The Marlins announced Saturday that right-handed starter Chris Volstad will be sent down to the New Orleans Zephyrs (AAA) to get some help with pitching; mainly to focus on creating a more consistent arm-slot.
At 24 years old, Volstad still has potential to be good in the future, but as of now, he’s going nowhere fast. Volstad has put up decent numbers in his career, and since 2008, Volstad has gone 26-30 with a 5.05 ERA. This year, he’s sporting the Marlins’ worst starter ERA; as he’s at 5-8 with a 5.58 ERA- which is higher than Javier Vazquez’s ERA, who’s another notable starter who struggled in the earlier part of the season.
Volstad has allowed 17 earned runs in 18 innings this month, showing his current struggles as of now. Last year, Volstad went 12-9 with a 4.48 ERA, but in the final two months of ball, he went 7-1. Those stellar two months came after he was called back up after being optioned for Triple-A New Orleans in late July. So he’s been in some jams in the past, and has brought it around effectively, which is what he needs to do now. The Marlins now have the choice to go to someone like Brad Hand (1-3, 2.77 ERA), who has started 5 games already this year for the Fish. The Marlins also have the option to go with a four-man rotation, and possibly bring up someone for relief, like Chris Hatcher, who has only made a one-inning appearance for the Fish this season.
After winning a series 3 games to 1 against the Chicago Cubs, the Marlins thought they would be able to get a break. But who needs breaks– you just got off the All-Star break. Instead of getting Monday off, the Fish flied off to New York to battle the Mets in a single makeup of a game that got rained out in May. But the rain came back for a second blow, causing the rain coats to come out in the stands; luckily it didn’t stop the game. The Marlins now have to go back to Miami to play the San Diego Padres on Tuesday, and then once again, the New York Mets later on Friday.
Here’s how Monday’s game went:
Clay Hensley (1-2, 2.70 ERA) hasn’t made a start since 2008. But that doesn’t mean he still can’t shut down the Mets in 5.0 innings. Hensley allowed 1 hit, walked 2, and struck out 3, marking his first win and first start of the season. Following him, Mike Dunn (H, 9) came in for 1.2 innings; he allowed 1 hit, a walk, and marked a single K. Edward Mujica (H, 8 ) came out to finish the 7th by striking out former Marlin Ronny Paulino, and then later got a 1-2-3 8th inning. A rare poor performance came from Randy Choate, as he walked a batter in the 9th (2 were awarded to him) and gave up a hit, and that was enough for Jack McKeon. Leo Nunez (S, 27) came in, walked the first batter (awarded to Choate) in typical Leo fashion. He followed up by getting Jason Bay to fly out, a run came in (Choate) on the sac fly though. Leo then got Paulino to ground out to end the 9th and end the game. The Fish held the Mets to only 3 hits.
Offensively, the Fish were cold until a 3-run 4th inning came. Two outs in the 4th didn’t stop the Fish from having Mike Stanton (1-4, double) line one to left that scored 2. Adding on in the inning was newly-acquired Mike Cameron (1-4, single), who lined one to left as well, scoring Stanton. The Fish added on another run in the 8th, thanks to a Logan Morrison (1-4) single that brought home Emilio Bonifacio (1-4, single, hitting streak at 17). Morrison tried to extend his single to a double, but was tagged out trying to do so. McKeon enjoyed the aggressiveness of LoMo, as he applauded him on his way back to the dugout. Hanley Ramirez had the only multi-hit game for the Fish, as he went 2-4 with two singles.
The Florida Marlins went on to beat the New York Mets 4-1 in this single-game makeup.
Next Series: The Marlins are set to take on the San Diego Padres, home, at Sun Life Stadium in a 3-game series. This is the first time the Marlins are set to play the Padres this year; another series with San Diego comes up in August.
