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May 16 Marlins links: Will the Real NL All-Star catcher please stand up?

Let’s talk about the oldest Marlins player and a draft prospect less than half his age.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

What a relief

Although Wei-Yin Chen (4.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K) performed better than we’d seen the previous couple weeks, Don Mattingly leaned heavily on his bullpen to lock down the 4-2 win on Tuesday night. Nick Wittgren contained the Dodgers’ big bats during the middle innings to earn the W for himself.

Martín Prado got the start in the leadoff spot and responded with his best all-around performance of 2018. His athletic catch along the first-base line showed that the surgically repaired knee is back to full strength.

Going 3-for-4 at the plate, J.T. Realmuto improved his batting line to .322/.384/.544 for the season. Fellow NL All-Star catcher candidate Yasmani Grandal came off L.A.’s bench and didn’t contribute.

Minor league scoreboard

Photo by Parker Waters/New Orleans Baby Cakes

Triple-A: Omaha 0, New Orleans 16 (20-19 record)

Double-A: Jacksonville 5 (16-22), Montgomery 4

High-A: Fort Myers 1, Jupiter 0 (23-14); second game of doubleheader postponed

Low-A: Greensboro (16-19) at Augusta postponed

May 15 box scores via

Man of extremes

For most of his career, Brad Ziegler out-performed expectations. It was a longshot for the former 20th-round draft pick to even crack the major leagues, but he took it so much further. Ziegler firmly established himself as a late-inning reliever prior to signing a multi-year free-agent deal with the Marlins.

One consistent trend was the disparity between his run prevention (2.44 career earned run average through 2016) and his more pedestrian peripheral stats (3.38 Fielder Independent Pitching).

However, the unorthodox right-hander is finally being burned by some bad luck. This season, Ziegler continues to be the National League’s premier ground ball specialist (min. 10 IP). Problem is, his opponents are inflicting maximum damage when they do get it in the air. Three home runs allowed on only eight fly balls (37.5 HR/FB) is the worst ratio of any NL pitcher. Expect that to settle down eventually.

Are you in a mocking mood?

“With the 13th pick in the 2018 MLB amateur draft, the Miami Marlins select...Jarred Kelenic, center fielder, Waukesha West High School (WI).” At least that’s what Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel of FanGraphs settled on in their latest mock. Minor League Ball has highlights and scouting grades on Kelenic for those interested.

The real thing starts June 4. We’ll have plenty of coverage at Fish Stripes in the coming weeks.

Go for the jugular!

A Marlins victory Wednesday night clinches this three-game series as well as the season series. Furthermore, it would nudge the should-be-contending Dodgers even closer to a full-blown panic.

It’s a sexy starting pitching matchup, too: standout rookies Walker Buehler and Caleb Smith. Perhaps another low-scoring game, but expect a different style of play after only 31 combined swinging strikes in the series opener. First pitch is 7:10pm ET.