Tag: Miami Marlins

Marcell Ozuna, 2 Teammates Declined Invitations to Ride on Jose Fernandez’s Boat

Marcell Ozuna was among the Miami Marlins players who declined an invitation to join pitcher Jose Fernandez on a boat the night he was killed in a fatal crash. 

According to the Associated Press’ Curt Anderson, Ozuna was one of at least three Marlins teammates who who opted against going on the boat with Fernandez, 24, Emilio Jesus Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, shortly before they crashed into a jetty. 

“That night I told him, ‘Don’t go out,'” Ozuna said, per the Miami Herald‘s Andre C. Fernandez. “Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me.”

“It was a bad decision for him,” Ozuna added, per Anderson. “He heard everybody say, ‘No, go back to your house and take it easy.’ Then you wake up and see the news.” 

According to Anderson, Will Bernal, who was a friend of Rivero‘s, also expressed concern about his decision to take the boat out after midnight on Sunday and posted their text message correspondence on social media

“Yo please be careful bro,” Bernal texted at 12:07 a.m.

“I will bro,” Rivero said.

“Try to keep him close to shore if you go out,” Bernal wrote back.

“Trust me,” Rivero wrote, “it’s not my time yet.”

Bernal then asked Rivero to turn on his “find iPhone” application and to “keep Jose cool.”

A public memorial will be held for Fernandez on Wednesday, according to USA Today. The procession will reportedly begin at 2:16 p.m. ET as a way to honor Fernandez, who wore No. 16. A private funeral will also be held for Fernandez on Thursday. 

Monday, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria announced the team will retire No. 16, per the Palm Beach Post‘s Hal Habib.  

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Martin Prado, Marlins Agree on New Contract: Latest Details and Reaction

The Miami Marlins prevented third baseman Martin Prado from hitting free agency at season’s end by signing him to a contract extension Tuesday. 

According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the Marlins inked the 32-year-old veteran to a three-year deal that will pay him a total of $40 million through 2019. MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro confirmed the move.

Prado is in the midst of a strong campaign, hitting .305 with seven home runs, 73 RBI and 68 runs scored.

Miami acquired the 11th-year veteran in a trade with the New York Yankees prior to the start of the 2015 season.

Prado spent the first seven years of his career with the Atlanta Braves before stints with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Yanks and Marlins. He was named to his first and only All-Star team in 2010.

While Prado has exclusively manned third base in 2016, he has played all over the diamond during his career, spending extensive time at second base and the corner outfield spots.

Prado has been a fixture in the No. 2 spot of the Marlins lineup this season behind speedster Dee Gordon and in front of power hitters such as Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna.

He has excelled at getting on base for Miami’s top hitters, and he is a big reason why the Marlins have surprised many with a 78-78 record so far this season.

Prado is an unheralded player who doesn’t receive much league-wide recognition, but his contributions are undeniable, and the fact that the Marlins managed to keep him means they have a great chance to be competitive in the National League playoff race once again next season.


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Dee Gordon, Marlins’ Tearful Salute to Jose Fernandez Is Transcendent MLB Moment

Baseball, perhaps more than any other sport, is a game of moments. On Monday night in Miami, Dee Gordon and the Marlins gave us all an incredible one.

Playing for the first time since the death of franchise pitcher Jose Fernandez, every member of the Marlins wore Fernandez’s name and No. 16 on the back of his jersey. Before the game, the team paid touching tribute to its ace, who died Sunday in a boating accident:

Then, in the bottom of the first inning, Gordon did something that would have seemed too cliche for a melodramatic movie but was throat-clenchingly authentic in real life: He homered on the third pitch he saw from New York Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon.

It was Gordon’s first home run of the season. Tears welled in his eyes and spilled down his cheeks as he reached home plate and pointed to the sky.

Cynicism is easy. We media types fall into it all the time; it’s a crutch, a safety net, a convenient way to keep emotions at arm’s length.

Sometimes, though, the cynicism melts away. Sometimes, a thing moves you, and you let it move you, because we’re all human.

Forget the controversy and dysfunction that sometimes hovers around this Miami franchise. Not only did none of it matter on Monday—it didn’t even register.

The bittersweet memories of a rising star gone far too soon were the only thing in the air as Gordon rounded the bases.

Perhaps as Gordon touched first base, you were thinking about Fernandez’s incredible backstoryhow he was locked in a Cuban prison after an unsuccessful defection attempt at age 14, and later saved his mother from drowning when she fell off a boat en route from Cuba to Miami.

