Series Preview: @Tampa Bay Rays


Coming off the heels of one awful series against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Marlins now travel to their in-state rivals in Tampa for a three-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Fish are looking to end an eight-game skid and perhaps take their second win of the month in this series, though a sweep would be nice, as illogical as it sounds.

Live Chat, Friday 7 pm, Marlins vs. Rays here

Florida Marlins @ Tampa Bay Rays (36-33), June 17-19, Games 70-72

NL East Standings

Tm W L Win% GB
PHI 44 26 .629
ATL 39 31 .557 5.0
NYM 34 35 .493 9.5
WSN 33 36 .478 10.5
FLA 32 37 .464 11.5

Stadium: Tropicana Field
Five-year Run PF*: 0.98
Five-year HR PF*: 1.00
Stadium Dimensions:
Left Field: 315 ft.
Left-Center: 370
Center Field: 404
Right-Center: 370
Right Field: 322

*Five-year regressed park factors provided by Patriot here

Projected Pitching Matchups

June 17: Brad Hand vs. Wade Davis
June 18: Ricky Nolasco vs. Alex Cobb
June 19: Chris Volstad vs. James Shields

ZiPS In-Season Projections

ERA Proj. FIP Win% Marlins Date Rays Win% Proj. FIP ERA
3.27 Hand June 17 Davis .446 4.64 4.81
4.24 3.30 .601 Nolasco June 18 Cobb .511 4.04 3.57
6.07 4.45 .466 Volstad June 19 Shields .560 3.63 2.60

Projected Lineup

Lineup Player Current wOBA Proj. wOBA v. RHP Proj. wOBA v. LHP
1 Hanley Ramirez .278 .369 .388
2 Omar Infante .272 .309 .319
3 Logan Morrison .382 .371 .345
4 Gaby Sanchez .386 .352 .377
5 Mike Stanton .376 .355 .372
6 Greg Dobbs / Wes Helms .342 / .245 .320 .303
7 John Buck .300 .312 .338
8 Dewayne Wise / Emilio Bonifacio — / .318 .301

Notes

- Here’s your pitching matchup of the series:

Player IP K% BB% GB% ERA FIP
Hand 11 19.0 14.3 14.8 3.27 5.50
Davis 78 2/3 10.8 8.8 32.1 4.81 5.31

This matchup isn’t great because of the quality of the pitchers so much as the potential train-wreck aspect of the matchup. Hand had an awful second start to his major league career, getting beat around at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies. He’ll look to bounce back against the Rays, but there is no way that he will do so if he doesn’t get his ground ball rate up. Seriously, how can you possibly allow only four grounders in 27 balls in play? That is simply absurd. Meanwhile, Wade Davis is probably having the worst sophomore season he could have envisioned. His strikeout rate is down to almost the single digit percentiles, and his walk rate is dangerously close to its level as well. In addition, he is continuing to allow too many balls in the air for a guy who does not miss many bats.

- Ironically enough, I think the Marlins may have actually stumbled upon one of their better lineups by moving Hanley Ramirez back to leadoff. I love Hanley in the leadoff spot, and anything that will “take the pressure” off of him as he recovers from his season-long slump would be a good thing I presume. If we switch Gaby Sanchez and move Logan Morrison up to second and Mike Stanton to cleanup, we could field what would probably be one of the team’s best possible lineups. Funny how that worked out.

- Of course, if you had not yet heard, the normal leadoff man, Chris Coghlan, was demoted to Triple-A today in favor of DeWayne Wise. I’m sure everyone here envisioned a glorious Bonifacio / Wise platoon in center field at some point this season, but I would be willing to bet no one expected it to happen as a result of Coghlan’s offensive struggles. We all thought it would be defense that sent him away from center field for a little while, but I guess the Marlins will be looking for that 2009 Ricky Nolasco regression magic from their minor league affiliate once again.

Bold Prediction: Marlins win one of three games.

Tags: Brad Hand Chris Coghlan Dewayne Wise Emilio Bonifacio Hanley Ramirez Miami Marlins Tampa Bay Rays Wade Davis

  • John Dorschner

    I’m beginning to wonder about the front office — lot of sour deals, maybin (both times), a starting pitcher and starting outfielder for bonifacio, dunn and infante for uggla, let’s not even think about detroit … no starting pitching in the minors… true josh and hanley haven’t been performing as they should, but still …. $7 million for an over the hill starting pitcher … ?

    • Michael Jong

      John,

      This is a good point. A couple of those moves were gambles for which I was in favor, but lately the moves just have not gone the front office’s way. The drafting strategy for the Marlins is one that other teams have soured upon in recent years; high school starting pitchers are getting less and less popular, which actually may benefit the Fish in the future (they may become too undervalued by other teams). The cupboard in terms of the minors is bare because of the team’s high turnover, but the truth is that the prospects have never flowed in such great numbers until after a major fire sale.

      As for the trades, I just don’t know. Sometimes they don’t go your way, and sometimes they do. The Marlins banked on two top-20 prospects in the Cabrera deal and unfortunately got the short end of the stick. The only clear loss at the time of the trade was the Willingham/Olsen for Bonifacio + others deal, though Jake Smolinski (one of the two minor leaguers who came to the Marlins in that deal) may still pan out.