2013 Reds / Series Preview

Series Preview in Miami

What happens when you trade away the majority of your major league caliber talent, and are then confronted with putting almost half of your rebuilt roster on the disabled list? You have the 2013 Miami Marlins. The Marlins were the last team in the National League to reach 10 wins and have been the worst offensive team in the NL.

2013 W-L exW-L RS/G RA/G NL RS NL RA
Reds 22-16 22-16 4.7 3.9 2nd 6th
Marlins 11-27 12-26 2.8 4.3 15th 11th

WHERE TO WATCH

If Jay Bruce hits a homerun, and no one is around to hear it, does it really make a sound? Ticket scalpers are practically giving away tickets for great seats. If you live in driving distance to Marlins Park, it seems likely that you could have great seats to watch our beloved Reds.

If you live here in the tri-state area, all three games will be televised on Fox Sports Ohio.

SINCE THEY LAST MET

The Marlins plan to shrink their disabled list roster from 11 to 10 today with the activation of backup catcher Jeff Mathis. They’ve had four players go on the DL since leaving Cincinnati in that April 18-21st series, including their lone remaining star, Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton was just downgraded this past week to an unknown return date.

Former Red Chris Valaika had wrist surgery on Friday and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks. Former Red Austin Kearns was recently transferred from the bereavement list to the restricted list for an undisclosed personal family matter. Please keep Austin and his family in your prayers.

PROBABLE AN UNLIKELY BATTING LINEUP

Player Bats Pos Age PA BA OBP SLG OPS+ BABIP SB/CS
Juan Pierre (L) LF 35 137 .240 .291 .272 58 .268 12/2
Placido Polanco (R) 3B 37 144 .242 .306 .280 65 .260 1/0
Justin Ruggiano (R) CF 31 142 .230 .312 .444 107 .268 5/1
Marcell Ozuna (R) RF 22 49 .326 .367 .500 139 .368 0/0
Greg Dobbs (L) 1B 34 129 .209 .287 .261 54 .237 0/1
Rob Brantly (L) C 23 95 .229 .316 .313 76 .279 0/0
Derek Dietrich (R) 2B 23 11 .364 .364 .727 194 .375 0/0
Adeiny Hechavarria (R) SS 24 91 .179 .242 .345 61 .183 0/0

Your guess is as good as mine as to what the actual batting order will be. Marlin skipper Mike Redmond has only used the same lineup twice. Justin Ruggiano leads the team with seven homeruns, including one against Tony Cingrani and another against Aroldis Chapman. Derek Dietrich and Marcell Ozuna are up from AA to help the depleted major league roster.

PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS

Date/Time Name ERA xFIP WHIP BABIP HR/9 BB/9 K/9
Tues. 7:10pm Ricky Nolasco (R) 3.72 3.99 1.16 .264 1.1 2.0 6.3
Homer Bailey (R) 3.83 3.21 1.25 .302 0.9 3.0 8.9
Wed. 7:10pm Alex Sanabia (R) 4.85 5.39 1.72 .323 1.4 4.6 5.1
Mike Leake (R) 4.32 4.16 1.49 .336 1.1 2.6 6.0
Thurs. 7:10pm Jose Fernandez (R) 3.65 3.20 1.16 .274 0.7 3.4 9.5
Mat Latos (R) 3.04 3.53 1.27 .315 0.9 2.5 8.4

Ricky Nolasco was the only Marlins starter not to face Cincinnati earlier this season. He faced the Reds twice last year, giving up 3 runs in each start, but didn’t walk a Reds batter in those 13 innings while striking out nine. Nolasco is coming off a strong start in San Diego where he struck out more than 9 batters in a game for the first time since May 2011.

Alex Sanabia left this last start after 4.1 innings with right groin tightness. Sanabia is yet to pitch 7 complete innings in a game this year. In his first series against Cincinnati, he allowed 6 hits, 5 walks, and 6 runs over 6 innings.

With the Reds rotation shuffle, we miss out on the Tony Cingrani-Jose Fernandez rematch. Fernandez’s worst start of the season (4ip, 5 runs, 6h, 3bb) came in Great American Ballpark. The 20-year old Fernandez is pitching off back-to-back quality starts, where he walked 3 and struck out 16 in 13 innings.

