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Guillen: Stanton needs better protection in lineup

      PHILADELPHIA -- Ozzie Guillen is not a disciple of statistics because, as he says, "the only good stat is when you win. When you look at stats, there are more negatives than positives."

      But after the Marlins went 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position in last night's 6-4 loss to the Phillies, including zero for four with the bases loaded, Guillen instructed bench coach Joey Cora to look at the numbers. What Cora found surprised even Guillen.

      Certain Marlins aren't just bad with runners in scoring position. They're terrible.

      Omar Infante is hitting .216 with runners in scoring position. Hanely Ramirez is hitting .206 in those situations. Logan Morrison is at .146. On Friday, the Marlins had runners in scoring position in each of Morrison's first three trips to the plate, and each time he failed to produce. It was only when he led off the eighth -- with no one aboard -- did he come through with a home run.

       When Guillen was asked if he had given any thought to moving Morrison in the No. 2 spot, where he batted .320 as a rookie in 2010, the manager said he didn't think he would perform any better there than he has been in the No. 5 position. On the other hand, Guillen said it's imperative that Morrison break out of his slump.

       "We've got to get somebody to start swinging the bat better behind Stanton," Guillen said. "We have to figure out who. But you look around....nobody's swinging the bat well. Nobody."

       Guillen ruled out putting Infante in the No. 5 hole.

       "I'm not going to put Infante there, nope," Guillen said. "Infante's swinging the bat good, and we've been winning with the lineup. But my third hitter (Ramirez) is struggling with runners in scoring position, and my five hitter is struggling with men in scoring position. The main thing for us is LoMo's got to get hot because I need somebody to protect Stanton."

      One possibility: flip-flopping Ramirez and Stanton in the order.

      After Stanton delivered a RBI double in the first inning, Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick didn't give him anything to hit his second time up, with runners at the corners in the third inning. Stanton walked on four pitches, and Morrison promptly hit into an inning-ending double play.

      __________________________

      Justin Ruggiano, who homered last night as an eighth-inning pinch-hitter, is starting today in left. Guillen indicated that Ruggiano might start more often, even against right-handed pitching.

       "I like that kid Ruggiano," Guillen said. "He might get more playing time. I like his approach at the plate. We might see him a little more in left field, or right field to give Stanton a day off."

      __________________________

     LINEUPS:

     Marlins: 1. Jose Reyes, ss; 2. Omar Infante, 2b; 3. Hanley Ramirez, 3b; 4. Giancarlo Stanton, rf; 5. Logan Morrison, 1b; 6. Justin Ruggiano, lf; 7. Chris Coghlan, cf; 8. Brett Hayes, c; 9. Ricky Nolasco, p.

     Phillies: 1. Jimmy Rollins, ss; 2. Juan Pierre, lf; 3. Hunter Pence, rf; 4. Carlos Ruiz, c; 5. Shane Victorino, cf; 6. Ty Wigginton, 1b; 7. Placido Polanco, 3b; 8. Freddy Galvis, 2b; 9. Cole Hamels, p. 

 

Comments

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Alex

Ozzie: "But you look around....nobody's swinging the bat well. Nobody."

No kidding, Oz! I been saying that the Marlins desperately need a new hitting coach. The numbers don't lie! If it was just one or two guys struggling, ok. But it's like 5 or 6 guys who are having their worst offensive seasons ever: Buck, Lomo, Coghlan, Peterson, Murphy, Gaby. That is why the Fish are having trouble scoring runs.

Alex

It's getting to the point with Ricky where we should take a look at who is pitching well in our minor league system. His velocity is down this year; he barely breaks 90 mph, and he hangs too many breaking balls.

Alex

I like this kid Ruggiano. Hopefully he stays, and I would like to see if he can play CF.

Alex

But now with a 4-3 lead Ricky is getting stingy! Hanley is playing up to his capabilities, which is great to see after his past few years. Stanton cannot hit that Hamels breaking pitch at all. Go Fish!

rbleigh

Like I said about hanley in the past, its like he just gets out of bed in the morning and says, "hmm, I think I want to hit today!"

Alex

Reyes also heating up. The problem has been everyone batting after Stanton. But Lomo seems to be getting better, now that he's back playing his natural position, 1st base, and this kid Ruggiano is showing good signs too!

Alex

One thing Ricky does not do is walk people. That is huge when you don't have the greatest stuff, not beating yourself with walks.

Alex

As soon as I said that, Ricky walks Pierre. Ozzie should never have let Ricky start the 8th inning. He got greedy. I hope it doesn't cost us.

Alex

Wow! It only costs us 1 run as Cishek is nasty! But this means only one thing: Heart Attack Bell in the 9th inning. We better get some insurance runs!

Alex

Bell gives us the usual heart attack, but gets the job done. Huge win for the Fish.

richiej

it might be true, and it probably is true, Eduardo is working very hard with the batters trying to improve offensive production, but there have been no positive results. Actually only negative results. It was Conine who helped Stanton. Maybe Eduardo would be better doing some other job...Scout, Ticket Sales, etc.

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