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Updated: 2017-04-23T11:20:57-04:00


Dan Straily puts up best start of the year, Marlins win in extras, 6-3


The right-hander K’s 14 in the effort. Bullet points because I’m rushing to get this out: With a final line of two earned runs off of four hits, no walks and 14(!) strikeouts, Dan Straily easily put up the best start by a Marlins pitcher this season. Yes, they were playing the Padres, but whenever you strike out 14 batters, your game is on point. In the post-game script, Padres manager Andy Green praised the “bite” of Straily’s slider and said that his batters were having difficulty differentiating between that offering and Straily’s fastball. Elite movement is what made Straily so effective last season and it’s what he’ll need consistently to keep him effective moving forward. Under normal circumstances, that kind of performance would’ve kept the heat off of the Marlins pen, but unfortunately the game had been tied at two all game and the Fish were forced to utilize a couple extra relief arms. Kyle Barraclough held his own through the eighth and ninth, and reliable Brad Ziegler did his thing in the 10th, but then the 11th saw Junichi Tazawa up on the mound. Oh, Junichi, what are we to do with you? Tazawa’s short leash was in evidence as he was allowed to face only two batters, one of which singled (Wil Myers, forgivable), the other walking (Yangervis Solarte), all while Myers had advanced to third on indifference and a wild pitch. Don Mattingly had the hook ready and brought in his closer. AJ Ramos delivered a patented Ramos shaky save to seal the Marlins victory. A definitive pecking order has emerged in the bullpen hierarchy after some early questions. Ziegler and Barraclough are the set-up guys, Ramos remains the closer, and the rest is dependent upon availability. We used to say that Giancarlo Stanton loves hitting in Dodger Stadium for his noted bombs there. I think we should amend the statement to “Giancarlo Stanton loves hitting in Southern California.” Between his success in last season’s home run derby, the WBC early this season and now a couple of regular season games, it’s pretty clear that Stanton is quite comfortable hitting at Petco. He homered twice last night, once in the second inning off of a tasty 84 MPH offering from Jered Weaver, and again in the pivotal 11th inning with Christian Yelich on board. The big man would end up accounting for half of Miami’s run support. Prior to Stanton’s second bomb, a bizarre sequence initiated the Marlins’ scoring. Justin Bour pinch-hit for Brad Ziegler and singled. Dee Gordon then attempted to bunt his way aboard and the pitcher Jose Torres threw the ball away. Padres right fielder Hunter Renfroe had much difficulty retrieving the ball, and while Bour scoring from first was surprising enough, Gordon himself ended up scoring on the play. It should be noted that Martin Prado was integral in last night’s victory, homering in the sixth to tie the game and coming up with two consecutive defensive gems with the Padres threatening in the 10th inning to preserve said tie. Koehler vs. Perdomo in the series finale today. [...]

