Views From The Cheap Seats | June 5th, 2018

Welcome back folks to another edition of “Views from the Cheap Seats”, I wish it were under better circumstances but there’s little in terms of positive news for the Marlins. Their western road trip was a mess with the lone bright spot being Monday night’s draft. So without further ado let’s get quickly caught up.

The Fighting Fish’s first stop was at San Diego for a four-game set with the Padres. In the opener, Miami ripped 4 runs in the early going, which was more than enough to take the first duel against the NL-West cellar dwellers. Caleb Smith pitched a beauty, tossing seven frames of one-run ball, handcuffing the Padres to just four hits. Cameron Maybin and Yadiel Rivera also had a great day at the plate going 3-for-4 and 2-for-3 respectively, each driving in two runs. It’ll be our last victory for the duration.

San Diego did some early scoring of their own in the second game, tacking on 3 first-inning runs on Dan Straily. Miami tied and took the lead in the sixth as the team nearly hit for the cycle: J.T. Realmuto smacked a triple, Brian Anderson a base hit and J.B. Shuck nailed down a two-bagger. Straily, however, was unable to preserve the lead. In that same inning, right fielder Franmil Reyes took him deep for a 2-run blast. The game stayed close until the eighth when San Diego overwhelmed reliever Tayron Guerrero with 4 runs (3 earned) for the 9-5 win. Game 3 saw more of the same as the bullpen was unable to hold a slim one-run lead. Brad Ziegler also blew his first save of the season. With the bases loaded, pinch-hitter Hunter Renfroe hit a soft grounder to Miguel Rojas at third, leaving him without a play at the plate and instead forcing a throw to first. Rivera was unable to come up with it, watching as the ball trickled past. San Diego walked off with the win on the throwing error. The Series finale was all Friars as they scored early and often for the 8-3 win, handing Wei-Yin Chen his third loss of the year. The next series didn’t get any better.

In fact, Miami’s next trip was a disaster, the first place Diamond Backs swept the Marlins off the field, dominating every game as the starters never made it past the fifth inning. 9-1, 6-2, 6-1 were your scores. Elieser Hernandez, Caleb Smith and Dan Straily were unable to snake charm Arizona.

So in short, the team went 1-6, including a dismal sweep, they were outscored 43-21 and the Marlins now stand at 20-39 as of Monday night. On the greener side of things, the league had their annual draft. The Miami Marlins selected outfielder Connor Scott with their first pick (13th overall), considered a top prospect. Hailing from Tampa Plant High School, he happens to be a Florida product. Rated by Baseball America as the third best outfielder in this year’s draft, this 6 foot 4, 180-pound specimen possesses excellent speed and a big bat, adding severely needed pop to our farm system. Committed to the University of Florida, the organization hopes Scott will break a recent trend where our first rounders either never make it to the Majors or get traded beforehand. In fact, none of the club’s last five picks have made it to the big show. Next week I’ll take a closer look at a decade’s worth of picks prior to Jose Fernandez. We will examine specific players and tackle the longtime question of why the team has had little success when it comes to draft picks.

According to the league website, four of the Marlins’ top five prospects are pitchers, including Sandy Alcantara.  If anyone remembers, we acquired him as part of the Marcell Ozuna trade from St. Louis, bringing me to our next topic of discussion.

So I’m not sure what the organization is waiting on, barring an incredibly impactful event, the Marlins will NOT make it to the playoffs. They’ve just about lost double the amount of games they’ve won thus far. So why not call up more rookies? Specifically their number two prospect? In 11 starts with the Triple-A affiliate New Orleans Baby Cakes, the youngster is 4-1 with a 3.53 ERA. In over 66 innings of work, he’s fanned 48, walked 23, given up only five homers all while holding opposing hitters to a .240 average. Hardly extraordinary and of course, there’s an argument to be made in favor of continuing the development of the rookie hurler but if Lewis Brinson’s .162 average in 198 at-bats is tolerable for this team, why not give one of our best prospects a shot? Don’t get me wrong, I did and still do, fully support Brinson.

Our pitching staff badly needs new blood, and it wouldn’t hurt giving the 22-year-old out of the Dominican Republic a taste of the bigs. He just might surprise us. Yes, there is risk involved, especially psychologically. Bring the guy in and if he’s not ready the struggles and a subsequent demotion could be a major smack to his confidence. Without it, a player will never reach their potential or worse, regress. In this case, better to ease them in with some middle relief work and maybe an extra inning in games that there’s little at stake. The season is a lot like this anyways, nothing but avoiding 100 losses is on the line. No doubt, Alcantara will get his shot sometime this year but the sooner the better. The team’s goal should be building up a young core that will include these prospects, many whom we got in trades. I say it’s time to see if we got something worthwhile for Ozuna.

As previously mentioned, the team isn’t going anywhere, the ball club has a sub par pitching staff and they already have one of the prospects playing out there on the diamond so, why not? Give the kid a shot!  Let the boys play.  And in case you were wondering, we travel to St. Louis next before coming home to face San Diego again at home. The latter is very important, since they’re bringing back the old teal and gray unis. As part of the club’s 25th anniversary, they are playing up the nostalgia. With a record like this, who can blame them? Until next week folks, keep the faith and stay frosty.

Photo Credit | Marlins Twitter


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