of a series of articles examining what every team’s roster would look like if given only the players it originally signed. I’m compiling the rosters, ranking them and presenting them in a countdown from Nos. 30 to 1.
No. 30 – Cincinnati
No. 29 – Kansas City
No. 28 – San Diego
No. 27 – Milwaukee
No. 26 – Baltimore
No. 25 – Chicago (AL)
No. 24 – Chicago (NL)
No. 23 – Pittsburgh
No. 22 – Detroit
No. 21 – Tampa Bay
No. 20 – New York (NL)
No. 19 – Houston
No. 18 – Oakland
No. 17 – St. Louis
The Marlins are known for developing young talent and then spinning the players once they begin to get expensive. But the talent that comes in via trades doesn’t help them here. As far as procuring talent through the draft and internationally, they’re a middle-of-the-road team, as they’ve managed to surround the superstars with surprisingly little depth.
Rotation
Josh Beckett
Josh Johnson
Chris Volstad
Scott Olsen
Rick VandenHurk
Bullpen
Ronald Belisario
Logan Kensing
Jason Vargas
Randy Messenger
Ryan Tucker
Tim Wood
Yorman Bazardo
Two studs, an impressive youngster and that’s really it. The bullpen is about as poor as any in these rankings, even in light of Belisario’s breakthrough season with the Dodgers. After Volstad, the choices for the rotation were Olsen, VandenHurk, Sean West and a broken down Nate Robertson. West will probably be a legitimate fourth starter by this time next year, and he has considerable upside going forward. There isn’t a whole lot of promise after that, though.
Lineup
2B Luis Castillo
CF Randy Winn
1B Adrian Gonzalez
LF Miguel Cabrera
RF Josh Willingham
3B Chris Coghlan
SS Alex Gonzalez
C Brett Hayes
Bench
SS Edgar Renteria
OF Jeremy Hermida
1B-OF Mark Kotsay
C-INF Gaby Sanchez
C-1B Jeff Bailey
There are several directions in which one could go here. I’ve opted for offense in the corners and the best defense up the middle. Obviously, one has to make room for both Adrian Gonzalez and Cabrera, and I chose to go with Cabrera in left field and Coghlan at third base, though one could argue that they should swap positions. Or for Cabrera at third, Willingham in left and Hermida in right.
I think Alex Gonzalez is a better player than Renteria right now, though I may be in the minority there.
Catcher is a big problem, but it’s too late for a Charles Johnson comeback now. Willingham, Sanchez and Bailey are all former Marlins prospects who have moved off the position, for good reasons in every case. Still, it’d probably be worth seeing whether either Sanchez or Bailey could handle a pitching staff. Hayes is a decent enough defender, but he’s a 25-year-old hitting .246/.284/.337 in Triple-A.
If Bailey can’t catch because of his old physical issues, he’d be bumped off the roster in favor of Ross Gload or Kevin Millar.
Summary
The Marlins have three more very talented corner players on the way in Mike Stanton, Logan Morrison and Matt Dominguez, but they’ve really struggled to develop pitching and it probably hasn’t helped that they’ve been guilty of rushing arms through the system. They can’t complain about bad luck when they’ve come up with both Johnson and Volstad during the decade, but they’ve run through so many other arms and haven’t come up with any durable fourth starters or quality relievers. Having a couple of additional legitimate major league arms would have gone a long way towards boosting their playoff chances this year.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”