It appears that was one Braves home sweep too many for Jeff Loria, who finally made the oft-rumored decision to can Mike Redmond, bench coach Rob Leary also falling to the axe. Taking their place in the dugout are a couple of familiar faces to Fish fans: Dan Jennings, the former GM (as of a few hours ago) and advanced scout Mike Goff, respectively. Dan Jennings has no major or minor league coaching experience, but for what it's worth appears to be respected as a leader. Mike Goff spent the '05-'07 seasons with the Seattle Mariners as their first base coach and then bench coach.
Jennings was presumably brought in to win baseball games and the first ballclub he will face as a manager is the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D-Backs presently own a 15-21 record, good enough to slot them into 4th place in the NL West. Rubby De La Rosa will take the mound for the Snakes, whilst Dan Haren goes for the Fish.
|PROJ ERA||FIP||ERA||MARLINS||D-BACKS||ERA||FIP||PROJ ERA|
|4.38||4.96||3.70||Haren ||De La Rosa||4.50||4.13||4.48|
De La Rosa has been serviceable if not spectacular since coming over from the Red Sox last season. He features a fastball that averages around 93 MPH which, between the two and four seamer, he has thrown 63% of the time this season. He compliments that with a change-up that averages 85 mph, which is a nice drop from his fastball, and a slider that he slips in there from time to time. He picked up the win against the Nationals his last go-round, largely thanks to the D-Backs offense, as he gave up four earned runs on eight hits in seven innings of work, walking two and fanning four.
Haren was demolished by his old team the Dodgers in his last outing to the tune of six runs on 11 hits in 4 and 1/3 innings. As has been noted, his velocity has been on a steady decline these past few years, so if he isn't locating and mixing his pitches effectively, hitters are going to square him up and hit the ball a long way, as we saw this past Wednesday.
The good news is two-fold: He's not walking a ton of people (no walks in his last three starts), and he has pitched great at home this year, giving up only three earned runs in three starts and holding opponents to a miniscule .186 batting average.
|ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS||MIAMI MARLINS|
|Ender Inciarte - LF||Dee Gordon - 2B|
|A.J. Pollock - CF||Martin Prado - 3B|
|Paul Goldschmidt - 1B||Giancarlo Stanton - RF|
|Yasmany Tomas - 3B||Justin Bour - 1B|
|Mark Trumbo - RF||J.T. Realmuto - C|
|Aaron Hill - 2B||Christian Yelich - LF|
|Chris Owings - SS||Ichiro Suzuki - CF|
|Tuffy Gosewisch - C||Adeiny Hechavarria - SS|
|Rubby De La Rosa - RHP||Dan Haren - RHP|
Jennings' first line-up does not include Michael Morse, who sits in favor of Justin Bour. Perhaps more surprising is Bour batting clean-up, suggesting that Jennings has a fair deal of confidence in Bour's upside (or perhaps, an acknowledgement of Morse and Yelich's early season struggles and Ozuna's lack of pop). We'll see if it pays off. UPDATE: Ozuna was a late scratch due to a personal family issue, Ichiro takes his place in center.
-Despite the varying reactions to the choice of Loria replacing his manager with his general manager, this is not the first time it's happened. Amongst others, Bobby Cox was the GM when he took over the Braves in 1990, and Marlins legend Jack McKeon did it with the Padres in 1988.
-The Marlins are 53-69 all time versus the Diamondbacks, but went 4-3 in seven games last season.
-Wager a guess: Will Dan Jennings help lead the Marlins to the post-season this year?
Bold Prediction: Marlins defeat D-Backs 4-3.