Miami Marlins Series Preview: 9/25 to 9/27

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Finally, a different team. It feels like the Yankees have only played the Blue Jays lately, and that’s kind of true. 10 of the team’s last 16 games came against Toronto. Anyway, Don Mattingly’s club comes to the Bronx for the final series of the regular season.

The Yankees have clinched a postseason spot, but there is still a little bit to play for. One, they haven’t officially clinched second place in the AL East. The Blue Jays are two games back with three to play. Additionally, there’s still an outside chance of grabbing the fourth seed, but that can only happen if the Twins remain atop the AL Central and the Yankees leapfrog the White Sox. Chicago is two games up on the Yanks.

Their story so far

The upstart Marlins are 29-28 and in second place in the NL East. Atlanta has already clinched the division, so there’s no remaining hope there. They still have a lot to fight for this weekend, though. Take a look at the postseason picture in the NL:

In short, Miami has a one game lead on Philadelphia and three game lead on the Mets for second in the NL East. They hold the tiebreaker with the Phillies, but not with the Mets.

The Marlins don’t look like a playoff team on paper, but given this weird season and some of the club’s young talent, they should get in. This is a team with a below average offense (97 wRC+) and the league’s 9th-worst ERA (4.89).

Injury Report

  • Francisco Cervelli, C (concussion)
  • Logan Forsythe, INF (strained oblique)
  • Isan Díaz, 2B (strained groin)
  • Harold Ramirez, OF (strained hamstring)
  • Elieser Hernandez, RHP (strained lat)
  • Jeff Bridgham, RHP (undisclosed)
  • Jordan Holloway, RHP (undisclosed)
  • Brandon Leibrandt, LHP (elbow ulnar neuritis)
  • Brian Moran, LHP (patella tendinitis)
  • Mike Morin, RHP (elbow discomfort)
  • Josh A. Smith, RHP (cracked fingernail)
  • Drew Steckenrider, RHP (triceps tendinitis)
  • Pat Venditte, SHP (strained oblique)

Spotlight: Sixto Sánchez

Deivi García isn’t the only rookie starter to get the Pedro Martínez treatment this season. The other is Marlins’ rookie phenom Sixto Sánchez has been brilliant this season, though the Yankees won’t get a look at him in this series.

Sánchez, who was acquired in the J.T. Realmuto trade, has made 7 starts at the big league level this year and owns a 3.46 ERA and 3.49 FIP. He’s cooled off a bit after a torrid first five starts (1.69 ERA in 32 innings), but he appears to be in line for a Game 1 playoff start should Miami get in the dance.

It’s not hard to see why Sánchez was the headliner in the Realmuto deal and is one of the sport’s top prospects. His fastball sits at 98.6 MPH and is followed by a handful of good secondaries. Sixto’s changeup, slider, and curveball all can be put away pitches. All of whiff rates of 23.9 percent or higher, though it looks like the changeup is his top offering after the heater. Opponents have a .148 batting average, a.148 slugging percentage, and a 28 percent whiff rate against his change. The 22 year-old righty should be this team’s ace for years to come.

Projected Lineup

  1. Corey Dickerson, LF (.258/.313/.409, 97 wRC+)
  2. Starling Marte, CF (.287/.342/.439, 111 wRC+)
  3. Jesús Aguilar, DH (.287/.359/.475, 128 wRC+)
  4. Brian Anderson, 3B (.260/.347/.464, 122 wRC+)
  5. Garrett Cooper, 1B (.288/.363/.495, 135 wRC+)
  6. Matt Joyce, RF (.244/.345/.328, 94 wRC+)
  7. Miguel Rojas, SS (.308/.400/.504, 147 wRC+)
  8. Jon Berti, 2B (.264/.388/.364, 117 wRC+)
  9. Jorge Alfaro, C (.222/.271/.344, 67 wRC+)

Bench:

  • Chad Wallach, C (.189/.250/.351, 64 wRC+)
  • Jazz Chisholm, INF (.125/.222/.229, 30 wRC+)
  • Lewis Brinson, OF (.255/.300/.415, 95 wRC+)
  • Monte Harrison, OF (.140/.213/.233, 26 wRC+)
  • Magneuris Sierra, OF (.278/.372/.417. 119 wRC+)

Pitching Matchups

Tonight, 7:05 p.m. EDT

RHP Sandy Alcantara

The 25 year-old righty has been terrific for the Marlins this season. In six starts, Alcantara owns a 3.12 ERA. This performance comes a season after he threw just under 200 innings of 3.88 ERA ball. He’s going to be a fixture of the Marlins’ rotation for a while.

LHP JA Happ

This is Happ’s final tune up before Game 3 of the Wild Card Series (if necessary). He’s in line to pitch on regular rest that day. Who saw that coming? He’s earned it, though. The lefty has a 3.25 ERA in 8 starts this season but has been even better down the stretch.

Alcantara.

Tomorrow, 1:05 p.m. EDT

LHP Trevor Rogers

Rogers has been hit-or-miss, but it’s also been a big jump for Miami’s 2017 first rounder. He hasn’t pitched above Double-A before 2020, and made just five starts there to boot. The southpaw has a 6.84 ERA in 25 innings, though that’s somewhat inflated by one awful start against the Phillies.

RHP Deivi García

Deivi looks to bounce back from his first clunker at the big league level last week. After a number of stellar performances, García gave up six runs in three innings at Fenway Park against the Red Sox. García will be in line to start one of the first games of the ALDS should the Yankees make it that far.

Rogers.

Sunday, 3:05 p.m. EDT

RHP José Ureña

The 29 year-old Ureña has a 6.00 ERA in 21 innings this season and has gotten hit hard. The righty has a nice run in 2017 and 2018, but hasn’t been very good ever since.

RHP Clarke Schmidt

This will be Schmidt’s first big league start after making a couple of relief appearances earlier this season. It’s an audition for some sort of postseason role.

Ureña.

Bullpen Status

RHP: Brandon Kintzler, Brad Boxberger, Yimi García, James Hoyt, Ryne Stanek, Nick Vincent

LHP: Richard Bleier, Stephen Tarpley, Daniel Castano

Miami’s bullpen worked hard to wrap up a 4-2 win against Atlanta yesterday. Kintzler (29 pitches) is likely not available today. Boxberger (15), García (15), Hoyt (13), and Bleier (10) also pitched. Of that group, García probably won’t pitch tonight as he also threw in Wednesday’s game.

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3 Comments

  1. MG309

    The Yankees are playing like they’ve already made tee times for next Thursday in Tampa.

    Maybe Sanchez should start swinging before the pitcher releases the ball just pathetic.

  2. BillyMartinVanBuren Boys

    I can’t believe it hasn’t been written about or mentioned more so maybe I’m the crazy one. But it’s amazing to me how the Yankees, who have shown such an abundance of caution in regards to injury and babying players back and giving player an over abundance of rest, continue to roll out Luke Voit every night despite being in OBVIOUS pain! I mean, is it a lack of viable backup options? The fact that he’s still producing offensively despite the injury? Are they just too afraid of Voit to tell him he’s taking the night off? I mean, I’m not complaining, I’m thrilled he’s still in there and producing. But can you imagine the Yankees rolling out Judge night after night, even at DH, if he limped out to the field every damn time? Cmon, am I the only one who finds it odd?

    • Mungo

      Not all injuries are the same. O’Neill was talking about the type of issue Voit is dealing with. Very different than calf strains and hamstring pulls Judge and Stanton have dealt with.

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