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A healthy Giancarlo Stanton equals a happy Giancarlo Stanton

Never mind the 16 home runs. Or the 51 RBI. Or even the .317 batting average. If you ask Giancarlo Stanton which number he's proudest of, he'll tell you it's 54. That's the number of games that Stanton has appeared in this season, and it exactly matches the number of games the Marlins have played so far. In other words, a healthy Stanton has resulted in a highly productive one.

"I'll take the games (played)," Stanton answered when given a choice to pick out the one number on his 2014 resume that matters most to him.

His 2013 season was a major disappointment for Stanton because he spent six weeks on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, and because the Marlins were so abysmal they lost 100 games and finished in last for a third straight year.

But Stanton is firing all cylinders this season and the Marlins are winning. If the season ended today, Stanton would have to be considered a contender for N.L. MVP, and it wouldn't be a great stretch to include him in the Triple Crown conversation. He leads the league in home runs (by two over Troy Tulowitzki), RBI (by 11 over Yasiel Puig) and ranks eighth in batting average. Tulowitzki's .360 average leads the pack.

With his two-run homer on Friday off Braves ace Julio Teheran, Stanton became the fastest player in Marlins history to reach 50 RBI, breaking Lowell's 2001 mark. It took Lowell 57 games to get to 50.

"Whatever," Stanton said, shrugging off his impressive personal statistics. "It's two months. Have a milestone at the end of the year, not a (third) into it."

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Henderson Alvarez is all systems go for Tuesday's start after throwing a bullpen session Saturday with no arm issues. Alvarez left his most recent start with a stiff right elbow, but has maintained all along it was a precautionary move and nothing more serious than that.

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Reliever Carter Capps will see Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday to receive a second opinion on his arm injury. Capps has a right elbow sprain, and the Marlins are keeping their fingers crossed he'll require only rest, perhaps as little as a month, before he can return to the mound. But that all hinges on what Andrews sees when he examines the pitcher.

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Just because top draft prospect Carlos Rodon is Cuban-American doesn't mean the Marlins are any higher on the North Carolina State southpaw than they would be otherwise Nor has Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria given the order to draft Rodon (if the Houston Astros don't draft him first) just for that reason, according to a source in squashing a published report to the contrary.

The Marlins have the second overall pick in Thursday's draft, and they have narrowed their focus to a handful of players, including Rodon, California high school pitcher Brady Aiken and California high school catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson. Texas high school pitching phenom Tyler Kolek could also be on their radar.

The Marlins have four of the top 43 picks in the draft.

Comments

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Lou Vales

Who will be willing to accept a Marlins cap and an autographed picture of David Sampson will do much in determining who the Marlins select with those 4 picks.

Alex

We keep hearing that the Marlins have "bullpen issues", when the truth is we have a manager who has bullpen management issues. It's almost June and he STILL has not set defined roles for the pen, other than Cishek as the closer. Why? It seems pretty obvious that Cishek is the best pitcher and thus should close. After that, Ramos has had a solid year. He should pitch the 8th inning. After Ramos, Mike Dunn is the next best option. Why is it so damn hard for Redmond to make Dunn his 7th inning guy, Ramos the 8th inning guy and Cishek the closer and to STICK TO THAT ROTATION?

True, Dunn has had some failures, mostly early in the year, but overall, he's been reliable and Ramos has been VERY GOOD. There's NO QUESTION that they are the best pitchers in the bullpen after Cishek. Yet Redmond has THROWN AWAY GAMES by "experimenting" with BUMS like Marmol and Henry Rodriguez or guys completely unsuited for late inning work in close games like Brad Hand, Dan Jennings, and Chris Hatcher.

