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Updated: 2017-10-17T14:00:04-04:00


Jeter’s Party with Diddy and Co. Spurs New Marlins Roster and Organizational Changes


Seismic changes are coming to Miami baseball. Ed. Note: This is satire. Don’t @ me. - TB Diddy Throws Miami Welcome Party for New Marlins Owner Derek Jeter— TMZ (@TMZ) October 14, 2017 You can tell that Strasburg pitched well without knowing whether he got credited with a win or not. The win is severely losing traction as a reliable statistic for starting pitchers. One of the aforementioned reasons why the win isn’t a good indicator of value for starters is because starters have to pitch at least five innings to qualify. After that, the win goes to whatever hurler pitched in the last half-inning where the winning team last attained the lead. As it turns out, I believe Dustin McGowan’s most significant stat this season was his record: 8-2. Eight wins was good enough to rank second best among all relievers in Major League Baseball. Through July 5th, when he most often pitched in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, McGowan raised his record to 5-0. He obtained his first loss on July 18th when he was made to pitch in the eighth inning. His last loss came in an 11-13 slugfest with the Phillies in Game 153. Why exactly does this stat matter for McGowan, and not for most other pitchers in the league? It’s because of the precarious nature of his role. Dustin’s wins show that he added value to the Marlins in a number of different circumstances. The key for a pitcher like McGowan is to hold the line. From a Bill Belichik-esque point of view, McGowan just has to do his job: eat innings and pass the torch to the next guy with the flame still lit. It appears that he did just that in 2017. Sometimes, McGowan came in to hold the lead and bridge the gap — see June 9th. Other times, he came in to keep the game close, and give the Marlins a chance to get back into the game — see August 1st. Of his eight wins, only one was “snaked” — see August 25th, where he gave up the lead, but the Marlins bailed him out. While his record gets him to the top of the leaderboard, amongst other MLB relievers with similar records, McGowan stands out as having the worst fWAR on the page. The bottom line is that while his advanced metrics don’t do him justice, he did do the Charlie-work for the Marlins this year. As a fanbase bearing scars from a myriad of unreliable relievers, Marlins fans don’t easily forget the bygones of a reliever’s blown leads and saves. McGowan isn’t responsible for many of said blown games. Instead, he has quietly occupied an important spot in the bullpen. The 35 year-old McGowan is an unsigned free-agent heading into 2018. Given that many believe that the Marlins’ roster is about to get blown up, it’s very uncertain whether McGowan will return to the team or not. Coming off of an impressive season in 2016, the Marlins rewarded him in 2017 with a one-year deal worth 1.75 million dollars — the most he has made in a season. Considering that he took a step back this year, he may not obtain such a lofty salary for 2018, regardless of who he signs with. Still, McGowan occupies a unique niche on the spectrum between old-school and new-school baseball strategy that may best reflect his potential value. This year in the playoffs, we have witnessed the promulgation of a relatively new phenomenon — “bullpenning.” While I believe that Terry Francona really championed the trend with his liberal use of Andrew Miller in the 2016 playoffs, many teams have recently adapted the strategy: giving a starter a shorter leash and lighter burden, in order to even the workload and get peak efficiency out of all of a team’s pitchers. Instead of relying on a starter to go six innings, and calling on two set-up men and a closer to end the game, hypothetically, a starter can be asked now to pitch three or four solid innings, before relinquishing the game to two or three long relievers. As we saw in the AL Wild Card Game, with the season on the line, the strategy can very easily work — as it did for the Yankees. However, it would be impossible for a manager to be so cavali[...]

Rafters Bit By Scorpions: Fish Farm Wrap



The Rafters were blanked by Scottsdale at the Talking Stick last night.

Arizona Fall League

Salt River Rafters 0, Scottsdale Scorpions 8

Last night, with 570 in attendance at the Salt River Fields in Talking Stick, the Scorpions blanked the Rafters by an 8-0 final count.

Adrian Houser (0-1, 3.00) took the loss, surrendering two runs over his three inning start.

The only Marlin in action for the game was shortstop Peter Mooney, who batted eighth in the order. He grounded out to first baseman Billy McKinney to lead off the third, grounded out 6-3 to end the fifth with nobody on base, and lined out to third baseman Taylor Sparks to open the eighth inning.

The six other Marlins on the team are pitchers Miguel Del Pozo, Ben Meyer, James Needy, and Scott Squier, catcher Rodrigo Vigil, and center fielder Braxton Lee.

The two fall league clubs will get back after it at Scottsdale Stadium, tonight at 6:35PM MST.


Nothing today, but tomorrow, pitcher Anderson Vera, late of the Dominican Summer League Marlins, turns 20. The youngster has gone 4-6 with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in three seasons with the club, although this season’s ERA was a full run lower than his career average.

Left fielder Austin Dean turns 24. The right-handed hitter slashed .282/.323/.427 in 61 games for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in 2017, his sixth in the Marlins’ system.

Del Pozo, who pitched well on Wednesday for the Rafters, turns 25. The Dominican Republic left-handed pitcher just completed his seventh season as part of the organization. He went 3-0 with a 0.70 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in 25.2 innings this past season across four levels of minor league ball.

Right-handed pitcher William Cuevas turns 27. Recently part of the Baby Cakes rotation, Cuevas went 2-7 with a 5.43 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP after the Marlins signed him to a minor league deal from the Detroit Tigers in June.