Results tagged ‘ Ricky Nolasco ’

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES

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What a difference a year makes.

Hopefully, after 100 losses in 2013, we’ll be saying that at the end of the season too, but as you look at the Marlins’ 2014 Opening Day roster, which was made official this afternoon, it certainly holds true to begin the year.

Only 9 players who were on the Opening Day 25-man roster a season ago, 5 pitchers and 4 position players, will be there tomorrow night when the Marlins take the field against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park.

Jose Fernandez, Steve Cishek, Mike Dunn, A.J. Ramos and Kevin Slowey are the pitchers who were with the club when they rang in the new year in Washington in 2013. The only 4 returning position players are Giancarlo Stanton, Adeiny Hechavarria, Donovan Solano and Gregg Dobbs.

Only 2 players who were in the lineup on Opening Day last year will be among Mike Redmond’s starting 9 tomorrow night: Stanton in right field and Hechavarria at shortstop.

For old time’s sake, here’s the lineup that was held to 3 hits and no runs by Stephen Strasburg and the Nats in last season’s opener:

Juan Pierre, LF (free agent)

Chris Coghlan, CF (Cubs, AAA)

Giancarlo Stanton, RF

Placido Polanco, 3B (free agent)

Rob Brantly, C (New Orleans)

Donovan Solano, 2B

Casey Kotchman, 1B (free agent)

Adeiny Hechavarria, SS

Ricky Nolasco, P (Twins)

One thing that stands out when you look at the 25-man roster is its youth. 10 of the 25 players are 24-years-old or younger, including 4 of the 5 members of the season-opening starting rotation, all three starting outfielders and the regular shortstop.

The 2014 Marlins begin the year with only 7 players who are 30 or older. Carlos Marmol (31) is the only 30-something on the pitching staff (27-year-old Tom Koehler is the only starting pitcher older than 24). 

The club’s senior position players are Reed Johnson (37), Gregg Dobbs (35), Jeff Baker (32), Garrett Jones (32), Casey McGehee (31) and Jeff Mathis (31 tomorrow). Among those 6, only Jones and McGehee are expected to be regular starters.

For more on the Marlins and Major League Baseball, follow me on Twitter at @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. To have new Fish Tales posts delivered directly to you via email, please click the “Follow” button and enter your email address. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on new flagship station AM 940 WINZ and the Marlins Radio Network.

PLEASE MAKE A NOTE OF IT

As the Marlins near the end of a historic May, here are a few statistical tidbits I’ve put together to hold you over until gametime tonight:

MAY IT NEVER END: With a win tonight or tomorrow, the Marlins will establish a franchise record for most victories in a calendar month. They’re a major league-best 19-8 in May, having previously won 19 games in August of 1997. They’re unbeaten (6-0-3) in 9 series this month and would finish 7-0-3 with one more win against the Nats. By winning both remaining May games to go 21-8 (.724) in May, they’d set a club record for the best winning percentage in any calendar month. They were 18-7 (.720) in June of 2006.

COMFORTABLE ANYWHERE: En route to a 27-22 record, the Marlins are 14-10 at Marlins Park and 13-12 on the road.  They’re one of only 4 NL teams and one of only 8 in all of baseball with better-than-.500 records both at home and on the road. The other 7: the Cardinals, Dodgers, Indians, Nationals, Orioles, Rangers and Yankees.

MAN OF THE MONTH: Only 3 Marlins have ever won an NL Player of the Month award: Jeff Conine in June of 1995, Hanley Ramirez in June of 2008 and Emilio Bonifacio in July of 2011. This month may be Giancarlo Stanton’s turn. Here’s a look at the top contenders for the honor through yesterday’s games:

Giancarlo Stanton, MIA:  .324 AVG, 9 2B, 0 3B, 11 HR, 27 RBI, .410 OBP, .735 SLG, 1.146 OPS

Carlos Beltran, STL: .310 AVG, 3 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 30 RBI, .400 OBP, .713 SLG, 1.113 OPS

Jonathan Lucroy, MIL: .388 AVG, 8 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 22 RBI, .409 OBP, .659 SLG, 1.068 OPS

POWER SURGE: Giancarlo Stanton’s 11 home runs in May with 2 games to play leave him one shy of the club record for a calendar month.  Dan Uggla hit 12 homers in May of 2008. The only other Marlin to hit 11 in a single month was Gary Sheffield in April of 1996.

