Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Marlins are trend setters again

When the season started, the Marlins were the only team in baseball whose highest paid player was a relief pitcher. The Giants are the first, but doubtless not the last team, to copy the savvy Beinfest's strategy.  
As always, the Marlins come up with these innovations within severe salary constraints
--Gregg makes about $2,5 million on a one year deal, while Zito makes close to $15 million this year, with another 4 or 5 years at the same level to come. 
 The Marlins record is 15-10; the Giants are 12-15.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Triiva Quiz

How many teams have never lost a post-season series? I can only think of two -- and they're in the same state.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Extra Inning Shutout

Well, pinch me, the dream's gotta end soon, right? But another great game Friday night and Wes Helms comes through, but what's really wow is the pitching.... Anyway, back to where I was a few days ago about hitting left-handed pitching. Here is the complete breakdown of the starting lineup, via ESPN stats:
Hanley -- .348 lefties, .328 righties
Uggla -- .111 – .305
Hermida -- .231 -- .286
Willingham – 310 – 340
Jacobs -- .161 -- .346
Cantu -- .350 – 316
Rabelo -- .333 -- .270
Amezega – .000 (8 at bats) .341

Uggla may just be having a slow start. His three year splits show .279 against lefties, .259 against righties.
Amezega's three year totals are .154, .281, which is why we see Cody Ross in center field when lefties are around.
And Jacobs? His three year averages are .245, .274, so he can hit lefties, he just isn't doing it so far this year...
For what it's worth.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Down on the Farm

In  2003, Dontrelle Willis made six starts in AA ball before being called up. He pitched 36 innings, walking 9 and striking out 32. His WHIP was 0.92 and his ERA was 1.50.

Check these numbers out, from this year's AA team:
Four starts, 22 innings pitched, 6 walks, 21 strike outs; WHIP 1.05; ERA of 1.64. 

No, its not Chris Volsted, who almost made the club in spring training, and is pitching pretty well for the same team. 

It's the righty Ryan Tucker, who is 21 years old. He and Volsted were both picked in the first round in 2005.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday April 20

I was there, and it was just about a perfect victory. The best part was not Hanley's two home runs going deep deep into left center, but Scot Olson going seven strong innings and giving up one run. And TT working out of a jam ... But being a cup-is-half-empty kind of guy, let me mention this about Jacobs, who is showing signs of really coming into his own this year, in hitting and fielding. Fredi played him Sunday versus a tough lefty pitcher, as well he should have. Jacobs has to be more than a platoon player. So far this year, he's hitting .429 with men on and two out. Well, Mike went 0-3 versus the lefty. ESPN.com shows he's batting .372 against righties, .227 against lefties.... Hope he can improve on that....

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Stats: The Good, the Bad and the Uggla

First, the good news -- Marlins are not leading the league in strike outs. That honor belows to the Padres, who have whiffed 135 times to the Marlins 123 (ESPN stats as of 10:20 am Sat 4/19). They're sixth in total bases ... 11th in runs scored.... The Marlins continue to have the worst ERA in the NL (the Tigers beat them in AL). But at least they're getting the ball over the plate. Their pitchers are eighth in walks surrendered. And then there's Dan Uggla -- batting .167, striking out once in every four plate appearances. On Friday night, he not only struck out three times, but stranded three base runners.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Big Fat Rich Marlins

Forbes.com has the 2008 report now here . The Marlins had a net operating profit of $35 million. That was NOT the highest in the Majors. ... The Nationals got that honor with $43.7 million. The Marlins value as a franchise is now $256 million (didn't Loria pay about $150m?), which is below even that of the lowly TB Rays ($290 million). The Marlins did have the lowest revenue in the majors, so they had to squeeze that huge profit out by ... well, you know how they did that. ...

Wednesday night

Well, I was there, another victory, only 10,000 fans cuz the Braves fans that used to flood the park have given up on a medicore Braves team. A little bit of starting pitching, some home runs, and hey, we're still in first place. So let's enjoy this while we can ... that runner in scoring position number is awful. ... I'd still like to see someone figure out how many runs get scored in an inning in which the Marlins bunt. I'll betcha it's close to zero.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Some revealing stats

The Marlins are in first place, but its hard to see them staying there for long.
Here are a few stats, through the games of April  14th:
their opponents have outscored them by an aggregate of 19 runs. 
the Marlins team batting average with runners in scoring positions is .194, worst in the NL. (Interestingly, their OPS is.802, which is second best in the league. Imagine what they must be hitting without runners in scoring position. Maybe Fredi should put blinders on the batters, like they do with racehorses that get spooked easily in company. . .)