Series Starters: Thursday, July 19 (7:10PM ET): Anibal Sanchez (6-2, 3.54 ERA) vs. Tim Stauffer (5-6, 2.97 ERA) Friday, July 20 (7:10PM ET): Ricky Nolasco (6-6, 5.51 ERA) vs. Aaron Harang (7-2, 3.19 ERA) Saturday, July 21 (12:10PM ET): Javier Vazquez (6-8, 5.14 ERA) vs. Dustin Moseley (2-9, 3.36 ERA)
This afternoon, I had the opportunity to speak with Marlins Gulf Coast League pitcher Mason Hope. For Broken Arrow HS, Hope went 7-1 and registered the second most victories behind Archie Bradley. Mason had a 2.40 earned run average with four complete games in nine starts. He recorded 103 strikeouts over 58 1/3 innings. This interview was done through Twitter.
Alex- What were your first thoughts after being drafted by the Marlins?
Mason- I didn’t think I could’ve been chosen by a better pitching club.
Alex- What type of pitcher are you, and what pitches do you throw?
Mason- I’m a power pitcher. I like throwing the fastball. It’s my go to pitch. But I throw fastball, curveball, changeup.
Alex- The Marlins have produced talented pitchers (Beckett,Johnson). Can you see yourself joining that group?
Mason- That’s the plan. I don’t see myself going to pitch for anyone else anytime soon.
Alex- What made you choose the Marlins over playing college ball?
Mason- I feel like I have better opportunities playing minor league ball than I do if I was to go play in college for two years.
Alex- What MLB player(s) did you idolize growing up?
Mason- Roger Clemens, Derek jeter, and matt holiday. I know they’re not all pitchers but I just like the way they play the game.
Alex- For you personally, how tough of a transition do you think it will be from High School to the Minor Leagues?
Mason- I dont think it will be tough at all. If my parents taught me the right way I shouldn’t have any problems.
Alex- How close are you and former teammate Archie Bradley? You guys learn from eachother?
Mason- Archie is one of my bestfriends. We call eachother peanut butter and jelly. He’s been a huge help through this whole thing.
Alex- Do you have any goals for yourself heading into pro ball?
Mason- My dad always told me to keep the game in my control. As long as I do that I can’t lose. Don’t beat myself.
Alex- Do you think you will have any butterflies when you make your first professional start?
Mason- Nahh. What’s the point in being nervous. This is what I’ve worked for my whole life.
Alex- This isn’t much of a question, but I would like to thank you for taking time to do a interview. Good luck & Keep in touch!
Mason- Thanks!! I will!
Mason Hope was drafted by the Marlins in the 5th round of the 2011 first year player draft. He is scheduled to make his first professional start on Friday.
The National League and MLB-best Philadelphia Phillies (55-33) came to Miami Gardens, and brought along some great pitching. Yet, the Marlins didn’t go down without a fight in two of the three games.
Game 1- Rookie Vance Worley came to play in his tenth big league start. He pitched 7 stellar innings and allowing only 2 hits, as the Marlins opponent Ricky Nolasco pitched 7 innings as well, but gave up 1 run (earned) on 6 hits. The Fish also lost 2 players from ejections, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck; and calls from umpires were all over the place. Read the full recap of the game here.The game ended close, a 1-0 Phillies’ win.
Game 2- The Marlins got rocked. And I seriously mean it. They. Got. Rocked. Chris Volstad (4-8, 5.46 ERA) came out and gave up 5 runs in the 3rd inning, and 2 more in the 4th inning. And that’s where it would stop. He only made it through 4 innings and left the bullpen with a 5-run-deficit; as the Fish would score two runs in the bottom half of the 4th to help. Jose Ceda came in and pitched 2 innings and gave up 1 run on 2 hits. Ceda was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans the next day after the Fish acquired Mike Cameron from the Boston Red Sox. After him, Brian Sanches came in and pitched 3 innings. He held them from getting runs until the 9th. Then things got out of hand. Sanches allowed 6 runs in the top of the 9th, along with 7 hits. He walked 3, he gave up a 2-run shot with two outs– he was just all over the place. And by then, Jack McKeon had no interest in changing the pitcher, he knew there was no way to come back.
