By Michael Jong
Let’s try and positive people. I know we have to head over to the Trop for the Rays, and that’s never been easy for us. Here’s some news to make everyone feel better. Or worse, I don’t know.
– First off, we start with tonight’s game between the Marlins and Rays. Intriguing pitching matchup, that’s got to be the highlight of the evening. Josh Johnson toes the rubber for the Marlins going up agaisnt James Shields of the Rays. Both pitchers are looking like All-Stars this year, and it’s going to be an interesting pitchers duel over at the Trop.
– Fish Chunks mentioned this earlier, but I think it’s worth another link. Eric Polsky of Baseball Digest Daily writes that the Marlins bullpen overuse is leading to their demise. I can’t agree more. With only JJ going deep in starter innings early in the year, the Marlins had to depend on the pen to keep them in games. Fredi used his best pen guys the most, and now they’re feeling the hurt. This is indeed quite similar to last year’s pen implosion. And on the news that Lindstrom had been in pain for the last month, you wonder if Fredi is to blame for this mess, which as you recall, happened last season to one Kevin Gregg.
– Some excerpts from the Sun-Sentinel blog:
"Over the last seven games, the starters are 5-1 with a 2.36 ERA. Andrew Miller, Ricky Nolasco and Sean West combined to hold the Orioles to one earned run in 20 innings.The Marlins committed five errors over their last 12 games. The dozen before that: 10. The dozen before that: 18."
I didn’t like the cherry-picking; he probably could have gone with just seven games, as his sample sizes for the other “hot streaks” are similarly small. Still, while West hasn’t been as impressive as his runs allowed have shown, and Miller has been a bit sporadic at times, I can’t argue with some of those results, especially the hitting ones.
– Looks like Marlins mighty minor-league slugger Mike Stanton will be representing the team at the Futures Game. If there’s one guy who deserves it, it’s him. I can’t wait to see him develop into a beast for the club.
– FanGraphs’ R.J. Anderson asks whether it’s time for Cameron Maybin to come up again. Maybin has been scorching Triple-A pitching so far and the Marlins could likely use Maybin’s (eventually) superior glove in center. Ross has been great, but if the team wanted to sport a guy who struggled to hit, I think the club should give Maybin the opportunity to take his lumps instead of the Out Machine at third base.
– Beyond the Box Score’s Sky Kalkman asks if the Rockies do have they best pitching staff in the majors? Probably not, but staying within league average for the Rockies is ridiculously good given their park and defense.