Maybe as Gordon rounded second, you were remembering Fernandez’s meteoric rise to MLB stardom, the devastating stuff that earned him a National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2013 and made him an All-Star again this year after Tommy John surgery.

By the time Gordon got to third, you might have been recalling the energy and joy Fernandez exuded on the mound, which MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince aptly termed “an unbridled earnestness impossible to replicate but easy to appreciate.”

As Gordon crossed home plate, you were possibly thinking about all these things and, quite likely, there was a stinging sensation at the back of your eyes too.

The Marlins won, by the way, 7-3, to get back to .500 at 78-78 and keep their flickering wild-card hopes alive.

However, to trot out the bromide, this was bigger than the game. 

Gordon, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro noted, was “visibly shaken” by the death of his friend Fernandez. Before hitting his home run, the slender second baseman took a pitch from the right side, Fernandez’s side, imitating the pitcher’s stance.

The home run came with long odds, as ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell noted:

Again, if it hadn’t happened, you wouldn’t believe it.

Gordon’s homer won’t erase the pain in the Marlins’ clubhouse and across baseball. Only time can do that, and not even time can do it completely.

But Fernandez, a fiery competitor, would surely have appreciated the effort his teammates put forth. Gordon finished with four hits and two RBI, and first baseman Justin Bour fell a home run shy of the cycle. 

“That guy would have been on the mound,” Gordon said in somber on-field postgame remarks to Fox Sports’ Craig Minervini immediately after the Marlins reverentially circled the hill and piled their hats next to the stenciled-on No. 16. “And if he wasn’t on the mound, he would have been on the top step screaming for us.”

The tragedy of Jose Fernandez is that he didn’t get enough moments to do all the things he was going to do. But on a night when his spirit was everywhere, a grieving Marlins team gave us plenty.

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Jose Fernandez’s No. 16 to Be Retired by Marlins

Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died Sunday in a boating accident, will be forever remembered as part of the franchise. 

According to Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post, the organization announced Monday it will retire his No. 16.

Fernandez will become the first Marlin to have his jersey retired, per Kenny Ducey of Sports Illustrated. The only number Miami has ever retired was Jackie Robinson’s No. 42.  

The 24-year-old Fernandez was one of the brightest stars in the game. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald noted every player on the Marlins will wear the No. 16 that is set to be retired during Monday’s game against the New York Mets.

Miami canceled its game Sunday against the Atlanta Braves after the news of Fernandez’s death emerged, and Habib said the team will not make it up unless it is necessary in the playoff race.

According to Habib, the Marlins will hold tributes to Fernandez between innings Monday, and they revamped the music as a way of honoring him. Habib shared an image of fans lining up to remember the pitcher:

The Marlins were not the only team to honor Fernandez. As Michael Edison Hayden of ABC News noted, Major League Baseball held a moment of silence before every game Sunday. The NFL’s Miami Dolphins did the same before their matchup with the Cleveland Browns.

Numbers are typically retired in baseball and many sports as a way of remembering some of the all-time greats on the field. While Fernandez was in just his fourth season at the MLB level, he was well on his way to becoming just that for the Marlins.

The two-time All-Star won the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year and never posted an ERA above 2.92 or a WHIP above 1.16. He also had 589 strikeouts in 471.1 career innings, emerging as one of the league’s most electrifying pitchers.

Fernandez was known for more than just his on-field prowess. The Cuban-born pitcher was a fan favorite in Miami, and Tyler Kepner of the New York Times described him as someone who “brought ebullience” to the game.

He was once jailed for attempting to defect from Cuba and even saved his mother from drowning during a defection attempt, per Kepner.

Though Fernandez was young, there was already so much to remember about him. The Marlins made sure their fans will do so for years to come by retiring his number.

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Miami Marlins SP Jose Fernandez Dies at Age 24 in Boating Accident

Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident, the team announced Sunday morning, per Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald.

Andy Slater of 940 AM WINZ reported the boat Fernandez was on hit rocks going full speed and flew about 30 feet in the air before landing upside down. He added that one victim was found in the water and two were found under the boat. Fernandez was 24.

On Monday, authorities, via Baseball Tonight, revealed the boat was registered to Fernandez and announced that the other victims were Eduardo Rivero and Emilio Jesus Macias. The investigation into the accident continues, via Baseball Tonight.

A public visitation for Fernandez will be held on Wednesday followed by a private funeral ceremony on Thursday, via a Tuesday report from ESPN.com news services.

