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Fixing the Franchise: The Miami Marlins – March and April 2019

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We are back, and just about to the regular season. If you want to catch up on the previous installments, follow the links below:

A Brief History
Spring Training Through Opening Day 2019

Right before the start of the season I realized that I had an opportunity to lock down a few of my new acquisitions.

Contract Extensions

NamePositionAgeOverallYearsAmount
Trevor WilliamsSP26815$22.5M
Aldaberto MondesiSS23802$5.6M
Max Muncy1B28845$17M
Kike HernandezLF27835$22M
Jorge AlfaroC25772$4.2
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Trevor Williams is a solid young arm in my rotation. He is only 26 years old and an 81 overall. With B potential I am confident in giving him a multi-year deal. Locking him down for 5 years at only $4.5M a year is a steal.


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Aldaberto Mondesi is a huge key to the success of my team. He provides amazing speed on the bases and is a solid defender. His bat is not too bad, I am happy to not have to worry about him for a few years at only $2.8M per year.

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Max Muncy was the next player I wanted to negotiate with. This is an absolute steal of a deal for my team. I am able to lock him down in his prime, for 5 years, at only $3.4M per year. Even if he does not continue to establish himself as a consistent starter in my lineup, his versatility maintains that he will be an asset on my bench moving forward.

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Kike Hernandez was next, and his story is similar to Muncy’s. A 5 year deal, at $4.4M per year. If he can’t play everyday throughout his contract he will be a key contributor from my bench at multiple positions.

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I wanted to lock down my backstop and the only original Marlin that I had left. Jorge Alfaro is young, has an amazing arm, and produces pretty well at the plate for a catcher. I have my starting catcher for the next two years at $2.1M per year.

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Looking at where I stand budget wise I am in a solid spot. I have room to pick up some players around the all-star break if I am in a competitive position. I have lots of room heading into next year, and I only have commitments beyond 2020 with young and versatile players.

Opening Day

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It was the Rockies against the Marlins for Opening Day in Miami. Dallas Keuchel vs Kyle Freeland. My Marlins starting lineup was looking pretty solid and I was very confident heading into the season.

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The first three innings were uneventful. Keuchel sat down the first two batters he faced prior to giving up a homerun to Nolan Arrenado. Freeland was perfect his first time through the Marlins lineup.

In the fourth inning Keuchel retired the first two Rockies he faced before giving up a mammoth homerun to Charlie Blackmon, which put the Rockies up 2-0.

In the bottom of the fourth the Marlins finally showed some life at the plate, with two outs Jose Martinez hit a line-shot to the right fielder for an out, but it was the first time the Marlins had hit the ball clean all day.

In the bottom of the 5th, Max Muncy led off with an 0-2 single. A hit and run by Devon Travis moved Muncy to second. An infield single by Jorge Alfaro put the Marlins with runners on 1st and 3rd and only one out. Adalberto Mondesi was able to hit a choke-shot one-hopper to the second baseman. On that, Muncy scored and Mondesi was too fast for the Rockies to turn a double play.

In the bottom of the 6th, Danny Valencia pinch hit for Keuchel, ending his day on the mound. Valencia was hit by a pitch 0-2. Kike Hernandez lined out to second to bring Vladamir Guerror Jr. up to the plate. Vlad Jr. hit a line drive single to right field for his first major league hit.

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Martinez followed that with a fly out to center field, not quite deep enough for Valencia to tag up on. Muncy then hit a single through the five hole to set up based loaded and two outs. The Marlins were unable to capitalize with the bases loaded, with Travis grounding into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.

Valencia was left in the game, and a double-switch was used to bring in a relief pitcher in the five-spot for Devon Travis. Muncy bumped over to second base to allow Valencia to play first.

The rest of the game was pretty uneventful. The Marlins posed no true threat of scoring. The Rockies eventually closed things out with Wade Davis and won 3-1.

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Keuchel was solid on the hill, with 6IP, 3ER, 9K and 0BB. There was not too much for the Marlins to be proud about at the plate – Muncy was the only player with a multi-hit game.

April

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After the first month of the season, the Marlins are 14-15 and 2.5 games back of the N.L. East leading Braves. At this point the team is under-performing, I expect a better performance from them as the year progresses.

Pitching

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Chris Archer has been the bright spot in the pitching rotation – leading the team with a 3-0 record and a 1.27 ERA. Ervin Santana and Trevor Williams have also been solid, with sub 4.00 ERAs. Dallas Keuchel has been god-awful with a 1-5 record and a 5.45 ERA. Chase Whitley has been even worse, he has a 1-4 record and 8.03 ERA. I have faith that Keuchel will turn things around, Whitley is likely to lose his spot if he doesn’t turn things around fast.

Hitting

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Jose Martinez is leading the charge offensively. He has had a solid month at the plate with a .327 AVG. and 5 HRs. Kike Hernandez has shown some solid pop at the plate, leading the team with 7 HRs through the month of April. Starling Marte has had a terrible month and will be losing his leadoff spot (against righties), he only has a .177 AVG through his first 113 ABs.

Around The League

A pretty notable trade took place on April 20th. The Cleveland Indians agreed to send SP Danny Salazar to the Boston Red Sox for CF Jackie Bradley Jr.

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Mike Foltynewicz is leading the charge for the Cy Young Award. Chris Archer is right there with him.

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Justin Turner is hitting up a storm in the first month of the season, with a .407 AVG, 10 HR and 27 RBI.

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Looking at the top prospects in baseball, many have made their way to the Major Leagues early in the season. Of the players on that list, I have a nice surprise with Brain Chu showing up at #13. I may have to find room for him on the Marlins if he produces at AAA.

Minors

Down on the farm we have had some stand out performances:

  • Charlie Weaver – CF (AAA): .330 AVG, 2 HR, 8 RBI
  • Bryce Geiger – 1B (AAA): .325 AVG, 6 HR, 18 RBI
  • Russell Brooks – 1B (AAA): .375, 3 HR, 8 RBI
  • Julio Francisco – 3B (AA): .356 AVG, 1 HR, 10 RBI
  • Daryl Meredith – RF (AA): .358 AVG, 1 HR, 6 RBI
  • Tom Park – SP (AAA): 4-0, 0.98 ERA, 21K
  • Alden Floyd – RP (AAA): 19.0 IP, 1.42 ERA, 16K
  • Elliot Zimmer – SP (AA): 3-1, 1.80 ERA, 24K
  • Marshall Daley – RP (AA): 16.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 14K

Roster Moves:

  • Sandy Alcantara has been sent down to AA after a terrible month. He was 0-4 with a 7.13 ERA. He will be replaced by Lawrence Jackson in the rotation. Marshall Daley will be called up to AAA in his spot.

Up Next

Next we will take a look at how this Marlins team performed through the second full month of the season. The team is still in contention and is hovering around .500. Hopefully some of the arms on the staff turn things around. We also need some veteran bats to wake up – or they will be losing their spots to the younger guys down in AAA.

Feel free to comment below or on Reddit if you have any suggestions for the squad moving forward.

– Buzz

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