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Fresh Fish News, 6/23/19: Starting pitching depth tested, Gallen makes debut, Mattingly optimistic

With numerous injuries to the major league club, can the Marlins’ depth still keep them competitive?

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Miami Marlins v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

After a couple of months of the starting rotation being consistent with their starts, three of the Miami Marlins’ 5 opening starters are down with an injury which has their depth tested. Even with the change in starters, you can always count on Fish Stripes not to change and always provide the week’s news, analysis and highlights.

Marlins Game Recaps

The Marlins ended their week with a loss in the series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Miami then went on to split a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals and have a three-game win streak, including the last game of that series and two victories against the Philadelphia Phillies.

June 16—Pirates 5, Marlins 4; Sandy Alcantara got the start against the Pirates and threw six innings giving up three runs on eight hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Nick Anderson ended up giving up the lead in the seventh and the Marlins were not able to claw back. Harold Ramirez contributed with a three-run HR and Alcantara got an RBI single.

June 17—Cardinals 5, Marlins 0; Elieser Hernandez made his second start of the season against the Cardinals and went six innings giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits but with six strikeouts. The Marlins were not able to muster any runs even though they got eight hits with Brian Anderson the only one with multiple hits in the game.

June 18—Marlins 6, Cardinals 0; Jordan Yamamoto continued a great start to his young career as he threw seven innings of shutout baseball allowing two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. Home runs by Starlin Castro and Brian Anderson were more than enough to win this game.

June 19—Cardinals 2, Marlins 1; Trevor Richards got the ball and threw 5 23 innings giving up one run on four hits and three walks but with eight strikeouts. The Marlins were able to tie the game at 1-1 on an RBI single by Miguel Rojas, but ultimately lost on a walk-off HR by Paul Goldschmidt.

June 20—Marlins 7, Cardinals 6; Zac Gallen made his long awaited debut against the Cardinals.

He did not disappoint throwing five innings allowing one run on five hits and two walks but with six strikeouts. In a back-and-forth game, the Marlins offense was able to come through with a HR from Brian Anderson and the knockout blow courtesy of a JT Riddle two-run HR.

June 21—Marlins 2, Phillies 1; Sandy Alcantara got the ball again and showed just how goo he could be at limiting the damage by throwing 7 23 innings allowing one run on eight hits and four walks with six strikeouts. Their was not a lot of offense, but Bryan Holaday delivered a run on a solo HR early on.

June 22—Marlins 5, Phillies 3; Elieser Hernandez got the start against the Phillies and went five innings allowing three runs on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts.

JT Riddle got the Marlins started with a solo HR but the big hit was a Wilkin Castillo two-run double that put the Marlins up for good.

Roster Updates

The Marlins roster has undergone dramatic changes recently. Big-time contributors Jorge Alfaro (concussion) and Pablo López (right shoulder strain) landed on the injured list, with Wilkin Castillo and Zac Gallen promoted from Triple-A New Orleans to handle their roles. The 25-man roster is overloaded with 14 pitchers now that relievers Jeff Brigham and José Quijada have been recalled from Triple-A, a trade was made to acquire outfielder Cesar Puello from the Los Angeles Angels, while Austin Dean was sent down and utility man Rosell Herrera was designated for assignment (then outrighted to New Orleans after clearing waivers).

Chad Wallach (concussion) is on the shelf for at least another month after being transferred to the 60-day IL. Fortunately, Neil Walker (quad strain) looks to be on the verge of a return, having begun a minor league rehab assignment on Saturday.

Left-hander Caleb Smith (hip inflammation) figures to make his own rehab appearance in the coming days.

Mattingly Optimistic about Team’s Future

Don Mattingly recently made franchise history as the longest tenured Marlins manager. Even with his team at the bottom of the standings, Mattingly is optimistic about the future of the team, as explained to the Miami Herald.

He enters Sunday with 559 games under his belt as Marlins skipper (248-311 record).

Meet Marlins Top Draft Pick JJ Bleday

Outfielder JJ Bleday has yet to sign his professional contract with the Fish while still competing in the College World Series, but the No. 4 overall draft pick is a well-known talent to fans and analysts alike. It’s no exaggeration to say that he’ll slot in immediately as the top hitting prospect in the Marlins farm system and the potential centerpiece of their future.

Andre Fernandez of The Athletic details Bleday’s other talents outside than baseball, his diverse personal background and how baseball is in his blood. The full article can be read here (subscription required).

Numbers Show Marlins Rotation is Among Best MLB

The Marlins seemingly have a chance to win any ballgame thanks to the quality and depth of their starting rotation. Even with injuries sidelining several familiar faces, they continue to be one of the best in Major League Baseball in terms of run prevention.

Pitcher-friendly conditions at Marlins Park play a role, but the talent here is legitimate. Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald dives into greater detail in an article which can be read here.

Can Jordan Yamamoto Keep This Up?

Fish Stripes original GIF

The Hawaiian right-hander has exceeded expectations through two major league starts, contributing 14 scoreless innings (the Marlins won both games). On Swings and Mishes, Luis Davila analyzes what’s made him successful so far.

Yamamoto is the probable Marlins starter against the Phillies on Sunday.

Podcast Episodes

The Fish Stripes podcast is home to Miami Marlins shows Fish Bites, Earning Their Stripes and A-Ball with Erik Oas. All new episodes are posted to You can also find them on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Megaphone or wherever you normally get your pods.

With the Marlins losing many regular contributors to injuries, it also gives them the chance to test whether or not their young prospects are ready to make an impact. So far, so good. Which prospect do you think is next in line to be called up? Stay tuned to Fish Stripes for news, analysis and highlights regarding your Miami Marlins.