The Fish still managed to pick up 2 runs with 10 hits, but it wasn’t good enough in the 14-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Game 3- Anibal Sanchez (6-2, 3.58 ERA) had another tough outing. He went through 4 innings for the Fish and allowed 5 earned runs on 6 hits. He struck out 6, but also gave up 2 homers. Mike Dunn followed up Anibal by hurling 2 innings, but he still gave up a solo homer to John Mayberry, who had 2 homers in the game, in the 6th inning. Randy Choate, Steve Cishek, Leo Nunez, and Edward Mujica came in order afterwards, all of them not allowing a single hit.
A 3-run 3rd inning for the Fish helped a lot. As did 14 hits that came throughout the night. While in the 3rd inning, Pitcher Anibal Sanchez singled, Gaby Sanchez singled (but a fielding error got him to third base), and Hanley Ramirez singled, giving the Fish some helpful run support. Logan Morrison homered, which gave the Fish 2 more runs in the 6th. In the 7th inning, Hanley earned another RBI as he singled, but a wasted opportunity with bases loaded and one out killed the Fish, as Mike Stanton grounded into a double play. The Marlins would take it into the bottom of the 10th, where a solo, walk-off home run from Mike Stanton (who was 0-4 before the homer) gave the Fish the win. The Fish avoid the sweep, and beat the Phillies 7-6 in 10 innings.
Next Series: The Marlins are set to take on the Houston Astros, home, at Sun Life Stadium in a 4-game series. This is the last series the Marlins will play before the 2011 All-Star Game (check sidebar for details).
Series Starters: Thursday, July 7 (7:10PM ET): Brad Hand (0-3, 5.79 ERA) vs. J.A. Happ (3-10, 5.63 ERA) Friday, July 8 (7:10PM ET): Javier Vazquez (4-8, 5.64 ERA) vs. Jordan Lyles (0-3, 4.17 ERA) Saturday, July 9 (7:10PM ET): Ricky Nolasco (5-5, 3.91 ERA) vs. Brett Myers (3-8, 4.67 ERA) Sunday, July 10 (1:10PM ET): Chris Volstad (4-8, 5.46 ERA) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (6-5, 3.25 ERA)
Independence Day is the day we celebrate America’s founding, its birthday. In celebration, America watches baseball, blow up fireworks, and enjoy some hot dogs and hamburgers. But at Sun Life Stadium, the Marlins decided to have a bit of trouble with hitting and umpires instead.
The first game in the home-series versus Philadelphia went down tough, it was one of those games where the Marlins were extremely passionate about winning it. Coming off after winning two straight series out against the American League West, the Fish are clearly determined to win this one against the division rivals. Their passion resulted in the two ejections of Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck. But, wait- was it just passion? It looks like it may just be some bad calls that ticked off the Fish.
The umpires were all over the place in the July 4th game– but only getting two hits couldn’t have given the Fish the edge anyway. A 7-inning gem pitched by rookie Vance Worley (4-1, 2.20 ERA) for Philadelphia helped the Phils tremendously. By allowing only 2 hits, walking 2, and striking out 6, he set up the relievers perfectly for two innings; the two relievers not giving up a single hit after Worley’s start.
For the offensive side of things, the Phillies had the advantage. 6 hits came from all-around the lineup, two hits coming from Domonic Brown. An error from Brown would be the only defensive mistake of the game as well.
As for the Marlins’ pitching, it came through today. Although 7 strong innings from Ricky Nolasco (5-5, 3.91 ERA) still resulted in a controversial, yet earned, run, Ricky managed to come out and pitch very well against the hard-hitting Phillies. Nolasco struck out 4 and gave 2 walks. Following up on those 7 innings, three other Marlin pitchers came in and did well. Lefty Randy Choate came in the 8th and struck out two, Mike Dunn came in the 9th and walked the first batter, but followed up with two straight outs, and Edward Mujica came in to get the third. None of the relievers gave up a hit.
