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Stanton: Cespedes one to beat in HR Derby

PHOENIX -- While many are picking Giancarlo Stanton to win the Home Run Derby, Stanton said he feels Yoenis Cespedes of the A's is the one to beat.

"He won last year, so I'd say him," Stanton said of Cespedes, who will be attempting to become the first back-to-back winner of the home run competition since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1998-99.

The field for Monday's Derby at Target Field in Minneapolis was announced Tuesday. In addition to Stanton, the National League field will include the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, Reds' Todd Frazier and Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki, who is the team captainOver on the American League side, the lineup consists of Cespedes, the Orioles' Adam Jones, Twins' Brian Dozier and Blue Jays' Jose Bautista.

One more player from each league will be added to the Derby field on Thursday.

Most of the national focus for the event appears to be focused on Stanton.

"If I didn't get this guy to participate, I'd be in trouble," Tulowitzki said of Stanton on ESPN.


A few notes:

-- A.J. Ramos (right shoulder inflammationis expected to throw bullpens on Tuesday and Thursday and, if everything goes well, will pitch Monday, most likely in Jupiter. Ramos is eligible to come off the DL on Sunday, but Redmond said the Marlins will probably wait until after the All-Star break to activate him.

-- Rafael Furcal (left hamstring strain) is beginning to jog again.

-- All-Star talk aside, Casey McGehee is on a roll at the plate. He takes a 14-game hitting streak into tonight's game against the Diamondbacks. His 21-game road hitting streak ranks second on the Marlins' all-time list behind Luis Castillo's 27-gamer in 2002. And he's reached base in 31 consecutive games, which is the third-longest streak this season by a National Leaguer, behind only Carlos Gomez (35 games) and Puig (33).


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Dionysus Thelxinoe

Wow, Furcal is beginning to jog? Well guess what? My 2-year-old grandson can jog.

Lou Vales

Gregg better hurry and produce one of those PSAs before he is released.


Furcal, this has become quite a joke.


DT...Yeah, but can the kid hit a 90-m.p.h. fastball?
Well, neither can Furcal.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Last night's victory demonstrates clearly that this team is only one owner away from being a legitimate contender.

A Realist

One owner away? That's a long ways away, DT. Ozuna is starting to make a believer out of me. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop like a 50 game suspension for PED's. Well, maybe we can win today and make a successful road trip out of this.

I like the front office coming out and saying they are not trading McGehee and Stanton. Someone's reading our posts.....

A Realist

Oh yeah, they still have to go to New York.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

A Realist, were you not around when Dan Quayle was VP? We are only one heartbeat away from a new owner. Or one good push off a cliff by one of his heirs.

Re: Ozuna, I now strongly believe he's legit. I'm only recently coming around on him, having been one of his harsher critics early this season. My reasoning has been that he's a dead fastball hitter. Every one of his at bats, he's up there looking for a fastball strike to put some good wood on. It's obvious. he reason I was a non-believer is because I figured the only thing pitchers needed to do was feed him a steady diet of off-speed pitches and he'd be back in New Orleans in no time. But evidently that's easier said than done. For most of this season, Ozuna has been making like the Orioles' Hall of Famer 1B Eddie Murray. For the first 15 or so years of his career, there was not one pitcher in baseball who could get a fastball strike by Eddie Murray, no exception. Murray was so deadly, pitchers didn't even want to try painting the black. So Murray was usually pitched to much like Ozuna is being pitched to now, A variety of off-speed pitches, mixed together with some fastballs OFF the strike zone. If you read last night's post-game comments by Arizona's manager Gibson... the pitch was framed low and away, but the pitcher missed so badly, he threw it right into Ozuna's wheelhouse. That was the game.

Murray was able to fashion an entire 21-year Hall of Fame career, batting cleanup and hitting a total of 504 home runs, just off his talent for hitting the fastball. I'm not saying Ozuna will be that good, but he most definitely has at least proved me wrong so far.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Btw, Realist, suit yourself but I myself will give absolutely no credit to the front office for anything they supposedly do or say. In reality, they are glorified go-fers and paid toadys, whose principal purpose is to serve as fronts, purposely designed to divert attention AWAY from the moves and decisions made by the Gargoyle-faced Fat Pig owner. His toadys announce them and try to sell them to us.

