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Hudson Belinsky, the Angels bloglord over at Halos Daily, stopped by Marlins Daily to contribute a guest post. Here we have Hudson discussing the Marlins’ usage of Steve Cishek, so be sure to give it a read and stop by Halos Daily to check out Hudson’s Angels goodies. Also, make sure to follow Hudson on Twitter.
Steve Cishek is awesome. His name never graced a top prospects list, he never commanded a huge bonus out of the draft, and he had to succeed at every level of the minor leagues before becoming the big league reliever that he is today. Nonetheless, Cishek has made his way to the Marlins’ bullpen, and entered Sunday having been used in seven of the team’s nine games.
Since 2012 is still very young, let’s take a look at what Cishek did last season and see if it’s sustainable. In his age-25 season the right-hander posted a superb 2.63 ERA over 54.2 innings. He struck out 9.05 batters per nine, while walking 3.13 and racked up 1.0 wins above replacement (FanGraphs), which is very good considering how little he pitched. Cishek had a remarkable groundball rate. His groundball-to-flyball ratio of 2.15 ranked 31st among all pitchers with 40 innings or more, and his groundball rate of 56.8 percent ranked 24th. Cishek’s fastball is basically a sinker, featuring heavy downward movement as it enters the zone. Sinkerball pitchers are typically groundball guys, so Cishek should be able to sustain his high groundball rate.
In a nutshell, the answer is no.
This past week, when the ever-so-famous Bill Baer exchanged questions for the Marlins/Phillies series with yours truly he asked me an especially intriguing question. Despite, at the time, the season only being four games old Bill wanted to know if there was any reason in particular as to why Mike Stanton hadn’t yet gone deep. It’s true; Mike Stanton is easily one of the game’s most feared sluggers and, after seven games through the season he hasn’t yet hit a home run.
Only six games have been played so far this year. The fact that Stanton is homer-less, at least to me, isn’t a huge concern because he’ll obviously heat up. Additionally, he’s not the only slugger who’s yet to blast a round-tripper (Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gonzalez, Paul Konerko & Lance Berkman are others in that category). And I’m sure Stanton has gone through stretches in the past when he played six straight games (or more) without hitting a homer. But there is some reason to believe that something could possibly be wrong with the slugger, especially considering his fly ball rate sits close to the bottom of the league.
Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley stopped by once again to help preview the upcoming Marlins vs. Phillies series. We’re only four games into the season, yet there is still a ton to cover from this past weekend and project for this week’s games, and Bill did an excellent job previewing it for us.
2. Does Vance Worley have a chance to build on last season’s success and possibly pitch even better this year?
Yeah, absolutely. It isn’t the most likely scenario, but he has been improving his cut fastball and he added a change-up grip handed down from God himself, Roy Halladay. He also has that devastating two-seam fastball that hitters took for called strike threes at an alarming rate last year.
While watching the video below, replace the word “low” with “miserable” and the word “price” with “performance.”
This was supposed to be a “hey guys, what a great game!” post-game thread but, unfortunately, it’s the complete opposite. However, since it is Opening Day and I’m in a rather positive mood, let’s bang out the positives of this game first before the negatives. So, umm, let me think.
- Baseball is back
- Josh Johnson didn’t exit the game with an injury
- Hanley Ramirez didn’t exit the game with an injury
- Jose Reyes didn’t exit the game with an injury
- Logan Morrison didn’t tweet
- and finally, the Marlins didn’t play all that bad
They really didn’t. Kyle Lohse struck out only two batters through seven innings and, with his lack of over-powering stuff that isn’t surprising. Since 2007, Lohse hasn’t struck out more than six batters per nine innings, so he’s surviving from the help of his defense. Bad luck by Marlins’ hitters and some nice plays by the Cards’ infield helped Lohse breeze through the first seven, but the Fish did squeeze out a run once the right-hander departed. Until the 8th inning the Marlins had only one hit to their name but, thanks to good old John Buck, they would score a run after an Omar Infante hit.
Joe Janish, manager and founder of Mets Today, the New York Mets blog on the Sweetspot Network, stopped by to answer a few questions similar to the ones that we asked Bill Baer just yesterday. After stealing Jose Reyes during the off-season, I’m rather surprised that Joe was so willing to answer some questions, but he did. Also, be sure to check out Mets Today and Marlins Daily throughout the season when the two teams match up as we’ll be collaborating or at least swapping interviews.
Can you talk about the Mets’ off-season as a whole and how it’ll either benefit or hurt their chances of making the post-season this year?
The Mets have no chance whatsoever of making the postseason this year. Their decision during the offseason to cut as much payroll as possible as quickly as possible made it impossible to improve the club.
Now that Spring Training is well under way and we have all have a clearer picture of our teams heading into the year, are there any stories in particular that we should keep an eye on?
It sure is tough to believe that the season is less than four days away. Well, all that means is that with time running out, we’ve got just a few days to preview the NL East and Marlins competition this year. Let’s start with the blogger whose team was crowned division champs last year, Bill Baer. Bill runs Crashburn Alley, the Phillies blog on the Sweetspot Network and was kind enough to stop by and answer some questions.
Can you talk about the Phillies’ off-season as a whole and how it’ll either benefit or hurt their chances of making the post-season this year?
The Phillies had a pretty lousy off-season, relatively speaking. Laynce Nix was inexplicably handed a two-year contract, Jim Thome was signed to play one game a week in the field and the rest as a pinch-hitter, and the Phillies learned they will be without megastar Chase Utley to start the season. In fact, the entire infield is a giant question mark, as Placido Polanco has dealt with a plethora of injury problems (sports hernia, finger, back), Jimmy Rollins is less limber than he used to be thanks to three leg injuries in 2010, and Ryan Howard‘s torn Achilles. The Phillies aren’t well-prepared to deal with any of the injuries, including Utley’s as they will be using Freddy Galvis, who has taken a whopping 126 PA in Triple-A Lehigh Valley, at second base on Opening Day. They’re still the clear favorites in the NL East, but the Marlins, Braves, and Nationals can see light at the end of the tunnel.
On this day in 2002 the Marlins made a rather intriguing trade, one that changed the shape of their organization for many years to come. Although it wasn’t a complete slam-dunk win for the Fish the package received would help net them a World Series victory the following year and, less importantly, reeled in some additional prospects in 2007.
Chris Jaffe over at the Hardball Times recaps the eventful day in 2002, claiming it to be one of the more memorable trades in Marlins history. Ten years ago today the Fish acquired reliever Julian Tavarez, minor leaguers Ryan Jorgensen & Jose Cueto and, the real gem of the trade, Dontrelle Willis. Although the Cubs haul of the deal wasn’t nearly as impressive, they did received some talent in Matt Clement and our good old six-fingered friend, Antonio Alfonseca.