Nearly six months ago, a tweet from the Biz of Baseball’s Maury Brown suggested futility within the new and upcoming Marlins logo, which was officially leaked just a few days ago on none other than the site that Maury writes for. At the time of his tweet, Maury basically warned us that the new logo featured some ungodly colors and most of all, was just a giant piece of “yuck.” I’ve got to say, rather often do I agree with the opinion and analysis of Maury, and yet again the man was spot on.
If you didn’t happen to glance at the BOB article compiled by Maury, the logo, which I’m pretty sure was created accidentally by a nine-year old in his or her second grade art class, is a non-exciting “M” decorated by red, yellow and blue to commemorate the opening of the Marlins new ballpark, which is yet to be named. In any case, there’s nothing we can do about changing it. I mean, writing about the Marlins for the ESPN Sweetspot blog is pretty frickin sweet, but I’m still unable to complain to the Marlins management in person. But even with that said, we can still make fun of the logo all we want.
I’ll be honest – I don’t understand how the Miami Marlins, who, are expected to play in colors not too different than the ones they currently hone will sport those uni’s while representing a multi-colored, lucky charm-themed logo. This is even something I wouldn’t have expected the Marlins to do, and that’s saying a lot. But I guess the bright side is that they’re still a baseball team. For those who wish to complain, such as myself, it’s better to have a logo than no logo, am I right?
Or maybe the Marlins just see this as a temporary move. Who knows? We may possibly see the new “M” turn teal and black following the 2012 season, and damn I wouldn’t mind that one bit. I for one was quick to jump on the “aw, come on, we really have to deal with this logo?” train until I thought about how pointless the argument really is. I can almost guarantee that the new logo wont affect the wins/losses column for the Marlins, but the losses will probably come regardless.
But if this is a rant post, which it is, we might as well continue. As many have recently pointed out, the current Marlins logo and choreography is somewhat attractive. Not only that, but it has significance. It brings back memories of those Marlins teams that won it all. And in addition, the logo just looks nice. Changing the name from “Florida” to “Miami” makes sense, and while I’m not in favor of the switch I get it, but the logo doesn’t necessarily need to change much. And neither do the colors.
So while we all should try and hope that these colors wont be here to stay, it’s important to also keep in mind how pointless these arguments really are. It shouldn’t at all affect the way the Marlins perform on the field (but lets just be honest, they really couldn’t get any worse) and the real Marlins fans care about what’s on the field, not what’s on the players who are on the field. But hey, I’m just a blogger — rant all you want.
Typically, fans of lousy teams get disgruntled when their team innocently tries to win ballgames after they’re totally out of it. Why? Well, I guess the ability to select the highest of draft picks is just that special. But to avoid icing the most disgusting cake — or at least one of them — in Marlins history, McKeon needs to keep the players’ morale up and rack up a few more victories, especially leading in to the “OMG new stadium season.” Lately, Marlins fans have had no real outlook or hope leading into the final month of the season. With the disasters surrounding 2011 in the shape of injuries and just dreadful on-the-field performances, it’s actually tough to believe the Marlins could get any worse. That is, even if they tried.
To abort the final twenty or so games remaining on the schedule would be even more of a defeat than what the Marlins are used to. Some fans typically suggest that a team in such a situation that the Marlins are in, simply lose as many remaining games as possible in order to net a higher draft pick. Sure, that’s a sexy idea, and one that in retrospect would strengthen the Marlins future more-so than a lower pick, but it’s a terrible idea.
We all know Mike Stanton can hit baseballs a very, very long way. He doesn’t just “hit” them — he demolishes them — and he does so in the most exciting times it seems. But when someone says “Mike Stanton hit a home run”, isn’t that an understatement? I’ll show you what I mean, but first let me explain. When was the last time you saw Mike Stanton hit a longball that just made it out? Okay, maybe yesterday but Mike Stanton continues to display indispensable talent. Let’s take a look at his damage this year.