“The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez,” the team said in a statement on Sunday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”

Marlins manager Don Mattingly also expressed his thoughts at a press conference, via SportsCenter:

Major League Baseball, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA executive director Tony Clark also released statements:

Sunday’s game between the Marlins and Atlanta Braves was canceled, but the team will play Monday against the New York Mets, team president David Samson told reporters.

The Miami Dolphins will hold a moment of silence in honor of Fernandez before Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Kevin McAlpin of 680 The Fan in Atlanta and Tim Healey of the Sun Sentinel passed along photos of the scene at Marlins Park, while Jon Weisman of the Dodgers showed Marlins shortstop Dee Gordon paying tribute to his teammate:

Teammate Giancarlo Stanton took to Instagram to express his thoughts:

Fernandez was one of the most dominant pitchers in the game and a bright young star.

“You recognize how precious life is,” Samson said, per MLB Network Radio. “And how taking things for granted is a fool man’s game.”

“When I think about Jose, I see such a little boy,” Mattingly told reporters. “The way he played, there was just joy with him.”

“We’re not robots,” Marlins infielder Martin Prado told reporters. “We’re humans. He made an impact on everyone. I understand we have to play games. But there’s a lot of pain.”

“Jose Fernandez is one of the most genuine guys I’ve ever played with,” former Marlins starter Dan Haren tweeted. “He loved life, he loved baseball…he will be missed dearly.”

Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer tweeted: “Absolutely crushed hearing the news about Jose. Brought so much energy and passion towards life! You will be missed Papo RIP.”

Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout also passed along his condolences:

Fernandez defected from Cuba at the age of 15. He had previously been caught trying to leave the country and spent time in a Cuban prison. From those humble origins, he became one of baseball’s most charismatic, talented and beloved players.

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Jose Fernandez’s 2016 Dominance Sets Stage for Wild Offseason Bidding War

Sometime soon, Jose Fernandez will be an ex-Miami Marlin.

At the latest, it’ll happen in the 2018-19 offseason, when Fernandez is set to hit the open market. The Marlins aren’t entirely averse to handing out mega contracts (see: Stanton, Giancarlo), but someone with deeper pockets will almost surely outbid them for Fernandez’s services.

Unless, that is, Miami unloads its young ace first.

After a winter stuffed with trade rumors, Fernandez has returned to the pinnacle of MLB excellence. He twirled eight shutout innings Tuesday in a 1-0 win over the Washington Nationals, fanning 12 and scattering three hits.

He now ranks second in the game in strikeouts (253) and owns a 2.86 ERA in 182.1 innings. Two years and a few months removed from Tommy John surgery, he’s put doubts about his health and durability to rest.

And at age 24, his prime is yet to come.

He is, in short, the type of franchise-altering talent prospect-rich contenders drool over. A prize among prizes. A whale-size hunk of trade bait.

The Marlins have their heads above water at 76-75 and are clinging to the fringes of the National League wild-card picture, so shipping a star player isn’t on their radar right now.

But Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe recently stoked the speculative coals:

There’s more buzz that the Marlins will listen to offers for Fernandez this offseason. Fernandez has long been the apple of the eye of a lot of big-market teams that wouldn’t mind writing that extension check. The Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees and Cubs for sure would all be in line. Right now, it doesn’t appear there will be any extension talks early this offseason between Miami and Fernandez’s agent, Scott Boras, if at all.

The upcoming free-agent class is underwhelming, to put it diplomatically, particularly in the starting- pitching department. If Fernandez is shopped, an epic bidding war is inevitable.

The Yankees have ample pieces to dangle from their restocked farm system. The Marlins could ask for seemingly untouchable names such as catcher Gary Sanchez, but New York may have enough other chips (Aaron Judge, Jorge Mateo, Luis Severino) to get something done.

The other clubs Cafardo name-dropped are likewise flush with trade capital. The Dodgers could offer prize arm such as Jose De Leon or Julio Urias. The Red Sox aren’t going to move Yoan Moncada, but they have other high-upside bats, including Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers.

And they wouldn’t be the only ones to at least put loafer to Goodyear. Every executive worth his mahogany desk would have to pick up the phone.

Fernandez has a checkered relationship with Miami’s front office, as Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller detailed in December.

Around that time, when asked about reports that he’d rejected the Marlins’ attempts to lock him up long term, Fernandez only said, “I’m not allowed to comment on it,” per Walter Villa for the Miami Herald.

