Fish Bites: Miami Marlins catcher Rob Brantly finding rhythm at the plate

Marc Serota

Despite a slow start, catcher Rob Brantly's bat has recently come alive. Brantly's ability to hit the ball to all fields made him attractive to the Marlins. Plus links on Giancarlo Stanton, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Jeff Mathis.

-Ricky Nolasco and Agent Not Pleased with Miami Marlins - Marlin Maniac - A Miami Marlins Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Miami Marlins fans might as well get used to this headline, as owner Jeffery Loria continues to meddle in team affairs he has no business in. The latest news out of Miami is that Jeffery Loria personally mandated rookie manager Mike Redmond to flip-flop starting pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Jose Fernandez in the double-header the Marlins played against Twins on Tuesday. That apparently has Nolasco's agent Matt Sosnick in a fury.

-Marlins Way: Looking for a Streak - Marlin Maniac - A Miami Marlins Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More

The Miami Marlins have yet to put together back-to-back wins this season. It’s not terribly surprising as the Marlins have battled injuries, played against a respectable slew of opponents and have a hard time scoring runs.

-Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria denies he dictated pitching... | www.palmbeachpost.com

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria on Friday denied a report that he was behind the move to switch starting pitchers for Tuesday’s chilly, day-night doubleheader in Minnesota.

-Marlins first baseman Joe Mahoney out with tight hamstring | Fish Tank blog: Miami Marlins | The Palm Beach Post

Mike Redmond has four left-handed hitters in the lineup today against Cubs righty Carlos Villanueva, but the biggest one is missing. Joe Mahoney, who crushed his first big-league home run Friday and has seven hits in his last five games, is out with a tight right hamstring.

-Miami Marlins tickets for sale? Try ‘on sale’ - Miami Marlins - MiamiHerald.com

The last-place Marlins are utilizing lower prices and gimmicks to put fans in the seats at Marlins Park.

-MINNEAPOLIS: Miami Marlins’ struggling offense is taking a major toll - Miami Marlins - MiamiHerald.com

Despite strong hitting in their last game, the Marlins are last in the majors in scoring and team batting average.

-Slowey remains upbeat even as a W continues to elude him | Fish Bytes

As heartbreaking as Thursday's 4-3 loss was for Marlins starter Kevin Slowey because he let a 3-1 lead get away from him and failed to pick up his first win since Sept. 18, 2010, there was a positive. He threw a season-high 112 pitches over six innings of three-run, five-hit ball and felt good afterward. "For a pitcher like me who has come back from some injuries to know my manager and my pitching coach have faith in me that my pitches 105 to 112 are still going to be competitive it's a great thing," said Slowey, who didn't pitch all of 2012 because of a fractured rib and missed the rest of the 2011 season with an abdominal strain.

-Are the Marlins close to seeing Mike Redmond's Matt Foley impression? Maybe | Fish Bytes

With his team owning the worst record in the majors at 5-18, the worst team batting average in the game (.222) and the fewest homers (7) in the game, Marlins manager Mike Redmond was asked by a reporter before Saturday's game against the Cubs if any motivational speakers have been brought in to help shake things up. "I consider myself a motivational speaker because I’ve watched Saturday Night Live a couple of times," Redmond said straight-faced. "I was actually going to talk to the guys tonight. I was writing some stuff down."

-Marlins Park recognized nationally for Structural Systems | marlins.com: News

Marlins Park received yesterday the Grand Award for Structural Systems from the ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies). This national award was presented to the Marlins during the 2013 Engineering Excellence Awards Gala in Washington, D.C.

-Injured Hechavarria, Alvarez, Mathis making progress | marlins.com: News

Several Marlins, including shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, continue to make promising steps on their roads to recovery. According to manager Mike Redmond, Hechavarria -- out with a bruised right elbow -- swung the bat on Saturday and felt good. Unless the 24-year-old arrives to the ballpark on Sunday sore, he will rehab in Jupiter, Fla., on Monday and Tuesday.

-Brantly back in groove at the plate | marlins.com: News

Rob Brantly, acquired via a midseason trade with the Tigers, finished with a .290 batting average, three home runs, eight doubles and eight RBIs in 31 games. In September, he recorded a nine-game hitting streak. That's why Brantly found the start to this season so frustrating. "It's easy: You try to do too much and you get too jerky, mostly with your body," Brantly said. "He's helping me stay back and keeping me loose because it's quicker."

