Fish n’ grits: Miami Marlins morning news

Jun 28, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins third baseman Martin Prado (14) looks on after a single in the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 28, 2017; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins third baseman Martin Prado (14) looks on after a single in the fourth inning against the New York Mets at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Having split the first two games of a series against the Mets, the Miami Marlins looking to win the rubber game on Thursday. Plus trade talk, and a look ahead.

The All-Star break is coming up fast in the windshield of the baseball season. It appears as if the Miami Marlins will never out live the month of May that has put the behind the 8-ball for the bulk of this season. They continue to fight to get back to .500 for the season.

On Thursday they’ll look to take the series against the New York Mets. With trade rumors swirling, how well can this team keep their focus on baseball, and not outside distractions?

We’re approaching the halfway point in the season. Power through, Marlins fans. It’s Fish n’ grits!

Miami Marlins looking for series victory

It’s becoming common-place for the Miami Marlins needing to sweep a series, but taking two-of-three instead. The good news is obviously that they’re winning baseball games. The bad news? They aren’t doing it quickly enough.

The team is way behind the pace many anticipated when the season began. And while they’ve made strides towards regaining their standing in the National League, the process has taken the entire month of June, and will continue into July.

Yesterday they dropped game two of the series to the New York Mets, 8-0 in a Jeff Locke start. After making his debut against Arizona and pitching brilliantly, Locke has hovered in the mediocre-to-bad range since then. Last night, he promptly gave up three runs to the Mets in the first inning.

The Marlins offense would be put on ice by the New York Mets starting pitcher Steven Matz. The Fish dropped game two 8-0, and need a victory to salvage the series in game three.

Trade talk ramping up

If you thought trade rumors were at a fever pitch before, the Adeiny Hechavarria trade has done nothing but ramp them up ten-fold. It appears no player is safe to be fodder for headline grabbing trade rumors.

More “news” surfaced yesterday that the Marlins might be willing to trade anybody who currently holds a multi-year contract.

To reiterate, the team won’t be moving any of it’s cornerstone pieces while the team is in the midst of a sale. Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, JT Realmuto, Marcell Ozuna, and likely Dee Gordon are all safe. Martin Prado could be moved though. And that would be a good thing.

If the team can capitalize on a cash-happy team looking to make a push at the deadline, they might be able to get out from under the weight of one of their worst contracts. Prado is signed for the next three years and owed $40 million over the life of that contract.

The Yankees and the Red Sox are both rumored to be interested. Both teams have some top MLB prospects in their system, and Prado might be able to return a significantly better haul than Hechavarria did.

I wrote about this in a piece earlier this season, but this Marlins team does need to make trades. They just don’t need to trade any young, team friendly superstars. Moving Martin Prado would be a huge boost for the club and a step in the right direction.

Looking ahead

The Fish will have to keep focused. The task at hand is beating the New York Mets and taking the series. They’ll go on the road and face off against the Brewers after that. This will be the last home stand before the team takes off on a road trip that leads into the All-Star break.

The Marlins will send Jose Urena to the rubber, opposite of the Mets’ Seth Lugo. Both have been pitching well, and this could become a pitchers duel the Marlins offense fails to show up for first pitch again.

Lugo has been relying on his curveball a lot recently, having throwing 23, and 24 benders in consecutive starts. Both are career highs for him.

Urena has been Miami’s most reliable pitcher lately. He has gone six innings in his last three starts,  and achieved a game score average of 62 over that time. He appears to be hitting a groove, and the Marlins will need every ounce of it today.

The Miami Marlins face a must win game three in a series against the New York Mets. After dropping game two on Wednesday night, they eye a series win on Thursday.

They’ll face a challenge in keeping their minds focused on playing baseball while trade rumors swirl around the clubhouse and on the internet. But with their hottest pitcher of late on the mound, Miami is set up nicely to come away with a win.