2013 Reds / Series Preview

Series Preview: Miami Marlins

 

Any examination of the Tampa Bay Rays has to start with the brain trust of Andrew Friedman, Joe Maddon and the manner in which they manage payroll, expe—

 

Chad:  Uh, Richard, you’re supposed to be previewing that OTHER Florida team.

[awkward silence]

Me:  Oh.

[sigh]

 

Any examination of the Tampa Bay Rays Miami Marlins has to begin with their owner, Jeffrey Loria, who makes Mike Brown look like Lamar Hunt. Loria’s idea of a sound baseball investment is paying $2.5M for a hideous metal home run sculpture in left field—a bigger cash outlay than the sum total of 22 of the 25 players on his current roster.

Loria perpetrated a beautiful scam, sticking taxpayers with a $634M white elephant of a stadium and a tax burden of $2.4B, built on the condition that he field a competitive team. He then proceeded to sign players to back loaded contracts, which he quickly unloaded after only one season—risking little of his own money. Adiós Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson. Hola Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick and Adeiny Hechavarria. Gone, too, is Fidel Castro’s PR man, Ozzie Guillen, who fit right in with the carnival atmosphere in Fishland.

If nothing else, the Jeffrey Loria Story should make Reds fans very, very thankful for one Bob “Big Wallet” Castellini.

And so ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, your 2013 Miami Marlins:

Juan Pierre LF
Donovan Solano 2B
Placido Polanco 3B
Giancarlo Stanton RF
Justin Ruggiano CF
Greg Dobbs 1B
Rob Brantly C
Adeiny Hechavarria SS

To add insult to injury for the six remaining Marlin fans likely to fork over their hard-earned cash to visit the new ballpark, add—well, yes— injury. Stanton has missed nearly a week with a sore shoulder. First baseman Logan Morrison is on the 60-day DL following knee surgery. His replacement, Casey Kotchman, was placed on the 15-day DL on April 6th. Hechavarria has a sore elbow and is day-to-day.

All of this has necessitated that bench players Austin Kearns, Chris Coghlan, Greg Dobbs, Miguel Olivo and Chris Valaika (yes, that Chris Valaika) step into the starting lineup. Valiaka beat out old Reds fan favorite Wilson Valdez for one of the last remaining spots coming out of Spring Training.

Rotation
Ricky Nolasco
Nathan Eovaldi   Jose Fernandez
Kevin Slowey
Wade LeBlanc
Henderson Alvarez   Alex Sanabia

Bullpen
John Maine (long)
Mike Dunn
A.J. Ramos
Jon Rauch
Chad Qualls
Ryan Webb
Steve Cishek (closer)

Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovaldi—both starters—were recently placed on the 15-day DL. Jose Fernandez, who has made a mere two starts, has allowed one run on five hits in 11 innings, registering 13 Ks. Fernandez, like Aroldis Chapman, defected from Cuba. Who wouldn’t love to listen in on that conversation when they meet?

Key to the Series
The Reds should have a significant advantage on the mound as this Marlins team has virtually no power to speak of. Miami’s only true slugger, Stanton, has been an early disappointment. Perhaps he’s suffering from post-traumatic stress at the loss of almost every important teammate from last year. Whatever the cause, Giancarlo has yet to homer this year and the team collectively has hit only 3 HRs, slugging .273—dead last in Baseball. If you are a Reds pitcher, you challenge Marlin hitters with little fear they will do much with any mistakes that drift over the plate. This will be a perfect storm of circumstance for the 2013 debut of Tony Cingrani, who relies almost exclusively on his fastball. It’s hard to believe this Marlins club will be able to go yard with any mistake pitches the youngster up from Louisville might make. In fact, generating any offense is a chore for this team. Miami has already failed to score 2 runs in a game nine times this season.

Are You Kidding Me?
It’s been 180 games since a lefthander (Dontrelle Willis, Sept. 29, 2011) started for the Reds. Cingrani ends that streak today.

The Reds will miss Ricky Nolasco, who pitched last night.