In addition to using the wrong pitchers at the wrong time, Redmond often leaves pitchers in too long. Why does every relief pitcher who is having a bad night have to FINISH THE INNING? When it's obvious that a guy's got nothing that night, he should be taken out BEFORE he gives up four runs and puts the game out of reach. Other times he lives the starter in too long. Last night was a great example. Having gotten 6 innings out of Koehler and a 2-1 lead, it was TIME TO TAKE HIM OUT. It was obvious that the Braves were starting to hit him hard, and his 4 walks and 2 hit batters should have been a clear warning sign as well. Why not go with Dunn, Ramos and Cishek for innings 7, 8 & 9? They were all well rested, too. Seems like a NO BRAINER. But no...he leaves Koehler in the game, the Braves get two runs and the game was OVER.

It's moves like this that make me wonder if Redmond really is TRYING to make the playoffs with this squad this year. Knowing who he works for, it's not too far fetched to think he isn't. Making a playoff run requires SPENDING MONEY. That counts us out right there.

Alex

Giancarlo Stanton an MVP candidate? A possible Triple Crown contender? That's not possible. No way. Our great Baseball Guru on this website has spent FOUR YEARS trashing Stanton. See, he KNOWS baseball, he says; he's OLD and has seen them all. He can just LOOK at a guy and tell us if that guy will ever be any good. And for four years he has been telling us Stanton will NEVER BE ANY GOOD AND THE MARLINS SHOULD TRADE HIM.

Didn't our resident Baseball Guru here tell us WITH ALL HIS BASEBALL WISDOM that Stanton was another Dave Kingman? Another George Foster? And defensively, didn't he compare him to Ron Swoboda? For you young guys (I'm 58 so I remember Swoboda QUITE WELL!) Ron Swoboda was a real BUM defensively who played for the NY Mets in the late sixties and early 70s. He made ONE GREAT PLAY in his entire life, in the 69 World Series. Otherwise he SUCKED. He couldn't carry Stanton's jock.

These are the kinds of players our Baseball genius, Guru M., has been saying that Stanton is like. All those same four years I have been saying "RELAX. Be patient. Stanton is young and he's getting better all the time." NO, said the Old Guru, he's not improving AT ALL! Trade him for Mark Teahen! Get a middle reliever for him! The Marlins don't need him. And now they are talking about Stanton for MVP. Even saying he has a chance for a Triple Crown. Some old guys really should just shut up and post things like Go Fish, because when it comes to evaluating baseball talent, they are like...the Renyel Pinto of this website.

Lou Vales

Alex, Will you give me the point that the 7th inning unfolded in 3 pitches. Dunn had still thrown 35 pitches a couple of days ago and if he burns out Dunn and they are left with Ramos and Cishek this could get Loria(ugly) in a hurry. I believe he needed to give Koehler the chance to give us 7.

Alex

And that could be the ballgame right there, 5-0 Braves as Turner suddenly could not throw strikes. He was pitching well in the first two innings and then the collapse started in the 3rd inning as he fell behind every hitter. In the 4th inning he walks the catcher and the 2nd baseman and the roof fell in on the Marlins. The whole time Redmond sat on his fat butt and didn't even get anyone up in the pen.

Well, unless they have a great comeback, it might be a LONG TIME before the Marlins are on Game of The Week again after THIS performance.

Alex

I don't know, Lou. Koehler was not sharp the entire game, and I think they should have been overjoyed to get six innings out of him and have a 2-1 lead. But ok Lou, if you give Koehler a chance to start the 7th inning like you say, at the first sign of trouble you gotta have Dunn ready to come in and face Heyward. Or, if you are that scared to bring in Dunn because he threw 35 pitches two days ago, then bring in Jennings to pitch to Heyward, who really struggles against lefties. Leaving Koehler out there to struggle through that inning was not good managing.

Lou Vales

For the love of God---is anyone else out there as sick as I am of watching Saltalamacchia do whatever it is he's doing? This is silly. The man has a hard time making contact. I would say he is a JOKE but nobody would appreciate that decadent of a sense of humor.

Alex

How long are we going to have to suffer with Salty behind the plate? If we go by past history, it will be two years, which is how long we had to endure John Buck. Salty is totally useless defensively; doesn't block balls in the dirt well and can't throw out base stealers. It wasn't so bad as long as he was hitting, but the way he's hitting now he's just a complete liability.

