Strengths and Weakness of the Marlins
Team strength: The infield, especially the left side, is among the best in the game. Cabrera and Ramirez form a left-side that ranks up there with anybody in the game. The foursome of Cabrera, Ramirez, second baseman Dan Uggla and first baseman Mike Jacobs combined for 90 home runs a year ago. Tack on another year of experience, and this group may easily generate more than 100 home runs. Cabrera finished second in the batting title race a year ago, and he has shown he is a .340-caliber hitter, who is riding a string of three straight years with more than 110 RBIs. While he delivered 26 home runs a year ago, twice in his young career he has topped the 30-homer mark. Ramirez, who leads off, went deep 17 times as a rookie, and he projects to be more than a 20-homer player.
Achilles' heel: Bullpen woes have plagued the team since the 2003 World Series championship season. There are several talented young arms. Ideally, the club has had success with a veteran to close. We saw that with Armando Benitez (2004), Todd Jones (2005) and Joe Borowski (2006). On Monday, the Marlins landed Jorge Julio from the D-backs to be their closer in 2007.