Around The League

-New York Yankees Yankees complete four-game sweep of Toronto Blue Jays - MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN

Lyle Overbay sent a knuckleball from R.A. Dickey into the right field bullpen for a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning that was caught on the fly by Yankees reliever David Robertson, and New York beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 Sunday for a four-game sweep. New York Yankees Yankees complete four-game sweep of Toronto Blue Jays.

-Pittsburgh's Jonathan Sanchez was suspended six games for hitting St. Louis' Allen Craig with a pitch on Friday - MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN

Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander Jonathan Sanchez has been suspended by Major League Baseball for six games and fined for hitting Allen Craig with a pitch in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday. Pittsburghs Jonathan Sanchez was suspended six games for hitting St. Louis Allen Craig with a pitch on Friday.

-Cards not looking to upgrade bullpen -- yet - Yardbarker

The St. Louis Cardinals may not need to shop for a closer after all. Earlier this week, it appeared the Cardinals would be an early and enthusiastic entrant to the marketplace for bullpen help. With closer Jason Motte already on the disabled list and possibly done for the year, Mitchell Boggs surrendered four earned runs while recording only one out in Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia.

-Seattle Mariners third-base coach Jeff Datz says he has been diagnosed with cancer - MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN

Seattle Mariners third-base coach Jeff Datz says he has been diagnosed with cancer and might be away from the team for part of the season. Seattle Mariners third-base coach Jeff Datz says he has been diagnosed with cancer.

At Fish Stripes

- Giancarlo Stanton may be the next notorious slow starter - Fish Stripes

Giancarlo Stanton has put on a poor offensive display in 2013, but this is not necessarily a red flag. Slow starting players have quite the presence in the major leagues and Stanton might simply be establishing his presence among their ranks.

-Has Marlins catcher Rob Brantly improved on defense? - Fish Stripes

The Miami Marlins have few #minorvictories to seek out, and one of them may be the development of Rob Brantly, not only on offense, but with his glove.

-Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton hits first home run of the season against Chicago Cubs - Fish Stripes

The Miami Marlins have been devoid of power all season long, but Giancarlo Stanton finally broke through against the Chicago Cubs in his 76th plate appearance of the season with his first home run of the year.

-Fish Stripes Weekly Ichthyomancy Update: April 21-27 - Fish Stripes
The latest developments in the yearly quest for the Ichthyomancy crown, including the current leader expanding his lead and a number of players faltering during Double Ichthy Points day.

-Marlins Weekly Minor League Recap April 21-27 - Fish Stripes

A weekly glance at how the Marlins minor league affiliates and their top prospects have performed over the course of the last week, including reports on Christian Yelich, Brian Flynn, and the Jacksonville Suns.

-Fish Stripes Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball League: Update #2 - Fish Stripes
The second update of the Fish Stripes Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball League is here! Lebron Bats Cleanup continues to widen his lead over the other competitors.

-2013 MLB Draft: Ten players the Miami Marlins might select - Fish Stripes
The Miami Marlins will enter the June 6th First-Year Player Draft with their best draft position in five years. Will the front office continue its recent string of success?

-Video: Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton hits two home runs, drives in three against Chicago Cubs - Fish Stripes

Giancarlo Stanton started off the 2013 season very slow, but he has picked it up in the last two days. Here is the video from his two home runs against the Chicago Cubs in the Marlins' 6-4 win.

-Miami Marlins vs. Chicago Cubs: Rizzo's two home runs top Marlins 4-2 - Fish Stripes

The Miami Marlins were sunk by two Anthony Rizzo home runs. Scott Feldman did enough, Wade LeBlanc did not, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Marlins 4-2.

-Miami Marlins vs. Chicago Cubs: Stanton hits first home run, Marlins still lose 3-2 - Fish Stripes
Giancarlo Stanton hit a towering home run in tonight's game between the Miami Marlins and the Chicago Cubs, but it was not enough as the Fish still fell 3-2.

-Miami Marlins vs. Chicago Cubs: Marlins, Stanton power their way to 6-4 win - Fish Stripes
The Miami Marlins power their way to three home runs, two by Giancarlo Stanton, en route to a 6-4 win over the Chicago Cubs to avoid a sweep.

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