Alex

"For the love of God---is anyone else out there as sick as I am of watching Saltalamacchia do whatever it is he's doing? This is silly." - Lou Vales

LOL...me too, Lou; me too.

Lou Vales

The Isoceles Triangle MUST realize his is his LAST chance. Here is an opportunity he should excel in, no pressure, the game is probably over, come in and throw strikes. I wonder if he realizes there are lawyers available who could write up a court order to get that first name changed? Just because your parents were clowns that does not mean you need to suffer your entire life for their insensitivity.

Alex

5-3 Lou; the never quit Marlins are slowly creeping their way back in to this game thanks to Yelich & Deitrich. Really happy to see Yelich having a good game; he was starting to worry me with his recent play. Now if "The Isoceles Triangle" (LOL) can just keep the score where it is, the Fish have a shot. Of course they better do it before they get to the 9th inning; the Marlins are really bad against other teams' closers. Pretty much over any time their opponent brings in their closer with a 9th inning lead.

Alex

Well Lou, that's the end of that. Camineiro CAN NOT keep it to 5-3. Of course, Garett Jones' horrible 2 base error didn't help either. Jones has not impressed me with his defense at 1st base. I had no idea if he had a decent glove or not because I didn't see many Pirates games the past few years, but what I've seen this year is not good. He isn't very adept at making the pick on one hop throws, often letting the ball get by him. On grounders to the right side he is just OK, nothing more. And on pick off throws if the throw isn't perfect, he might not catch it.

A Realist

A game like last night wasn't just a loss. It was a loss to a division rival in a game that we should've won. You can tell last night's loss stung because these guys just look flat. I said days prior that this team would start to slowly slide down. I think this series is the beginning of that.

The pitching is inconsistent. I know some individuals disagree with me, but we can't hit either. Almost half of our lineup is hitting .255 or below. The hitting it too sporadic to count as legitimate hitting. They get tons of hits in games where we are blowing out the other team. In games like yesterday and today, all of a sudden they can't hit.

Salty is killing us. If Redmond is managing just to be better than last year and not to win than why not try out Realmuto? What do we have to lose? I'm sorry to say this about Jeff Mathis because he seems like a nice guy, but he sucks!

A Realist

As a follow up to last night's response that Teheran shuts down everybody, you're right. However, good pitchers lose too. If you fellas think this team is so good at hitting then we shouldn't have such issues with every single good pitcher the way we do. It seems like every good pitcher totally shuts us down. Good hitters sometimes get the best of good pitchers. I'm just saying....

Alex

A Realist, there is one pretty solid rule in baseball: GOOD PITCHING USUALLY SHUTS DOWN GOOD HITTING. Once in a while even a good pitcher makes a mistake, like Teheran did last night. When that happens, a good pitcher CAN be beat. But the other pitcher cannot make any mistakes of his own. Like letting the opposing pitcher hit a LEAD OFF DOUBLE.

Alex

I'm sorry, Flav C, I really don't care what the players think of Red. How could he NOT pinch hit for Saltalamacchia, in the 8th inning with two runners on and two out? Seriously; what possible defense is there for that? I mean that's something you do if you are actually TRYING TO WIN GAMES. But it should be obvious to everyone by now that REDMOND IS NOT MANAGING AS IF HIS TEAM HAS A CHANCE TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS. F**king PATHETIC.

Alex

Well, that's it. The heart went out of this team with Salty's strikeout; the game's momentum was starting to swing our way, but Redmond lets Salty strike out AGAIN with the game on the line and that was the end of that. Ramos pitched like crap in the 9th, but it was over in the 8th inning when Salty struck out. By Redmond letting Salty bat, he was showing everyone the white flag of surrender. YOU DON'T MANAGE LIKE THAT IF YOU REALLY THINK YOUR TEAM CAN MAKE THE PLAYOFFS. SALTY HASN'T HAD A HIT IN A WEEK; YOU PINCH HIT FOR HIM. REDMOND ONLY WANTS TO HAVE A BETTER RECORD THAN LAST YEAR. I'M TOTALLY DISGUSTED BY THIS MANAGER. HE LETS FAT FREDI OUT MANAGE HIM.

