Road trip takeaways
Monday’s podcast episode will focus on the Marlins minor league rosters and feature an interview with Joe Dunand. Instead, I’ll use this space to share some thoughts about the big league team’s just-completed 10-game road trip:
- I’m disappointed that nobody is supporting Pablo López in the Marlin of the Month voting! His individual contributions continue to be awesome, though they’re unfortunately being overlooked because of the inadequate run support he receives. It’s satisfying to see López adjust his approach depending on the opponent and how well his stuff is working. Friday against the Nationals, for example, he wasn’t racking up as many whiffs as he’d like to, but he succeeded nonetheless—7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K—thanks to generating weak quality of contact and fielding his position when necessary. The 25-year-old has the distinction of being the best winless starting pitcher so far in 2021.
- Isan Díaz could not derail Max Scherzer’s complete-game bid, but his home run on Sunday showed that he’s more than just a placeholder at second base. It was similar to the opposite-field blast he hit against Noah Syndergaard as a rookie. On the defensive side, even in Jazz Chisholm Jr.’s absence, the Marlins are turning double plays at a higher rate than any other National League team. This upcoming week will be the most important stretch of Isan’s career to date.
- All things considered, the Marlins bullpen is proving to be solid. Though lacking a reliever who you can unconditionally trust, the ‘pen’s depth is better than they’ve had in years. John Curtiss quietly hasn’t issued a walk all year. When Zach Pop is arguably the weakest link, that’s saying something. I have no clue what Miami will do with Jordan Holloway now that the MiLB season is about to begin—they have space at either Double-A or Triple-A to refine him as a starting rotation candidate, but there must be a temptation to keep him in the bigs where he’s showing excellent potential in relief. Good problem to have.
- I’ll soon need to do a detailed article on Garrett Cooper who has been horrible at the plate (.177/.261/.291, 62 wRC+, 33.0 K%) and in right field. Is there any hope that he can rediscover his 2020 form?
- Congrats to José Devers on picking up his first career hit. However, with Brian Anderson (oblique strain) expected to return from the injured list on Tuesday, Devers should be getting optioned to Double-A Pensacola in a corresponding roster move.
- FiveThirtyEight gives the Marlins a 52% chance to win their series opener against the Diamondbacks.
- Statcast finds that the venue previously known as Marlins Park was MLB’s worst offensive environment from 2018-2020. Early on in 2021, it’s playing much closer to neutral.
- For all the NFL fans out there, The Phinsider grades how the Dolphins did during the NFL Draft.
- Free agent reliever Shane Greene is in contract negotiations with multiple teams. I wouldn’t expect the Marlins to be involved, but we’ll find out soon.
- Last year’s Marlins first-round draft pick Max Meyer gets the Opening Day start for the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Tuesday at 7:35 p.m. ET). He’ll be capped at five innings/75 pitches, according to pitching coach Tim Norton.
- Preliminary active rosters for Pensacola, Jacksonville, Beloit and Jupiter were announced on Saturday and added to the Fish Stripes roster tracker.
- Give @FishProspects a follow on Twitter. Our new satellite account will provide real-time Marlins minor league highlights.
- Swimming Upstream reacts to the organization’s decisions and takes some listener questions about the state of the farm system.
- The Marlins are accepting applications for two job openings: manager of partnership development and executive assistant to the C-Suite.
- In case you missed new episodes of “Marlins Clubhouse” and “Marlins All-Access,” Bally Sports Florida will be re-airing them throughout the week.
- Bottom Line Baseball gets to know Marlins third base coach Trey Hillman.