The average distance of his homers comes out 418.9 ft, according to Hit Tracker Online. Unfortunately, Hit Tracker Online doesn’t feature stadium overlays, but our good friends at Katron do. However, they only display it by park. So we’ll look at Stanton’s 2011 home runs at home.
Without a true standard deviation, other factors such as speed off bat are irresponsible to use. But in the case of Mike Stanton he clearly hits the ball way farther than he needs to. Of course, this isn’t proving anymore than the images display, but it’s a rather fun topic to focus on and something I’ve always done since the beginning of my Beyond the Box Score days. It’s also worth noting that when a broadcaster says “so-and-so killed that ball” or “so-and-so hit a bomb”, he isn’t lying when it comes to the Marlins big bopper — that be Mike Stanton.
Your daily prospect report, courtesy of yours truly and the guys in the system.
Double-A Jacksonville (in 7-3 loss to Mobile)
Kevin Dominguez — 2-4 w/ a strikeout
Dominguez isn’t much of a prospect, but he’s still hitting .253/.304 on the season, including a .357 hash in just over a dozen Double-A at-bats.
Kyle Jensen -- 1-5 w/ a HR
Jensen is a thick, large-bodied outfielder who remains a longshot to stay in that position, but the bat is definitely there. Kyle Jensen hit his 24th home run of the season tonight
Brad Hand — 6.0 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 7 (BB) | 4 (K)
Hand showed terrible command tonight, but still managed to keep the runs off the board. The case of Hand, a Major Leaguer one day and a Southern Leaguer the next, is quite astonishing as you never know what kind of numbers he’ll put up. Take today’s start with a grain of salt, as a variety of reasons could have led to his wildness.
Low-A Greensboro (in 6-2 loss to Lakewood)
Marcell Ozuna — 1-4 w/ HR (20)
We already knew that Ozuna is arguably the streakiest hitter in the minor leagues, but his power might also be the most raw. Ozuna has tons of holes in his swing and likely is power and nothing else, but he’s getting the job done.
Jacob Realmuto — 1-4
Realmuto has put up an outstanding South Atlantic League line of .282/.345 in his first season of pro ball. In addition, he’s shown the ability to hit for power and play solid defense behind the plate. He’s one of my sleeper candidates in the Marlins system.
After over two months of negotiating back and forth — or the complete opposite, in fact — the Marlins have finally inked Jose Fernandez, their 2011 first round selection. The deal is for two million dollars, according to Baseball America’s Jim Callis. Let’s take a look at the newest member of the Marlins organization.
This courtesy Baseball America:
He throws three swing-and-miss pitches: a fastball that sits 90-95 mph with heavy sink at times and a pair of breaking balls. Scouts aren’t sure if Fernandez means to throw both a slider and a curve, but his slider can be sharp and his curve at times has 12-to-6 break. He’s shown flashes of a changeup as well and could wind up as a four-pitch workhorse. Sturdy at 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, Fernandez has a mature body and will have to work to maintain his conditioning.
On a personal level, I’m excited about Fernandez for many reasons. One of which is because of his young age and where he fits in to the prospect shuffle in the Marlins organization. If you know the Marlins system, you know that the small amount of prospects they have are in Greensboro, with the exception of Chad James and Kyle Jensen to name a few who are in higher levels of the system. Christian Yelich, Noah Perio, Mark Canha, Ryan Fisher, Jacob Realmuto and Marcel Ozuna all represent the core of the system. Only one of those prospects, maybe two are impact level talents but still solidify a large gap within the franchise. Slotting Fernandez in that same group if not now, very soon, will replicate the influx of talent that the Marlins saw come up when Stanton, Morrison and Sanchez made their way to the bigs.
In any case, he’s a Marlins and the Fish didn’t lose their man. And with the Lomo news that’s occupied nearly the entirety of the internet, I’m quite surprised they didn’t.
While talks between the Fish and 1st rounder Jose Fernandez have apparently gone swimmingly, aggreeing to a contract is the next step as 12:00 AM marks as the signing deadline for all unsigned 2011 draft picks. Neither the Marlins or Fernandez have shown any signs of a potential agreement as of yet, but most first round deals aren’t announced or even agreed upon until the very last minute. According to Juan C. Rodriguez, our good buddy from the Florida Sun Sentinel the Marlins have offered Fernandez a $1.6MM signing bonus. While under slot, it’s hard to see Fernandez rejecting that.