Flav C.

Alex, what do you want me to say? The truth? This is a below average team destined to win 75 games. That's it. You can have the best coach/manager in the world and still won't make any difference. Am I going to get all aggravated and angry about it? No way. Why should I?
This is just a game where those guys on the field can't care less about what fans think.
I understand those forums/blogs can be very therapeutical for some, but it doesn't work this way for me.
Why should I go berserk when Salty can hit or field? Is this something new? I don't think so. It has been very well documented his poor fielding performance and his below average hitting stats. The bullpen is atrocious, through and through. Cishek is the only one who would probably be part of a bullpen in a good organization.
Turner, I thought he could develop into a good rotation guy. Maybe he will, but not with the Marlins and not now. Koehler is a AAAA guy. Wolf is just passing by.
I guess that sums it up.

Alex

Too bad nobody in Miami gives a damn about the Marlins; talk radio should be full of callers calling in to complain about Redmond's "I'll be happy if we don't lose 100 games" style of managing.

And they should be calling in demanding that Saltalamacchia be benched as well. He is playing terrible defense AND he's not hitting either. Earlier in the year (before pitchers figured him out) he was a lousy defensive catcher, but at least he HIT. Now he can't do either and he is absolutely killing this team.

Alex

Then what's the point of even playing the games, Flav? They have no chance at all according to that line of thinking. They are supposed to win about 75 games so what's the point of sending up a pinch hitter for Salty, right?

Except you forget ONE THING, Flav. Baseball is ab funny game, and baseball history is full of numerous examples of teams that were supposed to suck who somehow shocked the world and actually WON IT ALL. And there are even more teams that were supposed to suck and maybe didn't win it all, but at least made the playoffs. Or played competitive baseball into late September.

If we go by your reasoning we SHOULD JUST BE HAPPY WE DON'T LOSE 100 GAMES AGAIN. Is that why you defend Redmond so much? I mean I am TRYING real hard to like the guy, Flav. Then he does stuff like NOT pinch hitting for a guy that's 0-15 and has been striking out more than Stan M at a singles bar! LOL!!!

Alex

I mean look at the 1969 Mets (our guru's favorite team), Flav. Or even the 2003 Marlins. Nobody picked either of those teams to do anything. But the managers of those teams were ruthless, man. They didn't give games away. They weren't CONTENT to just not lose 100 games. They managed each game as if that game was crucial. I just don't see that out of Redmond.

Stan M

If it's any consolation, we were beaten yesterday by one of the best pitchers in baseball, and stopped this evening by the best closer in baseball. We won't see either of them tomorrow for Kimbrel has pitched 3 days in a row. So tomorrow it's back to stealing signs and handing Harang his rear end...I hope. Is it possible for Salty to do any more damage? He's not hitting at all (.184 for the month and .071 for the past week), runners are going wild on him, and he can't make a rather simple throw to first base. If that runner was out of the lines, then Tom Seaver's old axiom comes into play. Plug him in the back and he's out. Someone above asked about Realmuto. He's hitting at or around .300 in AA ball but with little power.

Stan M

To clarify, Realmuto has a few HR's and I meant to add "over the last 10 days" at the end.

Marlin Fan

Agreed Salty needs time off . A horrible slump. Can't remember the last time he had a meaningful hit .. Play Mathis more ( he's one of the best defensive catchers out there, and is actually hitting this year so far ) . It would be nice is Jones woke up more at first . One error on him , the other throw by Salty , he should have came off the bag to block it and not worry about the out at first . ..... Would be nice is we could have even two starters with consistency .