Fish Farm Report: April 22nd


Miami’s minor league affiliates went 3-1 in game action on Saturday night. Triple-A Pacific Coast League New Orleans Baby Cakes 6, Omaha Storm Chasers 0 The Baby Cakes (7-10) defeated the Omaha Storm Chasers (9-7) by a 6-0 final score with 6,688 in attendance at Shrine on Airline in Metairie, Louisiana. Stephen Fife (1-0, 4.91) earned the win by going five shutout innings, allowing six hits and two walks. He struck out six and earned a GameScore of 60. Matt Juengel scored the first run of the game on a Carlos Paulino RBI-single in the fourth inning. #12 prospect J.T. Riddle tripled the lead with a two-run homer (2) with two-out in the sixth, scoring Destin Hood. New Orleans’ lead was doubled again the next inning, on a Brandon Barnes RBI-single and a two run homer from Hood to make it 6-0. left fielder Hood finished the game with two hits, as did second baseman Steve Lombardazzi, who also stole two bases for the night. The Cakes will host the Storm Chasers at 2PM. Tim Worley (1-1, 1.69) gets the start, opposite Omaha’s Josh Stamont (1-1, 5.02). Double-A Southern League Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 2, Birmingham Barons 8 After a 54-minute rain delay, Jacksonville (5-11) dropped an 8-2 decision in front of 6,761 at Regions Field in Birmingham, Alabama. It was their eighth consecutive defeat. Severino Gonzales started and struck out five over 5.2 innings, earning no-decision for the Shrimp while whiffing five and allowing two runs on five hits for a 57 GameScore. Birmingham’s (5-11) Keon Barnum went deep twice, a two-run shot off starter Severino in the fifth inning and a grand slam off reliever James Buckelew in the eighth inning. Jacksonville opened the scoring in the fourth inning on an Alex Glenn RBI-triple. After Barnum’s first homer made it a 2-1 Birmingham lead, Brian Anderson scored on a David Vidal line drive single to center field to tie the game going into the seventh. Buckelew earned the loss by allowing six runs in the eighth inning. He allowed three hits and two walks over 2.1 innings, striking out three. Five of his six runs were unearned, keeping his ERA to a miniscule 0.77 for the season. Matt Tomshaw (1-1, 3.60) starts for the Shrimp in today’s game against the Barons at 4PM, the second of a five-game series. He’ll face off against Jordan Guerrero (0-2, 5.52). Advanced-A Florida State League Jupiter Hammerheads 5, Bradenton Marauders 3, 11 innings The Hammerheads (9-8) and the Marauders (9-8) went toe to toe for nine innings, going into extra frames tied at three with 1,703 in the house at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida. After a Brian Schales two-run double in the 11th, Jupiter has now won four in a row. It was Schales third hit of the game. Dexter Kjerstad, Brad Haynal, J.J. Gould, and Rodrigo Vigil also finished the game with multiple hits. #14 prospect Cody Poteet earned a 52 GameScore in five innings, striking out six while allowing eight hits and a walk for a pair of runs. Four relief pitchers combined to allow three hits and strike out nine over the next six innings. Ryan Newell (2-0, 1.42) struck out five in two innings for the win, and Jeff Kinley earned his first save of the season. Bradenton opened the scoring in the third inning on a Will Craig single to center field. Each team collected one run in the fifth inning, Jupiter on a Schales single, and the Marauders on a Ke’Bryan Hayes single. Jupiter tood the lead in the seventh inning on a Haynal two-run shot to left-center field, then Bradenton tied it in the bottom half on a Will Craig single. Today, Scott Squier (0-2, 4.85) will start for the Hammerheads opposite Bradenton’s Pedro Vasquez (0-1, 2.63) at 1PM. Single-A South Atlantic League Greensboro Grasshoppers 4, Augusta GreenJackets 1, 6 innings The Grasshoppers (9-8) enjoyed a rain-shortened 4-1 victory in front of 5,262 at First National Bank Field Saturday evening. Augusta (6-11) struck first, with a Sandro Fabian sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth inning. Greensboro answered quickly with three runs in the botto[...]

NL Notes: Bumgarner to DL



National League news and notes

Even when Madison Bumgarner suffers a rare injury, he makes it look cool.

The Giants’ ace suffered bruised ribs and a shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident. Bumgarner used his off-day for one of his go-to hobbies, but unfortunately, things didn’t go well for MadBum. The ace has made headlines this season for his arm, but also for his bat. Bumgarner continues to become the best hitting pitcher in baseball.

Bumgarner is out indefinitely —the team has not disclosed how long the DL stint will be.

Here’s what else is happening around the National League:

Yep, David Ross has written a book. Chicago’s resident old guy is ready to release his inner-most thoughts and wisdom to the world. If you live in Chicagoland or any surrounding areas, hurry and grab a copy, because something’s telling me they won’t be around much longer. Check out the review here.

The Braves have chosen to recall veteran Matt Kemp from the 10-day disabled list. The aging outfielder suffered a right hamstring strain four games into the season, and is ready to return to his torrid hitting (Kemp was hitting .500 through the first four games before his injury).

