Archive for Baseball Talk
Back in January, Miami quietly dealt 5th starter Chris Volstad to Chicago, and in return recieved the embattled Carlos Zambrano. The Cubs also picked up most of Zambrano’s $18 million dollar contract, giving Miami all the more reason to take a chance of Zambrano, and ship the perenially underwhelming Volstad off to Theo Epstein. While the trade has not worked out exactly as planned for the Marlins, who hoped to use him as they competed for a playoff spot, it has gone quite well compared to how it’s turned out on the Cubs side.
It is about time we saw some action from the Marlins this season. Too bad that action was not on the field. Yesterday, the Marlins, who spent a small fortune during the off-season in order to be contenders this year, sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to the Detroit Tigers for, well, let’s face it, Jacob Turner.
Oh yeah, as Dave mentioned here, this trade was historically significant because it marks the first time teams have traded their compensation picks. According to Peter Gammons, The Marlins obtain prospects Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn along with Turner. The Tigers will also now have the last pick in compensation round A (after the first round), while the Marlins will have the final pick in compensation round B (after the second round).
We all have them about pretty much every detail of our lives. Big expectations, small expectations, some we’re aware of and some we have without knowing it.
We expect to wake up every morning, we expect the sky to be blue, we expect work or school to suck and we expect life to continue when it does. Reasonable expectations.
I expect to write a snappy article that makes no sense when I start writing and somehow manages to conclude in a witty fashion. Another reasonable expectation.
However, like many expectations, including my expectation of myself, not all expectations are met every time.
With this in mind I give you the 32-30 Miami Marlins, a team who is just 1-7 in their last 8 games and have not lived up to their overall expectations as a unit.
And with all the lofty expectations that fans and media have for this team, mostly because of the big name acquisitions they had in the off-season, the blame does not and should not fall on those stars.
What if the Marlins stink?
If you were to look at the standings today, you’d see the Marlins in fourth place. Not fourth place in Major League Baseball, not fourth place in the National League, but fourth place just in the NL East alone, three and a half games back of the first place Washington Nationals. (Yes, those Washington Nationals.) The team rebranded with not only a new logo and new ballpark, but with renewed hope and optimism after having one of the best offseasons in baseball, after thirty games, continues to hover somewhere around .500 in what looks to be the most highly competitive division in the National League.
I suppose you could argue that a .500 record isn’t terrible for a team that’s seen some of its best players suffer extended slumps this early in the season, and you’d have a point. However, I’d also point out that it took seven straight wins, a Hanley Ramirez hot streak, complete games by Mark Buehrle and Carlos Zambrano(!), surviving a couple of Heath Bell meltdowns, and five home runs in eight games for Giancarlo Stanton just to get the Marlins to a place in the standings where they’d be considered merely average.
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.
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.
It’s March 14th, so aside from it being “National Pi Day,” Marlins Park gates are officially set to open in about three weeks. Additionally, Josh Johnson’s shoulder is feeling ever-so strong, Hanley Ramirez is adjusting well to third-base and Christian Yelich is still managing to impress every scout in attendance. But the Marlins’ players, staff and management aren’t the only ones who eagerly and anxiously await the start of the season because, hey, we here at Marlins Daily are in the exact same boat. Because you asked, my shoulder is decent and I’m adjusting well to my new keyboard. But more importantly, myself and Marlins Daily’s contributors are gearing up for an extremely unforgettable season.
Let’s start off by discussing what you can expect from Marlins Daily for this upcoming season. When Marlins Daily first kicked off back in June of last year, the plan was never for this site to be a news source or kiosk for Marlins fans. While discussing hot topics and current news within the club is never frowned upon, analyzing such bits is a priority. Analysis, analysis and analysis — and, oh yeah, analysis — is what Marlins Daily is all about, and that’s what’ll be flowing into your news feeds now that things are almost back in full swing. Pitch f/x, advanced statistics, projections, minor league scouting reports and game-by-game analysis is what will regularly be featured on the site, thanks to a impressive group of writers. Those writers, sans myself, are as follows…
On Monday afternoon, we learned of the Athletics agreement with Yoenis Cespedes, a four-year deal worth around $36MM. The deal came as a surprise given their lack of previous interest but more importantly, because of the strong likelihood of Cespedes inking a deal with the Marlins. Despite the favorable initial chances of that happening, Cespedes will be donning gold and green in 2012 and the Marlins will have to move on. Although they missed out on an impressive young talent and someone who they long-coveted the Marlins offense still, at the very least, projects to be satisfactory.
Entering the off-season, fans and pundits predicted the Marlins to sign at least one of Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. The hope from fans was that after the Marlins did ink one of the two first-basemen they would subsequently ship Gaby Sanchez elsewhere and continue upgrading their roster. After that notion went for not, or at least after they used some of the Pujols money to upgrade areas elsewhere on their roster the popular target inevitably became Yoenis Cespedes, arguably the best Cuban defector to become a free agent since Aroldis Chapman a few years back.
The Miami Marlins went out and spent big bucks this offseason on a closer. They wanted a proven pitcher to man the situations of the 9th inning. They spent $27M on free agent reliever Heath Bell to make sure they got what they wanted.
Whether or not you think the money was a waste or if you think it was a good deal, the fact of the matter is that the 9th inning is not the only time high-leverage situations come about. There has to be someone other than the closer to pitch in these high-leverage situations, especially if the closer is un-wisely used only for the 9th inning.
I get that a team would want someone with experience and more than, say, 59 career innings at the top level to be their closer and pitch in high-leverage situations. However, I believe the Marlins may have another high-leverage man and his name is Steve Cishek. Only problem is that he only has 59 career innings of data under his belt.
If there’s one thing that’s lasted within the Marlins organization for almost the entirety of Jeffrey Loria’s tenure as owner, it’s the enforced rule disabling players from rocking any sort of facial or long hair. Like the Yankees, the Marlins Brass only wants to see clean-cut Fish on the field. Although I don’t blame them, I’ve never been a fan of this sort of uniformity. It’s just too strict of a rule in my opinion. But most of all, it prevents players from being themselves on the diamond. That said, it doesn’t impact any part of the game and never contains enough depth to actually be considered an “issue.”