Archive for Analysis
The Rule 5 Draft took place on Thursday morning, and with the Marlins bargain shopping for players, they were expected to be active during the draft. Marlins fans remember the Rule 5 Draft from 2006, in which the Marlins landed all-star second baseman Dan Uggla. The Marlins have not had much success in the draft since.
Rule 5 players, obtained for $50,000 each, must open the season on a team’s 25-man roster or be returned to their original club. But Miami hopes both players can stick and produce.
On Thursday, the Marlins selected three players in the Rule 5 Draft. The team selected two players in the MLB Phase of the draft, outfielder Alfredo Silverio from the Los Angeles Dodgers and pitcher Braulio Lara from the Tampa Bay Rays. The team selected Tyler Kehrer from the Los Angeles Angels in the Triple-A phase.
Alfredo Silverio is the most intriguing pick for the Marlins. Silverio had a breakout season in 2011 for the Dodgers Double-A team, posting an impressive .306/.340/.542 line with an impressive .382 wOBA. Silverio also scored 90 runs and collected 42 doubles, 18 triples, 16 home runs and 85 RBI in 132 games with double-A Chattanooga in 2011, earning Southern League All-Star honors.
On Jan. 23 of this year, he was involved in a one-car accident in the Dominican Republic. Silverio in the accident suffered injuries to his back, shoulder, elbow, and neck. He was reportedly suffering from concussion-like symptoms six weeks after the car crash.
“The Dodgers just showed me pictures of the car. He’s lucky he’s alive,’’ said Marty Scott, the Marlins’ vice president for player development.
The good news for the Marlins, Silverio was recently taking batting practice in the Domincan Republic. Hopefully that is a positive sign for his career going forward. Silverio has not been cleared to throw the ball, as of yet, as a result of his Tommy John Surgery.
“If we get him healthy as quickly as we can, not rush him, he’s a possible DL guy to start the year,” Scott said.
“He’s a project and you bring him in but tool-wise and the grades we had on him and the fact that he has recovered from the concussions and the Tommy John, it’s very promising.’’
This is what Baseball America had to say about the Marlins pick:
Showed the potential for five average or better tools, but missed all of 2012 after a car accident resulted in a concussion and an elbow injury. If healthy, could be the safest bet to stick on big league roster.
Silverio will likely start the season on the disabled list, but will have to be active for at least 90 days for the Marlins, or they will have to return him to the Dodgers.
The Marlins also selected Braulio Lara from the Tampa Bay Rays. Lara is an intriguing prospect, as he is a left-hander with plenty of zip on his fastball. He has however struggled with command in the minor leagues. Last season, Lara, 23, was 6-10 with a 5.71 ERA (112.0 IP/71 ER) in 25 games, including 21 starts, with single-A Charlotte in the Tampa Bay Rays system. Lara has a career 4.41 ERA in his minor league career.
This is what Baseball America had to say about the Marlins pick:
Lara has a lean, athletic build that produces a mid-90s fastball and a hard, downer curveball. He went 6-10, 5.71 in high Class A in 2012 so while the stuff is excellent, he’s a long ways from being ready to help a big league club.
Lara is a solid pick, but he is a less likely candidate to stick with the Marlins. He has never pitched above High-A and it would be a stretch to see him succeeding in the Majors, but with the Marlins likely to be out of contention early, Lara will have a chance to make it work with the Marlins.
In the minor league phase, the Marlins selected left handed pitcher, Tyler Kehrer from the Angels Double-A team. I do not know as much about Kehrer as the other prospects, but his raw numbers in the minors do not look too good, as he walks way too many hitters.
September is a very important month in the baseball calendar. One may argue that it’s the most important of the baseball season, for teams both contending for a playoff spot as well as those who know they’ll be watching from their couches come October. The Miami Marlins are a team in the latter category, but that doesn’t mean this final month of the 2012 season can’t be a valuable one.
