Miami Marlins Series Preview: July 30 – August 1

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Well, after once again failing to sweep a series — the Yankees are now 3-10 when going for a sweep this year — and suffering their worst loss since 2007, the Bombers with their newfound lefty power head to Miami to take on the Marlins this weekend. The last time these two teams played, the Marlins took 2 of 3 to finish the 2020 season and qualify for the playoffs.

Their Story So Far

After using whatever voodoo magic the Marlins have to reach a 31-29 record last year despite a -41 run differential and take out the Cubs in the Wild Card round, the Marlins find themselves in the NL East cellar with a 44-58 record despite a +4 run differential. They are still in the middle of what appears to be an exciting rebuild, so doing poorly this year isn’t the worst outcome for them.

Their playoff odds have never gone above 5% this season, but make no mistake this team is no pushover. They rank top 10 in starter and reliever ERA, WHIP, H/9 and HR/9. Trevor Rogers, Pablo Lopez, and Sandy Alcantara are all having great seasons having already thrown over 100 innings with 2+ fWAR each. Rogers is having an incredible year pitching to a 2.37 ERA with peripherals to back it up.

The offense is another story ranking in the bottom of the league in most categories. They are 20th an average, 26th in OBP, and 27th in OPS, runs, and home runs. They do have speed, however, ranking 2nd in steals. Their best hitter by far was Starling Marte, who they just traded to the A’s which definitely helps the Yankees out this weekend.

Injury Report

PlayerPositionInjuryRoster StatusExpected Return
Garrett CooperRFElbow60-Day ILOut for season
Pablo LópezSPShoulder10-Day ILAfter August 15
Jesus SanchezLFUndisclosedCOVID-19 ILCould return this series
Jon Berti3BConcussion10-Day ILAfter August 4
Trevor RogersSPBack10-Day ILWill return this series
Jose Devers2BShoulder60-Day ILAfter August 16
Cody PoteetSPKnee10-Day ILCould return this series
Jazz Chisolm2BShoulder10-Day ILCould return this series
Jeff BrighamRPUndisclosed60-Day ILUnknown
Daniel CastanoSPShoulder10-Day ILAfter August 9
Elieser HernandezSPQuad10-Day ILAfter August 6

Spotlight: Richard Bleier

Spotlighting a random reliever may seem like an odd choice for this section, and the reason I chose Bleier is actually because I expected him to be traded before this series began, with the Yankees as possibility. So much for that.

The former Yankee was traded from Baltimore to Miami during last year’s trade deadline and has pitched to a 3.00 ERA and 3.31 FIP with solid peripherals to back it up (3.06 xERA, 2.66 xFIP). He does this with a fastball below 90 mph and only striking out 6.69 batters per 9.

So how does he do it? By limiting walks, inducing weak contact, and generating grounders. Take a look at his Statcast profile:

Those are elite walk and exit velo numbers. And in the past 2 seasons, Bleier has a 68.4% ground ball rate which ranks 4th in baseball. Other pitchers who are top 10 in ground ball rate include Clay Holmes and Joely Rodriguez who the Yankees traded for this week. So, it appears clear the Yankees are looking for ground ball specialists in the bullpen – not to mention Zack Britton and Jonathan Loaisigia are also elite ground ball pitchers – which is why I think the Yankees may be looking to trade for Bleier by the time you read this,

If they do, he can simply make the walk from one bullpen to the other and pitch for the Yankees once more.

Projected Lineup

Here is Roster Resource’s projected lineup for the Marlins.

