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Fish Bites: What Does The Six-Man Rotation Mean For The Future?

Sept 4, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen (center) heads out from the club house before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Sept 4, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen (center) heads out from the club house before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Editor's note: Scott had this ready to publish by Saturday, but I messed up on the scheduling and it is publishing today. Any outdated information or links are all my fault. Great work as always by Scott however. -MJ

Miami Marlins' manager Ozzie Guillen recently opted to finish the season with a six man rotation that includes Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Wade LeBlanc, Nathan Eovaldi, Ricky Nolasco, and Jacob Turner. One issue that may arise in the future is whether the Marlins will continue to send a different pitcher to the mound every six days instead of every five.

Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle, the Marlins' two aces, should be anchoring the top two spots of the rotation, assuming that they are both healthy. Beyond the one and two spots is where Miami has some decisions to make.

For the past few seasons, Ricky Nolasco has been the number three starter. Nolasco could be traded this offseason if the Marlins would be interested in letting him go in exchange for a small package including a minor leaguer or two.

With Wade LeBlanc, the Marlins have options. LeBlanc, who the Marlins acquired from the San Diego Padres prior to this season, can pitch out of the bullpen or can start. While he has been a starting pitcher for most of his career, Ozzie Guillen was impressed with the way LeBlanc threw the ball when he was called upon in key situations.

Jacob Turner and Nathan Eovaldi are both considered to be quality, young arms at this point in their careers. Miami acquired both in traded earlier this season, and made it clear that they wanted both in the rotation for years to come.

If anything, the six-man rotation is an audition for the future. Miami's front office is trying to see which pitchers they want to start games for them heading into 2013.

-Miami knocked Steven Strasburg out of the game after just three innings in a 9-7 extra innings victory in Washington D.C. on Friday night. Jose Reyes had the go ahead two-run triple and Carlos Lee added a sacrifice fly. Jacob Turner pitched well, despite not pitching more than six innings in any of his starts as a Marlin.

-Two Marlins have had surgery in the last two days. Logan Morrison has surgery on his knee for the second time, and is expected to be ready for spring training. Morrison is projected to me Miami's 2013 first baseman. Juan Carlos Oviedo, formerly known as Leo Nunez, also had Tommy John surgery. Oviedo's stint with the Marlins may be over.

-Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos, who was recently called up from AA Jacksonville, struck out the side in his major league debut. "I just focused on the catcher and hitting my spots. If I was focusing on who I was actually facing, guys that I've been watching on TV, I would have been a little more nervous," said Ramos, who had imagined the scenario. "I'd be sitting in my room thinking, 'Man, it would be cool if in my debut I struck out the side.' It actually happened."

-When Miami traded John Baker to the Padres for Wade LeBlanc this past offseason, they had figured that he would start. However, with the addition of Carlos Zambrano, LeBlanc began pitching out of the bullpen. LeBlanc pitched well enough to start once the Marlins traded some key pitchers. With the callup of Justin Turner, LeBlanc was placed in the bullpen again. Now, with the six man rotation Miami has in place, LeBlanc will start through the season's end.

-More than half of Miami's remaining games are against teams with losing records. As a result, they won't have much of an opportunity to play the spoiler role. However, Miami does play the Braves twice and has a three game series with Cincinnati in the coming weeks.

-In addition to the arms already in Miami's bullpen, the Marlins called up three relievers which crowds the bullpen. Miami called up Dan Jennings and Tom Koehler from AAA New Orleans and A.J. Ramos from AA Jacksonville. "Everybody has the same role," Guillen said. "Hopefully we can get people in. But I will continue to manage in the way I have to manage to win games."

-After a triple in Washington on Friday night, shortstop Jose Reyes is tied for the major league lead for triples with 11. "In that situation, maybe I like [triples] better," Reyes said. "The last one was to put my team ahead, and that was good, because it's never easy against the Nationals. They always find a way to fight back. We're just happy with a win."

-Carlos Zambrano has said that he wants to be a Miami Marlin next year, but only if he can be in the starting rotation. "It doesn't matter if I have to win a spot in the rotation," he said. "I want to come back. I believe in this team."

-Manager Ozzie Guillen has sent out 104 different lineups this season. The franchise record is 121, which was set in 1999.

-President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest knows that his job may be in jeopardy after a disappointing 2012 season. "When you sign up for this job and you don't win, you know you can be in the crosshairs and you can lose your job. That's just the way it is," Beinfest told 790 hosts Marc Hochman and Jonathan Zaslow. "The blame and disappointment and all those things fall squarely on my shoulders, and I fully understand that."

Around The League

-Davey Johnson and the Washington Nationals have decided to end Steven Strasburg's season following his rough outing against Miami on Friday night. "Davey saw what I saw yesterday," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "We are hand and glove in this situation, as we are in all situations. We discuss everything and we are in total agreement [to shut down Strasburg]."

-Matt Kemp was out of the lineup for Saturday's game against the Giants because his bad has been quiet of late. San Francisco lengthened their lead over the Dodgers to 5 1/2 games with a win on Friday night.

-Roger Clemens fulfilled a dream on Friday night by throwing a pitch to his son, Koby, in a professional game. "All in all, it was a great night," Roger said. "It was a really special night for me. I couldn't have drawn it up any better."

At Fish Stripes

-Miami called up several players to begin the month of September. Learn more about them here.

-Fish Stripes now has a new logo. Let us know what you think of it.

-Larry Beinfest is aware that changes to the front office could be imminent following a disappointing season.