Miami Marlins Monday Week 5: Sadsacks and Such
Well, they’re not the worst team in the Majors anymore. Let’s call that a win. The team notched its first three game winning streak this week, and their first series win. Both wins. Giancarlo Stanton was lost for some time to a hamstring injury, hurting both the team on the field and in any potential trade market for the star. That one’s a loss. The baseball gods giveth, they taketh away.
Speaking of giving, the Delaware County Daily Times provided the Fish with some much needed bulletin board material when they published an article whose headline read: “Phils beat up on sadsack Marlins”. The team pinned the newspaper up in the locker room, and thus proceeded to take the final two games of their weekend four-game set in Philadelphia.
Speaking taking, Miami Marlins rookie Marcell Ozuna might have taken one of the outfield spots permanently with his torrid performance since being called up from Double-A Jacksonville. Ozuna had been raking for the Suns, hitting .333 (14 of 42) with five homeruns and 15 RBI in 10 games for the team’s minor league affiliate. Ozuna’s start to his Marlins career has been nothing short of blistering, as the young outfielder is hitting .478 (11 of 23) with one homerun and four RBI in six games.
Giancarlo Stanton’s hammy may have taken him off the trade market for now. Stanton came up lame trying to beat out an infield single late in the Marlins 15-inning win against the Mets on April 29th. The most intriguing aspect of this entire situation is its potential affects on what the front office decides to do with Stanton. The budding superstar is slated to make a measly $537,000 this season. (Please understand I say “measly” with whatever the typing equivalent is of having one’s tongue in cheek.)
Anyway, Stanton becomes arbitration eligible this winter, and will more than likely command a salary greater than that won by former Marlin Miguel Cabrera, who got $7.4 million in his first year of arbitration. So, the question becomes, do they try to sign him long term, or do they deal the ailing outfielder? The injury has likely shelved whatever talks may have been going on, and the front office might be torn on how they want him to perform when he gets back.
Here’s a tweet from Miami Herald Marlins beat writer Clark Spencer:
MRI shows Giancarlo Stanton has Grade 2 strained right hamstring. He says he’ll be out a few weeks in a “best-case” scenario #marlins
— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) April 30, 2013
In an interview with the Miami Herald earlier this year, team owner Jeffery Loria had this to say:
We will cross that bridge. He’s a Marlin. You’re jumping the gun. I would love to see him be the young centerpiece on this ballclub. He’d be the young giant on the ballclub. But you can’t make promises in this game because strange things happen all the time. I can tell you he is 23 years old now. He’s just beginning his career.
And lets not forget how Stanton felt about this team after the blockbuster fire-sale:
Alright, I’m pissed off!!! Plain & Simple
— Giancarlo Stanton (@Giancarlo818) November 13, 2012
This drama is only starting to unfold.
Game 26: Miami 4 New York Mets 3 The Fish won back-to-back games for the first time this season, but they lost Giancarlo Stanton to a hamstring injury. Nick Green, who would be released later in the week, knocked in the game winning run with a sac-fly in the 15th inning. The team went just 2-13 with Runners In Scoring Position. Phenom Jose Fernandez went just four innings, allowing two earned runs.
Game 27: Miami 2 New York Mets 1 Watch out Heat! Here come the Marlins. The Fish won their third game in a row when Juan Pierre scored on a wild pitch in the ninth inning. The three game streak is the longest such streak for the team since July of 2012. The team called up prospect Marcell Ozuna to take Stanton’s spot. Kevin Slowey continued his stellar season with eight innings pitched, four hits, and one earned run. He lowered his ERA to 2.15.
Game 28: Miami 6 New York Mets 7 The Fish missed out on their chance for their first sweep of the season, but with the two previous wins they managed their first series win of the season. Reliever A.J. Ramos surrendered a 3-run homer to pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin. Wade LeBlanc‘s struggles continued, as he gave up four earned runs in 5.2 innings pitched.
Game 29: Miami 2 Philadelphia 7 Justin Ruggiano homered, and Juan Pierre became just the 14th player in MLB history with 600 stolen bases. Placido Polanco’s struggles at the plate continued, as his average dipped to .255, and the team was 0-7 with RISP.
Game 30: Miami 1 Philadelphia 4 Ricky Nolasco, who has historically pitched well in Philly, surrendered three solo-homers in what was the third consecutive loss for the team. It was Nolasco’s first loss in Philly since 2006. The team was 0-9 with RISP.
Game 31: Miami 2 Philadelphia 0 Rookie right-hander Jose Fernandez was lights out in this one. The phenom went seven innings, giving up only one hit. Fellow rookie Marcell Ozuna knocked out his first career homer, as Mike Dunn and Steve Cishek helped combine on the one-hitter. Phillies shortstop jimmy Rollins said the following of Fernandez: “He was filthy.”
Game 32: Miami 14 Philadelphia 2 The bats came alive against the Doc. Rookie Adeiny Hechavarria and Marcell Ozuna combined to knock in 10 runs. The team hung nine earned runs on Halladay in 2.1 innings pitched. Justin Ruggiano added three RBI, as Kevin Slowey’s great season continued with just two hits in seven innings.
- According to Baseball-Reference.com, the Marlins are drawing 19,331 fans per game this season, or 11.200 fewer fans than last year. The team is 29th in the league in attendance, ahead of only the Cleveland Indians.
- According to Joe Frisaro’s blog, the Fish Pond, Justin Ruggiano joined some exclusive company with his two homer, two hit-by-pitch game.
- Miami held Philadelphia to just one hit last Friday night and two hits last Saturday night. The last time the team held an opponent to two hits or fewer in back-to-back contests was June of 2002.
- Rookie Marcell Ozuna’s six-game hitting streak to start his Marlins/Majors career is tied for the 2nd longest streak for the Marlins with the immortal Scott Pose. Alejandro de Aza holds the team record with an eight-game streak when he debuted.
- Rookie Adeiny Hechavarria’s seven RBI matched the highest single-game total in team history, tying the record held by Cody Ross, Gary Sheffield and Greg Colbrunn.
The road trip that started in Philadelphia continues in San Diego this week. The Padres aren’t great, 13-18, but winning on the road is something that has been difficult for this team so far. The team them flies north to face the LA Dodgers, 13-17, to wrap up the 10-game trip. If Ozuna continues his torrid pace, and Ruggiano keeps playing well, I could see the Marlins getting at least two wins. They proved my wrong last week, going 4-3, but I think they’ll go 2-4 out west.
Former Marlin Mike Lowell had some nice words for the rookies:
There’s always an opportunity in sports no matter the present situation. Congrats to @marlins Ozuna and Fernandez for taking advantage!
— Mike Lowell (@mikelowell25) May 6, 2013
Closer Steve Cishek brought a snack on the flight out west. Buckle-up, Cheese Steak:
— Steve Cishek (@srSHREK31) May 5, 2013
Ricky Nolasco would rather grab a bite once they land:
Good to be back in Cali! In N Out here I come!!
— ricky nolasco (@RNolasco47) May 6, 2013
Ever the optimist, Justin Ruggiano is excited for the trip:
There’s a lot of things to be excited about today Marlins fans! Great win and series. Off to Cali! Nice job by Slowey today!
— Justin Ruggiano (@justinruggiano) May 5, 2013
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