The Miami Marlins conclude their current three game series with the Washington Nationals Wednesday night. And for the Fish, it has been all good recently. Minus the recent injuries and Heath Bell's ineffectiveness, the team has been baseball's best in May. And if you look for the reasons leading up to this turn around, there are plenty. It starts with how well the team has played on the road, how well they have been pitching, and how their offense has started to pick up of late. However, keep in mind the division that the Marlins play in still sees every team over .500. That is sick. So if the team were not playing as well as they have been, they would easily be in a heap of trouble because this division is not very forgiving.
- Yahoo shares a more specific look into what the Marlins are doing right in May. While a lot of this is stuff that we know, its fun to see the quirky stats the team has compiled (for example, the team has outscored its opponents on the road in May 54-41). Read more here.
- The Marlins had their eyes on Justin Ruggiano before they traded for him on Saturday. In fact, they tried to sign him in the spring. However, Ruggiano decided to sign with the Astros since it was closer to home. Now that he is back in Florida (he played with the Rays last season), he "loves being here" with the Fish.
- A girl, who over the weekend fell 20 feet off of a rock climbing wall at Marlins Park, is revovering at the hospital. The team said she suffered a concussion, but is doing better. What a way to spend the day at the ballpark. Read more here.
- Here are some recent pictures at Marlins Park. The pictures are of Marlins fans. But you might also see some celebrities in the mix. Enjoy!
- President of baseball operations for the Miami Marlins, Larry Beinfest, spoke yesterday about a few different players. Of most interest was Gaby Sanchez. He says the ball club is monitoring the first baseman all the time with the hopes he makes it back up to Miami soon. Read more here.
- Great article on the come back of one Carlos Zambrano. Whether it is the change of scenery, the new manager, of just a reinvention in terms of the pitches he uses, Big Z is a new pitcher, and the Marlins are looking very smart in making a trade for him (and having the Cubs pay for the majority of his salary in 2012).
Around the League
- Bad news for the Milwaukee Brewers. Jonathan Lucroy is gone the next 4-6 weeks after breaking his hand in a hotel when a suitcase fell on him. Lucroy was one of the top hitters in the NL during the month of May as he batted .388. Read more here.
- The Rays are calling up Hideki Matsui. He will sit on the bench for now. But if Luke Scott does not get going, expect him to start a few games here and there.
- Roy Halladay's injury might take up to eight weeks to get better. He has shoulder soreness. And while this could be seen as a major blow to a team that is still trying to find their way, the Phils should be alright. In two months they should have Halladay, Utley, and Howard back. So for them the important part is just sticking around until then.
At Fish Stripes
- Great analysis is offered this week on Heath Bell. While he has been pitching better as of late, he should still not be closing games for the ball club. And that doesn't mean he won't get better as the season rolls along. It is just more of a risk if you send him out there now, and he manages to blow a few more games. Remember, the Fish have a very difficult month of June coming up. See more from Mr. Jong here.
- Please vote below for the player you would like to see represent the Marlins at the all-star game. Infante should be high on everyone's list.