Offensively, the Fish were in the drains. Hanley Ramirez and Emilio Bonifacio were the only Marlins to get hits. Very nice to see Hanley getting hits for the Fish once more, as he continues to excel offensively and defensively lately, and Emilio Bonifacio continues to prove why he has the second-best batting average on the team.
Now, on to the controversial calls. (Note: if you are unable to watch the videos from MLB.com, then you can just click the link to watch them directly on the MLB.com website.)
The Phillies scored their only run on a single from Michael Martinez. An excellent throw from recently called-up rookie Bryan Petersen from CF was on-time for catcher John Buck to make the out, who was in front of the plate a bit. The runner, Domonic Brown, was called safe on the play at home. From replay, it appears the way he slid put his front foot over home plate, which later fell back down to the back part of the plate. So, in other words, his front foot landed in-front of the plate and behind it– but never actually touched the plate. So, what appears in the replay, is that the only part of Brown that touched home plate, was his back foot. John Buck applied the tag before that back foot touched. But in home-plate umpire Kerwin Danley’s opinion, he scored. That run would be the only one of the game, which came into play late– in the 7th inning.
The second call that couldn’t be more obviously missed was the Emilio Bonifacio single. Bonifacio, knowing his speed, beat out pitcher Vance Worley to the first base bag. The only way Worley could get Boni was to tag him, respectively. Worley missed the tag by about a half-foot, maybe even a foot, but first base umpire Vic Carapazza called Boni out. First base coach Perry Hill got in Carapazza’s face quickly, Boni following right behind him. Boni was clearly unhappy, but turned around and flipped his helmet, and was ejected for it. Jack McKeon got in the face of Carapazza fiercely. It was almost to the fact that McKeon should’ve been thrown out too; and you almost think that he was arguing Boni’s ejection more than the play.
Following up on all these fun facts is the ejection of John Buck. Buck was arguing balls and strikes from behind the plate. Buck got up and said something to home plate umpire Kerwin Danley, face to face, and Danley continued to talk to Buck. John said something after getting back into his catcher’s position, which resulted in him being thrown out immediately. Buck followed up that ejection by really getting in Danley’s face. McKeon came out and attempted to separate Buck from Danley, was unsuccessful for a while. Sooner or later, Buck disappeared in the dugout. Shown on FOX Trax, the ball was slightly inside on the lefty batter, but it was pretty close; but an unsurprising call after an inconsistent night from Danley.
First baseman Gaby Sanchez will be the only player from the Florida Marlins to join in the All-Star Game this year.
Gaby is batting .292 and has 46 RBI’s, both stats being team-leading. Gaby has been going through a bit of a slump lately, he’s currently 2-9 in the Texas Rangers series. This will be the first All-Star Game Gaby Sanchez will be playing in his career.
Gaby, who is well-deserving, will be the only Marlin at the All-Star Game this year, which will be held at Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ. Notable players NOT coming to the All-Star Game are Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, and Leo Nunez. Hanley has been to the past three ASG’s, while Anibal’s record of 6-2 with a 3.30 ERA apparently wasn’t enough to get him in this year, even with an endorsement from Gaby Sanchez and a vote from manager Jack McKeon. Leo Nunez, who has struggled lately and recently came off the DL, still has the All-Star stats to make it. He’s currently 2 saves away from tying other league leaders for first place; as he’s at 22 saves.
The Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves will be taking four each to the Phoenix this year. The Marlins are in hopes that Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder will choose RF Mike Stanton to come with him, along with two others, to represent the National League in the revamped Home Run Derby, also at Chase Field.
The Marlins are now 5-1 in the Bay Area this year. The Fish took two of three from Oakland this week, the first series win since the San Fransisco Giants series sweep back on May 26, the series where Giants’ catcher Buster Posey had to end his season after a home-plate collision with Scott Cousins. The Fish won this Oakland series with the help of starting pitching, and a tiny bit of hitting.
