Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has a 12-year-old nephew who sends him text messages whenever Mike Stanton does something special for Double A Jacksonville. Based on the season Stanton has had so far, let's hope the kid has an unlimited texting plan with his phone company.
Stanton belted two more home runs on Tuesday, one of which traveled an estimated 480 feet. The two shots increased his season total to 20 -- most in the pros -- and raised the level of anticipation on his Marlins arrival to even greater heights. When will that day come? June 5 has been tossed around as a possible cutoff date for when he'll no longer qualify for Super Two status. The guess here is the Marlins will call him up shortly after, perhaps on the upcoming road trip when the Marlins go to New York, Philadelphia and Tampa. These next two games against the Brewers might be the last time the Marlins play at home without Stanton in their lineup.
Loria was standing inside the Marlins clubhouse after tonight's win and pointed to his cell phone, which contained a text message from his nephew indicating that Stanton had hit another one. Loria said he was told that one of the home runs left the ballpark in Jacksonville. It shouldn't be long before Stanton is flexing his muscle in South Florida. Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest was on hand in Jax to watch Stanton perform on Tuesday, as was assistant general manager Dan Jennings.
By the way, check out this interesting article in the Florida Times-Union, which ranks Stanton as the sixth-best player to play for Jacksonville during its 40 years as a Double A city. Keep in mind, when reading the article, that players are ranked on how they performed in Jax, not how they turned out in the majors, if they even made it that far. Take the #2-ranked player, outfielder Terrell Hansen. He's high on the list because he's the only player to hit at least 20 home runs in three different seasons. But he never made it past Triple A, where he spent six seasons.The top-ranked player is Gabe Kapler. There are two former Marlins on the list, and both are ranked higher than Stanton. Outfielder Juan Encarnacion checks in at No. 4 while pitcher Brian Moehler is right behind him at 5. Even more interesting: Randy Johnson didn't crack the top 10.
-- While Stanton was having another huge night, the evening didn't go so well for Sean West, who was appearing in his first game of the season for Triple A New Orleans and was knocked out in the second inning. West went into spring training as a candidate to crack the Marlins rotation but was eliminated early due to big-time control problems. Back issues had kept him sidelined until Tuesday. West didn't give up any runs. But he threw a lot of pitches (59) in just an inning and two-thirds. He walked two.
-- Not sure how much effort the Marlins put into acquiring Dontrelle Willis from the Tigers, as opinions on him within the organization were mixed. But it looks like Willis found a better fit with the Diamondbacks, who got him for a minor-league pitcher -- Billy Buckner -- and cash (the Tigers are eating his salary). The pitching-starved D-Backs are plugging Willis into their rotation. With no openings in their own rotation, the Marlins would have tried him in the bullpen, and most likely in the minors to start.