SunSentinel Marlins Writer Juan C. Rodriguez answers YOUR questions about the team! You can read his latest comments below. To submit your question, e-mail here.
Please include your name, city and state with each question.
May 1, 2012
Q: Last year I was on vacation in Clearwater and I read the Tampa paper, and they did an outstanding job in covering the Tampa Rays minor league teams. Here in South Florida no one does any coverage of the Marlins' minor league teams. Why don’t we do something on a weekly basis regarding our minor league teams and players? Mike, Miramar
A: Good point, Mike. We used to have a weekly article in print on the minor leagues. As our space started getting chopped, that was one of the first things to go. No reason why we can't provide occasional updates on the farm system in blog posts or even in print. I try to make mention of any highlights. Last month I wrote about low-A Greensboro tossing a combined no-hitter and Christian Yelich winning Florida State League Player of the Week. Will toss a few more updates out there this week from San Francisco.
Q: How much did they pay for Reyes? What a bust! I know it is early in the season but his defense has been as bad as his offense (just over .200). A lot of analysts thought they over paid and I guess they did. What a shame! Howard, Pembroke Pines
Plenty of Marlins' fans share your frustration, not just with Reyes but with several of the club's hitters. No doubt Reyes is garnering much of the spotlight after signing a six-year, $106 million contract and coming off a National League batting title. It's not uncommon for players on new teams, especially those with big contracts, to try a little to hard to make an impression. See Albert Pujols. Probably a little of that happening with Reyes. On a positive note, his line drive rate is about the same as a it was last season, but his batting average on balls in play is way down. That suggests he's run into some bad luck and due for a bounce back.
Sept. 24, 2011
Q: Do you think if the Marlins are able to get Ozzie Guillen as the new manager he can sway Juan Pierre and Mark Buehrle away from the White Sox? The Marlins could use speed and a good left handed pitcher. Danny, Coral Springs
A: Both Juan Pierre and Mark Buehrle are free agents. If the bidding gets crazy for left-hander C.J. Wilson, I can see the Marlins making a run at Buehrle. He's earned $14 million each of the last three years and I would think he'd want at least that much for no less than each of the next three years. Buehrle turns 33 next March. He has been with the White Sox his entire pro career and his preference is to remain in Chicago. If for whatever reason it doesn't work out, the question is would he consider signing with the Marlins? As far as Pierre, at 34 he's shown he has something left in the tank. Not sure if the Marlins are in a position to offer him a starting job. Emilio Bonifacio is a bit of an X factor. He's going to start somewhere, possibly center depending on how things play out.
Sept. 11, 2011
Q: As a usually optimistic Marlins fan, it is difficult for me to think like this, but overlooking the entire franchise, it does not seem to be in good shape. It also seems that there is not enough heat on Larry Beinfest. He has whiffed on nearly every first round pick in his entire career with the Fish. Can you tell me why this front office is still highly regarded? Obviously there are not enough people who care about baseball down here in South Florida to really create an issue. Aaron, Fort Lauderdale
A: When a team has a season like the Marlins did this year, everybody can shoulder some of the blame, from Beinfest to his lieutenants to coaches and players. That the Marlins have missed more than they've connected on first-rounders isn't really Beinfest's fault. He's not on the front line evaluating all these guys. Keep in mind, if you're going to pan the Marlins â deservedly so â for bad first-round picks, you also have to give them credit for finding Josh Johnson and Gaby Sanchez in the fourth, Logan Morrison in the 22nd and Alex Sanabia in the 32nd. The Marlins for the most part have put together competitive major league teams and enjoyed a steady flow of talent from the minors with limited financial resources. Let's see what this group can do with more money at its disposal from the new ballpark.
Sept. 1, 2011
Q: What is the latest on Hanley Ramirez? What is your best guess for a return to the team? Marc, New York
A: Ramirez underwent an arthrogram MRI on Wednesday, a day after he re-injured the left shoulder he sprained diving for a ball during an Aug. 2 game at Citi Field. The results did not show any structural damage, but the Marlins' medical staff has not ruled out surgery to correct whatever is causing the shoulder to slip out. Ramirez already had one surgery on that shoulder after the 2007 season. It appears more likely Ramirez's season is over.
Q: When will tickets be available and do you expect sellouts for the April 1-2 exhibition games versus the Yankees? Jason, Boca Raton
A: Full and partial season ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets for the April 1-2 exhibition games against the Yankees at the new ballpark. About 25,000 will be made available for the April 1 game and 30,000 for the April 2 contest. A limited amount of tickets will go on sale to the general public in the spring of 2012. Considering the opponent and that the Marlins aren't trying to fill the stadium to capacity for what amount to a pair of dressed rehearsals, good chance they reach their target for both games.