Talk about a cool moment. In what will likely go down as his final game at Safeco Field, Ichiro Suzuki made the most of his final at-bat. The 43-year-old Suzuki knocked a homer to right-center in what appears to be his last ups in Seattle (the Marlins aren’t playing there again in the near future). Ichiro, you never dissappoint!

Pittsburgh’s Starling Marte has been suspended 80 games for PED usage. Marte was tested Tuesday, and quickly came up positive for Nandrolone, a steroid. The loss of Marte puts the Pirates in trouble, in an already competitive NL Central.

Remember Kirk Nieuwenhuis? The former Met turned-Brewer is Milwaukee’s most recent DFA. Nieuwenhuis was designated for assignment following a .080 start at the plate. He had his struggles at the dish in New York, but this seems to be a more serious slump. Here’s to Nieuwenhuis getting it together soon.

Fish Farm Report: April 20th


The farm teams try to get back on track. Ed. Note: This piece slipped through the cracks before Friday came and went, but Jackson does such a good job recapping all of the minor league action I thought it should still go up. - TB Thursday was a full slate for the teams in the Marlins system, with all four teams in action. As it stands now, there is no team in the system with a record at or over .500. The season is still young, so there is nothing to worry about. Iowa Cubs 3, New Orleans Baby Cakes 7 The Baby Cakes (6-9) were able to get their second win of the series against the Iowa Cubs, after a loss Wednesday, winning 7-3. Moises Sierra and Matt Juengel each went two for four and drove in two runs. Destin Hood and Peter Mooney each drove in a run apiece. Five Cakes hitters had two hits. Pitching for the Cakes was effective, although the bullpen had to work hard after a short outing from Odrisamer Despaigne. The outing was short, but effective, giving up one run on four hits while striking out two in 4.2 innings. He walked four Cubs batters. The bullpen worked the remaining 4.1 innings, allowing just two runs on four hits. Clayton Mortensen got the win after pitching one scoreless inning in which he struck out two. The Cakes will be back in action Friday at 8:00 PM EST, finishing up the four game series against Iowa. Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 5, Pensacola Blue Wahoos 8 The Jumbo Shrimp’s woes continued Thursday as they lost their sixth straight game, this one at the hands of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos by the score of 8-5. Jacksonville fell to 5-9 after a good start to the season. David Vidal continued to produce at the plate, collecting two hits in three at bats, one of which was his first home run of the season. He also knocked in two runs. Alex Glenn also collected two RBIs. Starting pitcher Mike Kickham had a rough outing, pitching five innings and giving up seven runs on eight hits (two home runs) while striking out four. The bullpen was able to stop the bleeding by giving up only one run on three hits in the remaining innings, striking out four Blue Wahoos in the process. The Shrimp look to snap their skid Friday against the Blue Wahoos at 7:35 PM EST in Pensacola. Jupiter Hammerheads 6, Lakeland Flying Tigers 1 Jupiter’s offense and pitching were working well Thursday against the Lakeland Flying Tigers in their 6-1 victory, giving them a series split. The Hammerheads (7-8) were led by the bat of shortstop Justin Bohn, who went one for three with a home run and three RBIs. His home run extended the lead in the ninth. Angel Reyes and Roy Morales each drove in a run, as well. Felipe Gonzalez pitched seven quality innings, giving up only one run on two hits and striking out seven Flying Tigers hitters. That start gave him his second win of the season and knocked his ERA down to 2.51. Steven Farnworth and Jeff Kinley each pitched scoreless innings to close out the game and give the Hammerheads the win. Jupiter heads to Bradenton to start a three game series with the Marauders Friday at 6:30 PM EST. Augusta GreenJackets 5, Greensboro Grasshoppers 3 The Grasshoppers continued a losing streak of their own Thursday, losing their fifth straight game. This one was at the hands of the Augusta GreenJackets. Colby Lusignan was a bright spot in the lineup for Greensboro, going three for three and hitting a solo jack. Justin Twine added another RBI while going one for four. Leadoff hitter Corey Bird also picked up two hits at the top of the lineup. Dylan Lee started the game for the Grasshoppers, pitching four innings and giving up four runs on seven hits. Reliever Ben Meyer pitched four innings of one-hit ball, giving up one lone run and striking out four. Michael Mertz pitched the ninth inning, giving up one hit and one walk but, ultimately, gave up no runs. The Grasshoppers look to pick up a win when then play Augusta again Friday at home. The game starts at 7:00 PM EST. [...]

