No need to worry, Marlins fan. Last night, no matter how big it seemed, was only one game. The Marlins will get better. Josh Johnson will get better. Giancarlo Stanton will get better. I think you guys get my point.
Anyways, not it is on to face the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati. Lets see what this series has in store for us!
Miami Marlins (0-0) @ Cincinnati Reds, April 4, 6-7, Games 2-4
NL East Standings
Stadium: Great American Ballpark
*Five-year regressed park factors provided by Patriot here
Projected Pitching Matchups
ZiPS In-Season Projections
|Proj. FIP||Win%||Marlins||Date||Mets||Win%||Proj. FIP|
|Lineup||Player||Current wOBA||Proj. wOBA v. RHP||Proj. wOBA v. LHP|
As we did with the Cardinals Opening day preview, here are the questions that I had with Steve Engbloom of Fansided’s Blog Red Machine.
MM: We saw two NL Central first baseman’s run for the big money to the AL last off-season. Another top tier first baseman, the one I consider to currently be the best first baseman in baseball, is going to hit free agency after this season. I am talking about Joey Votto. What are the chances the Reds resign their slugging first baseman? What kind of contract do you think he will demand? Is he in for another MVP season?
BRM: (Of course, since you asked this question, there was the unofficial announcement that Votto was set to sign a 10 year, $225 million deal.)
Actually, Votto won’t be hitting the free agent market. The common refrain was that the Reds would be unable to re-sign Votto. But there’s a couple of roots to this issue. One will be the status of Brandon Phillips. He’s owed $12 million this season and he is reportedly looking for a deal of about four or five years at a rate higher than $12 million a season. I don’t think that’s doable if the Reds wish to keep Votto although there has bee chatter that they will.
And yes, Votto is highly capable of an MVP season in 2012.
MM: Everyone thought that the Reds had the free agent signing of the off-season with Ryan Madson. Then all of a sudden, he goes down and needs surgery. That is a bummer. Are you glad you guys signed him only for one season? Who is going to step in and be the closer for the Reds?
BRM: When the news of Madson‘s injury surfaced, there were some stating the signing was a waste of money. I disagreed in a post I did as it’s a risk that the team assumes when signing any player to any type of deal. There was a mutual option attached, but that looks like it will not be exercised by the Reds as it would have given Madson $11 million.
If you believe Walt Jocketty, Sean Marshall will be the closer. For some reason, manager Dusty baker does not want to come out and say anything definitive on the matter…or any other matter concerning the staff.
MM: What is the current Reds starting pitching staff looking like as of now? Do you feel they have enough quality pitching to contend for a playoff spot?
BRM: I will in some way defer to my last statement as Dusty Baker feels keeping the whole rotation a secret somehow gives the Reds an upper hand. He did say that the Reds have Cueto, Latos and Arroyo…but went no further.
MM: Speaking of starting pitching, I think the the Reds made a very underrated trade for Matt Latos. What can you tell us about the prospects you traded for him and what kind of season do you see the Reds getting out of him?
Steve: The prospects sent to San Diego were high-tiered. Yonder Alonso has an MLB ready bat. Yasmani Grandal may need at least a partial season in Triple-A. What some fail to realize is that both were blocked at their position. Brad Boxberger was the inclusion that the Reds did not want to part with. He was seen as a future closer. At this point, having his arm for the bullpen would be nice.
The Reds will get plenty from Latos. As far as numbers, who’s to say, but I can see 15 wins, 200 innings and 200 strikeouts. Don’t think those are stretches either. Maybe even a couple more wins.
MM: Is Aroldis Chapman ready to make a significant impact in 2012? This kid has a ton of potential in that arm.
BRM: Chapman has created the biggest buzz this spring and many Reds fans are ready to welcome him to the starting staff. He can, and should be given the chance, to make a significant impact in 2012.
MM: Give me some bold predictions for 2012. Which players will improve and which players will regress in 2012?
Steve: Bold and I don’t gel, but here goes…
Jay Bruce will be the 2012 NL MVP.
The Reds win the World Series.
Drew Stubbs could see a marked improvement over his 2011 season. He won’t be leading off, so that pressure will not be felt. I would also state Aroldis Chapman, but he was moved back to the bullpen. A move that I feel is flat out silly.
When people talk about Reds that should regress, the name of Brandon Phillips pops up, but I don’t buy it for 2012. He’s got a lot riding on 2012 especially if there’s no new deal in place. You could point to Scott Rolen, but he’s coming off a shortened season. Most would select Rolen. He’s in the final year of his contract and some feel it’s just that time.
The questions I asked of Steve, and their corresponding answers, will be here. To see the questions and responses I had to his six-pack of interrogations, you’ll need to check out BlogRedMachine.com.
- Match up to open up the series is an interesting one. Mark Buehrle and Johnny Cueto are about even as a pitchers. ZiPS projects them to have very similar FIP’s. The first game should be an interesting match up. The Marlins will need their offense to step up.
- Especially since game 2 features one of the best pitchers in baseball, Mat Latos. Latos attended Coconut Creek High School in Coconut Creek, Florida. Latos was acquired by the Reds in a trade that involving the San Diego Padres, which was mentioned above in one of the answers. With Ricky, we never know what he will bring to the mound. So getting the bats going against Cueto will be important in our chances of winning the series.
- The third game should be an high scoring affair. Zambrano really struggled with command in the spring and Bronson Arroyo is coming off of his worst season of his career. ZiPS obviously does not like his chances of rebounding from this. In the end, this game will likely come down to a battle of the bullpens.
- Match up of the series will be Arroyo versus Giancarlo Stanton. Arroyo does not have dominating stuff and Stanton has a chance to hit some deep balls off of him. Lets see if Stanton can start building his confidence with a few homers on this road trip, before returning to his spacious Marlins Park.
- Joey Votto will be playing in his first game since signing his mega extension. Should be interesting to see how he plays after getting paid. Many experts around baseball are picking him to be the 2012 NL MVP, I can see why.
Marlins Upcoming Series:
April 9, 11-12: @Philadelphia Phillies
April 13-15: Houston Astros*
April 17-19: Chicago Cubs*
*Get your tickets now from TiqIQ.
Tags: Aroldis Chapman Brad Boxberger Brandon Phillips Bronson Arroyo Carlos Zambrano Chicago Cubs Drew Stubbs Emilio Bonifacio Gaby Sanchez Giancarlo Stanton Hanley Ramirez Houston Astros Jay Bruce Joey Votto John Buck Johnny Cueto Jose Reyes Logan Morrison Mark Buehlre Mat Latos Omar Infante Philadelphia Phillies Ricky Nolasco Ryan Madson Scott Rolen Sean Marshall Yasmani Grandal Yonder Alonso