This season has been relatively dysfunction-free under new skipper Don Mattingly, even with problems like Dee Gordon’s performance-enhancing drugs suspension. Fernandez is back in peak form. And the Fish have life behind a solid, youthful core that includes the outfield trio of Stanton, Christian Yelich and All-Star Marcell Ozuna.

It’s possible to imagine them keeping Fernandez, adding a few reinforcements and going for it in 2017.

Last winter, their trade demands were reportedly ludicrous.

“If we gave them what they wanted, we wouldn’t have one young pitcher left in our organization,” an unnamed Dodgers official told Peter Gammons in December.

But the dearth of top-shelf free agents this winter, coupled with Fernandez’s 2016 performance and two remaining years of club control, means his stock may never be higher.

The Marlins can demand and land a king’s ransom. The allure will be strong. In other words: Enjoy him while you can, South Beach faithful.

Fernandez deserves many labels: All-Star, stud, rotation anchor. Soon, we may need to add ex-Marlin to the list.


All statistics accurate as of Tuesday and courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise noted.

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Giancarlo Stanton Injury Update: Marlins Activate Star OF vs. Phillies

The Miami Marlins have gotten their biggest bat back.

The Marlins reinstated Giancarlo Stanton from the disabled list and classified him as active for Tuesday night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, which they announced via Twitter: 

According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, Miami will only use Stanton as a pinch hitter, and it’s unclear when he can fully return to the lineup. If he were to reach base, Stanton would not require a pinch runner, per Spencer

However, in the fifth inning on Tuesday, Stanton hit a pinch-hit single and was promptly lifted for a pinch runner, per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. 

Stanton has been out since Aug. 13 because of a groin injury he suffered when sliding into second base:

Originally forecasted as a season-ending injury, Stanton missed just 22 games, though his absence had an adverse effect on the Marlins’ postseason hopes. 

Heading into Aug. 14, the Marlins were 60-56 and just .5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second National League wild card spot. Entering play Tuesday, Miami had fallen to 68-70 on the season, sitting five games behind the Cardinals for the second wild card spot.

While Stanton wasn’t enjoying his best season prior to his injury—he had a .244 batting average along with 25 home runs and 70 RBIopposing pitchers still had to be wary of him. It was especially true when he was able to get ahold of a pitch, as his power can turn a game on its head: 

Since Stanton went on the disabled list, Miami has gone just 8-14 while losing nine of its past 10 games. With the Cardinals, New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates all ahead of the Marlins in the wild-card standings, they can only hope Stanton’s bat sparks a turnaround with 24 games remaining. 


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Christian Yelich’s Newfound Power Giving Marlins an Emerging Superstar

When the injury bug ambushed and carried off Giancarlo Stanton in mid-August, the Miami Marlins lost a power source that still hasn’t been replaced.

But give it up to Christian Yelich for giving it his best shot.

The slender left fielder isn’t known for his power, but he’s changing that more and more with each day. He clubbed seven home runs in August, or as many as he hit in 2015. And on the first day of September, one of his three hits in a 6-4 win over the New York Mets was a three-run job that just cleared the left field fence at Citi Field.

That was Yelich’s third home run in as many days, and he is now hitting .310 with 18 dingers. His previous career high was nine. According to math, he’s doubled that. According to logic, that’s good.

Yelich’s latest helped the Marlins snap a five-game losing streak and climb to within three games of the National League‘s second wild-card spot. But while that’s worthy of lip service, the Marlins’ postseason chances are teetering on the edge of not even being worthy of discussion. They’re 11-18 since August 1 and aren’t in good shape for the stretch run.

But if they ultimately take anything away from a disappointing finish to 2016, it could be that they got to watch Yelich begin his transition from underrated star to legitimate superstar.

We’ve known for years that Yelich can rake. He was a .311 hitter in the minors and a .290 hitter in the majors heading into 2016. He also ran the bases well and played Gold Glove-caliber defense, earning WAR’s approval despite the fact he had just 20 career homers at the end of 2015. You could rub your palms together and say, “If only he had some power…”

That didn’t seem likely to come true, however. As MLB.com’s Andrew Simon illustrated, Yelich was established as a unique (read: “pretty darn weird”) hitter by last season:

Hard contact is, indeed, a good thing, and 2015 was just the latest year in which Yelich made plenty of it. He didn’t even have his highest hard-hit rate, yet he still managed to land in the top 25 in Baseball Savant’s average exit velocity leaderboard at 92.0 miles per hour.

