Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Around the NL East: Marlins keep falling

Photo by USA Today
By Steve Roney

Atlanta has come back to Earth a bit, as they no longer hold the game's best record, ceding that title to the surprising Boston Red Sox (18-7). They do, however, still possess the only winning record in the division, as the Nationals (13-13), Phillies, and Mets all continue to hover at or just below .500. The Marlins, meanwhile, are nothing if not consistent; for the fourth straight week they check in with the worst record in the NL East (and all of baseball), and show no signs of ever bucking that trend.

Atlanta Braves (16-9): Since the last NL East roundup Atlanta has been up and down time of it, sweeping a doubleheader last Tuesday against the Rockies, then four straight losses which included a sweep at the hands of Detroit. They broke their losing streak last night against the Nationals, against whom they are now 4-0; fret not Nats fans, 15 games remain in the season series.

Early slugger Evan Gattis has regressed along with Atlanta's record, and is now batting .236. Freddie Freeman has given the lineup a boost since returning from the DL, and Justin Upton continues to leave the yard with frequency, his home run total now at 12 through 107 plate appearances. Still not a peep from the other two thirds of the outfield. Mike Minor has emerged as the rotation stalwart so far, with a 5.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio that leads the staff by double.

Player of the Week: Justin Upton, OF: 6 R, 3 HR, 6 RBI, .320 AVG

Miami Marlins (7-19): There isn't much to say about the weekly facepalm that is the Miami Marlins -- it's beating a dead fish to point out that this team continues to struggle to both score and prevent runs. The positives: Closer Steve Cishek is tied for second on the team in wins (1), which is one more than most of the team's starters possess, and has amassed three saves. Kevin Slowey and Ricky Nolasco continue to put up respectable ERAs of under 3.00 and 4.00, respectively. Sleeping giant Giancarlo Stanton has awoken in the past week, bashing his first three home runs of the season and raising his average 51 points, up to .227.

Player of the Weak: Stanton, OF: 6 R, 3 HR, 8 RBI, .296 AVG

Philadelphia Phillies (12-14): It has been feast or famine for the Phillies in the past seven days: three straight losses to the Pirates followed by a three-game sweep of the Mets. While starting pitching continues to be a mixed bag the offense is more reliable, with Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Michael Young, and Jimmy Rollins hitting fairly well (only Rollins, at .267, is significantly below .300). The best news for Philly might be that former uber-prospect Domonic Brown is finally, at 25, getting comfortable in the majors. In an organization hurting for youth, a breakout year from him (and gloveman Ben Revere) would be beyond huge.

Player of the Week: Brown, OF: 2 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI, .304 AVG

New York Mets (10-14): No one outside of Miami will need to worry about occupying last place anytime soon, but right now New York has fallen into the pseudo-basement just above where the Marlins spend their time. A +2 run differential suggests that this team isn't quite as bad as it's record is right now, which is encouraging as long as the starting pitching can find some balance -- so far a dominant Matt Harvey and a solid Jonathon Niese have been offset by consistently poor performances from Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner (one combined win).

On offense it's David Wright and everyone else, with John Buck now toiling around .240 (though with a team-leading nine home runs and 25 RBI). Lucas Duda leads the team with 20 walks to go along with five home runs, putting him on base .429% of the time despite his .246 average.

Player of the Week: Reuben Tejada, SS: 4 R, 0 HR, 2 RBI, .346 AVG


peric said...

Stanton has to produce to get traded.

Diz said...

Fret Not Nats Fans?!

At the pace we are going, another 15 games against the Braves sends shivers down my spine!

And Freddie Freeman's Boost?! - 6 for 25 (.240 avg) with 1 extra base hit after his return from the DL and that puts Francisco back on the bench with his .302 avg (Johnson moves back to 3rd from 1st). Not a great trade off in my book.

Faraz Shaikh said...

Ianetta caught all of angels pitching, is that a modern day record?

JD said...


I'd take Stanton off their hand whether or not he's productive. Kind of like Justin Upton last year. no?

Rabbit34 said...

JD, just what I was about to say.

MicheleS said...

And Stanton just went on the DL with a Hammy injury. Even the young guys have these problems

Faraz Shaikh said...

answer to my own question, record is carlton fisk with 25 innings. Geez!

A DC Wonk said...

MicheleS said...

And Stanton just went on the DL with a Hammy injury. Even the young guys have these problems

Stanton and Polanco combined for: 0-for-12 last night. Yowza!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD said...


I'd take Stanton off their hand whether or not he's productive. Kind of like Justin Upton last year. no?

Yes and twice on Sundays. As you recall leading up to the Winter Meetings since LaRoche turned down his mutual option I was beating the drum for JUpton to the Nats in a trade, of course before AZ was saying they would trade him and while Ken Rosenthal was saying there was no trade talks.

Just like JUp, Stanton is uninspired and it shows in his stats. He's a game changer.

I would take Stanton and move Werth to 1st base and LaRoche to the bench in a heartbeat. Where do I sign up?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

MicheleS, I was hoping it was a cramp. He hit 1st base and went down in pain. That's a shame.

I man crush G. M. Stanton.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

BTW, that Harvey v Fernandez game was amazing. Harvey gave up his share of walks and hits but uses his fastball so well with his slider and changeup. Fernandez made 1 mistake pitch in a homer to Buck. These 2 are better than Cingrani.

Harvey's changeup is a wipe-out pitch and it's a shame that other than Stras, the Nats pitchers don't throw many. JZim threw near perfection in his last start but needed a few more changeups.

Faraz Shaikh said...

GoSM,agree on that. He is a great talent i would pay to see even if Nationals are not playing.

JD said...


What if they ask for say: Rendon, Giolito and Goodwin?

Faraz Shaikh said...

wait, was there a fan ejected for starting a wave?

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, my standard answer. No. You have to give them 1 big prize like a Giolito and they you give them a backup outfielder like Eury Perez and a couple of filler prospects.

I know the JUp deal was there for the taking. In the end Atlanta didn't give up enough. Delgado was a top 10 prospect but far from a sure thing and they got Martin Prado and a couple of other guys and Atlanta gets back JUp + Chris Johnson.

GMs get fired for less than that!

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

JD, at some point Peric's crystal ball will be right about Werth and he will need to be moved to 1st or to the bench. I'm hoping he lasts 3 more years but it's scarey to think about when he starts falling to a +1 or lower WAR for a full season (yes, I know he was below it last year on a partial season).

The Phillies are the best example of how quick age creeps on you.

Sec. 3, My Rocking Fire Sofa said...

"wait, was there a fan ejected for starting a wave?"

FS, where'd you hear that?

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