Jose Fernandez embraces quite an interesting and heartfelt story. He was a Cuban defector and only recently made his way to the U.S. And now he’s a 1st rounder in the Major League Baseball June Draft. That’s definitely something. In any case, he isn’t the only Marlins draftee who’s yet to sign. Others include Connor Barron, a high school shortstop and Joshua Palmer, a second-baseman. All in all, 22 of the Marlins 50 June selections have yet to sign. And if you ask me, I’ll say less than 10 of them sign tonight. Especially considering a majority of the 22 are from the 30th-50th rounds and aren’t likely considered as impact players.
It wouldn’t have been a normal weekend if there weren’t any embarrassing moves made by the Marlins brass. Surely, they remained consistent and induced quite the questionable move, and one that still has Marlins fans scratching their heads over. While Logan Morrison will presumably hit his way back to the Majors, it’s at least worth seeing if Bryan Petersen has anything that would make him a viable candidate for an everyday job. While I don’t see it, Jeffrey Loria very well might. Anyway, wanted to take care of some housekeeping.
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If you haven’t yet heard the news yet of Logan Morrison‘s demotion to Triple-A, you either do not use Twitter or haven’t heard of the Marlins. If the latter, I don’t blame you. But in any case, we have quite a situation on our hands here. Following tonight’s game against the San Francisco Giants, the Marlins have decided to send Lomo packing, en route to New Orleans. More likely than not, the move was made in order to net the left-handed hitter additional plate appearances. However, I have some different feelings about the move. Feelings that by no means make the demotion justifiable, but would in fact make the decision for the more a bit less crazy than it currently seems.
If you know Logan Morrison you’re probably aware of the Twitter handle @LoMoMarlins, his nasty remarks towards other members of Major League Baseball as well as his refusal to tranquilise his offensive and unprofessional acts. Logan Morrison is one fine ballplayer and man, there are only a handful of left-fielders I’d rather have roaming my bluegrass if I’m an owner. But the aforementioned unprofessional humor that he carries around, and displays on a daily basis is rather wrong. In fact, to most it’s quite embarrassing. And despite a lackadaisical and laughable play in the outfield tonight and some lousy on the field showings recently, his ongoing bad behavior makes little sense for a demotion. But I wouldn’t completely rule it out either.
Of course, the real reason why he was sent down most likely has to do with an undisclosed issue. An issue in which we, the public, have no way of guessing but at the same time probably don’t have any reason knowing either. After all, Logan Morrison didn’t even know the reason why. But first let’s just breakdown the move from the Marlins perspective. He’s hitting .273 in the month of August with a home run and four RBI’s under his belt. From the average baseball fan’s point of view, which include Jack McKeon and Jeffrey Loria, Morrison isn’t doing much wrong at the plate. His defense has been spotty and tonight was a perfect example of why but you don’t send somebody down for that. Everyone makes mistakes.
Now if we look a little deeper, which we will, the off-the-field issues come in to play. Just a few days ago our good friend Hanley Ramirez hit the shelf with yet another lingering injury. Hanley’s been a disappointment this season but still obviously ranks as one of the game’s better shortstops and even one of the better players. In talking post-ballgame with Juan Rodriguez a few days ago, Lomo called Ramirez out, saying he has a tough time seeing Hanley as an anchor when he’s only playing 100 games a season, not 162. We know that Morrison made nasty comments regarding Buster Posey and Brian Sabean following the events that took place the last time these two teams matched up and additionally, Morrison tweeted immature phrases directed indirectly at Jeffrey Loria who rightfully so, made a statement a few months back explaining his dissatisfaction in Logan Morrison‘s Twitter game. We know of Morrison’s vulgarity on Twitter, we’ve seen Tweets and columns from reporters conveying their discomfort with Morrison’s remarks and we’ve even seen Lomo tweet his unhappiness with a reporter’s article. All of which were dealt with, but did indeed create additional and unnecessary drama, which the Marlins surprisingly haven’t seemed too bothered by.
