This will be a quick Blogservations, as I was not able to watch much of this shellacking of a game that the Marlins slapped on the Orioles. The Fish come out with a three game sweep and head to Tampa Bay looking to avenge the ugly affair that was a three-game sweep of the Marlins at Land Shark on their first Interleague visit.
Sean West was not as good as he looked.
It only takes one look at the peripherals to tell that Sean West simply wasn’t playing shutout baseball. Six innings of work, striking out two, walking three. Here’s the zone as always by Brooks Baseball.
Here’s his movement chart.
Two things can be garnered. One is that West was able to stay in the zone better tonight than he had in previous starts. The second is that he put too many pitches in the middle, the good part of the zone, and they were getting hit. He was probably a good deal lucky that they didn’t turn into more hits than outs. The outs were majority fly balls (7/9 GB/FB ratio), meaning that he was fortunate they weren’t hit hard either. He’ll also need to avoid missing on those breaking balls. You see on the movement chart that some of his sliders were hangers that didn’t dip and ended up thigh high for juicy strikes. He needs to get his movement and pitches in general down in the zone, even though tonight he wasn’t getting the calls there.
Simply put, West needs to miss more bats. If he can’t miss bats, he puts a tremendous amount of pressure on a terrible fielding team. The Marlins’ defense leaves something to be desired, and if we are to expect wins from West’s starts in the future, he needs to stop pitching to that type of bad contact.
The Marlins’ double team duo is mashing.
Luckily for West, the Marlins bats were wide awake after that poor span against Boston and New York. Each of the Marlins eight position starters picked up a hit, led by Hanley Ramirez’ss 3-for-5 night with a double and grand slam. Hanley’s looked great all season, aside from his increasingly longer, violent swing (honestly, I’d be worried about that, he’s beginning to look like he’s swinging like Andruw Jones. No one wants that). However, Dan Uggla was also mashing, knocking out his fourth home run in seven games and adding a single to the mix. In those games Uggla is 8-for-25 with five total extra-base hits and two walks. It isn’t the most impressive of streaks, but the home run power is back, and the team will need every bit of it carrying the third baseman’s weak bat every night in the lineup. Good to see Hanley, Cody, and Uggla swinging it well.
Please play Brett Carroll. Is it obvious yet?
Rich Waltz made a ridiculous comment tonight. Here it is paraphrased:
Brett Carroll would be a Gold Glove outfielder if he could develop at the plate and get more playing time.
I almost screamed at my television. Waltz must know we have a player among the worst regulars in baseball in terms of hitting, and a guy who has been so far atrocious with the glove, right? Admittedly, Bonifacio’s looked better at hitting singles and has made some excellent defensive plays at third, but he’s still done fairly poorly so far (-5.4 runs in UZR). Waltz also said Bonifacio could be a great defensive third baseman if he could improve his throwing because he has great range. The range hasn’t appeared great so far (-1.7 runs), though it’s too small a sample size to really determine his skill level. Seems like he has the arm for the position, just not the instincts yet. Unfortunately, with the Marlins involved in trying to stay in contention, the team simply can’t afford to run Bonifacio and his bat and glove out there to test him out.
Carroll is a great defensive player and he hasn’t played poorly in very limited plate appearances. He collected another two singles today, and has a total of 16 hits and four extra baggers in 54 plate appearances, about average at the plate, though that is sure to drop to pretty solidly below average. But if he can bring the glove he’s brought so far to the table it would be a significant upgrade over two positions (Coghlan in left field, Bonifacio at third) and bolster the staff better. Let’s see how long Fredi takes to realize this is the right alignment via any acquisitions.