After getting swept by the Atlanta Braves in their first series of the 2015 season, the Miami Marlins had a much needed off day on Thursday. They are back in action today, beginning a 3-game series with their instate rival Tampa Bay Rays.
In two of the three games against the Braves, the Miami Marlins starters delivered strong starting pitching. They hope Dan Haren can follow suit, in his Marlins regular season debut. The Rays will counter with right hander Steve Geltz.
Haren will be making his regular season debut for the Marlins, after posting a 4.66 ERA in 19 1/3 innings of work this spring. He struck out 14 and walked just three. As a flyball pitcher, expect Haren to take full advantage of the dimensions of Marlins Park and that strong outfield defense behind him.
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Geltz already has two innings of work this season, with 4 strikeouts and 1 walk against the 7 batters he’s faced this season. The 27-year old will be making the first start of his major league career. He had a 3.24 ERA and a 6.97 FIP in 8 1/3 innings of work last season with 37.8% strikeout rate and a 13.5% walk rate in 2014 with the Rays.
For more on Geltz and the Rays, be sure to check out the series preview chat I did with Robbie Knopf from Rays Colored Glasses.
Here’s what the Marlins lineup will look like today:
- Dee Gordon, 2B
- Christian Yelich, LF
- Giancarlo Stanton, RF
- Michael Morse, 1B
- Martin Prado, 2B
- Marcell Ozuna, CF
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
- Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
- Dan Haren, P
Manager Mike Redmond will turn to the lineup he used for much of spring training and the first two games of the season. While the lineup is not optimized like many of our staff writers on the staff would like it to be, the lineup has the correct 8 guys in there. Saltalamacchia should be in almost every lineup against right-handed pitching, but out of the lineup when the team faces a left hander, like they did on Tuesday against Alex Wood.
- Kevin Kiermaier, CF
- Steven Souza, RF
- Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
- Evan Longoria, 3B
- Desmond Jennings, LF
- Allan Dykstra, 1B
- Logan Forsythe, 2B
- Rene Rivera, C
- Steve Geltz, P
Everyone knows the Rays offense will go as far as Longoria carries them, especially with Wil Meyers now in San Diego. He, as well as Kiermaier and Foresythe, already have a home a piece for the Rays. Longoria’s .375/.583/.875 slash line should scare Dan Haren and the Miami Marlins a bit.
Hopefully the Marlins can get a good start from Haren and muster some offense (they’ve scored 3 runs in 3 games). An 0-4 start wouldn’t be a death sentence for their playoff chances, but it also isn’t a very ideal start.