Marlins waste an Adam Conley gem; lose 5-3 to Padres


The offense couldn’t do much in support of their southpaw on Friday night. The Marlins (8-8) lost to the Padres (8-10) by a score of 5-3, in game one of a three game series in San Diego. This was a game devoid of much offense for the first six innings. Adam Conley had a fairly good outing in his third start of the season. He went six innings, allowing six hits, one earned run, two walks, while striking out five (93 pitches, 59 strikes). His most impressive work came in the second and fourth inning when he stranded two leadoff hits. Hunter Renfroe and Travis Jankowski led off the second inning with back-to-back singles. After Padres’ starting pitcher Trevor Cahill (W, 1-2) laid down a successful sacrifice bunt, Conley got Manuel Margot and Erick Aybar to ground out to end the threat. Renfroe should have scored on the Margot ground out, but he was unsure if the ball was going to be caught in the air, so he held up at third. Those darn rookies! Ryan Schimpf and Renfroe put together two hits to begin the bottom of the fourth. Once again, Conley dug deep and got himself out of the jam. He struck out both Jankowski and Cahill before forcing a Margot ground out to end the threat. Really good job of working into and out of trouble by the Marlins southpaw. The only run that Conley allowed was in the first inning and boy did it come together quickly. Margot ripped a leadoff triple into the right field corner and Aybar brought him home on a sac-fly. It took four pitches for the Padres to take the lead. David Phelps (L, 2-2) replaced Conley in the seventh inning and continued to not look good. He allowed three straight singles to start the frame (although the third was not his fault; Aybar laid down a bunt and J.T. Realmuto slipped while reaching to pick it up). Phelps got Wil Myers to ground into a double play, while allowing the go-ahead run to score. If the score would have held at 2-1, Don Mattingly would have been thrilled. Unfortunately for the Marlins skipper, two batters latter Austin Hedges deposited a three-run home run into the left field seats. Mattingly had walked Yangervis Solarte intentionally to get to Hedges; that didn’t exactly work out. Phelps remained in the game for the bottom of the eight and retired the Padres in order. The Marlins were banking on the right-hander to be an integral member of their bullpen and so far he has been nothing short of a disaster. Phelps has allowed at least one run in four of his eight appearances, with a team high 8.10 ERA. The Marlins offense was over-matched all game long against Cahill; the 6’4” right-hander was locked in from the start. His one blemish was thanks to Marcell Ozuna, who crushed his sixth home run of the season in the top of the second. Outside of that hit, the Marlins had only three other baserunners reach against Cahill. He had a stretch of retiring 15 straight Marlins from the second inning to the seventh; Justin Bour broke that streak with an infield single. Not an ideal evening from the offense. The Marlins did show some life in the ninth inning. Martin Prado led off the inning with a walk, before Giancarlo Stanton hit his fifth homer of the season. It was an opposite field shot that didn’t look like it had enough loft on it to leave the park. Alas, Stanton was rounding the bases. After Ichiro Suzuki smashed a double down the right field line, (it potentially could have been a triple if the Padres ball girl didn’t interfere with the ball) the Marlins brought the tying run to the plate in the form of Ozuna. Former Fish Brad Hand ended the threat by striking out the red-hot Ozuna and getting Realmuto to ground out to short. The Marlins finished with only five hits on the evening. Note: Dee Gordon was seen limping after stepping awkwardly on the first base bag in the eighth inning. He remained in the game, so hopefully he is okay. Here is the Fangraphs win expectancy graph for those who care: Fangraphs The[...]

