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Judge for yourself: Did Adeiny Hechavarria make play of the year for Marlins?

PHILADELPHIA -- You had to see it to believe it, to truly fathom it. When Adeiny Hechavarria went vertical to make his sensational leaping catch at Citizens Bank Park in Wednesday's sixth inning, I missed it. I had left my seat briefly and when I returned, I asked others to describe the play. None could do it justice.

But here is what Marlins infield coach Perry Hill had to say about it afterward: "I have never seen a baseball player jump that high on a baseball field, ever. I've been around a while, too. I mean, that's just instinct, number one, and God-given ability to jump that high. I mean, that just shows you how good an athlete he is, too."

Third baseman Ed Lucas was the closest Marlin to Hechavarria when he made the stunning catch on Cody Asche's line drive and said he wasn't sure that what he had just seen had actually happened.

"I was trying to make eye contact with anyone in the stadium just to verify what I just saw," Lucas said. "Because I really didn't think that little body could get that high off the ground. It's pretty impressive. I'm a little jealous, I'm not going to lie to you. In fact, I always feel bad when I end up at shortstop. I say, 'I told you guys don't expect me to make the plays he's making over there, because I don't think anyone else in the world can make those.'"

Manager Mike Redmond played with two of the majors' most athletic shortstops in former Marlins Alex Gonzalez and Edgar Renteria and said Hechavarria now belongs on the same throne.

"I've played with Edgar Renteria and Alex Gonzalez, and this kid is maybe more athletic than those two guys," Redmond said. "I think the amazing thing is his ease to the balls, and how he just kind of floats and glides to these balls and makes these plays look relatively easy. I don't know how high he jumped, but it looked like he was three feet in the air. It was unbelievable. I didn't think, when that ball was hit, that he had a chance for it."

The play was so spectacular that hard-to-please, yet admiring Phillies fans applauded it not once, but twice after seeing it replayed on the ballpark scoreboard.

As jaw-dropping as Hechavarria's play was in the sixth, it was his defensive gem in the eighth that saved the game for the Marlins. With the score tied 3-3 and a man on third for the Phillies, Roger Bernadina hit a screaming one-hopper into the hole. Hechavarria dove, made a backhanded grab on the ball and fired to first to end the inning and prevent the go-ahead run from scoring. The Marlins ended up winning the game in the 10th.

Check out both of Hechavarria's monster plays:

Comments

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Snyder Vega

Not the play of the year, but one hell of a play. The kid is a gold glove SS

bob

Even when he's on the bench, Fernandez is fun to watch.

JUAN YANES

HECHEVARRIA IS ALREADY A GOLD GLOVE, YESTERDAY HE GRADUATED FOR EVER, BUT AT BAT HE ALWAYS SHOULD BE PUT AS # 8 IN THE LINE-UP, HIS JOB WILL BE FOCUS MAINLY IN THE FIELDING. WITH HIS CATCH HE SAVE THE GAMES. BUT REDMOND DON'T IMPROVE HIS JOB, YESTERDAY HE CALL POLANCO AS PINCH HITTER, VERY WELL, BUT POLANCO SHOULD REMAINED IN THE GAME AND MOVING LUCAS TO 2ND BASE BECAUSE SOLANO GIVE UP THE LAST OUT IN THE TOP OF INNING EIGHT. (REMEMBER LUCAS IS NOT GOOD 3RD BASE FIELDER) ALSO, DUNN HAS SHOWED (THROUGH THE SEASON) HE IS NOT GOOD FOR MORE THAN ONE INNING) YESTERDAY REDMOND LEAVE HIM AGAIN FOR ANOTHER INNING AND EVERYBODY KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED.

Flav C.

Dunn pitched more than one inning 11 times this season. Only twice he allowed runs or left base-runners after completing the 1st inning.

Before last night, Lucas had the 4th best fielding pctg in the NL as 3B.

Now you can go back to bashing Redmond for every single thing.

hayu

Flav...Good job. See you on the other side.