Case in point: catcher Rob Brantly. Read More→
In part one of what is now a two part series, we examined the Marlins surprisingly poor run differential here. While the numbers have changed slightly since then, the basic point remains: for a team that has been outscored by about 100 runs this season, the Marlins have a much better record than would be expected. According to Baseball Prospectus’ Adjusted Standings, the Marlins have won about 4.2 games more than their run differential would suggest. Likewise, ESPN’s Expected Win-Loss, a metric also based off a team’s run differential, estimates the Marlins “true record” to be 55-76–a far cry from the team’s actual 59-72 mark.
When it was learned that right-hander Nathan Eovaldi was the Dodgers’ main trade chip used to acquire Hanley Ramirez, there were mixed reactions among Marlins fans as well as the rest of the baseball world. Eovaldi was seen as having the potential to be a valuable part of a major league rotation in the future, despite not being seen as a future ace. He came to the Fish with twelve starts-worth of big league experience, and it was clear that Ozzie Guillen planned to stick Eovaldi into a regular spot in the rotation from the get-go.
As we approach the one-month anniversary of the Miami Marlins’ deadline wheeling and dealing, I figure it’s a good time to look ahead to how the club will improve the team in 2013.
The Marlins offloaded the contracts of Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, and Omar Infante, among others, and based on how things stand, it appears that they’ll have somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million to work with this winter. The chances of Miami going after high-priced free agents this winter as they did last year is slim to none, but there are still plenty of issues to address if the club wants to have any shot at being competitive in the NL East over the next several years.
For starters, let’s look at the payroll situation. The total value of guaranteed contracts on the Fish’s roster (without options/buyouts taken into consideration) over the next several seasons is as follows:
2012: $80.7 million
2013: $62.8 million
2014: $43 million
2015: $41 million
These figures, provided by Baseball-Reference, obviously don’t take into account other variables such as arbitration or contractual incentives, but it gives you at least a broad understanding of what the club will be working with.
In February 12th, 2002, The sale of the Florida Marlins to Jeffrey Loria was approved by the baseball owners. The managing trio of Loria, President David Samson and general manager Larry Beinfest were formed.
When Loria bought the team in 2002, the Marlins already had a World Series championship from 1997. It was their only winning season. On top of winning a championship of their own, there isn’t much more they would need to do to top previous ownership.
Before Opening Day of their first season as Marlins brass, they made their first trade of the regime by sending pitchers Matt Clement and Antonio Alfonseca to the Chicago Cubs for pitchers Julian Tavarez, Dontrelle Willis and Jose Cueto, and catcher Ryan Jorgensen.
That same year, they traded star outfielder Cliff Floyd to their former team, the Montreal Expos, for pitchers Carl Pavano, Justin Wayne, Graeme Lloyd, and Don Levinski and reserve infielders Mike Mordecai and Wilton Guerrero.
The same day they shipped their ace Ryan Dempster to the Cincinnati Reds for outfielder Juan Encarnacion, infielder Wilton Guerreer and pitcher Ryan Snare.
The Marlins finished 4th in the National League East with a record of 79 wins and 83 loses.
During the offseason, the Marlins acquired pitcher Mike Hampton and center fielder Juan Pierre from the Colorado Rockies for catcher Charles Johnson, outfielder Preston Wilson, infielder Pablo Ozuna and pitcher Vic Darensbourg.
Immediately after securing that deal, the Marlins sent Hampton to the Atlanta Braves for relief pitcher Tim Spooneybarger and minor league pitcher Ryan Baker.
Through those five trades, the Marlins replaced Matt Clement, Antonio Alfonseca, Cliff Floyd, Ryan Dempster, Charles Johnson and Preston Wilson with Dontrelle Willis, Carl Pavano, Juan Encarnacion, Juan Pierre, Tim Spooneybarger and Mike Mordecai.
On paper, those moves may not make any sense. However, include the signing of catcher Ivan Rodriguez, the hiring of manager Jack McKeon, the emergence of Miguel Cabrera, and midseason trades for Ugueth Urbina and Jeff Conine, and the Loria/Samson/Beinfest regime wins a World Series Championship of their own in just their second season.