The Marlins pitching staff has an ERA that is about a half a run higher than the next two teams--the Nats and the Pirates. Keep in mind that the Marlins pitchers have been facing some pretty weak teams while compiling these statistics. After Olson's performance last nite, that ERA will come down a bit, but they will still have the highest team ERA in the league.

But there is good news--Hermida is hitting some, Hanley is off to a marvelous start, Jacobs is finally hitting the way we've been expecting him to for the last few years, and it looks like Wiley may be having a really positive impact on Olson, if not (yet) on Miller. 

So far, it looks like the Marlins may have a league average fielding team. They have given up a total of 5 unearned runs so far, and the league average is 6. 
League average is a big improvement over last year. 

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday thoughts

1 -- If our rookie Badenhop goes 6 innings and gives up 2 runs today, that would be huge. If he puts up Andrew Miller numbers, well...
2 -- As of 2 pm Sunday, the Marlins are second in the National League with 191, second only to Arizona.
3 -- In ERA, we are dead last in the NL -- 5.45 -- behind even the Colorado "Humidor" Rockies.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Game of April 9 2008

Remember this game: Marlins 10, Nationals 4. Olson goes 7-2/3 innings, 120 pitches. Hermida returns from an injury and goes 2-5 with two RBIs. Jacobs hits two home runs. Then our young phenom, Burke Badenhop, just in from AA, pitches a perfect ninth inning in his Major League debut. AND we are still in first place in the National League East. Can't get much better than that.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

But what about batting?

Well, total bases -- the category that really shows what a batter produces -- as of 10:15 pm Tuesday according to ESPN
1 -- Hanley 20
2 -- Willingham 12 (the New Jeff Conine)
3 -- Uggla 11
4 -- Jacobs 10
5 -- Luis Gonzalez 10
6 -- Robert Andino 9
7 -- Cantu 8
8 -- Amezega 7

Maybe we should keep that Andino around for a bit ... what would his arm be like throwing from third base, I wonder.

After you're done chortling about Detroit...

being 0-7 and Marlins being on top of their division, let's take a look at our starting pitching:
1 -- "Ace" Hendrickson -- 6.10
2 -- VandenHurk -- 11.81 -- GONE
3 -- Andrew Miller -- 12.91 -- NOT GONE
4 -- Scott Olsen -- 6.00 -- Our Superstud

And should we worry about Gregg? 4.15 ....

But with the Bad Hop Bears and Nolasco on the way, it'll have to get better, right?

Team ERA 6.19 -- on this quiet Tuesday night, that's the worst in the National League.

Down on the Farm

Through last nite, Cameron Maybin is hitting .467 in AA.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Big Dutchman

Well, I saw my first regular game of the season ... VandenHurk, 2-1/3 innings, 75 pitches, 11.81 ERA. We were thinking, he should be sent down, and indeed after the game he was. ... But ... but... hope springs eternal, several very nice fielding plays by Mike Jacobs, this guy who used to be a piece of wood at his position, is really coming along. And Amezega made two really nice plays in center field -- both of them astonishing, really.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Baseball's Worst Team Ever

Hey, our pathetic starting pitching and we're 2-2. We're already way ahead of the Worst Team Ever ... http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1005243/1/index.htm

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Game 3

The good news is that, for the first time this year, a Marlins pitcher went past the fourth inning. 4-1/3 innings, to be exact. Talk about hunting for silver linings in a 13-0 loss. .... Addendum: Well, my memory was faulty. I was thinking Hendrickson didn't get out of the fourth in the opener, as he surrendered six runs. Well, he actually pitched through the fifth ... It's just that he didn't get through the fourth without disaster. ....

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Game 2 2008

Well, thoughts ... I was half-asleep, suffering from a cold-flu bug, listening mostly on radio, so correct me if my memory is faulty. In the fourth, Marlins have runner on third, two out and they walk Hanley to get to Uggla. And I knew, I KNEW, what was coming up. A strike-out. How many times last year did Uggla strike out with two outs and runners in scoring position? A ton. ... More exactly, according to ESPN.com, Big Dan last year came to the plate 83 times with runners in scoring position and two out. His batting average: .133. He struck out 26 times, far more than the 11 hits he managed in that situation.

... And then Fredi doesn't believe it's a fair game if he insists on Marlins getting 27 outs in a game. So he gives up four of these outs, called technically "sacrifices." The announcers said they were proud how well the Marlins batters were learning "fundamentals," meaning voluntarily making outs.... How many of these sacrifices led to runs? Not a one. ... And then -- did I possibly hear this right? -- Marlins pitchers had nine NINE 3-0 counts during the game.... And then came Andino in the 10th. YES! Take that you arrogant Mets ....