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Stanton on pace for 54 HRs, 227 RBI in 2014; Slowey to start Sunday

Giancarlo Stanton earned himself $6.5 million in his first year of arbitration this past off-season.

It's hard to fathom what the Marlins are going to have to pay him if he keeps up his current pace.

After 15 games, the 24-year old former All-Star is hitting .317 with five homers, 12 runs scored and 21 RBI -- by far his best start to a season ever. The RBI total leads the majors.

At this rate, if he plays in all 162 games for the Marlins this season, Stanton will finish with 54 homers, 130 runs scored, 227 RBI and 20 stolen bases.

Of course, history has shown us Stanton has yet to get through a big league season completely healthy. He missed 85 combined games with injuries over the last two seasons after playing in 150 games in 2011. But a healthy Stanton sure is pretty scary to watch.

The first month of the season has usually been horrendous for Stanton. Between March and April in his first three full big league seasons (2011-2013), he combined to hit .236 with 27 RBI and six homers in 57 games. This season has obviously been different.

According to Fangraphs, Stanton is seeing more pitches in the strike zone (40.4 percent) compared to last season, when he finished second with the fewest strikes thrown to him (38.2 percent).

He's also being more aggressive than he was a year ago, swinging at 47.1 percent of the pitches thrown to him compared to 41.5. During his All-Star season of 2012, Stanton swung at 48.4 percent of the pitches thrown to him ,and saw 44.8 percent of those pitches thrown in the strike zone.

SLOWEY TO START SUNDAY

Skipper Mike Redmond said veteran right-hander Kevin Slowey will start Sunday's game against the Mariners. 

It might be the only time Slowey is needed in the rotation. The Marlins, off Thursday before opening a three-game series Friday at Marlins Park against the Seattle Mariners, have a day off between series next week in Atlanta and New York, and then another day of rest before they return home to face the Braves on April 29. 

Redmond said he and pitching coach Chuck Hernandez opted to not move Tuesday night winner Tom Koehler into Sunday's slot on five days rest because they wanted their staff to line up accordingly against the Braves next week and other teams down the road. Koehler is slated to start Monday night in Atlanta, followed by Jose Fernandez and Nathan Eovaldi.

By the time the Marlins get back from the road trip, right-hander Jacob Turner could be back from the disabled list. Turner, out with a strained right shoulder, played catch from 60 feet on Tuesday and played catch again Wednesday. Redmond said Turner will throw a bullpen Friday before being reevaluated.

Slowey went 1-6 with a 4.21 ERA in 14 starts for the Marlins last season. Redmond said left-hander Brad Hand, who had back-to-back starts that didn't make it past the fourth inning, will head back to the bullpen to serve as the long reliever.

> Redmond said he's hearing nothing but positive reports regarding second baseman Rafael Furcal, who is down on rehab assignment in Jupiter and isn't expected back until May 6th. "I've heard he's feeling great, doing good. He's running around really well. He's playing good defense. That part of it is very encouraging," Redmond said. 

> Stanton (21) and Casey McGehee (13) have combined to drive in 34 runs over the first 15 games of the season, the most RBI among any two teammates in the Majors. The duo has recorded the most combined RBI by a set of teammates over the first 15 games of any season in Marlins history, two better than Juan Encarnacio (17) and Miguel Cabrera (15) in 2005. The last set of teammates in the Majors to record 34+ RBI through the first 15 games of the season were Prince Fielder (19) and MIguel Cabrera (17) of Detroit, and John Buck (20) and David Wright (14) of the Mets, last season.

WEDNESDAY'S LINEUP

> Marlins (6-9): 1. Christian Yelich LF, 2. Marcell Ozuna CF, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Garrett Jones 1B, 5. Casey McGehee 3B, 6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 7. Derek Dietrich 2B, 8. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 9. Jose Fernandez RHP.