Here's an example for you, from right here in Fish Bytes, December 12, 2013...

"...the Marlins on Thursday traded Justin Ruggiano to the Chicago Cubs for a near-mirror image of the outfielder, Brian Bogusevic."

" 'Really, Bogusevic is a younger version of Ruggiano,' said Michael Hill, the Marlins' president of baseball operations. 'He can play all three outfield positions and will fill the role that we had identified for Ruggiano.' "

"Which was as an extra outfielder to play behind the projected starting trio of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna."

"The two primary differences between Ruggiano and Bogusevic, Hill said, is that Bogusevic hits from the left side and doesn't cost as much. Ruggiano projected to make in the neighborhood of $1.8 million in his first year of salary arbitration while Bogusevic isn't eligible for arbitration until after next season. Hill acknowledged that money was a factor in the deal."

" 'Given the fact that we were going to go with the kids in the outfield as the everyday players, we didn't want to allocate the dollars that we had in that role in Ruggiano,' Hill said. "We wanted to spend it elsewhere.' "

"Bogusevic is also a 'different type of player' in that he he is 'more of a contact, more of a gap hitter,' than Ruggiano, Hill said. 'We wanted to get a more functional bat.' "

" 'Defensively he's a solid, average outfielder -- if not the same as Ruggiano, maybe a tick better,' Hill said."

For the record, Bogusevic is in New Orleans, off the radar and hitting .246, while Ruggiano is hitting .294 for the Cubs.

Now, do you seriously think the "front office" made that call?

Stan M

I will continue to say this...it is the little trades that kill us. Nearly all of them are salary dumps for what could be termed chump change in today's baseball economy. The Hopper for a catcher who proved to be a nothing. Andrew Miller for another forgetable piece. Dominguez for a Latin statue. Mujica for Ron Cox. Nolasco for 3 nobodies. Ruggiano as explained above. Cody Ross and Chris Coghlan (who is currently on fire as a Cub) on simple salary dumps. And where does the money saved go? Why to Gregg, Furcal, Mormalsic) and the like. Perhaps we would be better off discussing what possible illnesses and/or diseases a 70+ out of shape owner could contract. Something with a positive outcome.


great post STAN M

Stan M

I am probably alone in what I'm going to say, but here it is. The entire baseball world is expounding on what a star and MVP Stanton has become. Well after watching about 98 percent of his ABs this year, I don't see it. Yes there are the long HRs and his defense has improved a great deal. But when an RBI is critical and/or a ball in play is all the team needs, he's almost never there. How many times have we seen runners on 1st and 3rd with less than 2 outs and you simply know he will strike out...and he does. In a critical situation would you rather see Stanton or McGehee, Ozuna, or Yelich? If you would prefer the latter 3, I rest my case.
I'm honestly leaning toward moving him; especially if Marisnick shows anything. The only problem is that all trade discussions revolve around prospects. But this team is now close to being a contender. If, and only if, a Stanton trade would bring the team players who can be a factor by at least next year, I'd say let him go. He's probably gone anyway and will never be worth more than right now.

Lou Vales

Stan, At my worst I never fantasized about Fat Boy dying. I actually like your new edginess. Its not Mississippi but it is refreshing.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Lou, we're all dying. It's just that some of us would make the world a better place by doing it sooner rather than later.

Stan M

There is a law of diminishing returns, and I reached it with todays game. Yesterday's game was rendered almost unwatchable with with all of that crap about voting for McGehee. Sure he should go. But the Marlins don't have enough of a fan base to vote him in. But on and on and on. And when it's not McGehee, it's Stanton and the HR derby. The man is paid to hit for the Marlins and help them win games. Whether or not he hits any damn HRs for exhibition is beyond the point. I will guarantee that he will get screwed up in that contest. Probably pull a muscle and miss 3 weeks. This afternoon I had to use all of my Polish restraint, of which I have little, to keep from throwing something at the screen when they show that ridiculous commercial with the guy lying down a home plate. I can't stand the sponsor anyway and that inane sales pitch assures that I will boycott forever.

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