Nine notables for week of Aug. 31
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:
- Elieser Hernandez—Beyond the good surface-level stats (3.04 ERA, 3.94 FIP, 0.97 WHIP in 23.2 IP) are difficult questions about whether Hernandez has already given the Marlins the best he has to offer. Multiple reports over the weekend mentioned that teams have been inquiring about him. There will be a temptation to “sell high” on him, even if the potential return is centered around young prospects who aren’t major league-ready yet.
- Caleb Smith—Jim Bowden of The Athletic lists Smith among his “biggest names that could be dealt.” He’s reportedly conditioned to come off the injured list for his first post-COVID-19 start within the next week. However, the lack of recent production makes him a very unconventional trade candidate.
- Harold Ramirez—I make no secret of my affinity for Harold. He’d be an important midseason reinforcement for a Marlins offense that has been impotent against left-handed pitching (Sunday’s game notwithstanding). But there is a numbers crunch. Can you justify bringing him back onto the 40-man roster when Jesús Aguilar and Garrett Cooper are already there and Jerar Encarnación needs a spot next year? Seems redundant. At least one of those four will be gone by the end of the year...or potentially by the end of the day.
- Matt Joyce—As noted on Sunday, several comparable veterans to Joyce were flipped for young prospects. His pending free-agent status and limited defense outweighs his positives. Seems expendable.
- Lewis Brinson—This Brin Diesel no-doubter was nearly two years in the making. Satisfying to watch.
- Sixto Sánchez—Such a relief to have a Marlins prospect contributing from the get-go. If possible, the quality of his stuff has exceeded my expectations. With so much sinker movement, two distinct breaking balls and a consistent changeup release point, it’s hard to imagine him having a bad outing.
- Pablo López—Speaking of stuff, we saw 96.5 mph from Pablo on Saturday! His August was arguably the most productive individual month by any Marlins starter since the beginning of this rebuild. If his teammates help him out by roughing up Jacob deGrom a bit today, we can genuinely begin ramping up the NL Cy Young award campaign.
- Brian Anderson—I was jarred to see BA on Sunday whiffing on a center-cut curveball. Turns out that breaking balls have been very problematic for him in 2020. After pulverizing them to the tune of a .397 wOBA in 2019, he’s down to .209. Whiffing at a concerning rate, unable to square ‘em up or elevate ‘em, and unsurprisingly, opponents are using those pitches more often until he makes an adjustment.
- Jesús Sánchez—The 22-year-old has flashed his great potential, but he’s really hurting the club on both sides of the ball.
NL contenders stocking up
The Braves attempted to bolster their rotation Sunday with the addition of veteran lefty Tommy Milone. Despite getting his butt kicked by the Phillies (2.1 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 HR), they got enough run support to hold on for the win and pad their lead atop the NL East.
Also worth noting, the Cubs brought in the mighty bat of José Martínez (who coincidentally has terrible career numbers at Wrigley Field).
- Current 2020 Marlins playoff odds according to FanGraphs: 22.7%.
- Impact Week continues Monday with World Series champ Charles Johnson taking part in a school supplies packaging session. Donations to the Miami Marlins Foundation are graciously accepted.
- Binyomin Barman is the latest Fish Picks weekly winner! Remember that we have introduced the Air Rojas t-shirt as the grand prize for the season’s overall points leader, so check FishStripes.com a few hours prior to every game for new props.
- Brett Eibner, Brian Navarreto, Josh D. Smith and Jesús Tinoco are currently in DFA limbo (Tinoco has the highest trade value of the four).