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BP Marlins notebook


wanks1212
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As a May 15 deadline approaches for the Marlins to commit to San Antonio, and the Florida legislature mulls a tasty bit of subsidy swag to keep the team from moving, it would be easy for folks to forget that they?re still playing ballgames and not just politics in southern Florida. Judging by the attendance, many have forgotten.

 

For those few who have braved a trip to Pro Player/Dolphin/Wayne-Huizenga-Sucks-Away-All-Your-Profits Stadium, the Marlins have certainly put a forgettable product on the field. The team is 2-9 at home, 8-18 overall, a hair below the Washington Nationals for the bottom spot in the NL East, just above the Pittsburgh Pirates for worst record in the league.

 

What?s gone wrong? It starts with the pitching. Going into last night?s game, the Marlins had the worst pitching in the league, by RA+ (0.87) and VORP (9.0), despite ranking 12th in the league in ERA (4.67). The Marlins also ranked last in strikeout to walk ratio (1.35), a far cry from last season, when Marlins pitchers struck out two men for each one given a free pass.

 

Last year, we marveled at the pitching of Brian Moehler, who at that time had pitched less than 85 major league innings over the previous four years, and still managed to provide the Fish 158 innings of league-average work. Unfortunately, thus far Scuffy?s the fourth-worst starter in the NL. Sometimes, we?d write this off under the heading "only May, small sample size," except that Moehler?s been awful for a bit longer than that--he posted a 6.67 ERA after the All-Star break last season, compared to 3.27 prior. That shiny thing sticking out between the numbers on his jersey may be a fork.

 

Top lefty prospects Scott Olsen and Jason Vargas haven?t been able to harness their stuff in the Show--allowing a combined 35 walks in 43.2 innings. Even Dontrelle Willis has been underwhelming, although his peripherals this year are not far off his career marks.

 

On offense, two of the key players from whom we expected big production, Jeremy Hermida and Mike Jacobs, haven?t contributed much so far. Hermida?s been suffering a sprained hip flexor, which curtailed his production prior to landing him on the DL; Jacobs has simply not shown the form that netted him 11 homers in 100 at-bats last season. It?s early yet for Hermida and Jacobs, but the team can?t afford for those two to slack off, because the lineup?s been loaded with players whose offensive contributions are expected to be minimal. Reggie Abercrombie and Eric Reed are the kind of guys PECOTA expected to perform below replacement level; Chris Aguila and Miguel Olivo were expected to do better, but not by much. Only Olivo is living up to even that modest expectation.

 

Now that we have you thoroughly depressed, let's get to the good news. So far, the Marlins? middle infielders have been the rookie surprises of the season. Second baseman Dan Uggla--yes, the guy the Marlins picked up in the Rule 5 draft--has a .279 EQA (.286/.340/.469) in the early going, and has shown a nice glove at second base. He?s actually the eldest member of the Marlins? core infield group, which includes star third baseman Miguel Cabrera, Jacobs, and shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez is a tools guy who snagged an honorable mention on our top prospects list, and is doing Uggla one better with a .290 EQA (.287/.368/.455) out of the leadoff spot. The most impressive thing about Ramirez?s performance so far has been the jump in his walk rate--Ramirez drew one walk every 13.2 plate appearances last year in Double-A, but he?s walking once every 9.9 PA at the major league level this season.

 

In the outfield, Josh Willingham is living up to the touts we?ve given him going back to the 2005 prospect list, with a .342 EQA (.326/.415/.607) in 106 PA. Willingham?s ten doubles and 22 RBI lead all NL rookies, and his five home runs have him tied with Prince Fielder. While Willingham is raking as predicted, the Marlins seem to have abandoned any idea of keeping him as a full-time catching option, which is a shame, since Willingham is an awful outfielder. With Hermida on his way back from his injury, and new acquisition Joe Borchard in the fold, Florida?s outfield could quickly become a crowded place. At the very least, Willingham has shown that they have to find some place for him in the lineup.

 

 

 

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=5044

 

Claimed OF-B Joe Borchard off of waivers from the Mariners; designated OF-L Matt Cepicky for assignment. [5/3]

 

Huzzah! This is what being a crummy team is all about--getting aggressive with waiver claims. Borchard is a nifty pickup for the team that needs everything, not that he's an All-Star in the making or the next late bloomer, a la Jeromy Burnitz, but even a small opportunity at having a slugger to spare is something this club should be taking chances on. For myself, I think it's pretty interesting that Borchard doesn't really have a strong set of comparables. That might mean he's uniquely talented, but it might also mean he's baseball's answer to the furry lobster. Right field should belong to Borchard during Jeremy Hermida's extended absence, but once Hermida returns, the question becomes one of whether Borchard will be restricted to spotting Hermida and Josh Willingham in the corners, or if he'll get a shot at any of the playing time being wasted on Reggie Abercrombie or Eric Reed. Again, when you're a team that's happily without expectations, you can afford to take a few chances.

 

 

 

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article....icleid=5048#FLO

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Despite what they say about Willy's defense out there, Hardball Times has us at +4 in overall outfield defense, -1 in infield

 

 

Jacobs?

 

Jacobs has only one error and that was in Houston were he missed judged a a foul ball. He has been very solid and has made some nice plays. His D is not that bad and has improved a lot.

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Despite what they say about Willy's defense out there, Hardball Times has us at +4 in overall outfield defense, -1 in infield

 

 

Jacobs?

 

Jacobs has only one error and that was in Houston were he missed judged a a foul ball. He has been very solid and has made some nice plays. His D is not that bad and has improved a lot.

Defense, especially infield defense, is about more than avoiding errors or missing foul balls. It's the infielder's responsibility to keep the ball from going into the outfield. Jacobs doesn't had the best range.

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Without Baseball Info Solutions data, I don't know, but I assume it's a combination of all. Cabrera hasn't been so hot either.

 

 

Why does Cabrera have to double clutch every single ball? It annoys me that plays are much closer than they should be.

 

 

When someone beats his throw then it will be an issue. Until then lets not lose any sleep over it.

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Without Baseball Info Solutions data, I don't know, but I assume it's a combination of all. Cabrera hasn't been so hot either.

 

 

Why does Cabrera have to double clutch every single ball? It annoys me that plays are much closer than they should be.

 

Who cares how close they are as long as we get the out? He's just trying to make sure he makes a good throw.

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Despite what they say about Willy's defense out there, Hardball Times has us at +4 in overall outfield defense, -1 in infield

 

 

Jacobs?

 

Jacobs has only one error and that was in Houston were he missed judged a a foul ball. He has been very solid and has made some nice plays. His D is not that bad and has improved a lot.

Defense, especially infield defense, is about more than avoiding errors or missing foul balls. It's the infielder's responsibility to keep the ball from going into the outfield. Jacobs doesn't had the best range.

 

So, ferry...is it mostly Jacobs that is killing the score? Because Uggla's range and hands have both been (at least to me) no worse than league average and Hanley and Cabrera may be, throwing errors be damned (and that's Jacobs, too, gotta pick it), the best left-side of the infield in the national league.

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Without Baseball Info Solutions data, I don't know, but I assume it's a combination of all. Cabrera hasn't been so hot either.

 

 

Why does Cabrera have to double clutch every single ball? It annoys me that plays are much closer than they should be.

he's turning the ball around to get a four-seam fastball grip. this grip has the least movement so it will go straighter. Cabs can dawdle as long as he does becase he has an exceptional arm.

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