Marlins Opening Day: Meet Your New, Mildly Less Crappy 2014 Fish
As Marlins fans get ready for tonight's home opener against the Rockies, they really should be used to the drill. The Ponzi scheme that was owner Jeffry Loria's 2012 spending spree will never happen again. Instead, it's back to the "Marlins way": cheap young players under the team's control until flying cars are the norm, mixed with veteran players looking to use the Marlins as their own personal baseball career rehab.
Rafael Furcal, 2B
Once upon a time, having speedy Rafael Furcal at the top of your order was a luxury, a sign you were a true contender. Not in 2014. Furcal is 36 years old, no longer a real threat on the bases, and prone to injury. Since 2006, Furcal has played in 100 or more games just twice and missed all of last year recovering from Tommy John surgery. Oh, and he's switching to second base, a spot on the diamond he last played in 2004 with the Braves, for one game. This will shock you: Furcal has missed most of spring training with a hamstring injury and will start the season on the DL.
Christian Yelich, LF
2010 Marlins first-round pick Christian Yelich's time has come. Last season, Yelich saw his first MLB action and batted a respectable .288 in 240 at-bats. Yelich is projected to start the season in the most favorable spot in the batting order, the spot we call "let's pitch to this guy, because the next guy looks like Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones." One would imagine Yelich will have plenty of pitches to hit with Giancarlo Stanton batting behind him, and once he gets on base, he has proven a capable base-stealing threat, swiping a perfect ten of ten in his rookie year.
Giancarlo Stanton, RF
Monster dongs. All Giancarlo has done since entering the league is hit 117 HRs, 294 RBIs, appeared naked in ESPN the Magazine, and changed his name from "Mike." And he's just 24. The craziest thing about Stanton is you get the feeling he hasn't come close to reaching his potential, mainly due to injuries that have limited him to an average of only 435 at bats a year. Also limiting him: the fact that he has played his entire career on the Marlins.
Garrett Jones, 1B
Out is Logan Morrison; in is Garrett Jones. Don't everyone throw your orange Marlins hats in the air at once in jubilation. Jones is a 32-year-old .254 career hitter who has never cracked 86 RBIs and has average power. On the bright side, Jones does not have the world's most annoying Twitter feed.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
The best part about the Marlins' signing Saltalamacchia is the world no longer has to hear Red Sox fans yelling "SAWLTEH!" Salty comes to the Marlins after one good year with the Red Sox. Before that, he was a highly regarded prospect who bounced around from Texas to Atlanta, back to Texas, and then to Boston, where he hasn't very good outside 2012. Any of this sound familiar? The last time the Marlins paid big bucks to a catcher coming off a career year, his name was John Buck. Let's hope this signing goes a tad better than that one.