HBP punishment and appeal
José Ureña was handed a six-game suspension by Major League Baseball on Thursday afternoon for his seemingly intentional plunking of young Braves stud Ronald Acuña Jr. The punishment also includes an undisclosed fine.
Veteran right-hander Dan Straily received a similar (five-game) suspension in June, and like Straily, Ureña is filing an appeal. The umpires decided to toss him after only one errant pitch and without “warning” both teams beforehand.
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro presumes that Ureña will eventually serve the full six games. Appealing allows him to make his next scheduled start early next week, after which he’s expected to drop the appeal and sit out for the entire Braves rematch at Marlins Park (Aug. 23-26).
Ureña had been struggling leading up to his brief Wednesday performance with just one quality start in his past eight attempts.
I don’t often get opinionated in Fish Stripes articles, but felt obligated to explain Thursday morning why there’s no place in the sport for Ureña’s dirty antics. He’s drawn negative attention to the Marlins and put his teammates in jeopardy with this tendency to pound batters with fastballs up and in. The 26-year-old had the opportunity to take charge of a rotation spot this season. However, he continues to see himself as an old-school enforcer, targeting high-profile players instead of focusing on getting them out.
The Marlins have raved about how, under new leadership, this franchise wants selfless, hard-working role models in the clubhouse. You can put up with a questionable character like Ureña if he’s getting great results, but considering this 2018 performance and inevitable 2019 pay raise via arbitration, is he worth the trouble?
After digesting the consequences of his actions, Ureña posted a statement on the controversy to his Instagram account late Thursday night. Translation below via EvTV’s Daniel Álvarez Montes:
...any problem. I’m a competitor and I want to compete every time I’m on the mound. I have the maximum respect for the people I’m facing and my teammates.”— Daniel Álvarez Montes (@DaniAlvarez_16) August 17, 2018
WQAM interview on the state of the Fish
Thank you to Alex Donno and Chris Wittyngham for having me on 560 WQAM to discuss Ureña, MLB officiating and the future of the franchise. We reacted to the breaking news of the suspension and updated how things are going with the Marlins rebuild.
Minor league scoreboard
Triple-A: New Orleans 2, Memphis 3
Double-A: Jacksonville 9, Pensacola 1
High-A: Jupiter 8, Dunedin 2
Low-A: Greensboro 2, Greenville 4
Short Season A: West Virginia 4, Batavia 8
Dominican Summer League: DSL Rays1 9, DSL Marlins 2
Thursday box scores courtesy of MiLB.com
Who has a “real” shot at J.T.?
“The timing between player and team seems to be a tough fit,” Jon Heyman of Fancred says when explaining why he doubts that J.T. Realmuto and the Marlins will agree on a contract extension this coming offseason.
Rather, Heyman introduces four contenders that could swing a blockbuster trade for the sensational catcher. No big surprises in the bunch: Nationals, Astros, Yankees and Braves.
Following the off day, the Marlins are 48-75 in 2018, owners of the fifth-worst record in Major League Baseball. But they continue to trend downwards with the longest active losing streak in the sport—five straight games—and a prolonged slump that includes only two total wins in August. After showing some fight during the middle portion of the schedule, this club is now resembling the mess most of us projected, the bright side to that being premium draft position.
Next up: a weekend series at the Nationals. Max Scherzer, once again in the thick of the NL Cy Young competition, greets them on Friday night. His first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.