This winning feel’s good doesn’t it?! So far in the month of May, the Miami Marlins are undefeated after sweeping the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres back to back. Not only are breaks now falling our way, but we are actually coming up with some timely hits that can be considered “clutch”. The Marlins are defiantly rolling right now and hopefully our momentum will keep taking us further! Today, I will look at some current players who are “Hot” and “Not”.
- Steve Cishek- I know Ehsan would be upset if he was not first on my list! But seriously, this kid has been unbelievable to start the season. Through 13 games this season, Cishek has an eye popping 0.63 ERA with a 4-0 record and 15 strikeouts. He is the number one arm out of the pen Ozzie will call when the game is on the line. Cishek has bailed us out on a number of opportunities and has made it look very professional. Cishek has shown he has the talent to last 3-4 innings and be effective but has also shown the tangibles needed in a closer. Though I believe Cishek has future closer written all over him, I think Ozzie is content with his role right now in pitching in close games when the Marlins need him the most. With a funky delivery, good velocity, and some nice breaking pitches, there is A LOT to like when it comes to Steve Cishek.
- Omar Infante- Omar Infante remains to be the Marlins best hitter this season as he is always finding holes to get on base. While his power has seemed to die down, Infante has notched 16 extra base hits, a mark that leads the club and is near the top in the NL. Currently hitting .326, Infante looks very comfortable in the #5 hole and seems to be getting a healthy amount of fastballs to drive. It will be interesting to watch Infante’s progress as the year goes on and see if he remains to be a #5 hole hitter. Regardless, Infante has been the man offensively and is starting to capture the attention of the surrounding league around him.
- Giancarlo Stanton- Giancarlo Stanton is certainly not “on fire” but he is drastically improving from his slow start. Coming into May, Stanton had just one home run, and that was 2 days before the month ended. 6 games into the new month and Stanton now sits at 5 home runs as he has finally developed his long ball swing. His home runs aren’t looking cheap either, Stanton is absolutely crushing the ball making his round trips “no doubters”. Not only is Stanton hitting the ball a country mile but he is also coming up with a good amount of base hits. In his last 10 games, Stanton is hitting .314 with 11 base hits, 10 RBIs and 5 walks. Though he is striking out a lot, he has shown better plate vision and seems to be taking pitches that he was swinging at earlier in the year. While his defense has been below average, he came up with a run saving diving leap that saved Nolasco from another run. Keep it up Giancarlo!
- Heath Bell- I am really starting to dislike Heath Bell. As of today, Heath Bell has blown 4 out of his 7 opportunities, getting the loss in 3 of his games. Bell is sitting at a 11.42 ERA with just 6 strikeouts compared to 10 walks. While Bell seems to remain optimistic, Ozzie Guillen may be running out of patience. For the time being, the Marlins are going with a “closer by committee” strategy while letting Bell fix whatever has brought him to hell. Though I do believe Bell will eventually figure out his blunders, that 3 year 27 million dollar contract is not looking pretty as of today.
- Gaby Sanchez- Sanchez has been another major disappointment this season. Coming off an all-star awarding 2011 campaign, Sanchez enters May hitting .209 with just 1 home run and 20 strikeouts. Not only does Gaby strike out a lot, but he also grounds into a healthy amount of double plays. His plate discipline has looked horrible so far and his defense has been nothing to brag about. Gaby has looked pretty good the last couple of games and hopefully that will help him build some type of momentum. Hopefully..
There were a few other options that could have easily made this list. John Buck, Hanley Ramirez, and Josh Johnson have all been cold as of late. While they have been off, each have come up with a few clutch situations that have changed the outcome of some games. This cannot be said about Gaby and Bell as of late. Also, sorry for my lack of posting the past few weeks. I just finished school for my sophomore year and have a summer full of Marlin’s baseball ahead! Go Fish