Probable Starters
Thurs.: Fernandez, RHP (0-0, 0.82 ERA) v. Cingrani (7:10pm)
Fri.: Slowey, RHP (0-2, 2.04 ERA ) v. Latos (7:10pm)
Sat: LeBlanc, LHP (0-3, 6.75 ERA) v. Arroyo (1:10pm)
Sun: Sanabia, RHP (2-1, 4.24 ERA) v. Bailey (1:10pm)

Manager Mike Redmond has his work cut out for him this season.

39 thoughts on “Series Preview: Miami Marlins

  1. Valaika! He beat out Valdez? They really must be backwards down there in Miami, if they don’t understand the value of a presence of someone like Valdez. Just ask Dusty.

  2. I really hate reading stuff like, “If you are a Reds pitcher, you challenge Marlin hitters with little fear they will do much with any mistakes that drift over the plate.”…just invites the bad ju-ju.

  3. Lack of Wilson Valdez is clearly why the Reds will sweep the Marlins. Not enough amazing veteranyness.


    On a side note, with how pathetic the Marlins are right now, I wonder if the Reds could swing a trade for Stanton. He’s not 100% right now, but he’s talented, and under team control until 2017, and I doubt he’ll be happy waiting that long to have a winning season in his career. If Choo can’t be pursuaded to sign for 3 years or so at a reasonable price to play in LF for 2014-2016, I certainly wouldn’t scoff at Stanton, Hamilton, Bruce at the OF in 2014.

    Deadline is July 31st, Ludwick’s projected return is early July. If he comes back healthy, maybe the Reds can trade Ludwick (paying his remaining 2013 salary for them), and some prospects (Soto and Henry Rodriguez? Certainly don’t have a need for a starting 1st, 2nd, or 3rd baseman.)for Stanton. Certainly would be exciting to have two young potential 40+ HR guys at the corners of the outfield and the fastest guy in baseball hopefully next year in center.

    • @ToddAlmighty:

      You know, I REALLY wish BHam was still a shortstop…. Then I’d include Cozart, Soto, and someone like Corcino in a trade for Stanton. I mean, can you IMAGINE this lineup?

      SS BHAM
      CF CHOO
      1B VOTTO
      LF STANTON
      RF BRUCE
      3B FRAZIER
      2B BPHIL
      C HANI-MEZ

      If all players in that lineup play to their potential, you are talking BRM type output. I mean, you’d have one of the best hitting secondbasemen in the league hitting EIGHTH, fer cryin’ out loud!

      I know it won’t happen, but boy that would be something.

        • @rfay00: Actually, with the Marlins, maybe they could negotiate like this:

          Walt: “We know you’ll ask for good players for Stanton, and then trade them away for basically nothing.”

          Loria et al.: “Wait a minute, I don’t think…”

          Walt: “C’mon, let’s be real.”

          Loria: “Yeah, ok, that’s what we’ll do.”

          Walt: “Here’s what I’m gonna do for you. I’m going to cut out the middle man and just give your crappy players now for Stanton, how’s that sound?”

          Loria: “Throw in some cash and it’s done.”

        • @DatDudeMP: You know, thinking about it.. it’s actually pretty tempting sounding even if Hamilton was thrown in. 6 years of control on Hamilton, a 22-year-old unproven minor league player… or 3 years of control on Stanton, a 23-year-old coming off a .969 OPS all-star, MVP-vote-ranking season where he hit 30 doubles/37 HR in a ballpark that’s not GABP.

          Doesn’t that go back to the proven player > prospect argument?

      • You know, I REALLY wish BHam was still a shortstop…. Then I’d include Cozart, Soto, and someone like Corcino in a trade for Stanton. I mean, can you IMAGINE this lineup?

        SS BHAM
        CF CHOO
        1B VOTTO
        LF STANTON
        RF BRUCE
        3B FRAZIER
        2B BPHIL
        C HANI-MEZ

        If all players in that lineup play to their potential, you are talking BRM type output. I mean, you’d have one of the best hitting secondbasemen in the league hitting EIGHTH, fer cryin’ out loud!

        I know it won’t happen, but boy that would be something.

        @CI3J: You’re batting Phillips 7th in that lineup. That must be good.

