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Earning Their Stripes: 6/4/21

There was aquatic activity all the way down the Marlins’ minor league chain on Friday night.

All four of Miami’s non-rookie affiliates boast an aquatic-themed animal.

Big fish dot the Marlins minors, with Hammerheads and Blue Wahoos at Low-A and Double-A, respectively. A small crustacean (Shrimp at Triple-A) and an amphibian (Snapping Turtle at High-A) complete the Marlins roster of swimmers. What did these big fish do in their respective small ponds on Friday? First, some housekeeping.

Recent Transactions

6/4

Miami places RHP Elieser Hernandez on the 10-day injured list with a right quad strain.

CF Lewis Brinson recalled from Jacksonville to the Marlins.

OF Zack Kone assigned to Beloit from Jacksonville.

6/3

OF Monte Harrison (JAX) placed on the seven-day IL.

SS Galli Cribbs Jr. assigned to Jacksonville. Recently signed, Texas native Cribbs has hit .203 across parts of six minor league seasons.

OF Lewis Brinson optioned to Jacksonville.

RHP Elieser Hernandez activated from the 60-day injured list.

SS Luis Marte designated for assignment.

Marlins traded RHP Tyler Jones to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

6/1

RHP Jason Alexander (JAX) placed on seven-day IL.

2B Justin Twine assigned to Jumbo Shrimp.

SS Demetrius Sims (PNS) activated from seven-day IL.

RHP Andrew Bellatti assigned to Pensacola. Bellatti is a 29-year-old reliever. He appeared at the major league level with the 2015 Tampa Bay Rays, and put up a 2.31 ERA and a 1.114 WHIP in 23 1⁄3 innings.

3B Marcos Rivera (BEL) activated from seven-day IL.

1B Zachary Owings (BEL) placed on the seven-day IL.

1B Troy Johnston promoted from Jupiter to Beloit.

C Arquimedes Cumana assigned to Jupiter.

5/30

C Brian Navaretto (JAX) placed on seven-day IL.

LHP Shawn Morimando outrighted to Jacksonville.

5/29

CF Lewis Brinson joined Jacksonville on a rehab stint.


Triple-A

Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 5, Gwinnett Stripers 0

At the Marlins top sub-major league level, former first round pick Braxton Garrett (2-1, 4.12, 19 K’s in 19 23 innings) got his turn with 2,679 in the house at Coolray Field.

Garrett got through the first inning unscathed despite putting runners on the corners with one out, then Jacksonville’s offense broke things open in the second with four runs on six hits. Lewin Díaz and Justin Twine scored on a Deven Marrero single, then Marrero and Brian Miller scored on a Bryson Brigman double.

Through five innings, Garrett limited the Stripers to two walks and two hits, collecting five strikeouts and keeping the junior Braves off the board. Díaz added to the lead in the top half of the seventh with his fifth jack of the season to make it 5-0. It was the final run for either side.

Preston Guilmet pitched three shutout relief innings, striking out five and surrendering only two singles. Alexander Guillen pitched a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation, striking one batter out and allowing a pair of singles.

Jacksonville hosts Gwinnett in the fifth game of the six-game series on Saturday night beginning at 6:05 PM.


Double-A

Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Mississippi Braves

Lefty starter Will Stewart got the start with a crowd of 5,038 on hand at Blue Wahoos Stadium, just off the Gulf Coast. A 20th round pick of the Phillies back in 2015, he was acquired by the Marlins system in the J.T. Realmuto deal. After his acquisition, he was rated by Baseball America as the Marlins number 21 prospect for 2019. He goes fastball, slider, changeup, with the heat topping out at 92 MPH.

His opponent was 26-year-old A.J. Puckett, a formerly highly-touted prospect out of Pepperdine. Puckett, a right-hander, entered the game with a 2-1 record and a 1.86 ERA between High-A and Mississippi. Prior the the 2021 campaign, it had been four seasons since he appeared in affiliated baseball due to an extended recovery from Tommy John Surgery.

After Stewart got through the first without damage, JJ Bleday brought home Peyton Burdick on a single for an early lead. The score held until the third, when Justin Dean singled a run home for the bad guys. In the fifth inning, Jerar Encarnación drove in a pair with his fourth long-ball of the campaign.

“If you can get pitches inside to guys, you’re gonna be successful.” — Stewart

Stewart threw 92 pitches in total, getting through six innings and surrendering just the one run on six hits and a walk. He also struck out six.

Will Fortes was another highlight for the Wahoos. He made two putouts behind the plate, threw out a runner trying to steal third base in the third inning, and kicked in a single and a triple for the effort.

