Spring Training Numbers Crunch—Week 1
Every year, I post the same disclaimer: MLB spring training results mean nothing. But that won’t stop me from giving you a Marlins “numbers crunch” each Friday, a blend of small sample size oddities as well as context-driven observations that should be slightly more useful.
Entering Friday’s home matchup against the Astros, the Marlins are the only undefeated team remaining in the Grapefruit League! That’s despite a pitching staff which has issued nearly as many walks (18) as strikeouts (23) and hitters who reach base safely barely 30% of the time.
Lewis Brinson already has a home run, his sixth straight spring with at least one round-tripper. His “King of Spring” nickname is not hyperbole:
- Barry Bonds’ regular season career: 762 HR in 12,606 PA (6.04 HR%)
- Lewis Brinson’s spring training career: 14 HR in 228 PA (6.14 HR%)
Infielders Lewin Díaz, Joe Dunand and Luis Marte are the only Marlins to have played in each of the first four games. Monte Harrison has gotten reps at every outfield position, a testament to his defensive versatility. Harrison’s 109.6 mph groundout against the Cardinals is thus far the hardest-hit ball tracked by Statcast for any Marlins player or opponent.
During his two starts for the 2020 Fish, Braxton Garrett’s velocity never exceeded 91.2 miles per hour. Encouraging to see him top that mark 16(!) times in Tuesday’s appearance.
Speaking of promising young left-handers, Trevor Rogers will throw his first pitch of the spring at approximately 1:05 p.m. ET. José Urquidy is on the bump for Houston. Fish Stripes’ own Alex Contreras will provide live coverage from Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.
Gio joins the club
Accomplished left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez is feeling emotional at the sight of his No. 47 uniform in Marlin blue. In conjunction with announcing his signing on Thursday morning, the Fish released an interview with Kyle Sielaff where Gonzalez shares how excited he is to be playing at home. The 35-year-old makes it clear that there’s no guarantee he’ll earn a starting rotation spot or even squeeze onto the active roster—“I’m just there to try to establish myself again as that pitcher that you guys hopefully rely on,” he says.
Gonzalez will probably make his Grapefruit League debut sometime next week.
- BreakingT and Baseball America have collaborated on new Sixto Sánchez t-shirts and hoodies, headlining their “Prospects to Pros” collection. Get yours!
- Single-game tickets for the first 36 Marlins home games of the season are hours away from going on sale.
- “While reversals never can be totally ruled out, both sides are proceeding as though there will not be any last-minute addition of the DH in the National League, or additional playoff teams from the current field of 10, for 2021,” Evan Drellich of The Athletic reports.
- Major League Baseball will celebrate the first annual Lou Gehrig Day on June 2. The Marlins will be on the road for that, finishing an interleague series against the Blue Jays.
June 2 will forever be known as Lou Gehrig Day.— MLB (@MLB) March 4, 2021
Each year, we will celebrate his legacy and honor those we've lost to ALS. Together, we will help in the fight against this disease. #4ALS pic.twitter.com/jFP0Z7ym6L
- The newest additions to the 2021 Marlins Season Preview series are Brian Anderson, Anthony Bass and Isan Díaz.
- Fish On The Farm checks in on the healthy competition between highly regarded outfield prospects JJ Bleday and Peyton Burdick.
- It’s been a wild journey for Shawn Morimando since his brief taste of the majors in 2016.
- Federico Polanco and other Marlins prospects in the Dominican Republic took live batting practice against towering right-hander Eury Pérez.
- Do you have what it takes to be the next Kazoo the Wahoo? Double-A Pensacola is accepting applicants for the affiliate’s next mascot.
- Talking Chop sees .500 potential in the Marlins.
- Takes Were Made has some interesting predictions for their season, too.
- MLB.com staffers selected Miami 23rd in their draft of World Series contenders.
- Marlins executives Kim Ng and Caroline O’Connor will participate in the Gamechangers virtual panel on Mar. 10 for Women’s History Month. You can register to attend here.
- TIME interviewed Ng at length about her path to the general manager position and expectations for the franchise moving forward.