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Our Noticias, 8/24/20: Who’s hot, who’s not; daily debuts; old friend updates

The Marlins currently hold the sixth seed in the expanded National League playoff field.

MLB: AUG 23 Marlins at Nationals

Nine notables for week of Aug. 24

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:

  • Corey Dickerson—Dickerson ended a nearly month-long drought by homering in consecutive games against the Nationals. In particular, Saturday’s 438-footer was incredibly encouraging considering his struggle to make hard contact. As the most expensive free-agent acquisition of this Marlins rebuild, there is substantial pressure on the 31-year-old to perform up to his career norms.
  • Sixto Sánchez—During a season that’s been loaded with MLB debuts for Marlins players, Sixto’s stood out from all the rest. His stuff was just as filthy as advertised. Ethan Budowsky tries to find the words to describe his first start.

  • Elieser Hernandez—For a few more hours (until Pablo López makes his next start), Hernandez is Miami’s improbable 2020 strikeout leader. He’s racking them up despite a nagging blister issue that hinders his ability to pitch deep into games. Most impactful Rule 5 Draft pick-up for the franchise in many years.
  • James Hoyt—Speaking of improbable team leaders, Hoyt’s 10 appearances out of the bullpen are as many as anybody on the Marlins staff this season. Even with numerous arms nearing their return from COVID-19, his spot on the active roster ought to be secure. Despite his age—turning 34 next month—Hoyt is still pre-arbitration eligible.
  • Brandon Leibrandt—The left-hander patiently waited all week for his opportunity to toe the rubber in the big leagues. He provided much-needed length during Sunday’s blowout (four scoreless innings). For those who missed it, Matt Gelb of The Athletic has Leibrandt’s wild backstory.
  • Magneuris Sierra—Mags’ overall offensive stats have come back down to Earth, but his plate approach is markedly improved and he continues to be a dynamic baserunner. Many fans are clamoring for him to be in the starting lineup regularly. However, I think he’s perfectly suited for his current role.
  • Logan Forsythe—I applauded the Forsythe signing. It simply hasn’t worked out. Too many whiffs and pop-ups nullify his hard-hit rate.
  • Brian Anderson—Hopefully the Marlins give him a rest on Monday. Andy does not have any extra-base hits since Aug. 12.
  • Lewis Brinson—Brinson’s robbery of Juan Soto was easily his best moment of the past two seasons. That’s...not saying much. Would the Fish be bold enough to designate him for assignment next month when Garrett Cooper and Harold Ramirez make their returns to the 40-man roster? Can’t rule it out.
Fish Stripes original GIF

Checking in on old friends

Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto (.294/.348/.612, 8 HR in 92 PA) has enjoyed the best calendar month of his major league career. With one more like it, he’ll be pushing for a $200-plus million deal in free agency.

Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna is a big beneficiary of the universal designated hitter. Although his contract demands won’t approach Realmuto’s, he figures to have a long future ahead of him, either in the AL or NL.

MLB: AUG 12 Twins at Brewers

It’s been tough sledding so far for Christian Yelich’s Brewers. They are on the outside looking in at the expanded playoff field (11-15 record), mainly because there aren’t any consistent offensive threats surrounding the former NL MVP. The underlying stats point towards improved results in the near future, but bitter Marlins fans can temporarily chuckle at the fact that such an extraordinary hitter enters play on Monday with a .194 batting average (bottom 15 among all MLB qualifiers).

Right-hander Nick Anderson (elbow inflammation) will be a notable absence when the 2020 Citrus Series gets underway this weekend. It also appears doubtful that he’ll return from the injured list in time for the second meeting between the teams from Sept. 4-6. Anderson hadn’t surrendered a run through 11 relief appearances this season, striking out 15 batters in 9 13 innings pitched.

Walk-off links

  • Current 2020 Marlins playoff odds according to FanGraphs: 18.8%.
  • President of baseball operations Michael Hill specifically mentioned Sandy Alcantara, Caleb Smith, José Ureña and Yimi García as COVID-19 players that club expects to add to the active roster around the end of the month.
  • For the time being, the Marlins have the most injured pitchers in Major League Baseball, per RotoWire, though the Pirates and Rangers are close behind.
  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald details a large wave of layoffs within the Marlins business operations department and the financial hurdles that the organization faces moving forward.
  • Congrats to our friends at Swings and Mishes who just celebrated their second anniversary! Craig Mish and Jeremy Taché always deliver honest and insightful analysis of the Marlins.
  • Mish learned from Sunday’s postgame media session how close Brian Navarreto came to calling it quits after some struggles in the low minors, which made his strong MLB debut all the more satisfying.