But hard contact alone does not power make. Launch angle is another key ingredient. The higher the launch angle, the more balls in the air, and the more balls to find the gaps or go over the fence. Yelich’s average launch angle in 2015 was 0.7 degrees, pretty close to zero and my making a lame crack about his not even having a launch angle.

Yelich’s aversion to launch angle before 2016 created the highest ratio of ground balls to fly balls of any hitter in the majors. As a sort of bonus, he also had one of the lowest pull rates of any hitter.

The CliffsNotes: Yelich was showing he could barrel the ball well enough to hit for power, but his entire approach was about as far removed from a power hitter’s as you could imagine. 

Obviously, things have changed in 2016. According to the man himself, the adjustment he’s made in working with Marlins hitting coaches Frank Menechino and Barry Bonds (himself a fairly accomplished power hitter) has been a mental one.

“We worked on some stuff in [the cage], I liked it and got a feel for it,” the 24-year-old told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. “The stance and the mechanics are the same. I’ve kept the same approach. It was more of a thought process that helped.”

Mental adjustments are more difficult to turn into hard evidence, but a few things stand out.

Thing 1: Yelich is getting under more balls, posting an average launch angle of 2.0 degrees that’s led to the lowest ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratio of his career.

Thing 2: He’s been pulling the ball more, entering Thursday with a career-high 35.1 pull percentage. 

Thing 3: Yelich hasn’t needed his newfound pull habit to hit for power, slugging .417 on pitches on and off the outside edge of the strike zone. He had never done better than .320 before. Not surprisingly, the key has been driving the ball to left field.

In addition to trying new things, Yelich has made his quietly good raw power downright elite. He’s averaging 96.8 mph on his fly balls and line drives. That’s 0.1 mph south of Miguel Cabrera, who is literally Miguel Cabrera.

Apologies for the ongoing number barrage, but the last one we need to look at is one that relates back to that half-baked thought about what Yelich could be with more power. Per Baseball-Reference.com’s WAR, it turns out Yelich with power is arguably the best left fielder in baseball:

  1. Christian Yelich: 4.8
  2. Starling Marte: 4.5
  3. Ryan Braun: 3.9

It makes sense. Left field isn’t a big superstar position. And considering that he can now run, field, hit and hit for power, Yelich is making a darn strong case to be called a superstar.

It’s probably too late for this to mean anything for a Marlins team that has too little. But Yelich isn’t going anywhere, and Miami is entitled to the warm thought that this is just the beginning.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.comFanGraphs and Baseball Savant unless otherwise noted/linked.

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Another Lost Giancarlo Stanton Season Sends Playoff-Hopeful Marlins Reeling

With Giancarlo Stanton having suffered yet another significant injury, now’s a good time to repurpose the catchphrase for Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game.

This time, it counts.

After placing Stanton on the disabled list with a groin injury early Sunday, per the Miami Herald‘s Andre C. Fernandez, the Miami Marlins earned a brief reprieve from the bad vibes with a 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox. Their 61-56 record ties them with the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League‘s second wild-card spot, giving them a shot at their first postseason berth since 2003.

Immediately after the game, however, the bad vibes came rushing back. Joe Frisaro of MLB.com passed along the crushing Stanton news from Marlins skipper Don Mattingly:

It’s not quite a given that Stanton’s groin injury, which he suffered trying to leg out a double in Saturday’s game against the White Sox, will cost him the rest of the season. But even in leaving the door ajar for the slugging right fielder to return, Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill was careful not to get anyone’s hopes up.

“It’s a Grade 3 strain of his groin,” he said, per Frisaro. “We’re going to rehab it, and best-case scenario is a six-week return. Obviously, there is still opportunity for ‘G’ to be back this season’s end. But obviously, it was a significant injury and we’ll see how rehab goes.”

That sound you hear is a distressingly familiar tune.

With Stanton’s 2016 season likely over after 103 games, this is the fourth season out of the past five in which he’s fallen short of 140 games. He may only be 26, but that track record should spur serious discussions within the Marlins about what can be done to keep him healthy. With the bulk of his injuries afflicting his legs, a move from right field to first base should be on the table.

But that’s something for the Marlins to worry about later. For now, the question that needs answering is more straightforward: How the heck are they going to survive this?

It’s impossible to dress up Stanton’s 2016 season as one of his best. No thanks to an extended slump in May and June that rendered him one of baseball’s worst hitters, his .826 OPS is the worst of his career.