Major League home run leaders in May:

Giancarlo Stanton, MIA 11

Josh Hamilton, TEX 11

Adam Dunn, CWS 11

Carlos Beltran, STL 10

Josh Reddick, OAK 10

Major League RBI leaders in May:

Carlos Beltran, STL 30

Josh Hamilton, TEX, 28

Giancarlo Stanton, MIA 27

Nelson Cruz, TEX 23

Albert Pujols, LAA, 22

Jose Bautista, TOR 22

Jonathan Lucroy, MIL 22

ONE-MAN WRECKING CREW: Stanton has hit more than half of the Marlins’ total of 21 homers this month…he’s hit as many home runs in May as the full rosters of both the Padres (11) and Giants (11).

PICKING UP THE PACE: In going 8-14 in April, the Marlins averaged only 3.3 runs per game. Their total of 73 runs scored was 15th out of 16 NL clubs and 28th out of 30 teams in all of baseball. In May, however, they’re averaging 4.6 runs per game. Their total of 123 runs in 27 games are 5th-most in the NL and 11th-most in MLB.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: The Marlins have 3 pitchers in their rotation who have thrown no-hitters (Mark Buehrle, Anibal Sanchez and Carlos Zambrano), and tonight’s Anibal Sanchez-Edwin Jackson match-up marks the 2nd time one of them has faced off against another pitcher who also has a no-no on his resume. Mark Buehrle beat Matt Garza of the Cubs April 18 at Marlins Park.

LOOKING FOR A SUPPORT SYSTEM: Speaking of Anibal, he was the Marlins’ tough-luck pitcher a season ago, winning only 8 games despite a 3.67 ERA over 32 starts.  In 2011, he allowed 2 runs or fewer in 16 of his 32 starts, but got a loss or a no-decision in 10 of those starts. This year, he’s allowed 2 runs or less in 6 of his first 9 starts and has a loss or a no-decision in 4 of the 6. The Marlins have lost 8 games this month and Anibal Sanchez has started 4 of the 8.  He’s 1-3 in 5 May starts despite a 2.97 ERA.

GIMME 5: The Marlins are one of only 7 ML teams that have needed only 5 starting pitchers to this point in the 2012 season.  The others are the Angels, the Cardinals, the Dodgers, the Mariners, the Nationals and the Reds.  The Nats will fall off that list tomorrow when Chien-Ming Wang replaces Ross Detwiler to start against Miami. Here’s a look at the Marlins’ record in games started by each member of the rotation:

Josh Johnson: 6-4

Mark Buehrle: 6-4

Ricky Nolasco: 6-4

Carlos Zambrano: 5-5

Anibal Sanchez: 4-5

FASHION SENSE: The Marlins have worn their black jerseys in 27 of their first 49 games this season. How they’ve fared in each jersey:

Black: 15-12

White: 6-5

Orange: 4-3

Gray: 2-2

For more on the Marlins, follow me on Twitter @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. To have new Fish Tales posts delivered directly to you via email, please “Follow” the blog above. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on 790 The Ticket and the Marlins Radio Network.

I WAS JUST THINKING…

While a great May doesn’t assure anything more than a bad April, it’s worth noting that if the season ended today, the Marlins would be in the Playoffs.

A major league-best 18-7 in May with 4 games to play before we usher in June, the Marlins need one more victory to match the winningest month in franchise history. Miami went 19-10 in August of 1997. 

The Marlins’ current .720 winning percentage for the month gives them a shot at a club record as well.  The Marlins were 18-7 (.720) in June of 2006. The Marlins would need to win at least 3 of their final 4 this month to better that .720 mark.

The Marlins have had just one day off since April 23. Thursday, a travel day to Philadelphia, will end a run of 20 games in 20 days and 36 games in 37 days.  The Marlins are currently 19-13 in the longer stretch.

Miami is unbeaten in 9 series in May. They’d have 7 wins, no losses and 2 splits if they finish off the series victory over the Giants this afternoon.  Should they lose today, they’d be 6-0-3 in 9 May series with a 3-game set with the Nats to come.

