Henry Owens Suspended 50 Games

For using a “performance enhancing substance”. Really.

You may have forgotten Henry Owens who was the other stud pitcher came to the Marlins in that awesome Vargas trade. While recovering from season ending shoulder surgery, it seems that he failed a drug test. We may still find out more of this later but for now, don’t bet on seeing him in the Majors anytime soon.

Update: Quote from the Sun-Sentinel:

Owens said: “I made a mistake. I apologize. Now I have to deal with the consequences and work hard to get through this situation.”

The Marlins issued the following statement: “We are disappointed that Henry Owens received a positive test, and fully endorse the discipline outlined in the MLB policy. We will continue to work with and educate our players to help prevent any further violations.”

Fun.

Insight Into the Olsen/Hammer Deal

Mike Berardino of the Sun-Sentinel provides some thoughts and insights on the Olsen/Hammer deal:

About that payroll dump so far:

the Fish have removed roughly $7 million from their books for 2009.

On what we got in return:

In return, they have brought in a cheap young setup man (Leo Nunez), a light-hitting second baseman with Gold Glove potential (Emilio Bonifacio) and a couple of decent low-level prospects who just finished their first full pro seasons (RHP P.J. Dean and IF Jake Smolinski).

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Buster Olney Says Marlins May Bring Back Almost Everybody

ESPN’s Buster Olney talks about the Marlins:

  • Marlins officials are saying that management is committed to keeping all the players if front office wants to do that.
  • Some players have high value right now — Mike Jacobs and Jeremy Hermida — and can be replaced by others in the organization (such as Gaby Sanchez) so they are likely to be traded for value.
  • Therefore, there is no urgency to trade quality players like Scott Olsen or Dan Uggla, unless someone offers the Marlins a great deal.
  • Ultimately, Olney thinks the Marlins will keep the core of the powerful infield together (good news for Jorge Cantu fans).

Veteran Leadership: Marlins Re-Sign Wes Helms

The Florida Marlins are bringing back Wes Helms with a 2-year deal:

Helms reaffirmed his desire to stay with the team on Friday when he agreed to terms on a two-year, $1.9 million contract. The 32-year-old, who batted .243 with five home runs and 31 RBIs in 132 games this past year, will make $950,000 in both 2009 and ’10.

Wes didn’t put up stellar numbers but was a reliable veteran who has been nothing but a positive influence on the club. The 2-year commitment suggests the Loria and Beinfest are starting to think long-term, not just building small and cheap for 1-year at a time.

This move happened a couple of day after the Fish outrighted Alejandro De Aza, Lee Gardner, Henry Owens and Doug Waechter to the Minors.

Looking Back: Predictions from the Geniuses at ESPN

I’ve always thought ESPN was full of itself and overly obsessed with their own importance and insight, so I was very excited to look back at their predictions for the 2008 Florida Marlins. Now, I know that the Marlins performed better than we expected (81 wins with 6 games to go) but ESPN’s predictions were so dire that I want us all to read and laugh.

First, here is the view from Bob Klapisch:

The bigger problem is the bottom half of the batting order, which is filled with question marks and experiments. It’s no stretch projecting the Marlins in the last third of the NL in runs scored. (Bob Klapisch)

Next, let’s see the actual win/loss projections:

  • Jayson Stark: 70-92, 5th in NL East
  • Tim Kurkjian: 64-98, 5th in NL East
  • Buster Olney: 68-94, 5th in NL East
  • Keith Law: 68-94, 5th in NL East
  • Steve Phillips: 66-96, 5th in NL East

You have to give Jayson Stark some credit. He’s only off by 11+ wins.

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