What went wrong for Edwin Rodriguez?
Was trading Dan Uggla a bad move that hurt the offense?
Answer: NO. Dan Uggla has a batting average well below .200. He is having a worse season than Hanley Ramirez.
What about dealing Jorge Cantu and Cody Ross from last season?
Answer: NO. You can Wahh wahh cry all you want about these guys getting dealt off. Cameron Maybin was traded off also and no matter how bad Chris Coghlan is playing, Chris is still better than Maybin. On paper and on the field Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison are flat out raking the ball. Cantu and Ross got replaced with better overall talent period.
Is this all Hanley Ramirez's fault?
Answer: Maybe, but I still say no. If Hanley lost anything I would say he lost two things. First thing he lost was his competitive edge. He lost his rival in Dan Uggla. The Marlins had two guys who were critical of each other and had to put up or shut up. To me it is no surprise that the separation has led to Uggla and Hanley having the worse season of their careers. They may hate each other, but they need each other also.
The second thing Hanley lost is his game. He wanted to become a power hitter and he did for a while when Jim Presley was his hitting coach, but now with Presley gone, Hanley's power game is gone too.
Hanley's Numbers since his rookie year, through June 19th shows a steady decline in his stolen base numbers and inconsistency in his power numbers. He was a leadoff hitter who turned into a decent number 3 hitter, but there comes a point where reality has to kick in and the Marlins need to realize that Hanley is not a true #3 hitter. He is at best a #2 or #6 hitter, otherwise leave him as the leadoff hitter.
Hanley's Stats through June 19th over his career.
2011 - 4 HRs 12 SBs .204 Avg
2010 - 11 HRs 12SBs .286 Avg
2009 - 8 HRs 9 SBs .324 Avg
2008 - 15 HRs 17 SBs .294 Avg
2007 - 9 HRs 22 SBs .325 Avg
2006 - 3 HRs 20 SBs .268 Avg
Should the Marlins trade Hanley Ramirez?
Answer: Hell no. Hanley is entering his prime right now. One bad season doesn't mean you should trade a guy. Today is June 19th. Ask me that same question in July of 2012. Until then the Marlins need to consider options of getting Hanley some extra batting help and a better spot in the lineup. Right now Hanley is the only guy who you can seriously consider as a leadoff hitter on the Marlins team. Coghlan has been great, but Coghlan is no leadoff hitter.
Can any blame be focused on the injury to Josh Johnson leading the Marlins to their bad streak of losses?
Answer: Yes. Before Josh Johnson got hurt, he was among best pitchers in baseball. Of the last 20 losses, if JJ was healthy you're looking at a better rested bullpen, because with JJ on the mound you're looking at a 7-8 inning pitcher. He gives the bullpen a rest. You can't count on Nolasco, Vazquez, or Volstad.
Can blame be shifted to the Marlins 2-5 starters?
Answer: Nolasco yes. Vazquez Yes. Volstad Yes. Sanchez no. Ricky Nolasco deserves a lot of blame, because he has been just as bad as Javier Vazquez the past month. Javier Vazquez needs to simply retire. Someone needs to sit down with Chris Volstad and work with him. The Marlins rushed Volstad to the majors and he has been unable to develop since having a great rookie season. Anibal Sanchez right now is the Marlins second best pitcher behind JJ and probably has the most competitive spirit in the Marlins entire rotation, probably even moreso than JJ.
The ultimate changes needed to get the Marlins back on track would be to send Chris Volstad down or trade him to an organization with a pitching coach who can help him. Javier Vazquez needs to retire. Ricky Nolasco has had his chances and up to this point has not been able to get any consistency. Now is the time to trade Nolasco if he cannot get his stuff together. The Marlins have Alex Sanabia and Brad Hand available and ready to start. Brian Sanches started one game and looked excellent as well, but Sanches has been one of the Marlins better relievers. Ryan Webb is also another potential candidate for the starting rotation. Where do you go?
Trade Nolasco, coax Vazquez into retirement or release him, and trade or send Volstad to he Minors.
Can Leo Nunez be blamed for the Marlins and Rodriguez's failure?
Answer: Maybe. Nunez is a decent closer. He's not the best, but he is not the worse either. He can get the job done, but he can't handle pressure or pitching against good hitting teams. He is good enough to be a closer, but he doesn't have the right set of balls to take his game to the next level.
What abut the Marlins bullpen?
Answer: Yes, but this goes back to the starting rotation. Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez has been great this year. Nolasco was good in the month of April, but turned to crap afterward. Javier Vazquez and Chris Volstad has been batting practice for 95% of their starts. The bullpen was doing great, but they can't go out there every day when your starting pitcher can't reach the 5th inning two to three times a week. The Marlins bullpen is solid when rested, but as a unit when they're tired they can't get the job done. You have to look at that and speculate, if this is October and the playoffs are they going to step up and get the outs or get run out of the ballgame?
Edwin Rodriguez is not the person to blame for the Marlins failure. As the manager his job is to direct the team. He is a spectator with a front-seat view of his players strengths and weaknesses. The organization's goals likely will not be met with the current losing trend shown. As a manager, Rodriguez needs to use a strategy that will end the losing streak. He utilized unfavorable line-ups that did not produce when hitters such as Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison, and Mike Stanton was hot. Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco in several of their outings were left in one inning too long which led to the opposing team coming up with victories.
Edwin has the potential to be a decent major league manager, but this Marlins team needs a leader with experience. Fredi Gonzalez was not the answer and is still not the answer. The Marlins team needs leadership and experience, and right now Rodriguez cannot bring either.
Rodriguez can take 50% of the blame for the Marlins recent failure. The other 50% of the blame can be distributed evenly among the pitching coach, Hanley Ramirez, the batting coach, Jeffrey Loria the owner, and injuries.