Stan M

There is another catcher listed in our top 20 prospects. Austin Barnes down in high A ball. He is hitting over .300, but is pushing 25 YO. A more interesting catcher for our future might be a fellow named Wallach in low A ball. He's a couple of years younger and he has an excellent walk/ strikeout ratio for that level. I'm sure Flav can tell you far more about these guys than I. If anyone is interested, Nicolino had 2 good starts in a row after 3 disasters in a row. The only thing is, he doesn't strike very hitters out in AA ball, so I wonder if he will ever be able to put away ML hitters. Flynn's last start was excellent but his adventures have been spotty at best this year. Marisnick hit almost .350 for the month of May. Wonder if he can catch? Just kidding.

Marlin Fan

What about Brantley Stan ? I think he has potential , maybe a little more seasoning . Realmuto has been a top prospect for years , but as of yet ....

Flav C.

Marlin Fan, Realmuto is only 23 years old, 2 years younger than Brantly. He is way, but way better defensively than Brantly, although Brantly has been making good strides on his fielding this season.

Just to clarify, I don't think Redmond is the sharpest tool in the shed, but I don't think he is the real problem here. He is the least of my concerns. When you look at the big picture, the Marlins has problems much more important to be worked on and not even the best manager can fix those:
- marlins has the worst fielding in the NL, tied with the Nats. This season as supposed to show some improvement in this aspect, but more of the same.
- Marlins has the worst fielding performance at 1b , 2b, and catcher in the entire major league. Our SS is just middle of the pack, just average.
- the positioning and the range of the infield is just atrocious. The number of ground hits that just finds holes in the porous fielding of our infield is astonishing.
- Marlins has one of the lousiest performances as far as turning in double plays in the entire major league.
- in the entire major league, only the pirates have allowed more stolen bases. And that's not on Salt only; the pitchers have a hard time to keep runners on check, and that is the reason several times runners steal base without a throw.
So, you put all of these facts together and it isn't that hard to realize that the life of pitchers who are not overpowering and rely a lot on ground balls is extremely difficult with the Marlins. And it just happens that right now, the Marlins has only one pitcher in the rotation who can strike hitters out, all the other 4 pitchers pitch for contact.
On top of that, when you have an offense ranked last in stolen bases, only 14 so far, it makes every single hit even more precious, since there is no running game pressure on the opposing pitchers.

So, yeah...I couldn't care less if the manager is Redmond, or Joe Girardi. The team right now is a big mess and will slowly go back to the losing ways, if a couple of changes are not made as quickly as possible. And that is only if the FO has any intention on remaining in the thick of things until July.

Lou Vales

Flav, Good analysis and I will go on record by saying Stan does NOT attend singles bars.

Stan M

Flav, you've said it all. One point that I would add is that this team has been exceedingly lucky in so often missing some of each opponents best pitchers.

Stan M

Marlin Fan, I skipped Brantly because he has been a major disappointment. While with the Marlins, he was a poor defensive catcher who was supposed to be a pretty good hitter. Well, his average has hovered around .250 in AAA ball. Not terrible in and of itself, but his OBP is something like .280, he has shown almost no power, and his walk/strikeout rate is not impressive.
One other prospect who is also disappointing so far is the much vaunted Colin Moran. Whereas his BA is .270, his OBP stinks and he has all of 1 HR in about 150 ABs. Maybe he is still adjusting to pro ball, I certainly hope so, but right now, any thought of quickly rushing him through the minors is probably on hold. At this stage, it wouldn't be a bad idea to tie up McGehee for another year if he would consider hanging around under this ownership.

Alex

Ok, Flav, thanks for the detailed analysis of the many flaws of this team; while I may not have known the exact figures, it sure doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this team has major flaws. But here's the thing, Flav. So do ALL THE OTHER TEAMS IN THIS DIVISION, including the team that was supposed to run away and hide from the rest, the Nationals. So seeing as the Marlins have found themselves in the most unlikely position of actually being in the Division race, WHY NOT ACT LIKE IT?

I mean if we take your remarks to their logical conclusion, because this team has all these flaws we should just forget about them this year. So what they are 2 games out of 1st place? They might as well be 25 games out because with all these flaws THEY HAVE NO CHANCE ANYWAY. Therefore the only reason to watch this team this year is to see if certain young players get better, or if Stanton will win the HR crown, or to watch McGehee and others build up their resume for free agency next year. That's what fans do when their teams are 25 games out.

