After two horrendous starts, the Miami Marlins have decided to replace Brad Hand in the starting rotation with Kevin Slowey. As a starter, Hand has only lasted 6 1/3 innings, allowing 8 runs on 12 hits.
After being a historically bad team on offense in 2013, the Miami Marlins appear to have made a remarkable improvement so far in 2014. Consider that the 2013 Marlins scored only 513 runs, which was 89 runs worse than the second to last Chicago Cubs scored.
Logan Morrison said it felt "a little weird" returning to Marlins Park for the first time since being traded to the Seattle Mariners. But he likes his new home and teammates, and hopes to show the Marlins they made a mistake by trading him.
The decision to have Marcell Ozuna bunting in Friday's ninth inning with no outs, runners at first and second, and Giancarlo Stanton in the on-deck circle raised more than a few eyebrows. Even the Marlins' broadcasters were questioning the move. After all, if Ozuna had been successful with the sacrifice, it would have left first base open and the Mariners surely would have walked Stanton -- as they did in two of his previous plate appearances.
Logan Morrison is trying to enjoy everything his new home, Seattle, has to offer. He’s up for pretty much everything, with a few exceptions. For one, he’s not about to climb Mount Rainier, the 14,410-foot volcano in Washington’s Cascade Range.
According to reporter who spoke with him, Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon believed Friday’s game against Miami "was pretty much over" in the ninth inning when Giancarlo Stanton stood in with the bases loaded. "I’m glad he has so much confidence in our hitter," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said Saturday, when he was informed of that comment.
Miami Marlins get first look at National League East-leading Atlanta Braves
Sometimes, hitting hurts. Henderson Alvarez can testify to that. In addition to throwing a two-hit shutout to beat the Mariners Saturday, he singled home a run in the sixth for career-RBI No. 7. The ball did not sound good off the bat because Alvarez didn’t have it gripped tightly enough. He felt the reverberation long after making contact.
Late-inning letdowns have plagued the Marlins' bullpen over the past 12 games. In Friday night's 8-4 walk-off win over the Mariners, a one-run lead was erased in the seventh inning. Prior to that, there have been several crushing home runs allowed by Miami's relievers.
There was still a buzz Sunday about the complete-game two-hitter that Henderson Alvarez threw Saturday night in a 7-0 Marlins win against the Mariners.
The Marlins entered Sunday's game against the Mariners with some impressive offensive statistics. Miami was second in the National League in team batting average (.279) and runs (91), and the Marlins lead the NL in walks (63).
Marlins Park may frustrate some hitters because of its spacious dimensions, but Casey McGehee is taking advantage of the big building by simply striving the hit the ball hard.
Around The League
The Cubs have very few recognizable names on their roster right now, and they desperately need one of those players to engineer a turnaround. While Starlin Castro is still only 24, there may be a lot riding on the shortstop's 2014 season.
Just as Nationals manager Matt Williams said after Saturday's game, left fielder Bryce Harper was right back in the team's lineup for Sunday's game against the Cardinals. Harper was batting second a day after getting pulled to start the seventh inning for not hustling to first base on a ground ball back to the mound.
The Pirates and Brewers exchanged blows in the third inning of their Easter Sunday series finale, resulting in the ejections of Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez and bench coach Jerry Narron, and Pirates outfielder Travis Snider.
After throwing a three-inning simulated game at max effort on Sunday, Clayton Kershaw expects to begin a Minors rehab assignment next.
At Fish Stripes
The Miami Marlins have to be happy about Giancarlo Stanton's hot April start, which has been filled with power swings. Is there any reason to believe this will continue?
Miami Marlins starting pitchers are looking to improve the pitches they throw on the inside part of the plate late in games. Plus links on Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, and Kevin Slowey.
While Miami's starting pitching struggled at times during the eight game losing streak, the Marlins' bullpen has been inconsistent and have failed to either hold onto a lead or keep a game tied in the later innings.