With Emilio Bonifacio coming back from injury (probably replacing Giancarlo Stanton on the active roster as he is now on the DL), I can't wait to see the Marlins start running again on the base pads. At least the team has another way of jump starting a rescue to this season. This was not going to come from the power game (newly acquired Carlos Lee is not the power hitter he used to be). And the pitching has been decent throughout. So the speed game can do wonders for an offense that is usually missing the key hit or the clutch play.
-Teams usually find a jump start in different ways. A minor league call-up (think Bryce Harper of the Nats). A mid-season trade (as Marlins fans we remember Urbina and Daulton). Maybe even a managerial change (Jack McKeon replacing Jeff Torborg comes to mind). However, whatever the reason, let's hope this 2012 version of the Miami Marlins finds its cure. Here are Boni's numbers before he went down with injury against the Indians: 20 stolen bases, 19 runs, and three triples (.268 / .351 / .315). It has to be simple. Bonifacio and his teammates need to scatter the base pads starting now.
- Out of anger, Hanley punched a cooling fan and cut himself in the last game before the all-star break. The cut on his finger required two stitches. Even more painful was that at the time of the injury (sixth inning), he had to come out of the game. And his replacement, Donovan Solano, actually came up to the plate with the bases loaded in the ninth, and with an opportunity to extend a 4-2 lead. Solano instead ends up striking out, and the Cardinals eventually rallied in the bottom of the ninth to win. What if Hanley would have batted in that spot?
- The Sun Sentinel does a great job this week of reviewing the Marlins first half of the season. And they do it in a most practical way. Three things that went right. Three things that went wrong. And what to look forward to in the second half of the season. I am not going to go out on a limb and write that the Marlins will be special when regular season baseball resumes later this week, but I will say that if the Marlins get anything consistent out of Josh Johnson, Hanley Ramirez, and Jose Reyes, look out. Plus, it could get exciting quick with all of the head to head games they have left with the Mets, Braves, and Nats.
- Juan Carlos Oviedo is getting ready in the minors. And if the Marlins continue to blow saves, expect him to be the closer before too long. And remember, in spite of what Oviedo did in using a false name (he is currently serving his suspension), the Marlins re-signed him in the off season because he can pitch. And almost anybody looks better than Heath Bell at the present moment.
- See pictures of fans that could have represented the Marlins at the all-star game. Please pick only one. I'll go with NBA champion, Chris Bosh.
- Joe Frisaro confirms something I heard on the radio on the way home Tuesday. Ozzie Guillen is now moving to a closer by committee for the foreseeable future. And obviously, this is the right move. Whether or not Heath Bell is able to retrieve his closer role, the Marlins need to do something now before this season is pinned solely on the shoulder of Bell.
Around the League
- Unbelievable story on the preparation Ben Sheets went through before pitching for the Braves in a game this upcoming Sunday. He actually was signed just nine days ago and made only two minor league starts. That's it. Apparently, he has been staying ready. What an acquisition for the Braves if this guy actually pitches well. Its not like he does not how to pitch. Read more here.
- Mariano Rivera cannot be counted out. The Yankees continue to say he is out for the remainder of 2012. But a doctor close to the situation says not to count the all time leader in saves. He says he might actually make it back this season. Read more here.
At Fish Stripes
- Our leader highlights the facts on Heath Bell. Forget about what you've read, or what you've seen on TV. Here is the real problem with Bell. And a very real conclusion is also provided. Bell may never be what he used to be. But for the Marlins sake, they better hope he figures something out.
- Mr. Jong reviews the Marlins pitchers at the half way point of the season. Basically, the staff has been average. And the bullpen would have been a bit better if not for Heath Bell and his troubles. Kudos to Mark Buehrle, Randy Choate, and Steve Cishek.