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Marlins links, 6/1/18: long-awaited closer change, MLB draft buzz, save a great scout

Can you believe it’s already June? Here’s the biggest news for you heading into the new month.

MLB: Miami Marlins at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Fish fall to season-worst 16 games below .500

Here’s Thursday night’s game recapped in one photo:

MLB: Miami Marlins at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

We also have a more detailed version if you prefer.

Wei-Yin Chen’s inconsistent season continued. Fresh off one of the best outings of his Marlins career last weekend, Don Mattingly pulled the plug on him after an ugly 1 23 innings. Chen walking opposing pitcher Jordan Lyles may have sounded the alarm bells.

“From our standpoint, it didn’t look like he had anything tonight,” Mattingly said afterwards (h/t Joe Frisaro,

Derek Dietrich led Miami’s offense with his sixth home run. Lewis Brinson again looked helpless at the plate and saw his on-base percentage drop to .198, the lowest it’s been since his benching against the Yankees in mid-April.

Time for a change

Washington Nationals  v Miami Marlins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

In his fourth major league campaign, Kyle Barraclough will finally get an extended opportunity to close games, Mattingly confirmed to reporters. Barraclough just completed a terrific May, allowing only one run and two hits in 12 appearances.

To put that in perspective, newly demoted Brad Ziegler had three separate appearances where he allowed multiple runs during this past month. The 38-year-old blew his first save opportunity of the season in Wednesday’s loss.

Ziegler is somewhat the victim of a bad supporting cast. He still induces tons of ground balls; the 4.99 FIP better reflects his ability than the bloated 7.83 ERA.

But on a mediocre defensive team, it makes more sense to try navigating high-leverage situations with pitchers who have more swing-and-miss ability.

Minor league scoreboard

Triple-A: Memphis 3, New Orleans 10 (25-29)

Double-A: Pensacola vs. Jacksonville (21-31) postponed; doubleheader on Friday

High-A: Jupiter 2 (33-19), St. Lucie 3

Low-A: Greensboro 2 (24-27), Lakewood 0

May 31 box scores courtesy of

Be a lifesaver for a baseball lifer

You might not know the name Orrin Freeman, but you’ve definitely seen the fruits of his labor. Please help if you have the means.

As of early Friday morning, the campaign to support Freeman and his wife has raised more than 60 percent of its fundraising goal. Keep it up!

UPDATE: The campaign is 80 percent there as of 2pm ET.

New projections for top draft pick

New mock drafts from ESPN’s Keith Law (Insider subscription required) and Jonathan Mayo of MLB Pipeline expect the Marlins to choose a prep player at No. 13 overall. Both of their projections—right-hander Carter Stewart and outfielder Connor Plant, respectively—are Florida natives.

Heads up that I’ll be selecting on behalf of the Marlins in SB Nation’s mock draft on Monday. So let me know if you’re passionate about any prospect in particular.

Progress from last year’s big catch

Photo courtesy of

Trevor Rogers was Miami’s first selection of the 2017 draft. Given how other highly regarded young pitchers have disappointed in recent years, Andrew is just grateful to see him work.

Fish on the Farm spoke with Rogers about all the downtime between the draft and his professional debut last month.

Battle of the bums

Finally leaving the coast but staying out west, the Marlins have another late start time on Friday night against the Diamondbacks (9:40pm ET). Rookie Elieser Hernández and Clay Buchholz take the mound. They have only five starts combined in 2018, but both have been effective.

This heading refers to the teams themselves. Frustrating as things have seemed for the Fish recently, Arizona actually posted an even worse record during the month of May (8-19).