> Nationals (8-6): 1. Anthony Rendon 3B, 2. Bryce Haroer LF, 3. Jayson Werth RF, 4. Adam LaRoche 1B, 5. Ian Desmond SS, 6. Danny Espinosa 2B, 7. Nate McLouth CF, 8. Jose Lobaton C, 9. Tanner Roark RHP.

Comments

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A Realist

Ok ladies!! Let's go get this win and head north towards respectability. Leave the questions at the door. Know you're better than them.

Marcos Rodriguez

224 RBIs...that is pretty amazing....get real...why waste the effort to even write that! I love Stanton and think he is the most prolific power hitter in the game...better than Trout...but lets dial down the optimism. Let the Marlins sign him and pray he stays healthy...than we can talk about 224 hrs...wait, sorry RBIs.....

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Somebody skipped a Statistics class or twelve.

richie

54 HRs, okay, possible, but, 224 RBIs!!!! a bit of a stretch. Love to see it but there would have to be a lot of people making a lot of Novenas

Alex

The MINUTE that the Marlins ended the bottom of the 5th inning and Stanton left Ozuna stranded on 3rd base with one out, I told my buddy who was watching the game with me that I BET that not scoring that run would come back to BITE THIS TEAM IN THE BUTT. When this team has done things like that this year it has ALWAYS come back to haunt them. Not scoring that run changed the game's MOMENTUM. Until then everything was going the Marlins' way. But the second that inning ended, everything started to come apart. This is a team that does NOT get any breaks when they diosrespect the Gods of baseball by not playing FUNDAMENTAL BASEBALL.

Loxachee Bill

Dunner!

Why didn't Ramos start the 8th?

Stuck in a old baseball paradigm..

Alex

How many times do I have to say that DUNN IS PURE GARBAGE? Dunn needs to be sent to the FAR BACK END of the Bullpen and Redmond is an IDIOT.

NO WAY SHOULD HE HAVE BROUGHT DUNN IN TO A GAME LIKE THIS!!! But he sure loves his "Dunner"!

And not sending Yelich with a 3-2 count and Ozuna up? What is this clown thinking? Oh wait...he's NOT thinking.

Now he brings in Ramos after the damage has been done, so that Ramos can get HIS confidence shaken too.

Alex

Boy oh boy, I freaking sometimes HATE it when I see exactly what's coming and yet I can't do anything about it.

1) As soon as the Fish failed to score that 4th run I said this would come back to haunt them.

2) As soon as moron the manager brought in Dunn I said he would blow the game.

3) As soon as Ramos came in I said that he would get hit too, because the Nats had the momentum going their way. Moron the manager should have left Dunn in there to clean up his OWN mess. Instead he now has blown some of Ramos' confidence too.

This game has made me physically sick.

A Realist

Redmond is sooooo bad! As soon as I saw Dunn warming up I told my girlfriend we were in trouble. Sure enough.

What I see in this team is a lot of the same from last year. As soon as something goes wrong and the momentum shifts away from them they totally lose confidence. Even with a years experience they don't seem any more confident.

Saltalamacchia! Really?!

Send Loria to Eastern Ukraine

You get what you pay for Loria you fang toothed, troll nosed scumbag!!

Alex

Yes, realist, how COULD Moron The Manager bring his "Dunner" in to a game like this? Is he freaking BLIND? Has he even been WATCHING Dunn pitch this year? He's been getting HAMMERED all year long, yet this clown lets that arsonist come in to burn the game down.

Alex

The Gods of baseball PUNISH teams that disrespect the fundamentals of the game, Realist. Whenever the Fish fail to do the little, simple things, that the fundamentals of the game demand that you do, the Fish immediately PAY for it.

Marlin Fan

Agree about the 4th run . Stanton again on sliders . I'll say this about Dunn , at least hr didn't waste time or get our hopes up. He got right in there and got it over quick . Saltamaccia also had a splendid defensive game tonight . Another wasted Fernandez performance .

