Injuries are starting to plague the Miami Marlins as they close in on the finish of their 2014 season. The team is already without superstars Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton, and shut down Bryan Morris for the season late last week. Rafael Furcal has been out most of the season with his hamstring issues.
One of the biggest mysteries for Miami Marlins in the 2014 season was figuring out why the team seemed to give up on second baseman Derek Dietrich so quickly. His defense left much to be desired this year, but his bat would have been a sight for sore eyes in an offense that has struggled to put runs on the board for much of the second half. A potential reason for Dietrich’s defensive woes came at the end of Spring Training, when a bad hop on a grounder caused a ball to strike him on the face.
Logan Morrison might be on of the biggest disappointments in Marlins franchise history. The Garrett Jones signing was supposed to bring stability to the first base position. In Garrett Jones, the Miami Marlins were hoping to find someone that could be both productive on the field and quiet off the field.
The Marlins are giving top prospect Andrew Heaney one last start this season, in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader in Washington.
Adeiny Hechavarria has shown great improvement at the plate. From 1990-2013, he was one of eight major league hitters to total 500 or more plate appearances in an age-24 season or younger and hit less than .230. His 47-point improvement is second only to Brian McRae during that span.
The Marlins are without right-hander Anthony DeSclafani through Thursday. Suspended three-games for throwing at Brewers' outfielder Carlos Gomez, DeSclafani's appeal was unsuccessful. He began serving Tuesday.
The Miami Marlins were already assured of their first winning home season at Marlins Park. What they were seeking in Thursday's home finale was some frosting, sweetener to take into the offseason.
Before calling it a season, the Marlins are giving their top prospect, Andrew Heaney, one final start. The team announced Wednesday that they are pitching the left-hander on Friday in the second game of a doubleheader at Washington.
Throughout the final homestand of the year, the Marlins have gotten a good glimpse of the way their future could shape up. From top prospect Andrew Heaney throwing three scoreless innings of relief, to first baseman Justin Bour and outfielder Enrique Hernandez making a handful of incredible defensive plays, Miami should have plenty to consider when spring rolls in. People like Hernandez and Bour have had chances to play due to the injuries to Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna. Not only have they shown their defensive prowess, but they've also had chances to impress with their bats.
The Marlins have been lacking big innings ever since Giancarlo Stanton was struck in the face by an errant pitch on Sept. 11. Since their primary run producer went down, they'd won just four games entering Thursday's home finale against the Phillies. But there's something about Marlins Park that has lent itself to exciting games this year, and Miami was able to cap off its first winning season at its home stadium with a come-from-behind 6-4 victory. It was Miami's 14th such victory at home this season. In all, the Marlins have recorded 29 come-from-behind victories and 11 walk-off wins.
Around The League
When we think ahead to October, it's only natural to look toward the rotations. Now that we have some overall sense of clarity regarding the teams that will be involved in the postseason, let's examine how their best pitchers are aligned.
PHOENIX -- Dave Stewart officially became the D-backs' fourth full-time general manager Thursday, while De Jon Watson was hired for a key role in the baseball operations department. Both men will report to chief baseball officer Tony La Russa, with Stewart holding the title of senior vice president and general manager, and Watson as senior vice president of baseball operations.
The Giants are headed back to October. San Francisco, which has earned World Series championships twice in the past five years, will have a chance to add to its growing trophy collection. The Giants clinched a NL Wild Card spot in the playoffs on Thursday by virtue of the Brewers dropping their early afternoon game to the Reds, 5-3.
There was so much discussion about how to best script the perfect moment, the ideal way for Derek Jeter to bid farewell to the Bronx in the only pinstriped uniform he ever wanted to wear. And in the end, the only way to properly handle someone who fought so hard never to come out of the lineup was to just let him play the game.
At Fish Stripes
Giancarlo Stanton will not be playing anymore in 2014, but he still has a dark-horse chance to win the National League MVP award. How are his competitors doing?
A few lower profile prospects could see themselves on the Miami Marlins sometime in 2015. Including Justin Bour, Enrique Hernandez, and Mark Canha.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia has had his ups and downs offensively at catcher so far this year, But there are previous Marlins examples of a bad trend that could portend poor outcomes for the Marlins' $21 million investment.
When the Marlins acquired Enrique Hernandez, their intention was to address the need for a utility man off the bench. While Hernandez has limited major league experience, his versatility may earn him a starting job in 2015.
Top pitching prospect Andrew Heaney will make one start for the Miami Marlins before the season ends, as he is slated to pitch in the second game of a double-header versus the Washington Nationals on Friday.
Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Baseball league for tonight's MLB games. It's $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Jump in now. Here's the FanDuel link.