Fish Bites


After finishing up my finals for the semester, I’d like to return to bringing top notch content on the Florida Marlins today. Today, we’ll start with Fish Bites, Marlins links of interest from this week.

– Last night, Mike Stanton was dropped from the cleanup spot to the sixth spot due to his recent struggles. It’s not a big deal, especially for a temporary time period, and if it helps him at all, then it’s fine. But let’s not pretend that it is the right move from a purely run-maximizing standpoint, especially when Omar Infante is still batting second.

– Speaking of batting orders, Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach post discussed some other slight batting order moves that also would have made little to no difference ultimately. Craig of Fish Stripes was on it questioning the batting order as well, and he built a pretty decent lineup that appears to be pretty much maximized.

"From my projections, that means the best batting order is Logan Morrison, Hanley Ramirez, Gaby Sanchez, Mike Stanton, Chris Coghlan, Omar Infante, Donnie Murphy and John Buck."

That top of the lineup isn’t bad at all. Chris Coghlan placed fifth is just fine and actually helps the team get better baserunners near the bottom of the lineup for the worse hitters. If you had to use an everyday lineup, that would be an excellent choice. Of course, the Marlins (and other fans) are still building lineups using the “traditional” managerial method, which includes the fatal flaw of “putting an OK hitter who makes a lot of contact in the second spot.”

However, I’d like to reiterate that doing something like this is not going to maximize runs by a whole lot more. It’s been said that if you did some of the worst things you could possibly do to a lineup, like batting the pitcher cleanup, you would probably lose something like 15 to 20 runs over the course of a season. After all, everyone still comes up to hit, right? That’s why fans shouldn’t obsess too much about the batting order. Don’t worry, it will turn out just fine either way.

– Remember when I mentioned that Javier Vazquez‘s velocity seemed down against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday? Marlins pitching coach Randy St. Claire thinks it’s something mechanical. He also totally lied about Vazquez’s velocity in Houston; maybe he was touching 91 mph, but there was no way he was sitting at 90 mph. Either way, hopefully the coaching staff can find a way to fix Vazquez’s problems, and fast.

– Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post lauds the Marlins’ bullpen and its accomplishments. I’d say they’ve done a pretty good job, though the league-leading 1.81 ERA is probably a bit misleading. The Marlins’ pen is 10th in FIP with a 3.45 mark and ninth in xFIP with a 3.85 mark. However, the team is third in RA24, which is essentially runs above average based on the differences in base/out state. In any case, that’s much better than last season, though it remains to be seen whether such a performance can stick.

– D’Angelo also discusses Chris Coghlan’s early defensive excellence. Outside of those diving catches, I’ve yet to be impressed. You can’t always use those types of Web Gems as a marker for defensive talent; a better defender may be able to get to that ball without diving, and it’s very difficult to tell the difference between those two situations. Still, the numbers say Coghlan has been good early, though that sample is small. More time is needed.

– Strip Club with Stanton has two things of interest to point out: 1) he isn’t a big fan of the Logan Morrison obsession in Philadelphia that ultimately culminated in this strange Wiki-oddity; and 2) he thinks Josh Johnson will either save us from the Rise of the Machines or become the catalyst for our destruction.