  1. Miguel Rojas, SS (.267/.328/.400, 103 wRC+)
  2. Isan Díaz, 2B (.173/.300/.256, 61 wRC+)
  3. Jesús Aguilar 1B (.268/.332/.475, 118 wRC+)
  4. Brian Anderson, 3B (.264/.335/.414, 108 wRC+)
  5. Jorge Alfaro, C (.226/.271/.316, 66 wRC+)
  6. Lewis Brinson, LF (.233/.267/.396, 82 wRC+)
  7. Magneuris Sierra, CF (.243/.293/.279, 57 wRC+)
  8. Corey Bird, RF (.270/.362/.444, 114 wRC+ in AAA) – The Marlins just traded Adam Duvall to the Braves and Bird is the other outfielder on their roster

Bench

  • Sandy León, C (.177/.228/.259, 38 wRC+) – look for him to inexplicably dominate the Yankees this series like he used to with the Red Sox.
  • Lewin Díaz, 1B (.160/.222/.520, 97 wRC+)
  • Deven Marrero, INF (.429/.429/.857, 247 wRC+)
  • Joe Panik, INF (.208/.262/.295, 52 wRC+)

Pitching Matchups

Tonight 7:10pm eastern

RHP Zach Thompson (63 ERA-)

The 6’7″ righty has solid numbers in 33 MLB innings so far this year and hasn’t given up more than 3 runs in any start. Let’s hope that changes tonight. (No stats vs. NYY)

RHP Jameson Taillon (100 ERA-)

Jamo had a great July giving up just 4 runs in 25.1 IP including his first 2 7 inning starts in a Yankee uniform. Look for him to keep the momentum rolling against this weak Marlins lineup (Stats vs. MIA)

Thompson

Saturday 6:10pm eastern

LHP Trevor Rogers (61 ERA-)

Rogers is coming of a quick IL stint to make this start. Like mentioned above, he is having an incredible year and hasn’t given up more than 3 runs in any start. (No stats vs. NYY)

RHP Domingo Germán (103 ERA-)

Domingo nearly no-hit the Red Sox last time out, and let’s forget about what happened once he left the game. Let’s see how he does against his former organization. (Stats vs. MIA)

Rogers

Sunday 1:10pm eastern

RHP Sandy Alcantara (85 ERA-)

Alcantara has given up exactly 3 runs in each of his last 3 starts. The hard throwing righty is great at limiting exit velo which can be a deadly combination. (No stats vs. NYY)

LHP Jordan Montgomery (87 ERA-)

Monty hasn’t given up a run in either of his last 2 starts, which he’s needed due to the Yankees inability to give him any run support. (No stats vs. MIA)

Alcantra

Bullpen Status

PlayerThursday (off)WednesdayTuesdayMonday (off)
Anthony Bender14
Dylan Floro13
Anthony Bass10
Richard Bleier22
John Curtiss18
Zach Pop18
Steven Okert14
Preston Guilmet15
David Hess26
Ross Detwiler
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6 Comments

  1. Wire Fan

    Top of the lineup looks good. Gleyber, Gallo, Judge, Rizzo, Stanton (LF)

    Just not sure why both DJL and Gio have the day off (both Odor and Wade in the lineup), especially with the pitcher hitting.

    • MikeD

      DJLM has a tricep strain and Gio a hamstring strain. Listed as day-to-day. I don’t think DJ has had a day off in quite some time, so having Odor around who is swinging the bat well gives them an opportunity to give him a rest.

  2. Joey Galleddardo

    And now DJ and Gio are hurt. We gain two and lose two. At least Stanton is playing LF.

  3. HenryKrinkle

    Off-topic: Does anyone know if they can still option Voit? He doesn’t have 5 full seasons yet, right? It wouldn’t be the worst idea to get let him play at AAA for an extended period to get rolling, or to be there to cover for an inevitable injury. I tweeted Curry, but I don’t expect a reply.

    • Wire Fan

      He has 2 options left and he is definitely under 5 yrs of service so he could be optioned.

      They could also just drag out his rehab. Not sure if it has officially started but once it does it is a 30 day clock.that would probably take them most of the way to Sept when rosters expand by 2.

      • HenryKrinkle

        Right. Thanks. I’m not sure if they’d want to devote one of the two expansion spots to him, unless Stanton sticks in the outfield.

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