As if the schedule hasn’t been challenging enough, beginning with tomorrow night’s series opener against Washington, the Marlins’ next 41 games will be against the Nats (7), Phillies (6), Braves (3), Rays (6), Red Sox (6), Blue Jays (3), Cardinals (6) and Brewers (4).

With victory number 69, Ricky Nolasco became the all-time Marlins wins leader when he beat the Rockies on Tuesday, and he’s worn the career strikeout crown since last year. Heading into this afternoon’s start against Matt Cain and the Giants, he’s 5 starts shy of tying Willis for the top spot in club history with 162. He’s 46 innings pitched short of Willis’ club mark of 1,022.2. And Ricky’s next loss would tie Willis’ club mark of 54.

Ricky’s last 3 starts against the Giants have all come against Matt Cain, who he’ll face today. In 2 head-to-head match-ups last season and one this year, Ricky’s posted wins by scores of 5-1, 2-1 and 2-1. Overall, Nolasco is 5-2 with a 1.56 ERA and a .219 average allowed in 7 starts against the Giants, having allowed just one run in each of his last 4 outings against San Francisco.

Yesterday’s 5-3 win over the Giants was a virtual blowout for the Marlins. Each of their first 4 wins against San Fran this year had been one-run games.  Overall, Miami’s already posted 11 one-run wins and a major league-high 17 come-from-behind victories.

After going 4-2 against the Giants last season, Miami is 5-1 this year with one to go, winning consecutive season series from San Francisco for the first time ever.

If you doubt Omar Infante has the best all-around numbers of any second baseman in the National League to this point in 2012, check this out. http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/position/2b/league/nl

Don’t forget to cast your All-Star ballots either at Marlins.com or on your next visit to Marlins Park.

And from the Fish Tales editorial board, this message: the All-Star Home Run Derby will be an absolute joke if Giancarlo Stanton is not invited to participate. 

For more on the Marlins, follow me on Twitter @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. To have new Fish Tales posts delivered directly to you via email, please “Follow” the blog above. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on 790 The Ticket and the Marlins Radio Network.

PLAYING THE NUMBERS GAME

Here are some random Marlins facts and figures I came up with 30 games into the season. Feel free to use them to amaze your friends…

The Marlins are 15-15, 1-7 against NL East rivals and 14-8 outside of the division.

Emilio Bonifacio has 27 hits, all singles. Not only does he lead the major leagues in total hits without a single extra-base hit, but the next 2 men on the list total only 27 hits. Emmanuel Burriss of the Giants has 14 hits, all singles, while Nyjer Morgan of the Brewers has 13.

How important is Jose Reyes as a table setter atop the Marlins’ lineup? The Marlins are 10-1 this season in games in which Reyes scores at least one run and 4-14 when he doesn’t score.

Not only do the Marlins lead the major leagues by a wide margin with 34 stolen bases (Oakland is 2nd with 28), but the club also leads all of baseball with an 85% success rate, caught only 6 times in 40 tries.  A season ago, the Marlins totaled 95 steals and were caught 41 times, just a 70% conversion rate. In 2011, the Marlins didn’t steal their 34th bases until June 26 (game #78).  They reached 35 steals on June 28 (game #80). At their current pace, they’d steal 184 bases. The club record is 177 in 2002. The Marlins last reached 100 steals in 2007.

13 of the Marlins’ first 30 games have decided by a single run. The Marlins are 7-6 in one-run games and had won 5 in a row before last night’s 3-2 loss to the Astros.  The Marlins are 4-1 in extra-inning games.

While tonight’s starter Josh Johnson is 0-3 with a 6.61 ERA and a .359 batting average against, the Marlins’ other 4 starting pitchers (Mark Buehrle, Ricky Nolasco, Carlos Zambrano and Anibal Sanchez) are a combined 9-6 with a 2.38 ERA and a .224 average against.