Playing as the home team in Seattle, Washington didn’t seem to be the Marlins’ cup of tea. The Marlins and Mariners series moved to Safeco Field in Seattle, WA after a scheduling conflict between Sun Life Stadium, the band U2, and the Fish. U2 was scheduled to play last year at Sun Life, but then vocalist/guitarist Bono required medical attention to his back, therefore cancelling the North American part of the “U2 360° Tour.” This odd conflict resulted in the very first National League-ruled game in an American League ballpark.
Game 1- Ricky Nolasco pitched a great 6 innings. Then came the 7th inning. In the lone 7th inning, Nolasco allowed three runs on four hits after a previous 1-0 lead by the Marlins. The Fish only managed to pick up 2 hits this game, making the fourth inning run their only one. Gaby Sanchez picked up a hit, and so did the previously-struggling Hanley Ramirez, who seemed to turn around this series. The Mariners added on to their three-run lead by adding two more in the 9th against Mike Dunn. Mariners’ starter Felix Hernandez fanned 10 Marlins, and allowed the only two hits of the game. The late-night match-up tallied up 5-1, a Mariners win.
Game 2- Of the Marlins’ pitchers you would expect to get the Fish’s third win this June, you would think that Ricky Nolasco or Anibal Sanchez would be the men who would get the job done. Instead, Chris Volstad came out and got his first win since April 26. Volstad came out and pitched 6.2 innings and allowing 2 earned runs on 5 hits. Randy Choate, Edward Mujica, and Leo Nunez came in after Volstad, and equally pitched great, the three only allowing one hit, which was off of Mujica. Nunez came in and got his 21st save of the year in a 1-2-3 inning. The Fish tallied up 9 hits, while Omar Infante and Hanley Ramirez racked up 2 hits each. Hanley pulled in 2 runs for the Fish, Stanton pulled in one with a sac fly, and Chris Volstad brought in one with a RBI single. The Fish would win it, 4-2.
Game 3- Here’s this game’s recap: 10 innings, 2-1 loss. Anibal Sanchez started, he gave up 6 hits, no runs, and fanned 6. Mike Stanton and Omar Infante both had a 2-hit game; Infante scored the one run the Marlins had. Then came the top of the 10th inning. Left-handed batter specialist Randy Choate gave up a hit (to a lefty), which brought in Steve Cishek. He tried intentionally walking a batter. He failed, and threw a wild pitch. John Buck went back to get it, threw it to Cishek. The out would’ve been made if Cishek could’ve made the play on the easy short hop. The Fish would lose it to Seattle, 2-1.
John Buck, are there other ways for the Fish to lose games? “There can’t be too many other ways. We’ve got that one crossed off the list. Hopefully, that will be it.” Hopefully, John. Hopefully. This is a loss the Fish will need to forget about. They can just add it to the bag entitled “June.”
Next Series: The Marlins are set to take on the Oakland Athletics, away, at O.co Coliseum (Oakland Coliseum) in a 3-game series.
Series Starters: Tuesday, June 28 (10:05PM ET): Javier Vazquez (4-7, 6.37 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (6-5, 2.59 ERA) Wednesday, June 29 (10:05PM ET): Ricky Nolasco (4-4, 4.44 ERA) vs. Graham Godfrey (1-1, 4.24 ERA) Thurday, June 30 (3:35PM ET): Chris Volstad (3-7, 5.42 ERA) vs. Guillermo Moscoso (2-3, 2.68 ERA)
The end of June is near and the Florida Marlins find themselves 13.5 games out of first place, and four out of fourth place. When is it time to throw in the towel? Apparently not yet for these fish. Despite losing all but two games this month, the Marlins have left everything on the field and they haven’t given up. You would figure with such a lopsided record this month the team must be getting blown out. Actually, the damage is being done in one run loses. No matter how much we hope the Marlins get out of their current state, we the fans, must face the realization that the club has a slim chance to even have a shot at the wild card. That being said, trades must be explored to help the team in the future as we head into the new ballpark. What players could generate interest as we head closer to the July 31st deadline? Let’s take a look.
