Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Andrew Miller RIP

On Wednesday, Andrew Miller pitched three innings against the Atlanta Braves, giving up four hits, four bases on balls, four runs. He was the loser. It was probably his last start of the year, leaving him with a record of 1-5 with an ERA of 8.54. He is out of options, meaning he cannot be sent to the minors next year against his will.

An informative blog,, reports that from his 2006 contract, Miller is receiving $1,790,219 this year. And get this: He has a clause where he can opt out of his contract and go to arbitration if he so chooses. Whatcha wanna bet?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pinch hitting

Wes Helms, Hector Luna ... pinch hitters and miserable at it... that's what was happening in ninth tuesday night against Marlins. So I looked it up at -- Marlins pinch-hitting batting average is next to last in the National League. Another measure of failure in clutch hitting.

Next Year with the Prospects

Leo Nunez might not be with the Marlins next year, The Miami Herald reports this morning, because he's earning $2 million this year and in arbitration that may go to $4 million next year. This is the funniest thing I have heard in a long time.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Jeremy Hermida RIP

At the game the other night a buddy asked what had happened to Jeremy Hermida, who seemed to have vanished from BoSox box scores. Well, he’s in Oakland, where he’s batting .196 for the year, .154 since joining the A’s 11 games ago. Remember 2005 – a grand slam in his first Big League at bat with the Marlins, only the second person in history to do that. He’s a mere 26 – a cautionary tale, perhaps, as we look at young prospects filled with hope.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Winning Uggla

Well, after last night against the New York Mets (sweep!), I lost all my doubts about Dan Uggla. He’s become a much better hitter over the years, more patient, walking more, and he’s now the Marlins career leader in home runs. But watching from the seats beyond first base last night, in the ninth inning he made a diving stop on the outfield grass, on a play that I was sure was a hit, then fired to first to end the game. He’s become a decent fielder, maybe even more than decent, and I sure hope the Marlins resign him. Meanwhile, bases loaded, eighth inning and who comes in to get the Marlins out of the jam? Leo Nunez. And he did it. An amazing night all around against the formerly Amazing Mets.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gaby and Mendez

On Tuesday night, I saw my third game in person in a row – first time since 2003, I’m sure. Early in the year, I was worried that Gaby didn’t have enough power for a first baseman, but he won the game with his 19th of the year – a powerful shot into the left field blue seats, and he’s likely to gain some power with age, maybe into the 25-30 range. But the interesting surprise of this late season is Adalberto Mendez, who on Tuesday night against the New York Mets pitched seven solid innings, 89 pitches with only two walks. He’s the anti-Miller. Put the ball in play and hitters get out two-thirds of the time. He had three solid double plays behind him, a racing outfield that caught some solidly hit balls (Stanton in particular made a great catch), and Brad Davis (home run hero of the day before) threw out two runners at second. The Mets managed 10 hits against Mendez, but only one run. He’s 28, from Santo Domingo, listed as a skinny 6-2, 160, and this is his first stint in the Big Leagues, after eight years in the minors. He was a Rule 5 Minor League pick from the Cubs in 2007, was in Jupiter in 2008 and Jacksonville in 2009. This year, he was in Jacksonville and New Orleans, accord to His career minor league ERA is 3.98. Not overpowering stuff, and he didn’t get the win, thanks to Veras blown save, but still he made for an enjoyable night. A possible No. 5 starter next year?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Putting Your Cards on the Table

After that horrendous Sunday game in which the pitchers seemed to hold the ball for hours and then threw balls to the Chicago Cubs, I was at the St. Louis Cardinals game Monday that zipped along with a complete game shut out for Volstad, shortest game in Marlins history at 1:52. And here's what I learned about our starting shortstop, replacing Bonifacio, who was sick at the last minute, who was replacing Hanley who has a little something or other.

So our shortstop, just up from AA Jacksonville -- Ozzie Martinez, 22, from Carolina, Puerto Rico, 5-10, 190 – batted .302 in Jacksonville, with 5 homers. Thirteen stolen bases, nine caught stealings – not much speed. He was btw drafted the same year as Andrew Miller and Sinkbeil -- 2006. Whereas they went in the first round, he was taken in the 11th round, out of Porterville College in California.
Would kind of like to see more speed out of a shortstop, but still …
Volstad, btw, was the 16th pick overall in the 2005 draft.

Was this the worst inning I've ever seen in person?