Traditionally, off-the-field issues as such don’t warrant a demotion. More like a suspension or something of that sort. And that’s why I don’t believe his ongoing comments were the result of the option. But as I said before there’s almost no other reason as to why this occurred. The Fish have plenty expressed their desire to keep the current team together as they move the team in to the new ballpark. Optioning Morrison clearly doesn’t mean the Marlins have intentions of shipping him elsewhere but how come the Marlins didn’t buy anybody else a plane ticket to New Orleans when they were struggling? Lots of questions to be pondered here without any answer, or at least a logical answer, but he was still optioned and for a reason. To me, if he was sent down due to his comments made towards Juan Rodriguez, which eventually led to Logan telling Rodriguez on Twitter to “re-think coming to his locker next time,” then that’s something. But if the tweeting and odd comments made by Morrison over the past several months led to a demotion now, it’s the Marlins fault for not reprimanding him sooner. Technically the brass could have made some sort of move or statement light years back giving Morrison an ultimatum, telling him to shut it “or else.” And teams have done so before when involved in different situations. And if they did, say, fine him (just as an example) this likely wouldn’t have continued. If it did, it would potentially result in a more serious punishment for Morrison.
Our very own SCWS tackled the Lomo situation beautifully a few days ago saying that the comments made by Morrison are wholly unattractive and unjustifiable. He’s right, but it’s a two way street and Morrison is part of an organization that he cares for. If the team was really dissatisfied by his remarks then they should have and could have put a halt to it. But hey, if this is really the case why am I not surprised the Marlins waited until this long to make such a move? Loria has an uncountable amount of idiosyncracy’s and this season especially we’ve consistently been accustomed and exposed to them. It’s just not surprising that he would for one, not crack down on Morrison sooner and two, do all of the other things that Jeffrey Loria normally and strangely does, but that’s a whole other story.
I’ll say it again, I see no reason to demote someone due to remarks, tweets, vulgarity and whatever else you can imagine a baseball player wrongfully doing with his mouth or keyboard. We don’t know why he was optioned, and it’s wrong to assume based on unclear circumstances that have taken place in the past. What we do know is that Morrison might have an idea of why he was sent down and from what I can guess shouldn’t have to do with his continuing immature statements. I could be wrong and if so, what an idiotic move by the Marlins. The last thing fans of the Fish want to see is a fallout within the relationship of Morrison and the Marlins brass. Drama is what we don’t need in South Florida and especially with only good events shaping up to take place in the Marlins future. With Colby Rasmus along with many others, we’ve seen what could result of venomous relationships in these very same circumstances. We can all agree that they don’t end up pretty. All we can hope for is that the reasons surrounding the Marlins decision to option Morrison aren’t too controversial and unexpected. But anyway, hope to see you soon, @LoMoZephyrs.
Never mind all the current tabloids and news stations that talk about the world’s most intriguing and top news stories, we have a Giants/Marlins series on our hands! Should be exciting, don’t you think? To help preview this series, we called upon Julian Levine of Giants Nirvana to answer some questions, and here they are.
Q: Let’s just get this one out of the way: How much of a distraction will this series be for the players following the incident that occured the last time these two teams faced?
A: I don’t imagine it’ll be a huge distraction for them. They’re in the midst of a pennant race, and I think the Posey incident has pretty much blown over by now. Hopefully they can stay focused and just try to win baseball games without letting any of that drama get in the way.
Q: Should we expect any “flares for the dramatics”, considering the Giants are still semi-disgruntled about what Cousins did, albeit unintentional?
A: To be honest, I don’t know what to expect. The team’s had their frustrations of late — they just finished a 3-7 homestand — and as you probably remember, they had a bench-clearing brawl just the other night. Maybe there will be dramatics, though I don’t know that it should be expected.
Q: The Giants haven’t been doing that well over the last two weeks or so. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks have. What can the Giants do, or not do to stay afloat?