However, this is no excuse to downplay the impact of Stanton’s injury.

He was good before he went into that slump, putting up a 1.023 OPS with 10 homers in 26 games. He was also good after it, with a .943 OPS and 13 home runs in 48 games. Included in the latter sample size is the longest home run ever measured by Statcast, as good a sign as any that his unmatched power was still, well, unmatched.

The thought of being without Stanton’s power in the final six weeks of 2016 is not a happy one for the Marlins.

They’ve had a hard enough time hitting for power with him in the lineup. Their 96 total home runs rank ahead of only the Atlanta Braves in all of baseball. With Stanton and his 25 homers now on the sidelines, 26 percent of Miami’s home run output has suddenly vanished.

To make matters worse, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported Friday that first baseman Justin Bour is unlikely to return from his own injury until September. That’s 15 more homers out of reach, leaving Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich as the only double-digit home run guys still standing.

Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com summed up this not-so-pretty picture succinctly: “Home runs aren’t everything and the Marlins are already proof of that by hanging in the wild-card race. They are game-changers, though, and the Marlins now are mostly stuck trying to manufacture runs or luckily enough to string together lots of singles in a row for big innings.”

This isn’t an entirely hopeless scenario. The Marlins still have a decent collection of good hitters even without Stanton and Bour. Ichiro Suzuki is one of them, and he figures to be a bigger part of Miami’s plans going forward.

But Ichiro isn’t the most secure Band-Aid. It looks great that he’s hitting .316, but the 42-year-old’s age is catching up with him. He’s hit well under .300 since the break. Plus, Stanton has hit more home runs in 2016 than Ichiro has in the last six seasons combined.

As such, this MLB.com report about the Marlins having Alex Rodriguez on their radar was probably inevitable:

“I think we’re going through that process right now,” Hill said about exploring various pick-up options, per Frisaro. “We’re putting our list together of options. [Rodriguez] is available, so he will be on that list. We’ll see where that goes.”

Because A-Rod is a baseball legend with 696 career home runs to his name, the idea of him joining the Marlins is indeed a tantalizing prospect.

But realistic? Not as much.

The Marlins could afford Rodriguez, but he can’t play right field and has no business even playing first base at this point. The best role for the 41-year-old would be as a pinch-hitter. And after putting up a .598 OPS before his release from the New York Yankees, he would probably do more pinching than hitting.

The Marlins would be better off checking in on Carlos Gomez, whom the Houston Astros recently designated for assignment. They could also look into waiver trades for small fish (Ryan Raburn, anyone?) and big fish (Yasiel Puig, anyone?) alike.

But whatever the Marlins do, they’re not going to replace a guy who was one of the best hitters in the game on either side of that nasty slump. They can only hope to mask his absence. A run of red-hot pitching would do the trick there. To that end, Jose Fernandez’s workload concerns and Andrew Cashner’s ongoing mediocrity won’t help.

Put another way: Their quest to end a 13-year playoff drought suddenly doesn’t look so good.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked.

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Giancarlo Stanton Injury: Updates on Marlins Star’s Groin and Return

Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton suffered a left groin strain during Saturday’s game against the Chicago White Sox. He has been ruled out for the season. 

Continue for updates.

Stanton’s Season is Over

Sunday, Aug. 14

After the Marlins received Stanton’s MRI results, manager Don Mattingly revealed the 26-year-old would not be able to return this season, per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. President of baseball operations Michael Hill announced the MRI showed a Grade 3 strain, per Sports Illustrated

“It didn’t look real good,” Mattingly said of the injury Saturday, per Frisaro. “If you’ve seen that replay, it looked like he kind of pulled something. He felt something in his groin area. They’re looking at him now. We’ll see what happens with that.”

Stanton’s Power is Irreplaceable for Marlins

Stanton is one of the league’s premier power threats and a cornerstone of the Marlins’ offensive attack. The slugger averaged better than 30 home runs per season across his first six years in the big leagues. His career high is 37, which he’s totaled twice.

Injuries have also been a story throughout his career, though. He’s played more than 130 games only twice. His 2015 season came to a premature end after he suffered a hand injury in June. And he dealt with a knee problem during the early stages of spring training this year.

The Marlins will probably use several different players in an attempt to fill the void. Ichiro Suzuki figures to get the first crack in right field, but Derek Dietrich could also see an uptick in playing time.

With that said, the Miami offense shouldn’t be expected to find much consistent success while its most potent hitter is in recovery.


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