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Our Noticias, 8/10/20: Standouts through 10 G; Meet the replacements; Fish Picks winner

The Marlins are still clinging to the highest winning percentage in the NL East entering the first “normal” off day of the 2020 season.

Miami Marlins v New York Mets Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Nine notables for week of Aug. 10

Every Monday morning, I’ll be leading off these Our Noticias pieces with a roundup of Marlins players who—for better or worse—are top of mind because of their recent performance:

  • Jesús Aguilar—Aguilar’s 177 wRC+ is tops among all of Miami’s (healthy) lineup regulars. He’s been consistently hitting the ball hard and putting it in the air. Incredible impact on the field and in the clubhouse.
  • Pablo López—There is significant pressure on Pablo to lead the starting rotation with Alcantara, Smith and Ureña sidelined by COVID-19. So far, he seems to be up to the task. Although the final line on Sunday wasn’t as sexy as his first start, the right-hander averaged 93.8 miles per hour on his four-seamers and two-seamers, the seventh-highest average fastball velocity that he’s ever had in a major league start.
  • Humberto Mejía—The Panamanian prospect struck out six of 11 batters faced in his MLB debut on Friday and presumably will be stretched out a little bit farther when he returns to the rotation during the upcoming homestand.
  • Francisco Cervelli—Entering Marlins summer camp as the clear No. 2 on the catching depth chart behind Jorge Alfaro, Cervelli is seizing his opportunity to be the primary option. His .337 xwOBA is a welcome improvement from his forgettable 2019 campaign and roughly in line with his prime offensive production.
  • Brian Anderson—I’d love to see Don Mattingly bump Andy up to the second spot in the lineup. On another note, he wasn’t throwing the ball well during the Mets series (often low and/or inaccurate), so that’s something to keep an eye on.
  • Mike Morin—Morin owns the longest scoreless streak among the new pitching staff reinforcements (3.2 IP). I would not be surprised if he keeps that going for a few more weeks and becomes an Aug. 31 trade candidate when the Marlins have to squeeze their COVID relievers back on the roster.
  • Matt Joyce—The veteran platoon bat was blunt about the fact that he was rushed up and barely received any live at-bats at the alternate training site in Jupiter. It has shown through the first few series (56 wRC+, 37.5 K%). Be patient, guys.
  • Monte Harrison—Particularly rough performance from Monte on Sunday, striking out four times (all swinging at fastballs over the plate). I need to see another 15-20 plate appearances from him before getting too concerned.
  • Jonathan Villar—For Villar, the Mets series was the perfect storm of poor decision-making and an amorphous strike zone. Infuriating. He ought to spend this off day relaxing and come back on Tuesday with a clear conscious.

Meet the replacements

You have gotten a glimpse of most of them in games, but this is a clever idea by the Marlins social media staff to humanize the recent roster additions by having them introduce themselves on camera.

Taxi squad catcher Brian Navarreto covered his face and did his intro in Spanish, so for those of you who couldn’t keep up, he is a skilled freestyle rapper.

Congrats, Carlos!

Through the end of the 2020 regular season, we will be awarding Marlins-themed masks—courtesy of our partner Fantom Drip—to whoever earns the most points from our Fish Picks prop bets each week. With a clutch 5-for-5 performance on Sunday, Carlos Rodriguez vaulted to the top of the leaderboard to win this week’s prize by a single point. He has chosen to receive the mask featured below.

Thanks to the 100-plus fans who have participated since Opening Day! Good luck this week. New contestants always welcome.

The Fish Picks rules, leaderboard and answer key are all here.

Walk-off links

  • Current Marlins playoff odds according to FanGraphs: 23.0%.
  • Ethan Budowsky reacts to the Marlins/Mets series.

  • Former Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton (left hamstring strain) is on the injured list...again. Stanton had been performing well for the Yankees as a full-time designated hitter—.293/.453/.585, 190 wRC+, 0.5 fWAR in 54 PA. Alas, this marks the seventh season of his major league career that’s had a trip to the IL.
  • Speaking of former Fish, right-hander Henderson Alvarez has reached an agreement with the Pirates. It’s been three years since his last major league appearance.
  • Kevin Kraczkowski of Marlin Maniac is wowed by how the Marlins have withstood so many pitching staff changes.
  • Danny Martinez’s wife, Emily, is a fabulous artist, and the Marlins provided her with plenty of inspiration last week. Contact Danny or Emily on Twitter if you have ideas for more moments that are worthy of being celebrated this way.