Links galore for today. Analyses of things coming soon, I promise.
– First off, tonight’s Game 2 between the Marlins and Phillies. Ricky Nolasco to start for the Marlins opposite ace Cole Hamels for the Phillies. Hamels has struggled his last few starts while Ricky, aside from the ugly outing in Arizona, has looked brilliant. Let’s get that game back tonight.
– R.J. Anderson over at FanGraphs has some favorable comps for Hanley Ramirez. There was a bit of talk about how good Hanley would be if/when he has to move off of short to either third base or center field. I doubt that this will be something Marlins fans will have to worry about anytime soon. Hanley isn’t the best defender at short, but he’s the best hitter right now by a mile, and as Anderson points out, may go down as the second best in history.
– Ethan J. Skolnick has a nice piece on the invaluable Cody Ross. Here’s the most fun part:
Marlins fans find him entertaining enough to grant him a chant, one of only three South Florida athletes so honored. Panthers’ “David Bo-o-o-o-o-th!” The Heat’s “MV3″ for Dwyane Wade. And “Cody, Cody, Cody!”
I might be a guy who works more with stats, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a good chant. I love Cody chants, and they should keep on coming. He’s been worth 7.4 WAR this season and the last two years combined, playing primarily at a premium position. I’m very happy to have Cody as an everyday outfielder for us.
– JCR asks whether the Fish can go 44-28 to finish with a division title. Based on different playoff predictors, the likelyhood is no, but often the predictors underestimate the Marlins production. The key is to get Emilio Bonifacio and possibly Jeremy Hermida out of the lineup, at least more consistently (I’d like Bonifacio out permanently, Hermida playing at around the amount of games he’s playing now). The Marlins are going to need Gaby Sanchez at some point, and we might as well see if he can’t play in the big leagues now, as he’s already 26 and isn’t getting any younger/better most likely.
– Finally, Sky Kalkman over BtB talks about Roy Halladay’s fair value and the fair value of Roy Halladay with Vernon Wells. Halladay is some $23.3M in benefit over his current contract, but with Wells? Well, allow Sky to talk about it himself.
Sky’s Tip of the Day: If you’re a major league baseball general manager and anyone from the Blue Jays front office calls you up and even mentions the name Vernon Wells, immediately hang up, unplug your phone, announce a code Dunn over the PA, and organize the entire building’s retreat into the sub-basement biodome where you won’t come out until after 2014. (Don’t forget the Twinkies.)
Yikes, that’s one bad contract.