Sunday, against the Chicago Cubs: The Marlins were down 2-0 and Andrew Miller could have been touched up for more in the first, but he managed to contain the damage. Then came the second. This is against a lineup of Chicago Cubs minor leaguers – not a single regular.

Wellington Castro, who was later to get his first ML home run started with a walk (the first of the inning). Pitcher Jeff Samardzija sacrificed him to second. ONE OUT. Sam Fuld singles to right, Castro to third. Coach visits the mound. Passed ball by Mike Rivera, runners move up. Darwin Barney walks (second walk). Bases loaded.

Edwin has seen enough. Brett Sinkbeil is brought in. Sinkbeil was the 19th player taken overall in the 2006 draft. Miller was the sixth player overall in that same draft. Bunch of young talent here. About to explode.

Sinkbeil walks Jeff Baker (third walk), run scores. Micah Hoffpauir walks (fourth walk), run scores. Tyler Colvin walks (fifth walk), run scores. Coaching visit to mound (this from Perhaps coach suggested he throw strikes. Bobby Scales strikes out swinging. TWO OUTS. Brad Snyder gets his first major league hit with a single to center, two runs score. Wellington Castro (who walked to start the inning) hits a ground rule double. Another run scores. Samardzija (who foolishly made a sacrifice out early in the inning) is smarter this time. He walks (sixth walk).
Fuld flies out. THREE OUTS.

There is something absolutely deadening about walks from a fan’s view. The team tied a Marlins’ record with 12 walks for the game.

Before the game, I joked with a friend that Miller was facing a minor league lineup. Question: How many runs would he give up? Four runs in six innings, said R. In fact, he gave up five runs in an inning and a third.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bunts and Damn Bunts

Bonifacio – OK, so he’s been doing well this year – batting .299 at the moment, but I still have major reservations about this guy. On Friday night, against the Chicago Cubs, he did one of his fake bunts, which almost always becomes a strike. I think his theory is that it draws the third baseman in and then next pitch he can slap one by him or something, but the third baseman is already in, and so I don’t know what it accomplishes. Maybe he just likes to pretend he's bunting, because he can't do it very well. I can't find any stats category for fake bunts or trying to bunt for a single, but if there were one, Bonifacio's lack of talent in this category would be exposed. Last night it happened in the seventh, runners on second and third, two out, and he does one of his clever fake bunts and what is the ultimate outcome? A strike out – he essentially gave a strike away. If I were Edwin, I would tell Bonifacio no more bunts – fake bunts or real bunts.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Andrew Miller ! ? !

First on the fact that Marlins do so well on the road. My friend R said, "They like playing in front of crowds!"
Second -- I was feeling good about Andrew Miller last night. He handled Utley in the first, Howard in the second -- this despite he does awful against lefties. and then in the third he allowed a run (after a run in the first), but two runs in three innings is pretty darn good for Miller.... and then two in the fourth, but he kind of looked in control .... And gosh, somehow it got to be seven runs in five innings, but only five earned, with those two errors by the first baseman in left field... and zoom, there was another loss at home...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Home and Away

After a winning road trip, the Marlins come home. These stats below I think are through Saturday, not Sunday, but the trend remains the same. Of all the teams playing .500 ball or above, the Marlins have the fewest wins at home. In fact, measured by home victories, they would be tied for last in the NL East, with Washington. if you only counted road victories, they'd be tied with the Yankees. Only Giants have more road victories.

At home, they’re batting .256 with 919 total bases in 68 games. On the road, they’re .258 with 1068 total bases in 73 games. ERA on the road is 4.25, at home 3.75 – a half-run average, probably due to the big pitcher friendly home park.

Mike Stanton – at home – batting .250 with 6 home runs, on the road .353 with 14 home runs.

Hanley – 13 HR at home, batting .313, 9 HR on the road batting .292 -- so we can't blame it on Hanley.

So what’s this mean? Not sure.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Glass Half-Empty Kind of Guy

In the Marlins victory over the Nats on Saturday, 4-1 with an excellent outing by Anibal and a save by Hensley, the whole pitching staff giving up a measly one walk, I couldn't help notice that the Marlins struck out 14 times (the Nats 5). shows that Marlins are second in the National League for strikeouts, behind only Arizona. They are 11th in walks.... and btw, they are second in stolen base percentage with 78. And since the All-Star break (Edwin era) they are second to last in sacrifice hits -- can that be taken as a measure of not being a small-ball team?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Whoops and Stanton in Center?

