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Fresh Fish News, 3/17/19: Perfect week of Spring Training, 2019 blueprint, Five Reasons Sports Network

With little time left before the first regular season game, the Marlins continue to show encouraging signs against spring training competition.

Sergio Romo’s “live free” tattoo on display as he looks down to sign autographs for fans during Saturday’s game.
Photo by Danis Sosa/Fish Stripes

Opening Day for the Marlins is less than two weeks away and there are still many questions about roster spots that need to be answered. You will not find all of those answers here, but what you will find are all the storylines and discussions for the week regarding your Miami Marlins!

Marlins win streak reaches eight games

With a mixture of good pitching and a lot of offense, the Fish enter Sunday riding one of the longest winning streaks in franchise history (Spring Training or regular season). Many fans believe that it does not matter because these are only exhibitions, but the reality is, if this was an eight-game losing streak, the public would be cracking jokes and citing the struggles as evidence of their lack of talent.

The Marlins have something to prove and damn it, they are doing everything in their power to prove it so far.

Spring Training game recaps

The Marlins went 6-0 this past week, improving to 12-10 with a plus-2 run differential overall. Here’s how we got here:

March 10th—Marlins 5, Braves 2; Peter O’Brien who has had a tough spring so far, showed flashes of his potential by going 2 for 5 with 5 RBIs and a grand slam against the Atlanta Braves. Sandy Alcántara also had another strong outing going 4 13 innings pitched with two walks and five strikeouts.

March 11th—Off Day

March 12th—Marlins 8, Mets 1; Trevor Richards pitched five shutout innings against the New York Mets with one walk and six strikeouts. Brian Anderson contributed to the runs by hitting a 2-Run HR in the third and Garrett Cooper also got 2 RBIs on a double in the seventh. The Mets only run came on a Dominic Smith RBI double in the 6th.

March 13th—Marlins 4, Cardinals 1; Deven Marrero led the offense with a 2-run HR to make the game 4-1 after O’Brien and Harold Ramírez had given the Marlins a 2-1 lead going into the eighth. José Ureña pitched four innings of one-run ball, but the biggest standout was Caleb Smith pitching four perfect innings with six strikeouts in his first game since last season.

March 14th—Marlins 12, Astros 6; This high offense game saw the Marlins get 15 hits and score 12 runs to beat the Houston Astros. Chad Wallach and Dixon Machado both had HRs in this game along with RBIs from Miguel Rojas, Ramírez, Cooper, Rosell Herrera and Jon Berti. The bullpen picked up Dan Straily after he gave up eight hits and four runs against the Astros.

March 15th—Marlins 7, Braves 6; This game was pitched by just two Marlins pitchers. Wei-Yin Chen started the game with four innings and ended up giving up three runs on seven hits. Pablo López came in after and pitched five innings with only one earned run on five hits. Lewis Brinson, Ramírez, Austin Dean, Pedro Álvarez, and even Chen had RBIs in this game.

March 16th—Marlins 11, Mets 6; Sandy Alcántara pitched a weird game as he went 3 13 innings and allowed six runs, but had seven strikeouts with only one walk. the bullpen and offense picked him up, though. Álvarez racked up two HRs and 5 RBIs, while birthday boy Curtis Granderson also got a hit and 2 RBIs and Rojas went 3-3 with an RBI. Danis Sosa made his debut as Fish Stripes photographer, capturing the beautiful shots below.

Beyond the Box Score season preview

Old friend alert! Our site manager emeritus Thomas Bennett wrote a Marlins team preview article for our sister site BTBS. He focused on certain young Miami players capable of big breakout years and the general direction of the franchise.

Back to school

MLB: Spring Training-New York Mets at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Wells Dusenbury of the Sun Sentinel chronicles how Trevor Richards moved back to his college town this past winter so that he could train with the staff at Drury University. It’s there that we made the decision to ditch his ineffective slider in favor of a curveball, which has already yielded encouraging results in Grapefruit League play.

What a change of pace for Richards whose routine in previous years had been to hustle at an odd job—retail, substitute teacher, etc.—to make ends meet during the offseason. A major league salary finally provided him enough security to devote his full attention to improving his craft.

Blueprint for a successful 2019 season

Fish Stripes’ own Daniel Martinez took a look at what the Marlins would consider a successful 2019 season. What must the organization do as a whole to keep their foundation intact and move closer to their ultimate goal of becoming a sustainable World Series contender?

The whole article can be read here.

Danny also did a recent roundup of stats from the hottest players in Marlins camp.

Five Reasons Sports Network celebrates first anniversary

Congrats to Ethan Skolnick and his staff on this milestone. Best of luck to the local sports outlet on the launch of the 5RSN website on Monday. Network podcasts Swings and Mishes and Cinco Razones and photographer Tony Capobianco are valuable resources for Marlins coverage.

An undefeated week in spring training games for the Marlins has opened some eyes, considering how many experts previously wrote them off as a non-competitive team. Fish Stripes will continue to fill fans in on all the key news and analysis.