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HBT Daily: Watch out for the Marlins

May 5, 2014, 1:03 PM EDT

  1. Old Gator - May 5, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    No.

  2. DelawarePhilliesFan - May 5, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Or just change your signs when playing in Miami :)

  3. roundballsquarebox24 - May 5, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The Marlins can be a very dangerous club. Their obvious weak link is their bullpen, which is capable of shutting down some good lineups, and Derek Deitrich at 2nd base, whose bat fits quite well in the lineup. They are over .500 now. If they can hang around .500 for the next 3 months, there is absolutely no reason why they cannot get hot in August and September and make a legitimate playoff run. This team can put up some runs. Easily. If you watch them, you know that beautiful brand of baseball they play. I love how wave-happy their 3rd base coach is. These guys rarely ever stop at third, that is usually a wide turn in full stride. A lot of their runs come on close plays at the plate. And a lot of their big hits come on line drives deep into the gaps. That is why they do so well at home. Their huge ballpark is a haven for line drives that are singles, maybe doubles in smaller parks go deep into those gaps, emptying the bases and allowing guys to get many triples. They are currently tied (with 5 other teams) for the 3rd most triples in MLB. Adeiny Hechavarria is a vaccum at short, and has been hitting, too. I dunno…. This club can surprise a lot of people this year!

    • Old Gator - May 5, 2014 at 4:10 PM

      You can get enthusiastic about them only if you’re willing to overlook their horrible record on the road, which currently stands at 2-10. This is also a very streaky lineup and I fully expect guys like Garret Jones, Casey McGehee and Jeff Baker to fizzle out as the season progresses. I’d love to see Hechavarria continue to hit but I’m skeptical – and as far as Rafael Furcal, his injury profile right now is about as encouraging as the prognosis for Ebola. So far, so good for Marcell Ozuna; Yelich is coming around nicely and looks like he will mature into the doubles machine they expect him to become, but I suspect he needs at least this full season to hit his stride. The Iron Giant, as long as he stays healthy, seems en route to getting a handle on his rhomboid strike zone with the big bulge in the low outside corner where pitchers still routinely get him out. May Buddha smile compassionately on the pitchers of the National League if he ever manages to retract it into the main body of his zone. Even so, a team that has to depend on Casey McGehee or Garret Jones to bat cleanup isn’t going to keep on pumping up its run differentials during the dog days. It’s early. Just watch.

      Ah, but the boolpen. As long as they keep running Carlos Marmol out there with less than a seven run lead, no game is in the bag until the fourth out of the opponent’s ninth. They just brought up this kid Carter Capps who, in the rest of the meltdown of the Saturday game, got overlooked for his two perfect innings with three strikeouts and a blazer exceeding 100 MPH on multiple occasions. Mike Dunn is as erratic as an Icelandic seismograph.

      It’s a much better team than last year but, I think, when the chips are all gathered in at the end of September it won’t still be sitting on the table.

      • roundballsquarebox24 - May 5, 2014 at 4:27 PM

        I agree with your points. I just think that they cannot be discarded. This is a different game from the game we grew up in, where the team with the best record wins the pennant, then on to the World Series. We have not one, but TWO wildcards to consider, now. I think that guys will regress, but I also think that they can continue to put up some runs. On top of everything that you said, they have also been getting very lucky. They have had some success with replay, and they have had a lot of flairs dropping. I also agree that they have been getting some production from guys who are unlikely to sustain that success. I am not saying that the Marlins are going to win 100 games. I am just saying that this year, they are not “just the Marlins”. These guys are scrappy. I feel like their road performance needs to improve, dramatically. However, if they can keep winning most of their home games, they can still be in the conversation during the dog days.

        As far as the bullpen, I agree. Every time that Carlos Marmol walks on the mound I cringe. I do think that Mike Redmond has done a decent job at managing his bullpen. Carter Capps was extremely impressive, hitting 101mph. This guy is definitely another option for the Marlins and their 8th inning problems. These guys have enough potential, that if everything goes their way, and they happen to get a little good luck, they can go a long way. I don’t see it as ridiculous to think that they can maybe shag up one of those wildcard spots. Once you are in October, any one of those teams can win a few series. Just saying. Not the most likely scenario, but the Marlins are no longer just a few sure-wins for teams who come into town to boost their records…

      • gloccamorra - May 6, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        Don’t like Marmol? Heath Bell is available. Put him in for a few saves against weak hitting teams and he could be traded for prospects.

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