OK, well, I was a bit extreme yesterday in saying that Andrew Miller will be the ace of the staff next week. First of all, there's a chance JJ may still pitch (why do I doubt it?) but I forgot last Anibal Sanchez, who last I heard was (a) not injured and (b) not suspended. So Miller is only our (dependable?) No. 2 starter for the upcoming stretch. ...

Anyway, here is some recent comments from French:

"Good point about Maybin catching balls that Cody couldn't have. Maybin also seems more aggressive at the plate, not caught looking so much, or swinging wildly at bad pitches. I liked Cody too, but I don't miss him.

"In theory, they ought to be in a good position to trade a couple of young guys who have had some success in the majors and bring in a heart-of-the-order lefty bat. Morrison, Bonifacio, Coghlan, Gaby, Maybin, and Miller all should have some trade value. My guess is that the won't trade Uggla, because it will just reinforce all the issues they have with MLB and within the community if they shed salary.

" I'd also like to see them keep Morrison, but if Coghlan wasn't hurt, I might feel differently. Maybin is the obvious first choice for center. I wonder if they could move Stanton or Coghlan to center. . . It will be interesting to see which players are asked to learn which positions in the various winter leagues. . ."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Edwin before the fall

Well, I was going to wait till the end of the season to analyze Edwin Rodriguez, but ... but Josh is injured, Ricky is injured, two starting pitchers are about to serve suspensions, Sean West (who he?) is injured. Next week, Andrew Miller is the ace of the staff and that means the win-loss record for the rest of the year is going to be awful. So ... Edwin never makes me mad in game calls the way Fredi did. That means he doesn't do a lot of small ball. He seems smart in the way he handles some of the young Marlins (and there are a lot of them), and Bonifacio has blossomed as Edwin has moved him around, giving him starts in various positions, and sitting a struggling Stanton or Hanley, all smart moves. Anyways, the numbers: Fredi was 35-36 when he left on June 23. After the Monday double-header, the team was 70-67, meaning Edwin has been 35-31. I hope they keep him around for next year.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

We Can Never Forget

With Andrew Miller's disastrous showing on Wednesday night against the Phillies, I looked it up:
1 -- Andrew Miller lasted four innings on Wednesday night, giving up 11 hits, three walks and seven runs. He has one win, one loss for the year, with an ERA of 6.16.
2 – Burke Badenhop has two wins for the year.
3 – Cameron Maybin is batting .239 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs.
4 – Mike Rabelo – who played 10 games in April with Toledo Mud Hens, the AAA team of the Tigers, and then vanished – not listed on
5 – Eugelio de la Cruz – who appeared in three games for the Padres last year and was not in the majors this year.
6 – Dallas Trahern – you remember him, right? He pitched a few innings with the New Orleans Zephyrs last year, 1-3 with a 6.28 ERA. He is not listed as having played this year at or its minor league equivalent,
7 – Miguel Cabrera, whom the Marlins traded to Detroit before the 2008 season for the above six players. At the moment, he is batting .333 with 33 home runs and 110 RBIs.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Where to Play Them?

Michael Jong at raises an interesting question about positions in the future. Morrison is a first baseman. (The website calls him Nick Johnson Lite.) Gaby is a first baseman. Jong speculates about moving Gaby to third base, which would be a huge switch.) The other problem with out-of-position is that we have at least three natural second basemen (Uggla, Coughlin, Bonifacio), two of them playing in the outfield. And now we throw in yet another outfielder, Scott Cousins, 14 HR in Triple A this year. So (purely speculation) maybe they do get rid of Uggla. And now they've tried Bonifacio at third base -- talk about power positions with no power.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Maybin and Ross

On Sunday against the Braves Maybin, 6-foot-3, stretched his hand over the fence to catch a home run ball and save the game. I've always been suspect of Maybin's abilities, and I always liked Cody's hustle, but Cody at 5-10 probably wouldn't have caught the ball.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Logan Morrison and Andrew Miller