“Everyone’s starting to hit their stride a little bit.” — Fortes

The bullpen backed up Stewart’s strong start. Tyler Stevens whiffed four in two perfect frames, and Colton Hock finished the Braves off with a perfect ninth, striking out a pair for his seventh save of the year. Max Meyer (2-1, 1.96) will start tonight’s contest, scheduled for 7:05 PM.


High-A

Beloit Snappers, Quad Cities River Bandits

Alberto Guerrero, a 23-year-old right-hander, started for Beloit, his fifth start and sixth overall appearance for the Snappers. He had struck out 24 in 19 23 innings, but also surrendered a 5.49 ERA. There were 3,855 in attendance at Modern Woodmen Park.

Beloit got things off to a quick start in the top of the first inning with a two-run double from Troy Johnston. Griffin Conine and Nic Ready came home on the two-bagger. The score held until the bottom of the third, when Tucker Bradley touched Guerrero with a two-run game-tying shot into left-center.

One-half inning later, Kameron Misner reestablished the Snappers’ lead with an RBI-double to score catcher Dustin Skelton. Once again, however, the Bandits had the answer, scoring the equalizer in the bottom half of the frame. Quad Cities doubled their run total in their next time around, with a two-run single and an RBI-triple. Guerrero was charged with six runs over his six innings, but also struck out eight and put 54-of-87 pitches in the black.

Reliever Antonio Velez didn’t prove exempt from damage, despite striking out five over his three inning appearance. The Bandits touched him with a sixth-inning RBI-single and a seventh-inning solo home run. Between those two instances, Misner added a pair of RBI with his third home run of the season.

Originally announced as part of the starting lineup, former first-rounder Connor Scott was later scratched. He has missed 10 straight games due to injury (although the Snappers haven’t placed him on the IL).

Misner finished a triple short of the cycle. Johnston pitched in with a pair of doubles, and Ynmanol Marinez hit a single and a double in defeat. Game five of their series starts tonight at 7:30 PM.


Single-A

Jupiter Hammerheads 3, Palm Beach Cardinals 1

22-year-old right-hander George Soriano got the call in Palm Beach and Jupiter’s shared home at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, with 1,022 in attendance. Soriano was 1-0 with a 6.00 ERA through his first three starts of the season, with 16 whiffs in 12 innings.

His opponent, Gustavo Rodriguez, was making just his second career start above the rookie level. He had walked six and struck out 10 through eight innings of work.

After matching zeroes through the first three frames, the Sharks got on the board in the fourth. Victor Mesa Jr. crossed the plate on an Osiris Johnson fielder’s choice, then Johnson came home on a Federico Polanco double.

Meanwhile, Soriano got through five shutout innings and only surrendered two hits. He walked a pair and struck out five, putting 57-of-88 over the plate. After Soriano was lifted, Johnson knocked Mesa in once more in the sixth with a single into center field for a 3-zip lead.

Palm Beach finally got on the board in the seventh inning when Cameron Barstad was charged with a passed ball, but that was the last run for either team. Jesus E. Sanchez struck out three and was charged with the only run. Andrew Nardi collected his fourth save of the season by recording six outs. He struck out four and did not allow a baserunner.

The Hammerheads will play another “road” game against Palm Beach tonight starting at 6:30 PM.


Checking in with the Marlins Top 30 Prospects

  1. Sixto Sánchez
  2. J.J. Bleday (PNS) 1-for-4, 1 RBI, .627 OPS
  3. Max Meyer
  4. Edward Cabrera
  5. Lewin Díaz (JAX) 2-for-4, 2b, HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, .731 OPS
  6. Jesús Sánchez (JAX) 2-for-4, 1 BB, 1.152 OPS
  7. Braxton Garrett (JAX) 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 3.28 ERA, 47-of-71 strikes
  8. José Devers
  9. Dax Fulton
  10. Nick Neidert
  11. Victor Mesa Jr. (JUP) 2-for-4, 2b, 2 R, .706 OPS
  12. Peyton Burdick (PNS) 0-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB, .752 OPS
  13. Nasim Nunez (JUP) 2-for-5, SB, CS, .571 OPS
  14. Monte Harrison
  15. Kameron Misner (BEL) 3-for-5, 2b, HR, 1 R, 3 RBI, 2 SO, .699 OPS
  16. Connor Scott
  17. Kyle Nicolas
  18. Griffin Conine (BEL) 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, .901 OPS
  19. Jose Salas
  20. Yiddi Cappe
  21. Jerar Encarnación (PNS) 2-for-4, HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, .786 OPS
  22. Jordan Holloway
  23. Zach McCambley
  24. Jake Eder
  25. Eury Perez
  26. Evan Fitterer
  27. Paul Campbell
  28. Will Banfield
  29. Jorge Guzmán
  30. Osiris Johnson (JUP) 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 SO, .483 OPS