Sunday, April 26, 2015

We Have Met The Enemy ...

... and he is us.
      I gripe a lot about management and its decisions, BUT ... they've spent a ton of money on his team over the past winter and going into Saturday, they had won three in a row. Five of us went to Saturday's game -- getting $21 cheap seats in the home run porch behind Stanton.
      A Saturday 4:10 game, a new improved team on a hot streak, and the listed attendance was 18,129. They didn't even open the upper deck -- on a Saturday. I doubt if more than 10,000 were in the stands, though a ton may have been crowded into the Clevelander for a beer-tasting special.
      After seeing four games on the West Coast in ballparks with far higher attendances, I have to think that ultimately no team with such dismal fan support can prosper in the long run.
      Anyway, we saw a great game, with the center field sculpture twice coming to life. Go Marlins.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fire Chuck Hernandez!

Pitching Coach Chuck Hernandez
    We fans know Loria. He's seething, he's moaning. He has to do something. Such a dismal start after he spent a ton of money on this team.
            Baseball is still sometimes a game of mystery when teams come/don't come together. It's early in season .. Stanton has to adjust to pressure of biggest contract ever and I hope/think he can do so successfully, but there are a lot of parts to team. 3B, 1B and C big question marks .... 2B doing a lot better than I expected.
    But Loria is not a patient man. I'm tempted to wisecrack that he might soon sell everybody to Blue Jays, but my gut tells me that if things don't change pretty quickly, the easiest change will be Redmond. Right? You can't blame upper management for assembling this team, so somebody has to take blame.
    But Redmond has always struck me as a pretty steady, smart guy.
    So what to do? Rather than throw him under the bus, let's look for someone else. The Marlins have the worst ERA -- by far -- in the majors.
    Their starting pitching is utterly miserable. Their closer has had a rough start. So if Loria feels like dumping, why not pick the pitching coach?
    Must be his fault, right?  He just isn't telling the staff to throw good pitches. Or strikes. Or avoid home runs. (What the hell do pitching coaches talk about? I always think of that meeting on the mound in Bull Durham, in which the coach says, "Candlesticks always make a nice gift.")
     It was management that grabbed Latos in exchange for the young Anthony DeSclafani, Phelps for the always disappointing Eovaldi, Haren for Andrew Heaney (disappointing last year in his Marlins debut). And you can't blame management, right?
    But ... but ... Last night Eovaldi shined for the Yankees, giving up one run in seven innings. Heaney is the top minors prospect with the Angels and DeSclafani (2-2, 6.27 ERA last year with Marlins) is now 2-0 with 0.86 ERA with Reds.
      So maybe Marlins pitching coach is not getting full potential out of his staff. Or maybe  everybody should just stay cool for a while. Season is still young.  Who knows? If baseball weren't so complicated, it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

You Can't Have Too Much Pitching

My analysis of starting pitching for 2015

1 -- Henderson Alvarez -- 12-7 with 2.65 ERA in 2014. What's not to like.  And he's only 24.

2 -- Jarred Cosart -- 4-4 and 2.39 with Marlins last year after a poor start with Houston. Also 24. Big upside but how consistent will be. In other words, um, he's a gamble?

3 -- Dan Haren -- 34 -- 13-11 with 4.02 last year. 3.77 lifetime. Has produced for 176-186 innings each of past three years. Probably a dependable inning-eater, but that's about all.

4 -- Mat Latos -- A Cincy fan says -- "he's good, when he's healthy, and he's not healthy quite a bit." So a question mark.

5 -- Tom Koehler -- 28 -- 191 innings last year 10-10 3.81. Probably another Haren.

Waiting in the wings:

David Phelps -- 28 -- 0.95 in 19 innings this spring. Last year with Yanks, 5-5, including 17 starts, with 4.38 ERA in AL, likely to be lower in NL. I'd like to see him get a chance  as soon as someone falters.

Jose Urena -- 23 -- Starting season in AAA -- 13-8 3.33 in AA last year. Organization says he has a lot of upside, as does the next guy.

Justin Nicolino -- 23 -- Also starting in AAA. Last year 14-4 2.85 in AA last year.

And oh yes, maybe at some point Jose Fernandez will be back. -