CHICAGO, IL - JULY 17: Manager Ozzie Guillen #13 of the Miami Marlins throws batting practice before a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 17, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Check out the five teams the Marlins play to round out the month of July: @ Cubs, @ Pirates, Braves, Padres, and @ Braves. I realize that the games have to be played and there are never any freebies. But this schedule looks like something the Marlins can start a win streak with. I mean, the Pirates have the best record of the bunch.
- Remember, the Marlins had the best record in baseball in May. And then ran into a difficult stretch in June. Regardless of what happens, the upcoming schedule looks a lot better than anything in June (plus ground can be made up against the Atlanta). If only the Marlins could have Stanton in the middle of their line up now. Oh well.
- Even though it will probably not be the long term solution, the Fish have converted their first two saves under the new bullpen by committee scenario. One save to Steve Cishek, and the other save was recorded by Mike Dunn. Honestly, if I were Ozzie, I would continue this committee for the next month. Especially if its working. I would think the Marlins brass would like to see Heath Bell with fire in his belly for more than a few games, fighting to get his closer job back.
- Amazing how things have turned around for the Fish. Now it is being reported that the team might become sellers at the trade deadline. Omar Infante and Randy Choate are most likely to be moved. Just the simple fact that baseball such as Buster Olney are discussing this means something is cooking.
- In terms of the Miami Marlins and the first half of the baseball calendar, there has not been many positives. However, Mark Buehrle has answered the call. Up to this point, Mark has had maybe the finest season in his entire career. Fab Graphs will show you why. Click here.
- Now that the Marlins are in Chicago, Carlos Zambrano returns to play against the team he pitched 11 years for. And because we have all been a witness to it, he is truly a changed man. Zambrano has been a model citizen up to this point. The only knock has been his pitching. While he has pitched a few gems here and there, for the most part, Big Z has been inconsistent. Hopefully he pitches better the second half of the year.
- Want to see how the Marlins' starting pitchers will fare the rest of the season? Marlins Daily shares projections with you along with key analysis. Expect JJ to pitch better the second half. And hopefully it translates to a better start next year. We'll see.
- In case you haven't heard, Juan Carlos Oviedo has a sprained elbow. Oviedo left a Triple A game Saturday after one batter because of discomfort. There is no timetable for his return. Not good for a guy that was set to return to the majors soon.
Around the League
- Rob Neyer says Tim Lincecum has had the most disappointing first half in baseball. He even says it isn't even close. I'm sure the Giants expect Lincecum to turn it around at some point however. After all, he was baseball's best pitcher as recently as two years ago. Hopefully he is not injured.
- On the other side of the spectrum, Grant Brisbee says that Shin-Soo Choo is the most underrated player in baseball. Brisbee says that many in the media only consider Choo a 'nice player.' When in reality, he is closer to a great player. Hopefully you have seen this dude play.
- The Royals have cut loose starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez. They designated him for assignment in fact. After he won his first start of the season, he has gone 0-6 with an ERA above eight. Good riddance.
At Fish Stripes
- Could Josh Johnson be traded at the deadline this year? Probably not. But its interesting to debate who might be moved. Read more here about Marlins' assets as the trade deadline looms.