Four games into Spring Training, and the Miami Marlins have split with two wins and two losses.
Jon Berti is Impressing on Both Sides of the Ball
Yesterday, Jon Berti came in to play the last few innings at the hot corner, and went one-for-one with an RBI triple, later scoring. Today, he stole home as part of a double steal, and went one-for-one at the plate with the Miami Marlins only extra-base hit of the game, a double. Defensively, he made a nice eighth-inning stab off the bat of Alex De Goti to end the inning.
Berti is an eight-year minor league veteran, with very little major league experience. In 101 contests last season between double- and triple-A, he hit .296/.384/.446 with eight homers and 46 RBI.
Sergio Romo Could be the Best Signing of the Year
Sergio Romo is the second oldest member of the Miami Marlins organization, behind fellow free-agent signee Curtis Granderson. With an 11-season major league career already in the bag, you might think that Romo is on his last legs. It certainly doesn’t look like it after his third inning performance on Tuesday.
Romo struck out three Houston Astros on 14 pitches in today’s game. In 643 major league games, he has collected 109 saves and a 2.86 ERA, along with 632 strikeouts in 562 2/3 innings. The 35-year-old should have a solid season for the Miami Marlins.
Gabriel Guerrero is Having a Rough Week
Gabriel Guerrero is one of very few Miami Marlins players to have appeared in all four Spring Training games thus far. Not only has he gone hitless over his six plate appearances, he’s struck out in every one. In his only prior major league experience to date, with the Cincinnati Reds last season, he was three-for-18 with eight strikeouts.
Guerrero doesn’t have a track record that would customarily raise any alarm bells. He’s a .273 career hitter in a now-eight season minor league career, over 3,612 plate appearances. His career strikeout rate over that time is 20.7 percent, hardly an egregious clip, to be sure. His struggles may be an aberration. Expect him to rebound in the coming weeks.
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Miami Marlins Pitching Has Picked Up
The Miami Marlins pitching staff allowed 21 runs in their first two games of the spring. That was an 11-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals and a 10-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Things have changed since then. They blanked the Houston Astros today after holding the Tampa Bay Rays to two runs in a 5-2 victory yesterday. In today’s win, four of the seven pitchers were perfect. Dan Straily struck out three in two perfect frames, Romo struck out the side in a perfect inning, Tayron Guerrero collected a strikeout in a perfect inning, and Brian Moran pitched a clean eighth, despite not getting anyone to miss.
The Miami Marlins will be back in action tomorrow at 1:10 P.M. EST. They’ll send Wei-Yin Chen to the hill against the New York Mets at First Data Field, in Port St. Lucie, FL.