Tagged: Marlins

How can Rich Harden be Rich Harden again?

If anybody has heard yet, that Cliff Lee guy signed with the Phillies. The Rangers, who had hoped the ace left hander would stay in the Lone Star State, chose otherwise, leaving a big hole in the Texas rotation. So there has been plenty of talk about signing Rafael Soriano and pitching him in the 9th thus sending Neftali Feliz to the rotation. Like Rich Harden, who is the centric of this entry, Feliz has tremendous stuff. Would it really make sense to put a closer who was dominant through 70-80 innings in a rotation where he would pitch 200 innings and have all of the opposing hitters get used to his fastball and curve? Or does it make sense to keep him in the closer role where he can empty everything out in one inning?

Well Rich Harden is apparently in talks with his former team, the Swingin’ A’s on what would most likely be a one year deal with plenty of incentives. The real question is, will he be starting or relieving?

Personally, Rich Harden is one of my favorite pitchers. He can’t stay healthy, but when he is healthy, he’s sometimes unhitable. Other times, he doesn’t miss bats and gets in to lots of trouble with opposing hitters. So like someone like Clay Hensley for example, does moving to the pen take pressure off of not only you, but your manager, and your teamates. I could see Harden succeeding in the 5th spot in the A’s rotation, but there are definetly some pros about possibly setting up for Andrew Bailey. In fact, say the aformentioned Feliz pitched in the rotation this year and pitches quite well, can Harden join a teams rotation in ’12 after expierence in the pen and pitch a decent 180 innings? I’m not sure, but the problem again for Harden has not been the fact that he can’t pitch well, it’s about staying healthy. In 2008, he was dominant. It would be great to see him get back to that form, but for now, I think a place like Oakland, even though things didn’t end well, would be a fine fit for him unlike Colorado or any other team in the west. I thought a la Clay Hensley, the Marlins would be a great fit on a minor league deal and a chance to make the rotation, but it looks like he’s close to a deal with the A’s. Let’s just hope that Rich Harden can be Rich Harden again. 

20 Baseball Facts That You Didn’t Know

These are 20 facts that you didn’t know. Trust me, you definetly didn’t know. Not that these are in any order, but you can rank them for yourself. I think all are equally interesting. Enjoy!

Matt Kemp had a -0.24 UZR in 2010. Horrible season for Matt Kemp. I’m not going to say that Ned Colletti and the Dodgers management pressure didn’t have anything to do with this, but if he didn’t have that final week surge, he might be jealous of Melky Cabrera’s season.

Alexi Casilla has had the last AB of the regular season 2 out of the last 3 seasons. Good news is the one of those was a walk off that got his team, the Twins, in to the postseason, but the other was a game ending fly out that got the White Sox in to the postseason.

Ray King holds the record for most consecutive games without issuing an intentional walk. One of my favorite pitchers of all time. Not that this stat is found in record books or in the Hall of Fame, but I thought you’d be interested in knowing this.

Joe Inglett threw a knuckle ball at 54 MPH this season, and recorded an out. According to Fangraphs, this is true, but he can thank his incredible pitching staff for making that possible.

Darren Oliver was the first American league pitcher to pitch to a National league batter not including the world series or All-Star game. Ironically, this game was a matchup between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants.

The 1990 Twins executed 2 triple plays in a game. If anybody was wondering, I don’t think Bengie Molina was on the opposing team. Perhaps the turf at the Metrodome helped the Twins fielders out.

Johnny Burnett, in 1932, got 9 hits in a game. Cesar Izturis should take note. Even though this game was 18 innings, 9 hits is nearly impossible. I guess they didn’t believe in intentional walks back then.

Zack Greinke in 2010 was 11th in WAR among qualified pitchers. His value is extremely high which is something people don’t realize. He is in line to bring at least 2 superstar players back to KC plus two other extremely good young players.

The only time in history that two sets of siblings played in the same infield in the same game were the Larkin’s and the Boone’s in the mid 90’s. On a side note, Al Leiter was once scheduled to face his brother on the Phillies, Marc, but a rainout thought differently

The Texas Rangers selected both Anthony Ranaudo and Drew Pomeranz in the 2007 draft, both of whom obviously did not sign. Most of that draft for the Rangers was used to acquire Cliff Lee, Christian Guzman, and Bengie Molina. I do have a feeling though that signing Pomeranz and Ranuado would have been a tad smart.

Before every game, umpires must rub around 6 dozen balls to get rid of the shine off the balls. This is obviously so Ken Macha wont march out of the dugout and ask the umpires, who are apparently shoe polish experts, to determine if there is polish on the ball, which isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Justin Upton, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds B.J. Upton, and David Wright all played for the same high school team at the same time. That’s like 8474683 home runs every game right?

The Cleveland Indians’ 1999 draft produced only 3 players who have gone on to play Major League Baseball; Jeff Baker, Fernando Cabrera, and Ben Francisco. All of the others are what we call “duds” and this draft was widely considered the worst draft by a single team in MLB history.

 B.J. Upton’s real name is “Melvin Emmanuel Upton.” This is just me, but M.E. Upton doesn’t exactly have that ring to it.

Kila Ka’aihue has a brother in the A’s organization, Kala Ka’aihue. Kala was a dominant minor league first baseman back in 2006 but everything went downhill from there

When Charlie Kerfeld, whose uniform number was 37, learned that Jim Deshaies had signed for $110,000 in 1987. He asked for and received $110,037.37 plus 37 boxes of orange Jell-O.

A “shuuto”, a Japanese gyroball type pitch, is a backward slider, which is horrible for the elbow but used prominently by japanese pitchers. Dice-K apparently throws one, as does Hisashi Iwakuma. Japanese pitchers though have 10 pitches in their arsenal though I wouldn’t be surprised to see even more have a history of throwing one.

As part of his contract, Tim Beckham had to personalize every Baseball that he signs. On the other hand, Hanley Ramirez is not allowed to sweetspot any ball he signs.

Ryan Ludwick and Cody Ross are the only two players in Major League Baseball who bat right and throws left. You would expect there to be more, but I bet there are more left handed batters who throw right.

Kauffman Stadium has the second largest jumbo-tron in sports. Which venue has the largest? Well your going to have to figure it out yourself, I don’t give answers away like that, but it rhymes with Schmallas Schmowboys Stadium.

-Dave Gershman

What to do with the Marlins Bullpen

Lots of talk has been centered around the Marlins bullpen. Personally, I think Leo Nunez has to go.

Some ideas that came to mind involve the Marlins shopping him for a young CF or 3B prospect with less upside than most but ceiling of a solid regular.

I first thought of Ryan Kalish and Ben Revere. Both of whom have their value high enough.

Kalish could be available due to the fact that he is blocked. He profiles as a potential 15 HR, 25 SB, .290/.360 type of guy.

Revere will hit less home runs but hit for a higher average and steal more bases.

Both players are solid defensively. Leo Nunez on the other hand is undervalued due to his horrid back to back Septembers. Not only is he a potential closer, but he has proven that until the aforementioned evil month, he can come out back to back nights and either close the game out or set up the closer while sitting at 95 MPH.

He is also under team control for several more years despite getting a raise which could total out to be $4.5MM.

This is all just speculation but I’d be surprised if Nunez is with the Marlins come Spring Training.

However, I do expect them to pursue someone like Joe Beimel or Tim Byrdak. Both of whom are lefties who can mentor young southpaw, Michael Dunn, which is what the Marlins are hoping to get done, no pun intended.

Also keep in mind that Joe Beimel has been highly effective as a reliever in his career. Not once has he had a particularly bad season.

Let me know what you think!