Know Your Enemy: Miami Marlins

Mike Ehrmann

Ozzie's gone. Buehrle's gone. Reyes is gone. Josh Johnson is gone. Jeffrey Loria is laughing all the way to the bank, but I'm guessing Marlins fans don't think it's funny.

Here's how bad things are for the Marlins: they signed Juan Pierre, and he's expected to be their starting left fielder. Pierre isn't a bad player, but he will be 36 in August, and eventually, he's going to start slowing down. The Marlins signed another old player, 37-year-old Placido Polanco, to be their starting third baseman.

Giancarlo Stanton is, of course, really, really good, but he won't have much, if any, help in the starting lineup.

Ricky Nolasco is the only Marlins starting pitcher with any significant MLB experience after the Fish shipped Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to Toronto. The Marlins are hoping that 22-year-old Henderson Alvarez, one of the seven players the Marlins received when they sent pretty much everything except the home-run sculpture to Toronto last offseason, will build off his decent rookie season. Alvarez has talent, but the Marlins have very little experience either in the rotation or the bullpen, where the wacky motion of Steve Cishek will be in evidence in the ninth inning. Cishek will be their closer; he did save 15 games for them last year after Heath Bell turned into a monumental failure.

Jeffrey Loria is paying Ozzie Guillen for three years to not manage his team. Mike Redmond seems like a pleasant enough guy, and he claims he knew what he was getting into, but somewhere, Ozzie is laughing his head off -- and, according to one report, is thinking about managing in Asia. That would be must-see TV, if you could find a place to watch it.

The schedule-makers did it again here; the Cubs have a four-game series in Miami at the end of April, then three games against the Fish at Wrigley September 2-3-4.

Tomorrow, a look at the New York Mets.

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