Stan M

Flav, was just reading your above comment when Alvarez got another hit. Reminded me of one of Redmond's worse calls when he had him try to bunt a couple of weeks ago. Although I have sometimes differed with you, I could always understand your point of view. But not in this case. I can't bring myself to defend Redmond as a manager in any way. I think the guy is simply over his head at the ML level. Of course, that is just my opinion.

Flav. C

Stan,

It is funny you brought up Hech's bunting, because in this case Redmond is not an isolated head-case. I read from several different sports analysts (and agree with them) that Hech would benefit tremendously from bunting with some more frequency.

Just to clarify, I am not a fan of Redmond. He has made his shares of mistakes and the way he handled Jose's issue against the Braves was completely wrong. However, he is coaching a roster with 11 rookies, tons of guys back and forth from the injury reserve, having to deal with an incompetent FO, not mentioning the fact that he only had the desired pitching rotation by mid-June. This is not the Cards where a rookie coach comes in and have the luxury of having a tremendous club, with solid roster and wonderful farm system, and great coaches. This is the Marlins with the lowest payroll of the MLB.

Just for that, I give him credit to hang tough. And the fact that he didn't support Tino Martinez and that upset Loria, this is an added bonus in my opinion.

I'm glad we are able to share our opinions, regardless if we agree or disagree. Only thing missing is to schedule a trip to a game so we can laugh of all of this.

Hayu my friend, great to hear from you!

Stan M

Just found out it was Hech and not Alvarez who got the hit. As I said, I was reading our blog. That doesn't change my opinion of Redmond though, for Alvarez has gotten other hits. But, Flav, I hope it's obvious that I respect nearly all of your positions. But Redmond? What has he done positively except take a thankless job. Is he helping this team in any way? I don't see it.

Flav. C

Stan,

1 - He has the respect of his players. You can read from any of the beat reporters (maybe Clark can confirm - or not - that) that the players like him a lot and he is 100% committed to having and maintaining a positive environment in a clubhouse of a team which was destined from day 1 to lose 100+ games.

2 - Managing LoMo. Morrison hasn't played more than 30% of the games and he's been very careful with when and how he uses him in the lineup.

3 - Invited Charles Corbell to help out with Hand and Flynn. Corbell is the NOLA pitching coach and Redmond asked him to be with the team for the remainder of the season so Corbell can give some pointers related to Hand, Flynn, Dyson.

He has made several tactical errors that for us, from the outside, looked easy calls. And maybe they were. Question is, how would that look from the bench perspective? As fans we have the opportunity and luxury to "coach" our teams from our sofa or couch. We don't know what really is going on during game time, we don't know how a specific player is feeling, etc...

For that, I give him the benefit of being a rookie coach who managed a roster that was forced to utilize 53 players during the season (2nd most in Marlins history). Not an easy task.

Flav. C

Case and point of a tactical error from a "couch-coach":

Top of the 2nd, two men on, nobody out. Next at bat, is Yelich, who will face a lefty-pitcher and Yelich is hitting around .180 against lefties.

Do you allow Yelich to hit against a lefty, so he can try to get a hit, try to take as many pitches as possible so he can have more insight on this particular pitcher for his next at bat, or do you give him the sign to bunt, advancing both runners?

I would go with the 2nd option. Next batter is Stanton, who had a good chance of being walked, giving bases loaded to Ruggiano, who has much better bat avg against lefties.

However, Ruggiano has a horrible bat avg with RISP, and Yelich is much better with RISP.

So, what do you do?

rbleigh

I think its been said many times that Redmond was the only guy willing to take the job and even if he had the astute tactical mind of Larussa the Marlins would are likely to have 95 losses instead of 100. BFD! The team needs better everyday players and we all know this until we can really evaluate Red.

Our fish are destined for the no. 2 overall pick and hopefully there's a Machado type player out there though I lean more towards the best available college player because they tend to be more projectable. Would love for a Pedroia or Zunino type guy waiting in the wings.

