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Marlins: The Day After

  

      Some mopping-up items after 162:

      -- Spoke briefly in the final-day, clubhouse moving-out mayhem with Alex Sanabia, who was diagnosed with a strained elbow ligament in his right arm. Sanabia was scratched from his scheduled start on Saturday due to forearm discomfort. "(The doctor) said if I kept throwing it could have been even worse," said Sanabia, who attributed the injury to wear and tear stemming from a career-high 170 innings. The rookie said the prescription is ordinary rest and he should be good to go for spring training, where he'll by one of the leading contenders for the fifth rotation spot.

       -- Jose Veras says he'd like to return to the Marlins, who should find him to be an affordable keeper in their bullpen re-design. Veras, who made $550,000, can expect to see a pay bump to the $1 million range through the salary arbitration process. Veras was a vastly different pitcher after being brought back from the minors in late June than he was at the start of the season. From June 25 through Sept. 20, he posted a 1.16 ERA in 36 appearances before fading down the stretch. By the end of September, Veras said he was operating on fumes. "I played winter ball and pitched from November on," Veras said. "I must have thrown 100 innings, at least, from November to end of this season. That's why I've been so tired." As a result, Veras said he will not play this winter in the Dominican. One Marlin who does intend to play winter ball: Emilio Bonifacio.

      -- The Marlins ($47 million payroll), Los Angeles Dodgers ($102 million)  and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim ($121 million) finished with identical 80-82 records.

      -- The Marlins were night and day depending on the quality of their opponents. They went 53-32 against losing teams compared to 27-50 against those with winning marks. The Marlins went 20-39 against the six postseason teams (everyone but Minnesota and the Yankees) they ended up facing. Within the division, they mopped up on the Mets and Nationals (25-11) but were no match for the Phillies and Braves (12-24).

      -- Yeah, yeah. ERA isn't everything. But it's interesting to note that for all the negativity surrounding the Marlins bullpen this season, Florida relievers actually finished with a lower ERA (4.04) than the team's starting pitchers (4.14).

      -- If Edwin Rodriguez doesn't return, the final 17 Marlins games might have involved matchups of managers who won't be keeping their jobs: Atlanta's Bobby Cox (retiring), Pittsburgh's John Russell (dismissed), Chicago's Mike Quade (interim, uncertain), Cardinals' Tony La Russa (uncertain), Milwaukee's Ken Macha (dismissed) and the Mets' Jerry Manuel (dismissed). There could be more than a dozen managing changes -- including the Marlins -- this offseason. In his state-of-the-season discussion with reporters on Sunday, president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said the organization is keenly aware of the competition. "It's a good year to be a free agent manager it sounds like," Beinfest said. "Can you be beat by your competition? Sure. But that goes with players, trades...It's the nature of the game. Could it make it make it a little bit tougher? Absolutely, if there's a number of teams looking for managers and we're all fishing in that same pond."

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