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Yelich, Stanton share laugh after near collision in outfield Monday night

Things obviously haven't been going well for the Marlins during this eight-game losing streak. 

But Monday night's 9-2 loss to the Nationals came awfully close to being much more painful for the Marlins had Christian Yelich not yielded the way to Giancarlo Stanton. The two nearly collided into each other in right-center field in the second inning sprinting after a Jayson Werth fly ball.

Stanton made the grab for the out and then smiled at Yelich, who decided at the last second self preservation was a smarter idea than crashing into his 6-6, 240-pound teammate.

"I heard him at the last second and saw out of the corner of my eye he wasn't stopping," said Yelich (6-3, 200). "So I kind of just peeled off. Self preservation -- otherwise I probably wouldn't be here today. I would have been out there still."

Yelich said Stanton joked with him after the game how everyone on the team would be wearing a C.Y. patch (Yelich's initials) on their uniform Tuesday had there been a head-on collision between the two.

"It was close," Yelich said. "We had a close one in spring training also. I've tempted fate a few times here. Hopefully it doesn't become a frequent thing. The good thing is you kind of hear him running when he gets close to you. It sounds like a horse. You can definitely tell he's coming."

Yelich, who returns to left field tonight with Marcell Ozuna back in the lineup, has only started six games in center field in the big leagues. Skipper Mike Redmond said he has no problem starting Yelich in center and that the ball Werth hit belonged to the center fielder.

"You always get a little bit nervous even though Yelly has played quite a bit of center field [in the minors]," Redmond said. "He hasn't played a lot of in the big leagues, but you know he can do it. Those are always things you worry about -- the communication in the outfield. But fortunately it didn't happen."

> Redmond said what he's seen from Stanton defensively and running the bases this season has been outstanding.

"He looks great. His jumps have been solid. Watching him run the bases he looks good, he looks healthy," Redmond said. "He looks really comfortable out there both offensively and defensively. He's feeling good. Now we have to get everything around it going. The pitching, better defense."

> Yelich heads into Tuesday night's game on a nine-game hitting streak. He's gone 14 for 39 (.359) since starting the season 2-for-14. Getting more familiar with the pitchers he's been facing helps, Yelich said. 

"When it wasn't going well I think I had good at-bats and it wasn't happening. Now it is," Yelich said. "I'm just finding holes. Baseball is funny like that."

He's also getting comfortable and speaking up more, sharing his assessment of what pitchers are doing and the quality of their pitches to teammates. That's something every lead-off hitter tries to do.

"Previously it was kind of tough for me to go back and tell a guy this is what he's doing tonight because he would say 'Hey man you've got two at-bats against him,'" Yelich said. "Obviously when you face guys more you kind of have a better idea of what their stuff looks like on their good and bad days, kind of what they're doing to you. You feel more comfortable letting the other guys in the dugout know this is what he's got going tonight and this is what he's doing, let's go get him. I'm starting to feel more comfortable doing that."

> Redmond said the Marlins still haven't decided what they're going to do with Brad Hand's spot in the rotation after his rough night Monday, but a decision could be announced Wednesday. Hand's starts have lasted 3 1/3 innings and 3 innings.

> Right-hander Jacob Turner, who played catch off flat ground for the first time since being placed on the disabled list, said his strained right shoulder has "definitely gotten better the last few days." He said his rehab could be sped up or slowed down depending on how feels.

TUESDAY'S LINEUPS

> Nationals (8-5): 1. Anthony Rendon 3B, 2. Bryce Harper LF, 3. Jayson Weerth RF, 4. Adam LaRoche 1B, 5. Ian Desmond SS, 6. Danny Espinosa 2B, 7. Nate McLouth CF, 8. Sandy Leon C, 9. Stephen Strasburg RHP

> Marlins (5-9): 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. Tom Koehler RHP.

Comments

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A Realist

It's early yet, but I think they are going to climb out of this skid tonight. Finally some decent situational hitting followed by timely defense after an error by Dietrich.

And I'm liking Koehler's aggressive attitude. Good to see someone step up. Replicate it tomorrow Fernandez. CONSISTENCY!!!

Alex

Yes indeed, the losing streak is going to be OVER tonight! Stanton is becoming The Beast I always said he would be. There was a lot of criticism of Stanton over the years, some of it certainly justified. He swung at too many pitches out of the zone that he could never even reach, and in the outfield, despite a great arm, his judgement of balls in the air left something to be desired. But as I kept pointing out all these years, HE WAS STILL A KID. Hell, he just turned 24 years old! Back in the day, as I'm sure Stan M would agree, he would have stayed in the minors learning not to do those things before they brought him up. The Marlins need to make every effort to sign him to a long term deal (if he'll even consider signing with Loria) ASAP. He is the only Marlin hitter that puts FEAR in the hearts of the opposition. He changes the way teams approach the entire line up.

