Can Caleb Smith win for the second time in a row and give the Marlins something positive to build on in the second half of 2019?
Caleb Smith came off the Injured List and promptly won his fourth game of the season before the All-Star Break. Can the 27-year-old lefty do it again, only this time can he win the first game of the second half of the Marlins season?
The Marlins host their National League East rival New York Mets.
Smith has been the subject of plenty of trade rumors of late and is looking to do something that only Jordan Yamamoto has done this season as a starter – post a winning record for Miami’s rotation.
After two starts in Jacksonville – the Marlins Double-A affiliate – Smith came back strong and won after a four-game losing streak wiped out a 3-0 start to his season.
Jason Vargas will go to the mound for the Mets. Vargas has pitched better than his record would indicate since April 19. He is 2-4 with a 2.76 ERA.
Smith, who started the season as Miami’s No. 5 starter, has moved up as one of their more dependable arms on the mound. Hip inflammation sent him to the I.L. He was replaced by Yamamoto in the rotation, who is 3-0 this season.
He beat Atlanta on Saturday in his return prior to the All-Star Break. This is the second time he has faced the Mets in 2019. In his first outing, he gave up two runs in five innings in a no-decision.
Smith has been the subject of trade rumors involving both the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. He was acquired last offseason from the New York Yankees in the first trade Derek Jeter made as the CEO of the franchise.
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The topic of the Marlins trading away pitchers continues to gather steam as the MLB Trade Deadline nears. Miami is last in the Majors in home runs and is batting just .240 as a team.
"Per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, “In stretches, the Marlins (33-55) have shown steady improvement, especially the young, talented starting staff. Sandy Alcantara emerged as an All-Star from the group. But overall, the reality is Miami has the worst record in the National League, and more roster revisions are expected by the July 31 Trade Deadline.“President of baseball operations Michael Hill and his staff have been surveying the market for the past few months, and talks are expected to pick up in the coming weeks.”"