Fish Farm Report: April 21st


Miami’s minor league system went 2-2 in action on Friday night. Triple-A Pacific Coast League New Orleans Baby Cakes 3, Iowa Cubs 4 The I-Cubs (8-8) defeated the Zephyrs Cakes (6-10) in a tight 4-3 affair on Friday night in front of 6,511 at Shrine on Airline in Metairie, Louisiana. The Cubs struck first with a pair of second inning runs, the first on a Mark Zagunis single and the second on a bases-loaded double-play groundout. New Orleans got one back in the bottom half of the frame on a Ramon Cabrera double to left field, scoring Matt den Dekker. The Cubs added one in their half of the sixth on an Ian Happ (7) homer. It looked like it was headed towards a quiet end for the Baby Cakes, but recently demoted #12 prospect J. T. Riddle smacked a leadoff homer in the eighth, followed by a Brandon Barnes single and a Destin Hood RBI-double to tie it at three. Unfortunately, Stephen Bruno hit an RBI-single in the ninth for the game-clinching hit against Cakes reliever Hunter Cervenka (0-2, 6.14). Riddle, Barnes, Hood, and Cabrera each collected two hits for the Cakes, who lost despite outhitting the Cubbies, 12-to-8. Justin Nicolino was passable if not spectacular for New Orleans, giving up seven hits in as many innings. He allowed three earned runs and one walk while ringing up three batters. New Orleans will open a four-game home series against the Omaha Storm Chasers tomorrow night at 6:00 PM. Double-A Southern League Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 0, Pensacola Blue Wahoos 2 Jacksonville’s (5-10) and Pensacola’s (12-3) starters matched zeroes for seven innings before the Shrimp bullpen gave the Wahoos an opening. There were 5,038 on hand at Blue Wahoos Stadium near the water in Pensacola. For the Shrimp, Chris Mazza (0-1, 2.37) earned a GameScore of 80, striking out six and giving up three singles and a walk over seven full shutout innings. He was nearly matched by counterpart Austin Ross’ (1-0, 0.86) GameScore of 77. Ross also allowed three hits over seven shutout innings, whiffing seven and granting three free passes. The Wahoos broke through in the eighth inning against Jacksonville reliever Tyler Higgins (0-2, 3.18) on a walk, a sacrifice bunt, an error, and a sacrifice fly to score Leon Landry. Joe Hudson scored two batters later on a wild pitch. Ariel Hernandez (1-0, 1.13) got the win, and Jimmy Herget earned his seventh save of the year. For the Shrimp, right fielder and #27 prospect John Norwood went two-for-three from the plate, while left fielder Alex Glenn and second bagger David Vidal collected one hit apiece. And that was all she wrote at the double-A level. Tomorrow night at 7:30PM ET, the Shrimp will begin a five-game series on the road in Birmingham, against the 4-11 Barons at Regions Field. Advanced-A Florida State League Jupiter Hammerheads 18, Bradenton Marauders 2 It was pandemonium for 1,046 in attendance at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida. The Hammerheads (8-8) erupted for 25 hits in a nine inning game in an 18-2 win over the Marauders (9-7). Every player for Jupiter finished with at least two hits, five batters hit two doubles, and five also finished with three or more hits. Kyle Barrett (four-for-seven) was the only Hammerhead to somehow not collect an RBI. #8 prospect Stone Garrett had three on two singles and two doubles, Angel Reyes had two on three singles, Dexter Kjerstad had two with a single and a double, Brad Haynal had two with a single and two doubles, Brian Schales had two on a pair of singles, Rodrigo Vigil had one on two doubles, Justin Bohn had one on a single and two doubles, and Zach Sullivan collected four on two two-baggers. Trevor Richards (2-1, 0.00) struck out six while allowing three hits and a walk in victory for a 72 GameScore. He has started the season with 21.1 scoreless innings thus far. #14 prospect Cody Poteet (1-0, 0.56) will start for Jupiter tomorrow night at 6:30PM in game two of the three-game road serie[...]