        • @TC: Let’s be realistic. Choo probably not signing and Hamilton not gonna be the SS. But that still leaves:

          CF BHam
          2B Phillips
          1B Votto
          LF Stanton
          RF Bruce
          3B Frazier
          SS Cozart
          C Hanigan/Mez

          That is Still a pretty scary top 6.

      • @CI3J: That lineup would be good, but that defense at SS would be horrible and CF wouldn’t be very pretty.

        At SS they’d go from 2.0 or higher dWAR and Gold Glove talk Cozart…. to 30+ errors and .947 fielding percentage Hamilton. There’s a reason why Hamilton is no longer a SS in the minor leagues. I think people underestimate how good Cozart’s defense is and how much a good defense has a positive impact on a team’s pitching. Even more so when the team’s Ace is a groundout pitcher.

        30+ errors (39 in 2011, 31 in 2012) is horribly painful to imagine. It’d be the most in MLB last season… and it’s not like it gets easier to field in the majors opposed to A+ or AA, when you have people running faster, hitting the ball harder so you have less time to field and throw. Plus you have BP throwing the ball at you from behind his back and such.

        No matter what, I am not upset that Hamilton isn’t a SS anymore.

  4. As bad as the Marlins have been I’ve been surprised to find that their pitching is pretty much middle of the pack with a 4.11 ERA. They seem to lose because they can’t score any runs, rather than an incompetent pitching staff, the exact opposite of losing Reds teams from years ago. So far Placido Polanco has been their star hitter, which is a surprise.

    I’m excited for Cingrani vs Fernandez, it’s a great matchup of promising young arms with something to prove. A good start for Cingrani can at least be a big confidence booster for him.

    • @RFM: I’m happy that Devin Mesoraco gets to catch tonight for Tony Cingrani. Since it seems like only one of Cingrani and Leake will remain on the 25 man roster after Cueto returns I’m thrilled to see Mesoraco catching both.

      I was expecting to see Joey Votto get a night off but I’m happy to see the A Lineup, including Votto and Xavier Paul, in against promising young righty Jose Fernandez – if Fernandez wants a good start he’ll have to earn it.

  5. I am going to the Friday game. I wonder if they will wear those tacky orange/black uniforms that day?

  6. I’m hoping Cingrani is good enough tonight to allow me to make one “Johnny Who?” joke in the game thread!

  7. I guarantee you that Stanton and Nolasco will be traded by the deadline.

    You know you are in trouble offensively when Placido Domingo Polanco is your #3 hitter.

    Loria should just sell the team to Nashville.

    • @RedForever: I don’t know if Stanton will be traded. Not sure why he doesn’t scream for a trade though. Honestly, I don’t think the Marlins want to trade him this year. Of course someone could knock their socks off with an offer.

  8. I’ve always liked Polanco and he’s underrated in my option. That said, he’s the Marlins’ 3-hole hitter. Yikes. Missing Stanton is killing them and Logan Morrison, arguably their 2nd-best hitter being on the 60-day DL is also a huge blow. Their pitching has been adequate and is capable of keeping them in games. In baseball, any team with pitching that keeps in them in games can steal a game or two. Let’s hope the Reds can avoid that.

    Right on about Loria. That guy is far and away the worst owner in baseball. After Montreal, I don’t see how there is any way he should have been allowed to purchase another team.

  9. Mesoraco is catching Cingrani tonight based off Reds lineup they posted on FB. Now, I really hope he has a good start or I fear Mesoraco is only going to get Leake next time through the rotation.

  10. I saw this Fernandez guy pitch against the Mets and he has got some NASTY stuff Throws mid to high 90’s and has nice breaking ball. Hopefully nerves get the best of the young guy tonight

  11. Okay, enough Fantasy League lineups. Here is tonight’s “actaula” lineup:
    Choo-cf
    Cozart-ss
    Votto-1b

  12. Okay, enough Fantasy League lineups. Here is tonight’s “actual” lineup:

    Choo-cf
    Cozart-ss
    Votto-1b
    BP – 2b
    Bruce-rf
    Frazier-3b
    XP-lf
    Mes-c

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