Q: Why are the Marlins playing Mike Cameron in center still? Cameron was a very good player, but the season is lost. Giving Bryan Peterson 30-40 games in center is more important, but Jack McKeon said recently Cameron is his centerfielder. Can you justify this lunacy? I can't. Andrew, Sarasota
A: Through Wednesday, Mike Cameron since joining the Marlins was hitting .216 (27-for-125) with a .647 on-base plus slugging percentage. He's had some knee issues and his body may be telling him this is the end of the road. McKeon has said his priority is to tack on as many wins as possible before season's end and he obviously thinks Cameron, especially for his center field defense, gives him the best opportunity. Not sure I agree with that logic, especially since Bryan Petersen has done well with the opportunities he's been given. I think a lot of Marlins fans would like to see what Petersen can do with a chance to start for all if not most of September. If McKeon doesn't do it on his own, wouldn't surprise me if the front office gives him a directive to give Petersen a healthy number of at-bats down the stretch.
Aug. 22, 2011
Q: Where are you going to put all those people at the new park? The way they are playing, you should get at 250 people a night. Get rid of the top dogs and spend money for players. Last year, you could have had hitters like Holliday, Berkman, etc. Why not? Larry, Tamarac
A: No question the Marlins aren't going into the new stadium with the kind of momentum they hoped to generate, but I doubt initially they'll have an attendance problem there. That said, regardless of how great the facility, what keeps fans coming out is the on-field product. The Marlins last offseason weren't in a position to go after a big bat, and frankly, they didn't think they'd need one. No one could have predicted Hanley Ramirez would be such a non-factor. The fact that veterans like Omar Infante and John Buck got off to slow starts, and young guys like Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison, and Chris Coghlan weren't consistent producers leveled the offense. Should be interesting to see how the front office addresses what might end up being one of the worst offensive teams in franchise history.
Aug. 20, 2011
Q: This management is unbelievable. They put up with all the crap that Hanley [Ramirez] gives them, but then they try and discipline Logan [Morrison] for having fun. We give these guys a stadium and they give us nothing in return. I guess [Mike] Stanton is next. Why don't they show a pair and release Logan? Then he can come back and slam them. Stephen, Miami
A: The Marlins apparently were worried Morrison was getting more publicity for what he said than what he did. We can argue over whether demoting him was a just punishment. Maybe this ends up helping him in the long run. Maybe the Marlins could have found another way to deliver the message without sending him down. No question he wasn't performing to his abilities and the Marlins felt like he needed to renew his focus. I don't see Morrison's personality changing as a result of this. He's still going to be outspoken and "have fun" as you say on social media. I also think he's going to be part of this organization for a long time and will develop into a clubhouse leader.
Q: Am I a bad fan for having had more interest in Dan Uggla's hitting streak than whether the Marlins won or lost? I am still angry at management for letting him walk. Any chance Loria sells the team after moving into the new stadium? Hard to root for our boys when we have the cheapest owner in the league. Bald, New York
A: You shouldn't feel bad about following Uggla's streak. It was a compelling story, considering he was hitting well below .200 when it began. In fairness to the Marlins, they didn't let him walk. They made him a very good offer before trading him to the Braves. The Marlins were prepared to invest $48 million over four years. Uggla thought he was worth more and ultimately the Braves proved him right, giving him a five-year, $61 million contract. Not sure the Marlins are any better this season had Uggla accepted the Marlins' money. As far as Loria selling the team, don't look for him to do it any time soon.
Aug. 16, 2011
Q: It is a crying shame that this stadium has more pigeons that people attending each game. The sight of those empty orange seats is pathetic. Tom, Boca Raton
A: The attendance issue is what it is. Several factors are part of the problem, from weather to a struggling team to a bad baseball stadium. Fortunately, the Marlins only have 15 games remaining at Sun Life Stadium. As of next year, Marlins fans can watch games in a climate controlled environment with no threat of rain delays.
Q: This is a comment concerning the Jack McKeon myth. As a whole, the Marlins are 14-35 against the top 2 teams in each NL division. Prior to Jack, they were 11-22 for a .333 winning percentage. With Jack at the helm, they are 3-13 for a rousing .187 winning percentage. Lets quit calling this man a miracle worker.He is just another in the long line of managers. Carl, Delray Beach
A: Who's referred to McKeon as a miracle worker? At his introductory press conference he specifically said he wasn't a miracle worker. Ultimately, the players are the guys who make good managers. Some managers are better suited to certain types of teams, but for the most part, players win and lose games, not managers.
Aug. 6, 2011
Q: Whereas the Marlins didn't make a trade, in effect they recently received a fine leadoff hitter for a reserve player. Both are the same player: Emilio Bonifacio. This move has had the same effect as a dramatic trade and in many ways compares with the Braves acquiring [Michael] Bourn, except that the Marlins only lost a reserve player. Stan, Hendersonville, N.C.
A: Interesting way of putting Bonifacio's graduation from a bench guy to an everyday role. Not sure I would put him in the same category with Bourn, who's been doing it for a lot longer, but Bonifacio has been impressive. Right around the time his first child, Emile, was born, Bonifacio took off. Manager Jack McKeon deserves a lot of credit for loosening Bonifacio's reigns and demanding he use his legs. Bonifacio in addition to becoming a prolific basestealer has become a more patient hitter and looks considerably more comfortable hitting with two strikes. Depending how the roster shakes out, Bonifacio could be the Marlins' starting second baseman, third baseman or center fielder come Opening Day 2012.
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