BULLPEN
While the Marlins rotation has actually been league average, the Marlins bullpen has not been as good. Reds batters will need to be patient when they get into the Marlins bullpen. Marlins relievers walk about four batters every nine innings. They’ve allowed 37% of inherited runners to score (league average is 31%; Reds IRS% is 24%).

Closer Steve Cishek is being reserved for save situations, hence he has the fewest innings of anyone in the Marlins bullpen. He didn’t pick up his first save of the year until April 19th in Cincinnati. In his 15 innings, Cishek has given up 12 hits, including 2 homeruns, 7 walks, and struck out 17.

35 thoughts on “Series Preview in Miami

  1. Totally off topic, but when are the stupid Cubs going to learn with these crazy long contracts? 7 year deal to a guy who hasn’t played a full season in the majors yet? Rizzo might end up being a bargain if he keeps trending upwards, but for Christ sake give yourselves an out. First Castro, now Rizzo. Both are very good players, but after Soriano you’d think they would be a little more cautious.

    • @eric nyc: I think the Rizzo deal was a shrewd move on the Cubs part as was Castro’s deal, but I am a little less positive about that one. Even if Rizzo produces at this same rate, the contract will be about right in terms of production over the course of the contract (pay more prior to arbitration and pay less after arbitration). If his production does start to slip, given the current rising trend of player contract amounts, this contract will certainly not prohibit them from trading or limiting his role on the team. I think this is something we will start to see more of as teams look for more cost certainty and players look to get paid earlier and have some money certainty in the future. Plus, the team gives the fans hope/belief/confidence/pride/insert positive emotion that they are committed to winning by making sure a good, young player remains in the organization.

    • @eric nyc: Those deals are both great deals for the Cubs. Comparing the Soriano deal to Rizzo/Castro is comparing (rotten) apples to oranges. The Cubbies are locking up guys through their prime. Well played, imo.

      I don’t think I’m even going out on a limb by saying that those deals are much, much lower risk than the deals the Reds gave Votto & BP.

      I get that neither Rizzo or Castro are established stars, but neither contract makes them untradeable…if things go south on Votto/BP, they are virtually locked in with the Reds.

      • @CP: I’m not saying they’re the same as the Soriano contract, except that that ended up being a deal they wish had been much shorter. And the difference between these deals and Votto/BPs deals was that we based our contracts on several years of elite major league production. Castro and Rizzo were basically signed on spec. They COULD turn out to be steals, or both of those guys could flame out. Castro already looks like a head case and a lazy defensive SS. Rizzo has had freaking cancer – that NEVER comes back. I just don’t see the need to jump on a 7 year deal with a guy like Rizzo. He’s still under team control for 4 more years and I just don’t see him making an MVP type jump anytime soon.

        • @eric nyc: They’re making a bet that they’ll want to keep him under team control while they have it and negotiated team friendly term relative to what Rizzo would make in his arbitration years.

  2. I read in an article by Daughtry that the Florida baseball teams (Marlins and Rays) are prime candidates for contraction or having their clubs moved.

    Baseball is a business, and I don’t think either one of those clubs can be turning a profit. The question is, should it actually be contraction, or is relocation possible? What other major cities could support a baseball team that don’t have one yet? Memphis? Nashville? Charlotte? New Orleans? Indianapolis?

    Bud Selig floated the contraction idea a few years back… I think the Twins were his target at that time? It’ll be interesting to see if contraction talk starts up again and what becomes of the Florida baseball teams.

    • @CI3J: I think it unlikely that the Marlins will be relocated or dissolved due to the new stadium built for them, largely at tax-payer expense. The problem with the Marlins’ lack of profitability is only partly to do with the community and market. The biggest issue they have currently is Jeffrey Loria, who is far and away the worst owner in baseball… Now Tampa Bay is another issue. The media market is a good one but that team can’t seem to garnish much support.