But we are NOT 25 games out, Flav. Due to league-wide PARITY we are just TWO FREAKING GAMES OUT and I do not think it's expecting too much of our manager to MANAGE LIKE HE'S TWO GAMES OUT. Redmond can't do a damn thing about all the flaws you just documented, not with THIS owner. But he CAN do things like pinch hit for a guy who is 0 for FOREVER with 600 strikeouts in a one run game. He can do those things, but he chooses not to. And as a long suffering Marlins fan, that SUCKS, Flav. An unlikely opportunity has presented itself. To not even TRY to take advantage of it because we have all these flaws is TYPICAL MARLINS BULLSPIT. Just one more reason why this team has so few fans, Flav. Just like in 2008 and 2009, when they have a CHANCE, they refuse to even TRY.

flava flav

Waaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! Boooooo-Hoooooooooooooo!!!! Hate to see a grown? man cry

Stan M

Whereas everything that Flav presented above is true, the fact remains that this team is still in 2nd place and exceeding almost everyone's expectations. I picked them for 4th place which shows what a genius I am. Right now this team is 2nd in OPS, OBP, Runs scored, and BA. They are 3rd in Slugging percentage. It's kind of hard to believe that they rate that highly. And Colorado is the reason they aren't even higher. Will there be drop-offs. It is hard to conceive of Stanton, McGehee, and Ozuna maintaining their current RBI achievements, particularly with Ozuna. But it is not unreasonable to see improvement in both Yelich and Dietrich. Salty has to improve, simply because he can't get any worse.
I think you have identified the key problems outside of pitching. Namely a porous infield defense and a static running game. Your criticism of the placement of infielders also seems valid. What I very respectfully don't think you admit is who is ultimately responsible for where the fielders are placed and starting runners and the like. You are probably correct in your assessment of Redmond as a good motivator, these guys play hard. But his lack of skill in day to day tactical decisions is, in my opinion, appalling. However, when the team's overall performance is considered, neither Redmond's inexperience or ineptitude are the teams major problems right now. It's pitching that's hurting our chances to stay where we are and without help, immediate help, playoff contention is only a pipe dream. My guess is that Heaney is 3 starts from being called up, and I'd rater have him for another year than force his advancement. What I can't understand is why we don't use Flynn, DeSciafani or anyone else from the farm system for middle relief as other teams have successfully done with their prospects. But in addition, at least one outside acquisition is desperately needed.
One last point that I can't understand. Solano is a nice player, but really extra baggage on this team. Yet all we hear is how overworked and/or inadequate our bullpen is. Why not drop Solano and add an extra reliever?

Alex

LOL!!!! Hilarious. Some guys are TOO FUNNY. They like to portray themselves are real baseball experts and great evaluators of talent, when in reality that they are sad old guys who want to maintain their "position" on an internet forum.

"It is hard to conceive of Stanton, McGehee, and Ozuna maintaining their current RBI achievements, particularly with Ozuna."

He HOPES they don't maintain their current success is what he MEANS, because their success makes his talent evaluation skills LOOK BAD, which they are. He's been begging "Mr Loria" for four years to TRADE Stanton, because he will NEVER be any good (another Dave Kingman, Ron Swoboda, etc., LMAO). Before the season started he had been saying that Marisnick should be here and Ozuna should go back to the minors. I don't know what the resident "baseball genius" predicted regarding McGehee, but seeing as his name was included with Stanton's and Ozuna's, it's a good bet that he didn't have a lot of good to say about him, either.

THANK GOD the Marlins DO NOT LISTEN TO ANYTHING THIS GUY POSTS OVER HERE! Could you imagine this line up without Stanton, Ozuna & McGehee? The outfield would be Yelich, Marisnick and CHRIS COGHLAN. That's right; the resident baseball guru LOVED Coghlan in the outfield.

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