The Marlins would finish 83-79 for the next two seasons but the additions of pitcher Armando Benitez, Paul Lo Duca, Todd Jones and Carlos Delgado was seen as shrewd moves. Benitez would record a franchise record 47 saves in 51 attempts.
However with much of their 2005 leaving for free agency, it made more sense to cut payroll and start over rather than live in baseball purgatory.
They traded every veteran and Jeffery Loria was labeled by the media as a cheapskate owner for having the youngest team in baseball with a league low $15M payroll going into the 2006 season.
They were expected to win less games than the soon to be champion Miami Heat. Instead those youngsters had an historic season despite finishing 78-84.
The Marlins became first team in the modern baseball era to improve to better than .500 after being as much as 20 games under .500. Also, for the first time in MLB history, four rookies topped double digits in wins: Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez.
On September 6, 2006, Sanchez threw the fourth no-hitter in franchise history, beating Arizona, 2-0, at Dolphin Stadium.
Rookie second baseman Dan Uggla became the first Rule 5 pick to be selected to the All-Star Game in the season in which he was drafted. Rookie shortstop Hanley Ramirez won the National League Rookie of the Year Award, and Joe Girardi was voted N.L. Manager of the Year during his rookie season.
Adding veteran outfielder Luis Gonzalez gave the young Marlins much needed veteran leadership and helped them return to their winning way as they finished above .500 for the first time since 2005.
Adding Jorge Cantu turned out to be a steal when he helped the Marlins set a Major League record by having four infielders reach at least 25 home runs — Hanley Ramirez (33), Dan Uggla (32), Mike Jacobs (32) and Jorge Cantu (29).
That same year however, they traded Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers for Burke Badenhop, Dallas Trahern, Andrew Miller, Cameron Maybin, Mike Rabelo and Eulogio de la Cruz.
None of their returns proved to be a difference maker, making the trade one of, if the worst, trades in Marlins history.
Going into last year, the Marlins traded Dan Uggla to the Atlanta Braves for Omar Infante and a reliever. Infante was a .300 hitter and better fielder than Uggla but wasn’t that hitter when with the Marlins.
Their signing of Javier Vazquez that was shaping up to be like the NAte Robertson acquisition in 2010 until the second half of the season when he became their ace in Josh Johnson’s absence.
This year, the Miami Marlins signed Heath Bell, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle and traded Chris Volstad to the Chicago Cubs for Carlos Zambrano. Anyone is an upgrade over Volstad but Bell turned out to be a complete bust and also the face of a failed 2012 campaign which has the Marlins in last place for the second straight year.
They also traded Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate (who was a solid signing) for a coup of prospects. Two of the major ones are starting pitchers Nathan Eovaldi from the Los Angeles Dodgers, who is 3-2 with a 3.75 ERA, and Jacob Turner from the Tigers, who will be making his Marlins debut this week.
If these two pitchers can be successful, they can help springboard another big offseason for the Marlins brass and possibly be on the rebound in 2013. This regime has seen a lot and deserve every praise and criticism, but for the fans of the Marlins, they’re the best they got.
Just three weeks after being acquired in the Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante deal, the Marlins have called up 23-year-old catcher Rob Brantly from AAA New Orleans.
The move was announced following Sunday’s 5-0 loss to the Dodgers, with backup catcher Brett Hayes being sent down to clear a roster spot. It seems that with the roster moves made over the past month, August and September will now serve as the prime audition opportunity for players whom the club will decide to make part of the long term future of the organization.
Since coming over from Detroit, Brantly had been raking for the Zephyrs, posting a .365/.389/.558 line with two home runs and 11 RBI. Although he’s drawn just one walk in 52 at-bats as a member of the Marlins organization, Brantly is at least able to keep his strikeout totals low.
In their statement regarding Brantly’s call up, Marlins president Larry Beinfest said that “I don’t think you want to bring him up and have him sit. You want to look for some advantageous situations for him, but he needs to play.” Obviously, bringing up Brantly means that he’ll get a chance for plenty of at-bats, and with the atrocious season that John Buck has had, it won’t take much for Brantly to be an improvement over the current catching situation. In fact, the Marlins have posted the second-lowest fWAR total in the NL from the catcher position at just 0.3 WAR, ahead of only the Cubs.
