The Marlins are already two games into their Grapefruit league schedule and have not lost a game, yet. For a team that is probably going to lose a lot of games in 2013, this is something fans can really hang their hats on.
Starting from today’s game, Marlin Maniac will have a recap for each game. Was debating if it was worth it to do a recap for the Marlins spring training games, but with so many good competitions going on during the Marlins camp, it will be worth it to monitor certain players that could make an impact for the Marlins in 2013.
Recap: Marlins 8, Cardinals 3:
Giancarlo Stanton proved to be superman, returning to game action right away just three days after taking a ball to his head, from Marlins prospect Jose Fernandez. In his return, Stanton went 1-for-3, driving in two runs with an RBI groundout in the first inning and an RBI single in the fourth inning. The Marlins were able to jump out to an early 4-1 lead.
Juan Pierre also contributed big time, as his lead-off triple set the table for Stanton to drive him in on an RBI groundout. Pierre also was able to push a bunt past the Cardinals third baseman, David Freese, in the third inning, to drive in shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. Pierre did not record an out on Saturday for the Marlins, a promising start to his second stint with the Marlins.
The brightest spot for the Marlins on Saturday came from an unlikely source. Alfredo Silverio, the Marlins Rule 5 draft pick, went 1-for-4 with a solo home run. Silverio, whom I ranked as the Marlins 15th best prospect, is coming off missing the entirety of the 2012 season due to a major car accident, is competing to make the Marlins final 25-man roster, or he will be offered back to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
On the pitching side, the Marlins had John Maine starting. Maine, who is competing for the 5th spot in the Marlins rotation, had mixed results in his first start. Maine lasted two innings and allowed a single run, a home run to Freese. Maine also struck out a batter and walked one as well.
Seven other pitchers pitched for the Marlins, to mixed results as well. The Marlins bullpen collectively struck out four hitters versus seven walks. The main culprit for the walks was prospect Brad Hand. Hand who has struggled with walks in the past, continued to show his control is something that needs a lot of work. While he will stay in the 5th starter competition, Hand cannot afford too many more outings like this one.
The Marlins also suffered a major blow with the loss of Jeff Mathis. Mathis was removed from the game after taking a foul-tip to the chest from Matt Holliday. Jeff was expected to be the Marlins backup catcher to starter John Brantly.
With Mathis being out for six weeks, former Marlins first round pick, Kyle Skipworth, has a decent shot to make the team as the backup catcher. Skipworth has been seen as a major bust by Marlins fans, as he has not hit as much as he was expected to in the minors.
There is also a chance that the Marlins make a trade for or sign another catcher for a shot to make the Marlins team, over the aforementioned Skipworth.
Recap: Marlins, Nationals Tie at 2:
Not much to mention in terms of excitement in this game. The game featured a 66-minute rain delay in the fourth inning.
The main highlight in the game for the Marlins had to be Henderson Alvarez. Alvarez pitched an impressive two innings, striking out two batters and only allowing one hit along the way. Alvarez also did not walk any hitters, thus allowing only one base runner in his two innings.
Alvarez’s key for the game was locating 19 of his 22 pitches for strikes. He was able to do what most pitchers want to do, locate his pitches and get ahead in counts, to avoid hitters counts.
Evan Reed pitched an impressive game for the Fish, striking out three hitters over his two innings of work. With more performances like this one, Reed can earn himself a role in the Marlins bullpen.
On the hitting side, the Marlins scored runs on a Chris Coghlan ground out in the third and tied the game at two on a Jake Jefferies ground out in the top half of the night. All together, there were just 15 hits over the 10 innings, so not much hitting for either team.
The Marlins will take on the Atlanta Braves later today. Wade LeBlanc will be going up against Kris Medlen. Marlins players making the trip will include: Giancarlo Stanton, Donovan Solano, Adeiny Hechavarria, Kyle Skipworth, Chris Coghlan, Zack Cox, and Joe Mahoney.