Greensboro Grasshoppers Roundup



Michael King, the Marlins 2016 12th-round pick, has been named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week.

This past week, Grasshoppers starter Michael King was named as the South Atlantic Pitcher of the Week. Let’s use that as a good reason to learn more about the 6’3” right-hander. He was the Marlins 12th round pick in the 2016 draft after three years at Boston College.

So far this year for the Hoppers, King has a 2-0 record with a 0.00 ERA, and struck out 18 batters while allowing only 4 hits and 2 walks in 13 innings. His WHIP is a stellar 0.48.

Here’s a link which has King’s college and professional stats so far.

Here’s a view of him pitching in college:

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A native of Rhode Island, he was ranked as the top player from Rhode Island in his class by Perfect Game. He then went to Boston College where he evolved into their number two starter and fared well against tough ACC competition.

He was known as a pitcher who used control and movement, highlighted by his two-seam fastball and pitch to contact approach.

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Here’s a link to SB Nation’s detailed synopsis of King after he was drafted:

So why the success so far, this year? His control has remained excellent while his strikeout rate points to him developing more swing and miss stuff.

His K/9 inning rate in college was an unspectacular 6.50; and in 2016 (mostly in the NY-Penn League and GCL) it was 5.87. In 2017 so far his K/9inning rate has more than doubled at 12.46.

It is very early on, but it will be interesting to see if he can keep this up this season and become one of the Marlins top pitching prospects.

Marlins Morning News: Potential owners continue to emerge as sale talk heats up


The list of would-be owners grows longer, plus Marlins news and notes from around baseball. Marlins News: It didn’t take long after the news broke that Jeb Bush and Derek Jeter were teaming up in their attempt to purchase the Marlins for other prospective groups to make their own presence felt. First we heard about Wayne Rothbaum, founder of the private investment firm Quogue Capital, based in New York. Next up was yet another dynamic duo, this time former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine and Tagg Romney, the eldest son of Mitt Romney and co-founder of Solamere Capital, a private investment firm based in Boston. You may recall hearing the name Solamere last November, when a report came out that the firm had held talks with Jeffrey Loria about purchasing the team at that time. Finally (as of this morning, anyway), Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is being rumored as being interested as well. Reports are conflicting, but some suggest that he is only interested if the price is lowered. According to the Bloomberg piece linked above, bids were submitted last week and “came in between $1.2 billion and $1.3 billion.” Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that this story is far from over. Stay tuned! Adeiny Hechavarria is back. (Sorry, Marlins Twitter.)— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) April 20, 2017 Thanks, Tim. Healey also reported yesterday that Wei-Yin Chen has been playing with a partially torn UCL since last summer, but it doesn’t seem to be bothering him. Ichiro’s dramatic home run in his final at bat in the Marlins/Mariners series made him the oldest Marlin ever to homer. Miami Marlins manager and Yankees legend Don Mattingly turned 56 yesterday, born April 20th, 1961. Around Baseball Yoenis Cespedes left yesterday’s Mets/Phillies game with an apparent hamstring injury, and will have an MRI. This comes only a day after the Mets lost a trio of starters in Lucas Duda (hyper-extended left elbow), Wilmer Flores (infection in left knee), and Travis D’Arnaud (right wrist contusion). It wasn’t all bad news for the Mets though, as their closer Jeurys Familia returned from his 15-game domestic violence suspension to pick up the save in their 5-4 victory. Sparse crowds aren’t often considered a good thing in Major League Baseball, but it may have helped the effectiveness of a couple of hecklers aiding the Rays’ victory over the Detroit Tigers yesterday. Coveted Cuban outfield prospect Luis Robert has been officially declared a free agent. MLB is working hard to show girls that they can play baseball, too. Cubs fans are gobbling up championship ring replicas at a record pace. [...]