Anyway, with the streak over and Jose going tomorrow, the Fish have a chance to actually go on a little winning streak. This team needs to climb back to around .500 and stay there for a while. If they can do that, they should be in striking distance of a playoff spot by late July. Then it will be up to that cheap SOB Loria to go out and pick up some pieces at the Trading Deadline. Right now I would say they will need to shore up that bullpen. But because we are talking about Loria here, he will probably do NOTHING, just like in 2008 & 2009, both years that the Fish were playing .500 ball and were within a few games of a playoff spot in July. But at least the STREAK IS OVER!

Flav C.

Not to brag about, but my scouting report on Koehler on the previous post earlier today was spot on. First inning was critical. He could I have messed up everything but was able to get out of the jam. Great night for the top of the lineup.

Alex

Brag on, Flav C! When you're right, you're right. Koehler has been the Marlins' second best pitcher this year, no doubt about it. The only problem I see with him is his wildness; he falls behind a lot of hitters 2-0. But in games where the Fish jump out and get him a lead, at least he HOLDS IT, unlike Alvarez who has given the lead up. I guess when you're the #5 guy you are HUNGRY for those wins, and once you get a lead, you will hold on to it.

Alex

And of course Dan Jennings comes in and ruins the shut out. I'm telling you guys the bullpen, outside of Ramos and Cishek, is garbage. Jennings is safe only in games with leads of 6 runs or better, and Dunn is the worst kind of pitcher: a fastball pitcher who pitches to contact. Dunn is that rare lefty relief pitcher that lefty hitters are NOT afraid of. Camineiro looks like the second coming of Armando Benitez: FASTBALL that has no movement whatsoever. Slowey is a mop up guy at best.

Flav C.

Alex, one of those two should be on very short leash. Capps has been throwing really well in NOLA and should be called up, if it depended on me. You can't feel comfortable when both your lefties have allowed, what..3-4 HRs so early in the season.

Alex

I like a lot of what you post, Flav, but I really enjoy it when you give us updates of how guys are doing in the minors (I believe Stan also does this). It's good to know Capps might be ready to come up; I was a bit disappointed in his Spring Training, as I really hoped he would be a major contributor to the pen this year. I was glad they dumped Webb this off season and honestly was hoping they'd get rid of Dunn too. Although Dunn's overall numbers weren't too bad last year, I felt he was declining and often getting hit really hard, and I wasn't happy they gave him a new contract. I do understand that good lefty relievers are hard to come by, but they would be much better off with a guy like Choate rather than Dunn.

Flav C.

If the Marlins at some point give a chance to one of my favorite pitchers in the farm system, I'm sure he will stick around. I talked about him before, his name is Grant Dayton. Had great seasons in Jupiter and when was finally called up to play in JAX end of 2012, had a season ending surgery and only got back on May of last season. He completely dominated in AA during 2013. Dayton is lefty, very good heavy 4-seam, and deceiving change up. Career wise, lefty hitters have a hard time against him. He's on the 40 man roster.

Stan M

Alex, giving Choate away for next to nothing has cost this team dearly ever since. I can't understand Dunn. He was fine last year and he just "looks" good out there. Then all hell breaks loose. As I've posted in the past, Baltimore when it was good, St Louis and Tampa Bay all introduce their youngsters in the bull pen first. We have 4 young lefties in the high minors, all of whom might outperform Jennings. Let's try one. I'd keep Dunn and give him more chances because he has been OK in the past. But Jennings...see ya!

A couple days ago I pointed out that Brantly and Marisnick weren't hitting. Brantly seems to have come around. Unfortunately, Flynn, Conley, Nicolino, Urena are all getting hit hard...very hard. Kind of negates my idea above. Heaney is the exception. His last start was overpowering. As soon as I suggested we watch Silvero, he stopped hitting...at all. Ouch!

Alex

Thanks guys for the minor league updates. Regarding Dayton..I hope they don't wait too long to give him a shot. Sounds like just what we need in the pen, plus Capps who I know throws very hard.

Regarding Choate and Dunn, my feeling is they decided Choate was a luxury they couldn't afford: a lefty that is ONLY good against lefties, a guy you bring in to pitch to one, maybe two guys at most, in a tight spot. They decided Dunn was the better bet because he could be used to pitch a whole inning late in games, to both lefties and righties, and he HAS had some success at that. But last year and the year before I saw him have outings where he was really hit hard, especially by teams in our division, the Braves, Nats, Mets and Phils. His off speed pitch is a big problem. If he throws it for strikes, they wait on it and hit it out. So he gets reluctant to throw it, and goes back to his fastball which has lost some zip and movement. They hit it out as well. Dunn is at his best when hitters swing at his off speed stuff out of the strike zone. But teams in our division know better by now!

Camera Mike

I was at a Seder tonight and of all the games to miss.

I agree that Koehler has looked good this season but he definetely is better with a lead then trying to play catch up. This team seems to ride one games emotions into the next so hopefully they carry this into tomorrow with Fernandez.

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