Well, two weeks ago, when French and I went to see the Astros, there was Andrew Miller on the mound. A horrendous ERA in Double-A and somehow they want him to start a game in the Major Leagues. For the first two innings, I stood and applauded wildly every time he threw a strike, and he wasn’t half-bad in a no-decision.
During the game, French was looking to the Marlins future and it wasn’t good. He rattled off the list of players with no power: Maybin, Bonefacio and Morrison in the outfield on any given day, with Coughlin another left fielder with no power. A no-power outfield is not a recipe for the playoffs.
Now, this brings me to yesterday’s game and Logan Morrison, who took an awful hit off a foul ball, and according to this morning’s newspaper is OK.
Before being removed in the 10th, Morrison was 3 for 4, with two doubles and a triple, raising his BA to .312.
Well, doubles and triples are not HRs, of which he has only one, but certainly not bad. So I went home and calculated total bases as a percentage of at-bats. Hanley is at 48.6 percent, Morrison is 48.5, Uggla at 50.6 percent. So Morrison has some power, just not the HR type.
And by the way, Morrison will NEVER be rookie of the year. He came up late this year, too late for this year’s award, but a friend was wondering about next year. Nope. Through Sunday he already had 138 at-bats, and to be rookie of the year next year, only those with fewer than 130 ML at bats will be considered.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Marlins 2009 -- Most Bang for the Buck

Here is an an analysis I did last fall -- measuring team salary divided by wins -- what teams got the most bang for their buck, as it were. The Yankees won the World Series of course, so their fans are not complaining, but the Mets, Cubs and Astros -- those general managers should be fired for the miserable performance after they spent all that money:
Team 2009 payroll 2009 victories Cost per Victory
Marlins $36,834,000 87 $423,379.31
Padres $43,734,200 75 $583,122.67
Twins $65,299,266 87 $750,566.28
Rays $63,313,034 84 $753,726.60
Rangers $68,178,798 87 $783,664.34
Pirates $48,693,000 62 $785,370.97
Rockies $75,201,000 92 $817,402.17
Athletics $62,310,000 75 $830,800
Cards $77,605,109 91 $852,803.40
Giants $82,616,450 88 $938,823.30
Reds $73,558,500 78 $943,057.69
Brewers $80,182,502 80 $1,002,281.28
Nats $60,328,000 59 $1,022,508.47
Orioles $67,101,666 64 $1,048,463.53
Dbacks $73,516,666 70 $1,050,238.09
Dodgers $100,414,592 95 $1,056,995.71
Blue Jays $80,538,300 75 $1,073,844
Royals $70,519,333 65 $1,084,912.82
Braves $96,726,166 86 $1,124,722.86
Mariners $98,904,166 85 $1,163,578.42
Angels $113,709,000 97 $1,172,257.73
Phillies $113,004,046 93 $1,215,097.27
Chi Sox $96,068,500 79 $1,216,056.96
Indians $81,579,166 65 $1,255,064.09
Red Sox $121,745,999 95 $1,281,536.83
Tigers $115,085,145 86 $1,338,199.36
Astros $102,996,414 74 $1,391,843.43
Cubs $134,809,000 83 $1,624,204.82
Yankees $201,449,189 103 $1,955,817.37
Mets $149,373,987 70 $2,133,914.10

The Reason Why They Play 162 games

Well, on Tuesday, not long after I ranted that the Marlins are miserable with runners in scoring position and two out, they beat the Mets in Puerto Rico, 7-6, scoring all their runs with two outs. So ... looking back at the stats now for runners in scoring position, two outs:
1 -- batting average .219 (23rd out of 30)
2 -- on base percentage .315 (28 out of 30)
3 -- slugging percentage.358 (15 of 30).

So they don't get a lot of hits in clutch situations, but when they do, they tend to be big ones.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

More Clutch

And in case you're wondering. Here they are player by player -- runners in scoring position, two out
1 -- Cameron Maybin -- .421 -- (19 at bats, go figure)
2 -- Mike Stanton -- .364 -- 11 at bats
3 -- Josh Johnson -- .333 -- 6 at bats
4 -- Cantu -- .281
5 -- Paulino -- .250
6 -- Cody Ross -- .231
7 -- Gaby Sanchez -- .200
8 -- Chris Goghlan -- .167
9 -- Mike Lamb -- .167
10 - Hanley -- .162
11 - Helms -- .154 -- 2 for 11
12 - Uggla -- .138

No Clutch

At the Sunday Marlins game, watching them lose 4-2 against the low-hitting Padres, we marveled at how the Padres seem to get that clutch two-out hit, as they did in the first, with a runner on second, scoring their first run. The Marlins just don't seem to do that. So I went home and looked it up on When there are runners in scoring position, the Marlins do a decent .268 -- 13th among clubs. But that extra crucial hit -- runners in scoring position, two out, they rank 29th of 30 teams at .208. Only the Giants do worse. Two-out hits make all the difference.