The Marlins Twilight Zone – 3B

Rod Serling’s thoughts on the Marlins 3B possibilities:

You’re traveling through another dimension; a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are a diamond marked off at 42 paces. If you step up to that hot corner up ahead, your next stop could be the minor leagues?

There was an interesting article last week by Eric Seidman from the Fangraphs blog about how the Marlins should approach their search for a third baseman. The article was written before Matt Dominguez was hurt. Seidman’s conclusion:

[Marlins will be] able to see if certain players can be considered assets moving forward. Assuming they handle this situation correctly–meaning they don’t work out a silly trade for Michael Young–the Marlins can really help themselves for the future by not forcing Dominguez into a starting role before he is ready.

The Marlins have played the development game since 2006 and played it very well. But their time as the Brazil [joke was that it was the country of the future and would always be] of MLB , is winding down precisely because of that success.

In his analysis, I thought that Seidman gave the Marlins too much credit for not forcing Dominguez into the lineup right away. There was no way that Dominguez was going to be with the Marlins to open the year because giving up one year of arbitration eligibility is not something the Marlins would have even considered. That’s just not how they roll, arbitrage eligibility speaking.

But that aside, the Marlins 3B search is an irresistible topic for us fans. Part of the reason is the perception that since so many of the Marlins are playing out of position, there is no reason not to continue to fiddle with the lineup. In reality, only Coughlan and Morrison are playing positions which were not their primary positions in the minor leagues. They both saw limited time in the minors in the outfield when it was evident that that was where they would get their opportunities to play. Gaby Sanchez was primarily a 1B in the minors, Omar Infante a 2B and Bonifacio was versatile, even in the minors.

Jonathan Sumple from the Through the Fence Baseball blog makes the case that if the Marlins go through the season with 3B as a development position, Edwin Rodriguez should not be judged as competing with a full roster. He wrote, “management’s willingness to wait for Dominguez – however long it takes – doesn’t sound like a win-now mantra.” Agreed.

I actually agree with the strategy of staying with the internal options at 3B and waiting on Dominguez. But management can’t have it both ways regarding expectations. Talk is cheap, but established third basemen aren’t.

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About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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