Rally-killing double plays are beginning to wear on Marlins manager Mike Redmond, who indicated they could end up costing players their jobs if the problem isn’t fixed. "Seems like every time we get guys into scoring position, we ground into a double play," Redmond said Friday after the Marlins grounded into three double plays in a 4-3, 11-inning loss to the White Sox. "We’ve been watching this all year. It’s those guys’ job to drive in runs. Obviously, if you don’t get the job done, you know what happens." Jeff Mathis on Friday grounded into the sixth bases-loaded double play of the season by the Marlins, which is tied for most in the majors with the Angels and A’s.
The Marlins problem with offensive production and run creation can be traced back as late as even last year to the corner infield "power positions."
Mike Redmond remembers the last time he was at U.S. Cellular Field in a Marlins uniform. Everyone with that team remembers. It was September of 2004 and the Marlins, the defending World Series champs, were in the wild card hunt. And then came Hurricane Ivan, which changed everything.
Never mind the Houston Astros, the major league team everyone keeps comparing the Marlins with in terms of utter futility. The Marlins have more than just the Astros to contend with as far as having the most abysmal won-loss record in North America. That's right. When it comes to comparing pro teams with the worst records, I'm even including our friendly neighbors in Mexico. Because even the Mexican League doesn't have a team with as lousy a record as the Marlins, whose .265 winning percentage now gives them the distinction of being the absolute worst professional team on the continent.
Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, out since March 24 with a right shoulder inflammation, is getting closer to joining the Marlins. Eovladi is scheduled to start a rehab assignment Saturday with Class A Jupiter. He will start the game and throw 60-70 pitches.
Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler said he felt luck Friday night more than he felt any pain when a line drive drilled him in the back of his right shoulder. "You’re just thankful it’s not your head,’’ said Koehler, who was hit by the Jeff Keppinger liner in the third but pitched through the sixth inning against the White Sox.
When Marlins left fielder Juan Pierre landed in Chicago on Tuesday for Miami's weekend series against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, he had two things on his mind -- drop his bags in his hotel room, then find a Portillo's. Pierre gained an affinity for the restaurant's cheeseburgers during his three years playing in Chicago, and he said he had to fill the craving that reminds him of the city he loves. "Chicago was a great city for me," Pierre said. "I had a great time with the White Sox. The fans were always good to me. I got my 2,000th hit with the White Sox. I love the city, my wife loves the city."
Marlins second baseman Derek Dietrich has reached base in each of the first 14 games he played since his ascension to the Major Leagues on May 8. "He's done a really nice job," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "I think all of us, when he came up, we weren't sure just what to expect both offensively and defensively. He's proved he can play second base, and play it well."
Marlins manager Mike Redmond said second baseman Donovan Solano (strained left intercostal muscle) will be called to extended spring camp on Monday to participate in baseball activities. If all goes well, Solano could start a Minor League rehab assignment as soon as next week. "He's been feeling better every day," Redmond said. "We need to get guys healthy and back on the field. It's going to be big for us. When we get [Mike] Stanton and [Logan Morrison] back, it'll change our lineup."
Marlins right-hander Kevin Slowey threw a bullpen session before Saturday's game in Chicago and said he felt no pain in the lat muscle that tightened up on him during his start on Wednesday. Manager Mike Redmond said Slowey is on target for his next start on Tuesday, which will be in his regular spot in the rotation and provide six days of rest because of Miami's recent off-day on Thursday.
Around The League
At this point, it may be more surprising when a week goes by without a terrible call by an MLB umpire. The latest gaffe ranks with some of the worst calls of the 2013 season.
Don Mattingly didn’t take back a thing he said Wednesday night in Milwaukee. He had a couple of days to think about it, to decide if maybe there was something he shouldn’t have said, or perhaps said differently. But no. He stuck by everything. "I speak from the heart," Mattingly said Friday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, and that was true. Whatever he said that might have sounded like a public criticism of his team was really just a reaffirmation of how he believes the game should be played.
Jesus Montero’s demotion to Triple-A has come with a position switch — and a muddled future with the Seattle Mariners.
No, the ace of the Atlanta Braves is Mike Minor, who might be the best Braves pitcher since their famous trio, and does so with a style that conjures up Glavine and Maddux.
At Fish Stripes
To begin the season, the Miami Marlins lacked depth at first base because of several injuries. After several players complete their rehab assignments, the Marlins will add depth to a position they have struggled to fill.
In about mid-June, the Miami Marlins are facing difficult decisions on a crowded outfield. What alignment will they choose, and who will be left behind?
Nathan Eovaldi made his first rehab start in Jupiter, Mason Hope pitched five scoreless innings, and New Orleans won both games of a doubleheader.