      • @LWBlogger: I agree with you about the Marlins. I almost can’t believe the rest of the MLB owners haven’t set some standards for him… he’s a blight on the league. He should be forced out.

  3. Well, reading articles by P-Doc was your first mistake.

    I sincerely doubt there will be a contraction anytime soon. I’d love to see a team come into Memphis/Nashville and scrape off some of “the best fans in baseball,” but that ain’t happening. Reds would fight tooth and nail against Indy.

    I’d rank the most likely cities/regions:
    1. The Jersey Shore
    2. Portlandia
    3. Viva Las Vegas
    4. More Texas/California (SA or Sacramento)
    5. Oh Canada
    6. Mehiiiico

    • I sincerely doubt there will be a contraction anytime soon.

      I agree. MLB will expand to 32 teams before it contracts to 28, IMHO. The real solution here, as noted by others, is to force Loria to sell the team.

    • @CP: To be fair, it was in his blog and it was purely speculative. He was only saying if MLB decides to contract, the 2 teams first on the list should be the Florida teams as their attendance is abysmal. He was in no way saying that it was going to happen.

  4. You know Dusty is seeing Juan Pierre’s stolen bases and drooling a bit. “Now that’s a lead-off hitter. Big time.”

  5. Reds lineup has been posted for tonight’s “titanic struggle”:

    Choo CF
    Cozart SS
    Votto 1B
    Phillips 2B
    Paul LF
    Frazier 3B
    Lutz RF
    Hanigan C
    Bailey P

    Looks like Bruce is getting the night off. Dusty tends to like to give a day off before or after a scheduled off-day and maybe this was discussed between he and Bruce some time ago. Figures that Bruce has been hitting the ball with authority lately though.

    • @LWBlogger: Didn’t he do the same thing with Phillips? As I recall, he was hot when the Reds went into an off day and he gave him the next day off as well. Phillips proceeded to go cold for a week.

        • @LWBlogger:

          Of all the things Dusty does, this is not one I have a problem with. 162 games is a long grind. Having schedule days off you can plan on, seems like a good idea to me.

  6. I hope the Reds can keep the good times coming… important to take the series on the road before getting to Philly.

  7. If you live here in the tri-state area, all three games will be televised on Fox Sports Ohio.

    Every time I see the phrase “tri-state area” I hear it in my head like Dr. Doffenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. What kind of evil “_______a-nator” awaits? I’m not going to hide it, we (“we” as in, my wife) don’t even let our kids watch that show, but I love it.

  8. As others here will likely update (I don’t remember the exact circumstances), Dusty did the same with Bruce when he was hot last year. Jay wasn’t hot when he came back. Coincidence? Maybe. He returned just in time to face better pitching? Possibly. But there is something to be said for playing the hot hand, barring injury, of course.

    • @Brian Van Hook: Yep. You would be right. Mid-June last year against the Mets. Jay was basically red-hot from the start of the season that year. His line on May 15th of last year: .300/.343/.631/.973. After that day he never came close to those numbers again that year. Total nosedive.

      After his huge day Saturday, I posted I thought Dusty would rest him Sunday and he didn’t. Waited until today. Jay Bruce is the streakiest player on the team: when he is hot you leave him the heck alone. How this team continually plays well, is spite of its manager, is extremely impressive. Tell me what other manager in MLB would pull such a counter intuitive move? If the guy is “slumping” badly, then rest him.

      The point is why rest hima nd even take the chance? Ride the big wave while it is cresting. Boy-oh-boy.

      • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: Yeah, it seems Dusty looks at things completely opposite than the way I, or what seems like most everyone, consider in these situations.

        If someone is slumping badly, I say give them a day or two off to refresh and get their mind/game right. Dusty tends to want them to “swing” their way out of it.

        If someone is white hot, I say keep them humming until they have that one bad game, then give them a day off. Dusty tends to … do the opposite, I guess??

  9. My sister and brother-in-law live in Miami. I wonder if they will try to get a hold of some tickets and take in the game.

  10. The next 12 games are against the Marlins,Phillies,Mets,and Cubs. The Reds really need to take advantage here 9-3 or 8-4 is mandatory.

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