Mid-morning Fish Bites, hot and fresh (week-wise at least). Here’s you Florida Marlins reading for the week.
– On Monday, the Marlins pulled the trigger on the move of bumping Hanley Ramirez up to the second slot in the lineup. Ironically, given the tenets of lineup optimization relayed by The Book, this was actually a great move by Edwin Rodriguez. The Marlins’ lineup on Monday, boasting Ramirez at the second slot and Logan Morrison hitting third, was actually the closest to an optimized lineup that the team has utilized all season. Against a righty pitcher, the Marlins actually put their four of their five best hitters in the first five lineup slots (Greg Dobbs notwithstanding). And moving Morrison up to third is a big improvement over having Emilio Bonifacio or Omar Infante bat second. Here’s hoping Hanley picks it back up and they keep this alignment.
– Speaking of Ramirez, did you see the New York Mets actually intentionally walk Chris Coghlan to get to Ramirez on Monday? Ridiculous decision, given the fact that despite Ramirez’s struggles, you’d still expect him to be better than Coghlan. Last I checked, CC wasn’t lighting the world on fire either (.247/.318/.405, .309 wOBA).
– Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald had some notes on Javier Vazquez and some minor league Fish. Jackson discussed Vazquez’s velocity and the fact that hitters are making way too much contact with his bad stuff. (h/t Marlins Diehards)
– Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald points out that even though Vazquez is struggling, the Marlins just don’t have that many options available to replace him. Sean West and Alex Sanabia are hurt, and the Marlins are left with Elih Villanueva or former reliever Jay Buente as candidates. I’m not sure how much better these guys would be over Vazquez, but I highly doubt anyone could be worse.
– Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald mentioned last week that the two things bringing about Leo Nunez‘s success this season are his slider and his trust in John Buck. I’ve heard good things about Buck’s handling of the pitching staff, but the early returns on the slider have not been great. According to FanGraphs’s pitch type linear weights, the slider has been worth about 1.3 runs below average per 100 sliders thrown. The much-maligned (but still excellent) changeup? Four runs above average per 100 thrown. We’ll see if this continues.