Stan M

Flav, how about in the 8th inning when he had 3 LH hitters on the bench and let Hech hit with 2 outs and the tying run on 2B? I so dislike disfavoring your positions, that here are 3 places where I would agree:
Numbers 1 through 3 above are all valid points. During last blog you showed Juan that Dunn had generally done well when used for a second inning. If a middle reliever comes in and is "lights out" for the inning, that would seem to indicate that he on top of his best stuff on that day and I say it is foolhardy not to let him pitch at least another inning. This role playing is silly. Lastly, you very validly point that Lucas is hot as a pistol and should therefore play. Whereas I still want to see LoMo and Coghlan in there, Lucas could have given Hech a break. Keith Hernandez just spent 3 games pointing out how lost he is at the plate. The guy could and probably should get a rest. I agree that playing Lucas is fine, just not in place of LoMo and especially Coghlan. FYI, Lucas is probably my favorite position player right now.

Flav C.

Stan,

I will definitely agree with you on the last point (leaving Hech to hit with 2 outs and 3 LH guys in the bench).

What I will say though (and that has very little to do with Redmond) is that if I were part of the Marlins FO, I would be very concerned about what to do with LoMo.

He didn't play 30% of the games this season, and that has nothing to do with him rehabbing his knee. It doesn't need more rehab because due to the nature of his 2nd surgery, his knee gets swollen naturally after a couple of days of intense physical activity. That's how it will be for him from now on.

So, either he takes cortisone shots or rests his knee every 2-3 games. That means he will play around 110-115 games next season (considering his knee doesn't get worse). Now, take your "fan cap" for a while and put a "FO cap": LoMo is Arb eligible in 2014. His salary will jump from $450k league minimum to approximately $2.2 million. Same thing with Cogs (his approx salary after arb would be around $1.5 million), and then you still have Ryan Webb (approx $1.2 mil) and the big raise for Stanton (somewhere around $7 mil).

Cogs is the kind of player you can utilize basically everywhere on the field, so he has good value. Webb is right now your best long reliever and Stanton the only guy who can hit 20+ HRs regularly.

What about LoMo? The only infield position he can play is 1B. He can't play outfield any longer. From a fielding stand-point, 1B is all you will get from him. So, you, as a FO person, would have to reflect if it is worth to keep a player around and hope he can produce what he once did once healthy. Can he provide a .260/20 HRs in 110-115 games? That is the kind of production this team would need from 1B, and we all know that is basically what the team has been expecting out of LoMo.

In poker, you would pay to see the cards. I'm not sure Loria is much of a gambler.

manny

After hitting .320 in June, Lomo has followed up with a .205 July,a.273 August and is hitting .176 in Sept. Hitting a blistering .229 with 2HRs and a .649OPS since the All-Star break. Unless they plan on moving in the Fences at Marlins Park ,deal Lomo to an American League team and invest his Arb money elsewhere.They can find several options at 1B for alot less money to put up Lomo like numbers with his mediocre defense. But knowing Loria,they will probably keep him for another crappy season.

JUAN YANES

I read Linda Robertson report, I agree with her in almost everything, but, she not mention the main cause of Marlins fail in the present and previous seasons; this is the MANAGER. Who choice unexperience Redmond,among several candidates? Beinfest or Loria? Who think Larry Bowa (one of the applicants)was the best guy for this position. Make a survey with 100 fans about and you can find the answer. I think Bowa at least had fifty % Ave in win and losses.