For all the talk about Marlins Park suppressing offense, a look at the Marlins’ home/road batting splits through their first 30 games shows the offense has been significantly more productive at Marlins Park than away from home: 

HOME: .255 AVG, .330 OBP, .397 SLG, 9 HR (0.8 per game), 4.2 RPG (46 R in 11 games)

ROAD: .212 AVG, .278 OBP, .361 SLG, 19 HR (1.0 per game), 3.2 RPG (60 R in 19 games)

Along those same lines, Marlins pitchers have fared significantly better AWAY from Marlins Park, again suggesting that there may be a little more offense in the new ballpark than you thought. Here are the numbers:

HOME: 3.58 ERA, .262 AVG, .345 OBP, .347 SLG, 4.3 RPG (47 R in 11 games)

ROAD: 2.96 ERA, .234 AVG, .288 OBP, .255 SLG, 3.2 RPG (60 R in 19 games)

Hanley Ramirez and Emilio Bonifacio are the only Marlins who have appeared in all 30 games so far. Only 5 Marlins ever have played in all 162: Jeff Conine in 1993, Derrek Lee in 2002 and Juan Pierre in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

This may not be the kind of offensive consistency you were looking for, but it IS offensive consistency: The Marlins are hitting .227 as a team. Their catchers are batting .230, their infielders .233 and their outfielders .232.

The Marlins have been slow starters at the plate so far, hitting .197 and scoring a total of only 28 runs in the first 3 innings of games this season.

The Marlins rank last in MLB with a .192 average with runners in scoring position (the ML average is .248), while Miami is also last with men in scoring position and 2 outs at .144 (the ML average is .232).

On the plus side, 30 games in the Marlins are 3rd in all of baseball with a 3.20 team ERA, trailing only the Nationals and Cardinals.

Miami starting pitchers rank 6th in MLB with a 3.07 cumulative ERA. In the National League, only the Philadelphia starting 5 has thrown more innings than the Marlins’. 

Miami’s 3.52 bullpen ERA is 5th in the NL and 10th in all of baseball. Only the Angels, Phillies and Giants have thrown fewer bullpen innings.

For more on the Marlins, follow me on Twitter @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. To have new Fish Tales posts delivered directly to you via email, please “Follow” the blog above. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on 790 The Ticket and the Marlins Radio Network.

PITCHING IN

While Josh Johnson’s early-season struggles are no doubt very alarming, we shouldn’t lose sight of the tremendous success of the other 4 men in the Miami starting rotation through the first month-plus of the season. 

While their personal win-loss records don’t all show how brilliantly they’ve pitched due to several blown saves and, at times, a serious lack of run support, Mark Buehrle, Ricky Nolasco, Carlos Zambrano and Anibal Sanchez are all off to terrific starts.

How about this breakdown?

Josh Johnson: 0-3 with a 6.61 ERA and a .359 average against

Other 4 starters: 8-6 with a 2.64 ERA and a .231 average against

After Saturday night’s complete-game masterpiece in San Diego, Buehrle is 2-4 with a 2.83 ERA and a .252 average against with a nearly 4-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Marlins have been held to 1 or no runs in 3 of his 4 losses.

With his 68th career win yesterday, tying him with Dontrelle Willis atop the Marlins’ career list, Nolasco improved to 4-0 and lowered his season ERA to 2.72 through 6 starts, with opponents hitting just .235 against him. The Marlins are 5-1 in Ricky’s 6 starts with 2 blown saves (one by Edward Mujica April 13 vs. Houston in a game the Marlins ultimately won and one by Heath Bell April 26 at New York).  The blown saves are the only thing standing in the way of Ricky being 6-0 in his 6 starts. He’s worked at least 7 innings 4 times already, has allowed 2 runs or fewer 4 times and has allowed 1 home run in his last 5 outings (31.2 innings).

Tonight’s starter Zambrano is 0-2 with a 2.53 ERA and a .223 average allowed through 5 starts, but the Marlins have been shut out in both of his losses, and he’s been the victim of a blown save in all 3 of his no-decisions. With any luck, he could have 5 wins right now.

And Anibal Sanchez is “only” 2-0 after 5 starts despite a 2.43 ERA and a .210 opponents average.  He’s allowed only 26 hits and 2 homers in 33.1 innings, while posting a better than 4-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Anibal’s 10.3 K’s per 9 innings lead the National League.

If Buehrle, Nolasco, Zambrano and Nolasco can continue at anywhere near their current paces, and Josh Johnson can get on track, the Marlins’ rotation has the makings of being a huge strength in 2012.

For more on the Marlins, follow me on Twitter @GlennGeffner and friend me on Facebook at Facebook.com/GlennGeffner. To have new Fish Tales posts delivered directly to you via email, please “Follow” the blog above. And you can catch Marlins play-by-play on the radio all season long on 790 The Ticket and the Marlins Radio Network.

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