As part of our series preview content, we want to offer Marlins fans with some insight into the team that they will be facing. We carry out this in many ways, and one of them is to interview editor’s of other Fansided team pages so we can get the in-depth information that you need heading into the series.
We were fortunate enough to connect with Daryll Dorman, a staff writer over at Friars on Base, our Fansided Padres site. Daryll gave us some information that we could expect as the Padres head to Miami.
MM: The Padres roster is a mess due to injuries now, when do the Padres expect some of their players to return?
Dorman: Actually, we’re only really missing 1 starting outfielder and 1 starting pitcher, which compared to last year is really nice, but they are two pretty important cogs. Carlos Quentin should be back by mid-April (eligible to come back on the 9th, but will stay off the field a little longer than that) from his chronic knee issues. Obviously this is a big deal, as the last two years on the Padres he has only played a total of 168 games. Josh Johnson on the pitching side will still be sidelined at least another 4 weeks. He is dealing with a right forearm flexor strain. Both of these guys we actually expected to miss time this year, but unfortunate they both STARTED the season on the DL.
MM: Notice the Padres are carrying 3 catchers, what’s the reasoning behind this? Is Grandel not the go to starter?
Dorman: Grandal is not the go-to starter just yet, though fans are pretty tired of Hundley’s mediocrity and hoping 2012 wasn’t just BioGenesis induced for Grandal. In par though because we aren’t really sure what we DO have in him, at least without steroids and injuries, and don’t forget, it was his ACL he had surgery on in August. He still needs some rest in being the full-time guy. The Padres like Rene Rivera as that backup defensive catcher, and pretty much are using Hundley/Grandal in a platoon until things sort themselves out. Also expect to see whichever one of them not starting for use as a pinch hitter late in games. While Hundley did hit a career high 13 home runs last year, obviously we have our sights set on better returns long-term in Grandal, who in 2012 hit 8 in 60 games and hit .297.
MM: What kind of development do you expect to see from Gyarko is 2014?
Dorman: The biggest thing for him is his K/BB ratio. Last year he struck out 123 times and only walked 33 times. If he can improve on this, we should also see an increase in his batting average from the .249 mark last year. I also of course think he should be able to build on his NL Rookie Leading 23 homers from last year if he can stay healthy all year.
MM: Can you give us a brief scouting report on the pitchers the Marlins will face this series?
Dorman: Eric Stults- The ultimate crafty lefty, Stults was the Padres best pitcher last year, leading the team in innings pitched and wins. He is a smart pitcher, and finds ways to win with less than desirable velocity but great movement and control.
Andrew Cashner- Hard throwing right-hander with excellent control and movement. Cashner was outstanding in his opening night début against the Dodgers, striking out 5 in 6IP and only allowing 4 hits and 1 run. Cashner also hits well for a pitcher and plays great defense, flashing that Sunday night while throwing out the lead runner at 3rd base on a bunt. His fastball averages around 96 MPH, and he also throws a good slider and changeup at about 85 MPH.
Ian Kennedy- Kennedy got bombed in his opening day start, but in the 10 games he started for the Padres when he came over after the trade last year, he lowered his ERA down to 4.24 and struck out 55. He won’t overpower you with speed, but with good location, movement, and consistency, he can get the outs he needs to. It was only 2011 that he led the NL in wins, so he certainly has done it before.
MM: What’s your prediction on what will happen in this series? Think the Padres can steal a series on the road?
Dorman: Well, of course! I think Cashner will emerge this season as one of the top pitchers, and the match-up between him and Fernandez should be one that could go on for years and years. I think Cashner’s game the Padres will win for sure, and between Stults and Kennedy it’s a toss-out. I predict the Padres win 2 of 3.
We want to thank Daryll for giving us some insight to his team. If you want to get even more knowledge about the Padres, head over to the Friars on Base, where you can get the best content around.