Ladies and gentlemen, the focus is now officially on 2012. For all of us, except for maybe Cardinals fans, it's time to move on from 2011. This year is so last year anyways. So here at MLBDD we're spending some time projecting each team's 25-man roster for Opening Day 2012. We're not projecting trades or free agent signings here, so this is purely focusing on the talent that each team already has in-house. The 2012 season may not start soon, but we can still think about what it might look like.
Starting Lineup (ages are based on April 4, 2012)
Shortstop: Hanley Ramirez - Age 28
Center Field: Emilio Bonifacio - Age 27 (as of 4/23/12)
1. CF Bonifacio 2. 2B Infante 3. SS Ramirez 4. RF Stanton 5. 1B Sanchez 6. LF Morrison 7. C Buck 8. 3B Dominguez
C John Baker, IF Donnie Murphy, OF Chris Coghlan, OF Bryan Petersen, OF Scott Cousins
1. RHP Josh Johnson - Age 28
2. RHP Ricky Nolasco - Age 29
3. RHP Anibal Sanchez - Age 28
4. RHP Chris Volstad - Age 25
5. LHP Brad Hand - Age 22
Closer: RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo - Age 30
Some Quick Thoughts
- Miami's lineup is essentially set for the most part. They have a bunch of young players that they're totally committed to, so realistically it just remains to be seen what they're going to do with third base and center field. Emilio Bonifacio is going to cover one of them, but it remains to be seen whether they'd prefer to have Dominguez at third base or someone like Bryan Petersen playing regularly in center.
- I'd be surprised if the Marlins didn't seek out another infield option for their bench. Donnie Murphy is fine, but most of Florida's role players are outfielders, so I'd expect the Marlins to be on the lookout for someone. Bonifacio and Infante are versatile, but teams typically don't need six outfielders.
- I wouldn't be surprised if the Marlins shook up their rotation this winter. Sanchez, Nolasco and even Volstad could be trade candidates, and they could aggressively pursued some veteran rotation help in that case. They've been speculated as a possible dark horse suitor for C.J. Wilson.
- The bullpen should actually be in pretty good shape for 2012 regardless of what happens with Oviedo, formerly Leo Nunez. Oviedo had a solid 2011 for the Marlins but his salary should be in the $6-7 million range through arbitration, so there's a chance that he's non-tendered. The Marlins have a bunch of intriguing power arms, though, so losing Oviedo wouldn't be a major loss.