The Pittsburgh Pirates Miami Marlins preview looks at a very important series for the Bucs. The team has major questions with Andrew McCutchen out of the lineup. Neil Walker is also nursing a bad back. Pedro Alvarez was told he is no longer the starting third baseman. The Pirates starters in the series have been horrid in their recent starts.
So rather than pondering what could be, we asked Marlins Maniac co-editor Chris Logel a few questions. And now we feel worse. Enjoy or whatever.
Do you love Bryan Morris who the Pirates traded to the Marlins earlier this year?
Tom, I have no problem admitting when I am wrong, and in the case of Bryan Morris, I was dead wrong. I thought that we acquired a player that Pittsburgh was looking to get rid of due to poor performance, and while that may have been the case, Morris has been pretty much lights out for the Marlins. He has been the most consistent arm out of the bullpen not named Steve Cishek.
Brad Hand was converted to a starter, and will pitch the series opener, and looks like a different guy. What has he changed?
Location, location, location. Hand has always had good stuff, his biggest problem is his propencity to walk hitters. When he issues free passes, he gives up a lot of runs. When he can hit his spots, he is very talented.
The starter in game two has been unreal in his last three starts, but awful when pitching against the Bucs. What/s up with the right hander?
It all boils down to home cooking. Tom Koehler really likes Miami. His ERA is 2.5 runs better at home than it is on the road. He is a 5th starter in the rotation. If he can give the Marlins 6 innings, they will gladly take it.
Thoughts on Giancarlo Stanton coming into the series, he seems to be striking out quite a bit in his last ten games?
Stanton is one of the streakiest hitters that I have ever seen. When he is on, it seems like every ball comes off the bat at 120 MPH. When he is struggling, he looks like he has never seen a breaking ball before. Giancarlo has been able to stay out of the slump for the majority of the year by looking to drive the ball the other way. If he has an at-bat or two in which he hits the ball to the right side or up the middle, look out, he will be locked in.
Can you explain how Casey McGehee has transformed his game?
I believe that McGehee has changed his approach. He doesn’t seem to be interested in the slightest with hitting home runs, a rarity for a cleanup hitter. He has embraced the gap to gap philosophy of Marlins Park. Unfortunately he seems to be hitting some regression lately. Hopefully he can turn things around.
Do you anticipate any Marlins being moved at the waiver trade deadline?
I would be shocked if the Marlins made any other moves of consequence. They made their big acquisition in Cosart, and they will likely ride this roster as far as it will take them. Hopefully to a .500 record by the end of the season.