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Battle from last place: Miami Marlins series preview

What a difference a year makes. At this time last year the rebuilt Miami Marlins were 16 - 15, only two games back of first, with expectations that first was within their grasp

Denis Poroy

and they were right. On June 1st, first place would be theirs. It was only for one day, the record was 31 - 23. By the end of 2012 the record was 69 - 93. The team increased payroll, brought in stars, and failed to deliver upon the expectations that came with the increase in payroll.

Does this story resonate with Dodger fans?

I can assure you that on June 1st, 2012, no one and I mean no one thought that one year later these two teams would both be in last place in their respective divisions with a combined record of 23 - 45.

When the Marlins tanked the first thing they did last summer was unload Hanley Ramirez onto the Dodgers for Nathan Eovaldi. So far neither team can enjoy the trade. Hanley was a dud in Sept, and has played just a few games in 2013 sidelined multiple times. Nathan Eovaldi showed some promise in Sept but has yet to pitch in 2013, and probably won't until the all-star game.

2012 in season moves involved moving Hanley, Infante, and Anibal Sanchez. Once they finished the season in free fall they basically got rid of every single player they had added in 2012. You can understand why. If they are going to lose 93 games with the likes of Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, John Buck, Emilio Bonifacio, and Buehrle, they could certainly do that with a much smaller payroll while collecting some goodies for the future.

I'm not going to bother with additions and subtractions, the lists are to long.

Old Friends:Juan Pierre, Justin Ruggiano, Nathan Eovaldi, Alfredo Silverio

DL: Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Nathan Eovaldi, Alfredo Silverio, Casey Kotchman, Henderson Alvarez, Donavan Solano, Jeff Mathis, Joe Mahoney, Jose Ceda

Doesn't seem fair. The Marlins were already undermanned coming into the season but a plethora of injuries have left them without a starting 1st, 2nd, RF, and two pieces in the rotation. Even the backup of the injured starters have gotten hurt.

The Marlins are dead last in offense in MLB. It is not hard to see why. A guy with less than 50 AA at bats has been forced into the clean up spot.

Catcher: Rob Brantly came over in the Infante/Sanchez deal. In his first taste of major league baseball in 2012 he acquitted himself quite well (.832 OPS). 2013 has been more of a struggle as the power he showed in 2013 has yet to show up in 2012.

First base:Logan Morrison was supposed to slip into 1st base but of course he's hurt. Casey Kotchman was then signed to fill the gap until Morrison was ready. Casey got hurt after five at bats. Joe Mahoney got the call. Guess what? he's hurt. This has left 1st base to long time bench player Gregg Dobbs. He's been terrible.

Second base:Donavan Solano was the starter until he got hurt. They brought up Chris Valaika who also got hurt. Derek Deitrich anyone?

Shortstop:Adeiny Hechavarria came over in the block buster Blue Jay deal. Supposed to be a wizard with the glove. He better be, because he sure can't hit.

Third base:Long time Philly, Placido Polanco mans 3rd base. His once potent batting average bat is long gone. Not much remains.

Right field: Strangely the best young power hitter in the majors got hurt and the team actually got better. Because Stanton was awful before his injury, while 22 year old Marcell Ozuna has been a revelation. He may be the only hitter in the lineup who should be feared, which is alot to put on the shoulders of someone who was in A ball one year ago.

Center field: Last years biggest surprise Justin Ruggiano started out the year looking for all the world like the guy who was considered AAAA quality. But he's got it going now, and is absolutely rocking while on the road. Six home runs in 70 at bats on the road. Hey I now count two hitters.

Left field: Juan Pierre is the left fielder. Juan should have retired.

Bench: It is fluid, what I can figure is that Chris Coughlin gets plenty of at bats. Miguel Olivo is the backup catcher. Matt Diaz showed up recently.

Eric Stephen covered the pitchers for this series.

Bullpen This is what the bullpen looks like

This team was going to have a tough time winning 70 games when completely healthy. With so many key players down, this lineup might be the worst lineup the NL will see in a long time. The Padres just swept them. Jason Marquis threw a shutout. If you can't win a series against this team, don't bother showing up on Monday.

Once players get healthy, and some of the minor league prospects start showing up, this team could get well in a hurry. An outfield of Stanton / Yelich / Ozuna could do some damage with Ruggiano roaming around as an excellent fourth outfielder. The rotation was supposed to be Nolasco/Eovaldi/Jacob Turner/Henderson Alvarez but only Nolasco is functioning at the moment. Those injuries forced top prospect Jose Fernandez into the rotation a few months a head of schedule. If he stays healthy he looks like he'll take over the number one spot in the rotation.

Right now however, they are a punching bag.