Stan M

Flav, the fact that they are arbitration eligible is exactly why I want to see them play more. I have no problem with the big trades this team has made (even Cabrera at the time), it is the little giveaways that happen when players become slightly more expensive that drive me up a wall. There are closers all over baseball who are ex-Marlins. Petit in SF was with our team. There is a 26 YO catcher on our AAA team who had 30ABs with no HRs a .200BA and a .273OBP. That is the talent we got for the Hopper. Cox has turned out to be a horrible return for Mujica, and we let Miller go to Boston too soon and for nothing in return. De Aza is another example. You are very stat conscious and must realize that LoMo has the ingredients for a break out year (disregarding his knee). He has always had that beautiful LH swing and good ball/strike judgement. So to answer your question, yes, I would definitely give him one more year. This owner isn't going to spend any money and I'm not at all encouraged with the free agent signing experiences of most other teams. And I think it foolhardy to chase big money after a one dimentional Cuban slugger when this team has so many other pressing needs. You ask if he can hit .260. I would expect .280 to .320 and with gap rather than HR power which s fine. We come at things from two entirely different perspectives so we sometimes differ. I use personal observation and logic and after 60+ years I really think I know a good swing when I see one. The man also possesses the right attitude; he's no shirker. I'll close by saying that as much as I like his swing (and Yelich's as well), I am worried about Marisnick, and boy do I hope I'm wrong. Love the guy in CF.

DR NO

Lomos a streak hitter that has 1 good week to 4 bad ones. Hell never be more than he is right now,good swing,blah blah etc. Keep dreaming if you think he'll suddenly change.

Marcos Rodriguez

The play by Echevarria was something special...but when you talk about plays of the year, you better include the one Stanton made about a month ago when, with both knees on the ground, and deep right, threw out a runner at second. I have watched a lot of baseball in my life and had never seen that before. If I remember correctly, it was Bryce Harper he got at second and you know that kid can run.

JUAN YANES

WHEN YO ARE A MANAGER OF A BASEBALL TEAM THE MAIN RESPECT IS FOR THE FANS WHO SUPPORT THE EVENT (TOM LASSORDA 2010)
AND WHAT WISH THE FANS = VICTORY . IF A MANAGER IGNORE THIS RULE FOR RESPECT TO THE PLAYERS HE IS BETRAYING THE FANS FEELINGS. EXAMPLE: REDMOND NEVER BRING A PINCH HITTER FOR MATHIS IN THE LATE INNINGS IN SPITE OF HE IS A WEAK AVE HITTER AND THE SCORE IS TIE OR DOWN. ANOTHER EXAMPLE: REDMOND PUT YEILICH AS # 3 IN THE LINE UP OFF LEFTIES PITCHERS, IN SPITE OF YEILICH AVE IS LESS 0.200 OFF LEFTIES. "COULD A TEAM WIN WITH THESE CHOICES" PLEASE LET ME KNOW. THANKS.

Stan M

Dr No, LoMo doesn't have to change. He just has to be healthy. Go back and look what scouts said about him years ago. Once those skills are there, they don't leave until age begins to take its toll. He just turned 25. I'm sorry if you can't tell a good swing when you see one. The scouts could. Other team's announcers do. Be patient, the man has been playing on one leg for over two years.
Juan, everything you say is right on the nose.

KLaw

More excuses from a delusional Lomo apologist, who actually will turn 27 next August. Tune in next September for more excuses for an over-rated lifetime .250 hitter.In this inept pathetic offense,Lomo is part of the problem,not part of the solution. Scouts guess.His numbers are FACT.Who cares what his swing looks like.He looks good making outs?

Stan M

Hatcher was so bad that the players should have refused to give him back the ball. Those hits weren't bleeders, that's for sure.
How can we expect the Marlins to win when every night they face Cy Young. At least each guy who faces them imitates the HOF pitcher.

Stan M

Judging by the box score, the Pirates did it again. Starting pitcher only gave up 2 runs over 8 innings and pitch count was in the mid 90s. They brought in the same guy as last time to "close" and he blew it again. Flav, here is one place where I still think the old ways were best. Guy is pitching well, low pitch count, why take the chance that the next guy won't have his best stuff. Trading what you've got for what you don't know. Stupid, and it's almost universal.

Marlin Fan

Agreed about Lomo. First he's never healthy to play in 130-140 games even . Had ONE yr where he hit for some power. Fielding wise , he leaves alot to be desired. I dont think he'll ever by a .280 25hr and 85 RBI guy . Patience is one thing, but when you have a young team , we dont have the luxury of waiting for him , first to be healthy , and second to produce consistently .

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