Fish Bites

The Bites are back and ready to be chewed upon. Here are your Marlins news notes for this Friday.

- After coming off a nice sweep of the Padres and a day off during Comic-con (wish I was there for all the nerdiness), the Marlins finish their western roadie with three against the Los Angeles Dodgers, starting tonight. On the mound the Fish will send ace Josh Johnson while the Dodgers counter with promising young lefty Clayton Kershaw. If there’s one knock right now on Kershaw, it’s that he has a hard time throwing strikes and will walk you. Unfortunately for us, we don’t really know how to take walks, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that turned out a wash. Still, we have JJ, we’ve got hope.

- The Miami Herald has an article on how Hanley Ramirez might get in the way of Albert Pujols’ Triple Crown. The Triple Crown is indeed a rare feat, but it’s measuring two bad statistics. Personally, I’d rather see Pujols lead the league in slash line stats; at least with that, we only get one useless statistic. And well, sure enough, Pujols leads the league in OBP and SLG, and is obviosuly behind Hanley in batting average. Pujols also leads the league in wOBA by a good 30 points. By the way, guess who’s second worst in wOBA among qualified players? Ahead of only Willy Taveras is this handsome, young fellow. At least my girlfriend called him kind of handsome. I prefer my baseball players “effective.”

- Joe Frisaro over at MLB.com has a nice piece on what might have been for Cody Ross in Dodger Blue. It was interesting to see that Ross got along with now-Phillies All-Star outfielders Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth. It feels like a long time ago that we picked up Ross, and now he’s an above average starting center fielder in the league and has his own chant. Good results for a good guy.

- It looks like Scott Olsen is out for the year with an elbow injury. It’s hard to see that happen to a former Marlin prospect and friend of the team. He’s not always been easy to deal with on and off the field, but I still wish him luck recovering.

- I missed this a few days back, but here’s David Pinto of Baseball Musings reviewing the Marlins’ first half. I have to admit, it wasn’t the cleanest David Pinto post I’ve ever seen, but it was a part of a “Thirty teams in three+ dayus” series, so I can’t blame him too much. Also, he didn’t really go over the fact that the rotation has been pretty good peripherally and is due some regression to the mean. Not a bad quickie synopsis though.

- In other news, the Matt Holliday to St. Louis deal is official, and Erik Manning of Beyond the Box Score has got the trade value details. The big prospect name in all of that was Brett Wallace, a.k.a. “The Walrus” due to his (ahem) girth. Despite his size and resulting lack of defensive acumen, he’s considered the best hitter of the 2008 draft and has already made Triple-A this season. Going along with him are two other prospects that, as a Marlins fan and not a prospect follower, I know very little about. Erik fills in the details and gives you the not-so-final verdict.

The Not-So-Final Analysis: Matt Holliday’s value to the Cardinals is worth a total of like $13.5 million when you figure his salary, wins added and increased playoff odds. The A’s get a top 50 hitter, a B grade pitcher and a 22-year old C grade hitter, which totals around $28 million. Oakland comes out way ahead here. For St. Louis, this is one heck of an expensive 2-month rental.

Just when folks think Beane has lost his touch, he goes back to the team he stole Dan Haren from, which resulted in more trades. It’s a vicious cycle for Cardinal fans, who may be watching history repeat itself. The trade only looks good for Cardinal fans if it results in a flag, but as I said earlier, that’s no slam dunk. If they can extend Holliday to an a decent deal, then it looks better, but with Scott Boras, that also is no slam dunk. Lots of wild cards for the Cardinals. Beane looks to have raided St. Louis again.

The dollar values say “steal,” but I don’t know that the Cards won’t have a shot at re-upping Holliday. Now that he’s moving back to the NL and to a nicer hitter’s park than that cavern in Oakland, he should be in his comfort zone, and beating ZiPS projections the rest of the year wouldn’t surprise me. Holliday’s still a damn good player. Let’s hope it pans out for Oakland.

- Finally, blatantly promoting my own stuff (that’s the job of my blog!), yesterday on BtB I put up an interesting WAR chart comparison between professional hitter and longtime Mariners DH Edgar Martinez and a Hall of Famer who put much of his worth from the fielding side of the run equation. Check out the graphs and see if you can guess who it is. As always, Rally’s historical WAR database was used for the data.

- EDIT: Of course (I can’t believe I forgot!), I’d be remiss if I didn’t congratulate Mark Buehrle on his perfect game against the Rays yesterday. A pretty impressive feat, and now he has two no-hitters in his career. Congrats again, and congrats to Dewayne Wise for that ridiculous catch to preserve it in the ninth. Buehrle should get him a nice car.

Tags: Albert Pujols Beyond The Box Score Brett Wallace Clayton Kershaw Cody Ross Dewayne Wise Edgar Martinez Emilio Bonifacio Hanley Ramirez Jayson Werth Josh Johnson Los Angeles Dodgers Mark Buehrle Matt Holliday Miami Marlins Shane Victorino Willy Taveras

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