Today’s Fish Bites come with heavy anticipation, as I am very excited to see Matt Wieters for the first time.
– Tonight’s game features the Marlins and the Orioles from Land Shark Stadium. Koji Uehara will go for the Orioles, while it will be Andrew Miller for our Marlins. Miller had a decent game last time out versus the Red Sox, suffering a 6-1 loss in which he gave up four earned runs and walked four while striking out six. He wasn’t the beneficiary of the easiest strike zone, as he missed a lot of low strikes when he attempted to pound the lower half of the zone. Still, we’ll have to see what we get tonight. Ideally, the bats will wake up and start swinging again; we began some signs of that in the 6-5 win over the Yankees Sunday.
– As mentioned yesterday, the Marlin and FOX Sports are holding their 2009 FOX Sports Fantasy Auction tonight, with proceeds going to the Florida Marlins Community Foundation. FishStripes will be bidding on the suite experience, which comes just when the hated Phillies come to town. Should be fun, hope you guys get it!
– Hanley Ramirez has retaken the lead at shortstop for the National Leaguers, and deservedly so. The last two weeks he was behind Phillies former MVP Jimmy Rollins. While I like J-Roll, his election as the All-Star starter would have been an absolute travesty. Rollins has been one of the worst regulars in baseball this year; to get an idea of how bad he’s played, his .263 wOBA actually lags Emilio Bonifacio’s .264. There’s no question that if you’re below the BoniLine, you’re in trouble. As far as the rest of the All-Star front for the NL, it looks as solid as can be, with good choices all around the mound. I’m a little disappointed Yadier Molina is beating Brian McCann at catcher, but I guess it happens when you’re a Molina. Also, it’s likely Carlos Beltran will be on his way out of the game and Alfonso Soriano will be starting because of Beltran’s DL stint.
– The first-half reviews look good for the new Marlins Double-A affiliate, Jacksonville. Seems like they like working with the Fish, but they’re only 35-35 for the half-season so far. With touted prospect Logan Morrison back in the lineup, those fortunes could change soon. The Suns have two of the biggest young pieces the Marlins have going in Morrison and Mike Stanton, so they’ll be worth watching.
– Finally, an interesting look over at Driveline Mechanics at the most average players in the league currently. Some of those names rang like the definition of “average major-leaguer,” but there was at least one big surprise on there as well.