Florida Marlins

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The Miami Marlins are looking forward to a potential playoff contending season in 2012. After a good start to 2011, the then Florida Marlins fell off the map due to injuries to Josh Johnson and a struggling Hanley Ramirez. However, the Fish seem to have put their struggles behind them in every aspect possible. Aside from new players, the Marlins have built a tremendous new multi-million dollar stadium, and they have revealed new uniforms for the upcoming season. Despite their splurging, the Marlins have never been known to sell out tickets, so their new, larger stadium filled with possibly even more empty seats may not seem ideal. The new Miami Marlins will certainly be worth watching in 2012 though due to a roster that should be as stacked as any in the National League.

The Marlins have had a young team over the past few seasons. Outfielder Mike Stanton and first baseman Gaby Sanchez are entering their third Major League seasons in 2012, and youngster Logan Morrison hopes to have a complete season this year. Possibly the biggest player news for the Miami Marlins is the signings of Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell. Take a look at how these new signings will impact the Marlins’ performance in 2012.

Jose Reyes

-Jose Reyes has been the shortstop for the New York Mets for his entire career. His recent seasons have been plagued with injury though, and his name had become slightly obscured. However, after his phenomenal 2011 season in which he batted .337, he looks to be in the best shape of his career. Reyes will add speed and consistency to a Marlins team that certainly requires both to have success in 2012.

 

Mark Buehrle

 

-Mark Buehrle is best known for his perfect game during the 2009 season. While Buehrle has not pitched any perfect games since, he has been able to win a consistent thirteen games each season from 2009-2011. Buehrle adds depth to a pitching rotation that already includes Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez. With such a dynamic set of pitchers, the Marlins will have one of the best rotations in the league.

 

Heath Bell

-The Marlins have lacked a star closing pitcher in recent seasons. The Miami team appears to have fixed this issue with the signing of Heath Bell though. Bell has been among the best closers in the league as of late, saving more games than Chris Perez, Brian Wilson and Neftali Feliz in 2011. Bell will serve as a great safety net for the Marlins, and he will allow them to win those close games that tend to slip away so frequently for the Fish.

With such a smattering of new star players, it seems that the Marlins will have a very competitive season in 2012. The team also features other lesser known key players who plan to contribute greatly to the team’s success in 2012. Players such as Logan Morrison, Emilio Bonifacio and Omar Infante should have no problem getting on base and scoring runs behind so many championship caliber hitters.

The Miami Marlins are in the tough National League East division with competitors such as the Phillies and Braves, so greatness is crucial to them staying afloat in 2012. However, baseball fans are definitely buying into the new and improved Marlins as the team has already sold out its opening day tickets. If the Marlins can prove that they can be successful in 2012, they should be able to easily divert attention away from their inner state rival Tampa Bay Rays. With the talent to dominate in both hitting and pitching in 2012, the Marlins look to be the most anticipated franchise in upcoming baseball season.

Rich Spaulding is the President of Gold Star Games, a company offering cornhole bean bags.