Wayne Rosenthal, the pitching coach of the 2003 World Series team, is now the organization’s minor-league pitching coordinator, and he oversees the development of prospects such as Andrew Heaney, Justin Nicolino, Anthony Desclafani, Brian Flynn and Adam Conley.
Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was named the National League’s Rookie of the Month on Monday. Fernandez, 21, started five games in July, compiling a 3-1 record and a 2.06 ERA. He pitched 35 innings and allowed only eight runs, while posting a 4-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Andrew Heaney has had a spectacular July that was recognized Wednesday when he was named the Marlins' Minor League Pitcher of the Month. But his 33-inning scoreless streak came to an emphatic halt Tuesday night as did Double-A Jacksonville's 11-game winning streak when the Suns were no-hit by Cubs prospect Eric Jokisch.
Perhaps a foot higher and Logan Morrison’s second-inning shot off the right-field wall at PNC Park on Tuesday night would have been a three-run home run instead of a long single. "[Last night], I wish [ Roberto] Clemente had worn No. 20 instead of 21 and it might have gone out," joked Morrison about the right-field wall designed 21 feet high in honor of the late Pirates’ legend’s jersey number.
The Marlins have every intention of firing Mike Redmond – in 2018. That's when – if owner Jeffrey Loria has his druthers – the club will hire an 87-year-old Jack McKeon to manage the club for a day. That would put McKeon on par with the legendary Connie Mack, who was that age when he called it a career.
Mike Redmond doesn't have to look far for a comparison to the Marlins' talented young starting pitchers. The current manager was a backup catcher on the 2003 World Series champion Marlins led by Josh Beckett, Brad Penny and Dontrelle Willis. The common link with that group, which also had A.J. Burnett on the roster but injured, and the new wave a decade later is youth and the ability to throw hard.
It wasn't exactly Rickey Henderson-like, but Christian Yelich isn't complaining. In the second inning of the Marlins' 4-3 loss to the Pirates on Tuesday, Yelich was credited with his first MLB stolen base. The swipe came in his 14th big league game, and it wasn't exactly conventional.
No matter the combination of hits and walks, the Marlins repeatedly find themselves scoring three runs or fewer per game. "It seems like we just keep getting stuck on that three. Usually, it's six hits, three runs," manager Mike Redmond said. "I laugh, but I'm really crying inside. We've got to keep battling. Our pitching continues to give us a chance and keep us in these ballgames."
Sometimes taking a step back is the best way to move forward. Marlins rookie Jake Marisnick is going through that right now. In a 1-for-13 slump over the last four games, the 22-year-old was given Thursday afternoon off.
Splitting playing time behind the plate has been one of Marlins manager Mike Redmond's toughest challenges. Jeff Mathis, a veteran, has received the bulk of the work the past few months. The 30-year-old has regularly caught rookie Jose Fernandez, as well as Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez. Rob Brantly, 23, caught Tom Koehler in Miami's 4-2 loss on Wednesday night to the Pirates. And he's had history with Jacob Turner, stemming from when both were with the Tigers. Turner, Brantly and lefty prospect Brian Flynn were dealt to the Marlins from Detroit on July 23, 2012, for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante.
Around The League
With six stolen bases Tuesday and seven more Wednesday, Texas became just the second team since 1918 to swipe at least six bases in back-to-back games.
The Braves are riding a 13-game winning streak and have a huge lead in the National League East. But with improved production by Jason Heyward and B.J. Upton, Atlanta could be even more dominant down the stretch.
After twice being summoned to the Majors to provide a boost in the bullpen, prized pitching prospect Carlos Martinez is now on his way to St. Louis for a start. En route to start for Triple-A Memphis in Reno on Thursday, Martinez turned around to make his first big league start against the Dodgers at Busch Stadium.
At Fish Stripes
The Miami Marlins are losing right now, but is their window of contention opening up sooner than anyone expected?
In a season that will most likely be forgotten by Marlins fans, Giancarlo Stanton is having a strange campaign headlined by odd home-road splits, in a season that could be crucial for his future with Miami or elsewhere.
Cody Keefer had four hits for Greensboro, Angel Sanchez struggled in Jupiter, Jacksonville gave pitcher Anthony DeSciafani no run support, and Batavia scored fifteen runs at Dwyer Stadium.
Former Marlins manager Jack McKeon sounded as though he was critical of the current team's "culture" that led to the firing of Tino Martinez.