A: They can try to hit. Bottomline: this team is very bad at scoring runs, and that will be their downfall. Huff’s starting to get it together, which helps, and once Carlos Beltran returns from his wrist strain (he just received a cortisone injection), perhaps Sandoval/Beltran/Huff will make for a formidable middle-of-the-lineup.
Q: Can you talk about Aubrey Huff‘s primary struggles and why he seems to be good one season and then terrible the next?
A: I think it’s BABIP-related, partially. And partially just randomness. For example, I don’t expect him to have an excellent season in 2012. But who knows? Huff’s had a bad year, and I can’t put an exact finger on what the causes of his struggles are. He’s grounded out a lot to second base though…Anyway, as I mentioned, he’s starting to turn things around, so hopefully he can sustain decent production over the rest of the season.
Q: Amidst their struggles, the Giants pitching has remained top notch sans the return performance of Jonathan Sanchez. Should the Giants win the West, will it be a result of the pitching and nothing else?
A: Exactly. Their hitting is so awful, that their pitching staff is the only thing keeping them contending. It’s a fantastic staff — elite rotation and bullpen — and that’s why they’re a competitive team.
Q: Who is the biggest X-Factor of this upcoming series?
A: Dare I mention Aubrey Huff again? With Beltran potentially missing a couple games in this series, it could be huge for the Giants if Huff has a good series batting in the middle of the order.
Q: Can you give us a series prediction?
A: With Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, and Ryan Vogelsong starting in this series, I expect the Giants can win two of three. If their offense wasn’t so awful, I’d maybe feel confident saying they can sweep…but I’ll go with two of three.
A big thank you to Julian Levine for taking the time to answer some of my questions. You can find more of him over at Giants Nirvana. You can find even more of him on Twitter. And, of course, you can find me answering his questions about this Giants/Marlins series right around here.
Your daily Marlins Minor League report…
Double-A Jacksonville (in 6-2 win over Montgomery)
Nothing extremely special took place in the Jacksonville’s victory over Montgomery. Although Kyle Skipworth again struggled at the plate, something that’s not the least bit unusual for him. Aside from going 0-2 at the plate, he dropped his average down to .198 for the year. He’s got plenty of work to do but only being 20 years of age means he’s still got some time. There were, however, a few bright spots which you’d obviously expect from the winning team. The intriguing and heartwarming story of newly-turned pitcher Chris Hatcher was displayed again tonight. The right-hander, who’s been enjoying a fine season on the mound struck out two batters in an inning of work while not walking anybody. In addition, former Tigers pitcher Zach Simons struck out three in two innings of relief while not allowing a batter to reach base via the base on balls.
High-A Jupiter (in 6-1 loss to St. Lucie)
Fortunately for the Marlins, despite their farm being amongst the emptiest in the game, there have been quite a few bright spots. One of which is outfielder Kyle Jensen who despite being 23 years of age and in High-A has put on quite a showing this season with the bat. In 361 at-bats on the year he sports a .313/.389/.548 line and has even belted 21 home runs. He strikes out way too much and is basically all bat, thus he isn’t that much of a prospect. It’s unclear what the Marlins ongoing plans for him will be, but we know he can hit, which most hitters in the organization cannot say.
Low-A Greensboro (in 1-0 loss to West Virginia)
Wow, that’s a tough one to lose. I guess it’s a good thing that minor league scores and records mean absolutely nothing. It really wasn’t a bad day for the Greensboro hitters. Marcell Ozuna collected two more hits, Christian Yelich one and same goes for Mark Canha. Good day’s for the three best hitters on the Grasshoppers. Robert Morey, a right-handed starter with fringe stuff fared out well too, pitching seven scoreless striking out basically a batter per inning while only walking one.
Bryan Evans assigned to Double-A Jacksonville from High-A Jupiter
A.J. Battisto also assigned to High-A Jupiter from Double-A Jacksonville
Holden Sprague assigned to Low-A Greensboro from Low-A SS Jamestown
Dallas Poulk has been activated from the 7-day DL and re-assigned to High-A Jupiter