1. Leo Nunez- Right off the bat Nunez should come to mind. The Dominican closer is having somewhat of a up and down year for the fish. Leo started the season with a scorching tear of converting 10 plus saves in a row with a minuscule ERA. Then the Leo coaster began. His ERA began to rise slowly but surely, and he blew a few save opportunities. After returning from the DL recently, he seems to be headed back on the right track. Overall this year Nunez possesses a 3.51 ERA and he has converted 20 out of 23 SV’s.
Does it make sense to trade him? I think so. He is going to get paid upwards of seven million dollars next year and we all know Loria would never spend such money on a bullpen guy. Most of the Marlins top prospects are late inning guys as well and could make the transition to closer if needed. Dunn, Ceda, and Marinez all could be candidates to close next year.
What return could we expect? Out of all the players the Marlins might make available, Nunez would probably net the best return. Depending on how many closer are on the market as the deadline approaches, I think Nunez can net maybe two quality prospects.
2. Greg Dobbs- Dobbs has been a unexpected surprise for the most part by the level of production he has shown. He’s hitting to the tune of .316 this year but has shown little power (two HR’s). By no means do I think Dobbs is a great defender at 3B, but I think he plays a solid one. He can also play 1B, and RF.
Does it make sense to trade him? Maybe. Dobbs is the type of guy that is needed on a championship caliber team. He plays tough, and he is a quality MLB player. He would more likely see less playing time tough if he were on another team. If Matt Dominguez can show he is ready to play in the pros, then I think it will be okay to trade Dobbs.
What return could we expect? Not to much. Dobbs is without a doubt a quality major leaguer, but most teams probably view him as a lefty bat on the bench. Marlins won’t give him away for nothing though. He has a cheap and reasonable contract. I think one solid prospect would be a fair exchange.
3. Chris Volstad- Nothing is going right for him. Volstad is probably one the most inconsistent players on the team. He has three bad starts, and then one good start. It’s a cycle. Some days he looks like that rookie that located the sinker ball in good spots, and then other days he gives up a handful of homer runs. His 2-7 with a 5.65 ERA.
Does it make sense to trade him? Yes indeed. The Marlins have some quality arms down in the system that could take over Volstad’s spot and do the job. Alex Sanabia, and Brad Hand both have shown what it takes to be successful in the major leagues. Sanabia has been dealing with injuries this season though.
What return could we expect? Probably a little more than what Dobbs would bring in just based on the lone fact that he is a SP that has decent stuff when he locates it well. I’d say a few solid prospects. Nothing big, but some decent guys.
Other guys on the bubble that could be traded : Randy Choate, Clay Hensley, Edward Mujica, Wes Helms.
The Marlins avoided losing a franchise worst 12th game in a row Tuesday night against the Angels. Javier Vazquez went 5 1/3 scoreless innings and the Marlins’ offense broke out as they snapped their skid with a 5-2 victory.
After being benched the day before, Hanley Ramirez returned to the lineup in the cleanup spot, a place Ramirez has never hit. He had a pretty successful night overall going 2-4 with a SB. The 4-5-6 hitters were the key to the success and combined to have a great night, which resulted in eight hits and two RBI’s. Gaby Sanchez also belted his 13th home run of the season, which helped them get on the board first.
Mujica and Badenhop worked solid relief that helped the Marlins maintain the lead into the 9th inning. Jose Ceda came in to preserve the 5-0 lead, but gave up two runs. Leo Nunez, who hasn’t recorded a save all month, was called upon to shut the door after Ceda faltered. Leo struck out Russell Branyan to end the Angels threat, and the Marlins ended a dreadful stretch of 11 winless games.
By no means do I think the Marlins solved all of their problems tonight, but watch out NL, Jack McKeon is working his magic.