Beinfest also mentioned that while they would still like to see Brantly improve defensively, they see no problem in evaluating his receiving skills at the big league level rather than doing so in Triple-A. Brantly has always been viewed as an offensive-minded catcher with more line-drive ability than power, but it will be worth watching how well he can hold up behind the dish. Despite the struggles of Buck with the bat, he has still been able to throw out 32% of runners attempting to steal. Brantly did show good arm strength during this year’s Futures Game, throwing out Cardinals’ OF prospect Oscar Taveras, but the big leagues will obviously require a bigger adjustment compared to a minor league All-Star game.
Brantly will get the next two months to show the Marlins whether where he fits in with their future plans, and if all goes well, he’ll have secured himself a spot as the everyday catcher for the forseeable future.
The Marlins short but sweet 3-game winning streak came to an end Thursday, falling to the Mets 6-1. Also coming to a halt was Jose Reyes’ 26-game hit streak, after going 0-4 against the knuckleballing R.A. Dickey. Although he couldn’t pass the team’s all-time record of 35 straight games with a hit, set by Luis Castillo in 2002, it was still an impressive run by the shortstop–who did manage to tie Emiliano Bonifacio’s 26-game mark for second longest in Marlins history.
The streak began almost a month ago to date, on July 13 against the Nationals. Reyes went 1-4 facing Jordan Zimmermann, with his lone hit as a single to left field. At the time, he was hitting only .264/.336/.378. Not awful, yet clearly below standard for Reyes, who was coming off his spectacular 6.2 fWAR season in 2011.
Time AVG OBP SLG
Pre-streak .264 .336 .378
Streak .365 .405 .625
2012 Totals .285 .349 .432
Career .291 .342 .440
As shown by the above table, Reyes was well below his career marks in all three categories pre-streak, with his power especially absent. The last time he posted a Slugging so low was eight years ago in 2004, when he finished the season with a .373 line. In addition, Reyes’ batting average was well below his career norm, although that can partly be explained by an uncharacteristically low Babip (.284).
After Sunday’s disappointing 4-1 loss to the Nationals, the Marlins run differential now stands at exactly -100, third worst in MLB. While it’s been a surprise to many that the Marlins have fared so poorly this season, it’s more surprising that the club managed to stay in contention through most of July with such a run differential.
In general, outscoring opponents (a positive run differential) leads to a positive winning percentage, whereas teams being outscored by opponents usually end up with negative winning percentage. The more extreme the run differential, the higher or lower the corresponding WP%.
Yet the Marlins, now 49-60, sit only 11 games under .500, despite a run differential that suggests their record should be much worse. According to Baseball Prospectus’ Adjusted Standings,—which uses a team’s run differential—a record of 43-65 would better reflect how the Marlins have played this season. Similarly, ESPN’s Expected Win-Loss calculates the club’s record as 42-66. The large disparity between expected and actual wins makes the Marlins one of the “luckiest” teams in all of baseball, although that seems very hard to swallow. (The Cardinals, on the other hand, hold the title of unluckiest team in all of baseball.) Note: We’ll examine how the Marlins have been able to outperform their expected record in a separate post.
Prior to the trade, Sanchez was toiling in Triple-A New Orleans hitting around .290 after a dreadful start in the majors. Them trading Casey McGee to the New York Yankees for Chad Quails left first base open for Sanchez, who will likely start at first base for the Pirates with Garrett Jones moving to right field.
What does this mean for the Miami Marlins?
A better Logan Morrison.
Knee issues have curtailed both of Morrison’s only two full seasons in the Major Leagues. It was because of Gaby Sanchez that Morrison was playing left field in order to get his bat in the lineup. The 24-year-old is in the DL now and likely for the rest of the season after struggling through 93 games hitting .230 with 11 home runs and 36 RBI.
Morrison has the benefit of the doubt because his injured knee was never fully healed and can be blamed for his struggles. Hopefully for the Marlins that’s the case.