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Around the NL East and Marlins Notes

Marlins

  • The Marlins hopes for a new stadium are fading. We could start to hear serious talk about relocation fairly quickly.
  • Jeff Conine has a new CD out - well, a single on a CD actually (read below the Allison story). I'm afraid to listen to it, but if you buy it/hear it, let me know.
  • After giving up 5 or more runs only once in April, the Marlins have now given up at least that many in each game in May (well, all three games).
  • Still, the Marlins lead the NL and MLB in ERA at 2.75. The White Sox are second at 3.01 and the Braves are second in the NL at 3.16.
  • While the Marlins 15 - 10 start is certainly good, they continue to underperform their expected win - loss record. Based on how many runs they're scoring and how few they're allowing, one would normally expect the Marlins to be 18 - 7 right now.
  • Pitching matchups: Starting tomorrow the Marlins are back in town for a six game homestand. This weekend will feature starts from (in order) Dontrelle Willis, Josh Beckett, and Al Leiter (who will be opposed by highly touted rookie Jeff Francis on Sunday). The marquee matchup could be on Monday though. Unless something changes, it should be A.J. Burnett vs. Roger Clemens. Get your tickets early.
Around the NL East
  • Jim Thome is on the DL for the Phillies (remember how he left Saturday night's rain fest early with back spasms?). Super-prospect (with possibly as much power potential as Thome) Ryan Howard will replace Thome for the time being. A strong performance could force the Phils to find a permanent slot for Howard.
  • The Nationals own the best OPS in the NL East (.771), which is 4th in the NL. They also lead the NL with 11 triples.
  • The Mets lead the NL in pinch hits (while they're only 5th in the NL in pinch hit at bats). Not sure if that gives us some insight into Willie Randolph's managerial philosophy or not, but it's worth keeping an eye on.
  • The Phillies are the most patient team in the NL East and second most patient in the NL, seeing an average of 3.83 pitches per at bat. That's not translating into great offense though, as they're not ranked nearly as high in terms of runs scored.
  • Players who continue to impress: Jason Michaels of the Phillies, who's now playing full-time with Kenny Lofton out, maintains a .425 OBP. Billy Wagner is no unknown, but he's been nearly unhittable so far this year, and hasn't given up a run yet. Cliff Floyd's is putting up great numbers, but as always, health is a question. Victor Diaz came out of nowhere, at least for me, to star for the Mets. I won't mention Aaron Heilman, because he only pitches well against the Marlins. Rumors of Roberto Hernandez's death have been greatly exaggerated, apparently. The Braves' Chris Reitsma has been even harder to hit. If Chipper Jones continues to put up these kinds of numbers (and stays healthy) he'll be in the MVP race. The Nationals' Vinny Castilla apparently can hit away from Coors Field, contrary to what you've probably heard. Chad Cordero would probably get more pub if he played for the Mets instead of the Nationals. While Livan Hernandez's numbers aren't that impressive, he's just a baseball player and he's sure fun to watch.