Alex

Stanton needs to be told that when the count is 0-2, 1-2, or 2-2, he is ALWAYS going to be thrown those sweeping breaking pitches that he has NO CHANCE AT ALL OF HITTING. His continued poor ABs at critical times of ballgames are smearing an otherwise fine season. Why the hell doesn't somebody explain this to Stanton? Pitchers ALWAYS throw him first pitch strikes and he NEVER swings. Then when they get two strikes on him, they NEVER throw him another fastball, nothing but those sweeping breaking balls. If I can see this and figure it out, why can't he?

Alex

Watching Redmond's post game press conference made me even MORE sick. I might just stop watching these games if he's serious about continuing to run Dunn out there. Because that's what that clown said: "We just gotta keep running these guys out there." They need to run Dunn to the far back of the bullpen and get rid of Jennings too. Bring up that Drayton kid and Capps too. No way they can be any worse than Mike Dunn and Dan Jennings. They are garbage.

Alex

Redmond is a lousy manager. His in game moves are bad too. Yelich at 1st, one out, Ozuna up, 3-2 count. Yelich has never been thrown out stealing. Does Redmond send him? NO! So Ozuna grounds into a DP to SS that might have been a hit if the SS Desmond had been moving towards 2nd to cover the bag with Yelich running. Instead, inning ending DP!

How do you NOT send Yelich with a 3-2 count on Ozuna?

Lou Vales

Mike Dunn can pitch when there is no pressure--think down by 3 runs or more or ahead by 5 or more. He is like many mediocre MLB pitchers who pitches down to the situation. You do not want him in a tight game. He has a 5,000,000 arm and a .50 cent head. The .50 cent head may be an overvaluation but I'm feeling happy.

Stan M

Bad Omens:
Slowey will join the rotation for at least two starts or until Turner returns. That portends at least two losses unless the hitters knock the cover off the ball.
Furcal will be returning in about a week. It was a mistake to sign hm. It was a more significant mistake to promise him second base. Now the team must play him or look even worse then they do now to potential free agents. But possibly he can force our esteemed manager into producing a more productive lineup. With Furcal leading off and Ozuna looking good at #2, Yelich could be moved to 3rd with Stanton cleanup. Baker can platoon with Jones who should be dropped in the order anyway. The problem is what happens to Dietrich? He's no marvel in the field, but his pitch selection and hitting in general have shown his potential as a force within the lineup. Here are 3 possibilities:
He becomes a pinch hitter and reserve infielder
He is sent down to AAA to improve his fielding
He platoons at 3B with McGehee
All 3 alternatives stink in my opinion. My guess is that it will be #2. The team's best bet is that Furcal pulls another muscle or does extremely well and gets traded. No one could predict that Dietrich would hit like this, but Solano had been OK and a good fielder, so signing Furcal really made no sense back then and makes less sense now.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Where the #### is Clark???

Stan M

DT, there has been talk of pitching inside. You seem to have an amazing memory so see if this rings a bell and you can reconstruct it correctly. As I recall, during the Cub-Met rivalry, a Cub pitcher, I think Hands, either knocked Tommy Agee down rather convincingly or actually beaned him. In retaliation Jerry Koosman not only hit a Cub batter, but broke his arm. I think he was thrown out of the game and that lost win might have cost him the Cy Young that went to Randy Jones of the Padres. Do you remember any of that and how far off my memory might be.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Stan, the only reason I remember that game is because it happened on the weekend the Mets caught up to the Cubs in the standing in the Miracle Year of '69 (GOD, am I old!!!).

Bill Hands was a decent pitcher for the Cubs, and he dusted Agee in the first. Koosman retaliated by hitting Santo in the hand, breaking a bone (see the symmetry? Hands? broken hand? Never mind, that's Sam Adams talking!) Anyway, next time up, Agee hits a 2-run HR, Metsies win 3-2, next day a black cat walks in front of the Cubs dugout and the very next day after, Mets took over first place for good.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Stan M

I was at one of the games in that series, but can't remember which one. What a year to be a sports fan in NY.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Spence goes away and this blog goes right into the toilet with this absurd 227-RBI projection that it's been swirling in ever since.

I repeat ... where the #### is Clark?!?!?

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