Jul 22, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) hits an RBI double during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
How frustrated are you with the Marlins lack of offense this year and would you attribute it as the reason for being in the cellar in the NL East?
1. The Marlins offense has been extremely frustrating to watch in 2013. The team has had issues of getting men on base, and when they do, they tend to ground into too many double plays. With the Marlins starting pitching throwing well and the bullpen being a pleasant surprise, you have to definitely point to the Marlins anemic offense as part of the reason the Marlins offense is really bad. It also does not help to have players like Donovan Solano, Ed Lucas, Placido Polanco, Greg Dobbs, and Jeff Mathis playing a majority of the games.
Jul 21, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Miami Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
With the Marlins scoring drought, the big question I have is why in the world would the team put Stanton on the block? Can’t score runs with him, the team could not score without him??
2. Stanton is not currently on the trade block and won’t before the trade deadline next week. The Marlins have always had an open phone policy, meaning they will listen to any and all offers for their slugging right fielder, but unless they are blown away, it’s highly unlikely he is traded.
In fact, I doubt the Marlins even consider trading Stanton before they have a chance to offer him an extension after the season. Even if he refuses a deal after the season, it’s doubtful to see him in any other uniform in 2014. The Marlins have enough funds currently to be able to afford Stanton’s first arbitration season.
Would you trade Stanton?
3. If the price were right, yes. I am talking about a return of at least 2 top 15 prospects. The only teams that seem to be able to match that might be the Pirates, Mariners, and Rangers. Although it has been rumored recently that the Marlins would want a star player under team control, ala Matt Harvey, as return for Stanton.
Otherwise, I prefer to keep Stanton and offer him a crooked number he would have a tough time declining in the off-season. There is no sure things in baseball, and both Stanton and the prospects that the Marlins could get in return for Stanton fall under that category.
Jun 21, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Miami Marlins pitcher Steve Cishek (31) prepares to deliver a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the ninth inning at AT
Is Steve Cishek a reliever a lot of teams could be asking about at the deadline, if not him who?
4. Teams have been calling on Steve Cishek, but have quickly been turned off by the asking price. The Marlins are currently seeking a team’s top prospect in return for Cishek. Cishek will be arbitration eligible for the first time in 2014 and has an immense amount of trade value currently. It would shock me to see a team fork over the Marlins asking price before the deadline.
Mike Dunn is another reliever drawing interest on the trade market, he however is not available either. The Marlins have deemed Dunn an important part of their 2014 team, and maybe beyond. I would actually be less hesitant to trade Dunn then the Marlins are, as his peripherals concern me going forward.
Chad Qualls and Ryan Webb have been getting hits on the trade market as well, neither of them are anything special and the return for either should be a low-end prospect. Both are very likely to be traded before the deadline.
Is there a trade you would see the Marlins making at the deadline?
5. The team will likely trade outfielder Justin Ruggiano, and despite his recent woes, I think he can bring in a decent prospect. His hitting numbers have suffered at Marlins Park, but he has still been a 1.0 WAR player in 2013. All 12 of his homers have come on the road. He would be a great fit in a hitters paradise like Texas. Another thing he has going is that he is under team control for three more seasons, as he will be arbitration eligible after the season as well.
Jul 16, 2013; Flushing, NY, USA; National League pitcher Jose Fernandez (16) of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch during the 6th inning in the 2013 All Star Game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
What can you tell us about the probably pitchers Pirates fans will be seeing this weekend?
6. Henderson Alvarez will be pitching on Friday. He was apart of the fire sale trade the Marlins committed this past off-season. After starting the season on the DL with shoulder inflammation, Alvarez made his Marlins debut earlier this month. Thus far, I have been unimpressed with Alvarez. He does not strike out a ton of hitters and has not gotten his ground ball outs he has been touted for.
Tom Koehler will be on the mound Saturday and although I see him as a bullpen guy down the road, he has held down the fort as a starter. He throws a lot of zip on his fastball and plus curveball, but does not have much else to retire hitters out on a consistent basis. He did strike out seven in his last start against the Rockies, but has not been known for strikeouts outside of that in 2013.
I cannot wait for Sunday’s Jose Fernanadez-Gerrit Cole matchup. No way I miss this game. Cole of course is the highly touted Pirates prospect and the same is true of Jose Fernandez for the Marlins. Fernandez has been extremely dominant in his 20-year old rookie season. He has a plus fastball, a plus curveball, and a developing changeup. Fernandez has a great story I am sure Pirates commentators will share on Sunday and made quite an impression in the All-Star game, despite a Pirates reliever currently on the DL stealing his spotlight.
What’s your prediction on the series?
7. I will go with Pirates winning two of three, as they hold the pitching edge in the first two games. In the finale, however, I believe Fernandez tilts the matchup to his side.