Miami Marlins Monday Week 13: Walk-Off Slam and Showing Skin

Miami MarlinsThe Miami Marlins capped a resurgent month of June with a walk-off grand slam from perhaps the most unlikely of candidates in their lineup. Light-hitting catcher Jeff Mathis entered the game on Sunday hitting .121, and was 1-for-15 (.067) with runners in scoring position at that point. The Padres, understandably, had intentionally walked Greg Dobbs to pitch to Mathis, but Mathis was able to connect for the game-winner. 

The walk-off grand slam added a 15th win to the June tally, a number the team didn’t reach in April and May combined (14-41). Plugging in Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison to the lineup has been a major reason why the team has been able to drive in runs at a higher clip this past month. The emergence of rookies Marcell Ozuna and Derek Dietrich as everyday players has also been a contributing factor. But while the arrival of a number of players off the disabled list and up from the minors has clearly helped the offense, perhaps the biggest key to the improvement in June was the pitching. During one ten-game stretch, the Marlins pitching staff held opponents to three runs or fewer.

The following quote from Marlins manager Mike Redmond comes from the Sun-Sentinel:

“To do what we did in June is great,” manager Mike Redmond said. “Are with happy with it? Yes. Are we satisfied with it? No. You’re seeing a different attitude, a different approach out there. We’ve got some guys healthy and different contributors that we didn’t get the first couple of months. We’re having fun.”

In addition to the walk-off slam, Marlins fans recently found out that Giancarlo Stanton and his big bopper will be featured in ESPN the Magazine’s fifth annual The Body Issue. This issue celebrates the physical form of our athletes today, and Stanton’s physique will be on display for all to see. Stanton was asked recently about his body, and the 23-year old slugger mentioned that he does 100 sit-ups and 100 push-ups to keep his chest and stomach well toned.

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Miami Marlins Monday Week 10: Who You Callin’ A Moran?

Plenty of news to report on the roster front. The MLB held their annual First Year Player draft this week, and the Miami Marlins held the #6 overall selection. The Marlins chose University of North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran, nephew of former outfielder B.J. Surhoff. Moran, who hit .348 with 13 home runs, led the NCAA this season with 86 RBI, and has led his Tar Heel team deep in the College World Series. 

“I like for them to have a little fire in their belly and this guy does,” said Marlins vice president of scouting Stan Meek.

The Marlins only third base prospect before drafting Moran was Zack Cox, who the Fish acquired last season in the Edward Mujica trade with the St Louis Cardinals. Cox, who was expected to start the season at Triple-A New Orleans, is currently hitting .318 with 6 RBI in 34 games with Double-A Jacksonville. Clearly, he’s not the long-term answer for the club, as they signed the corpse of Placido Polanco this off-season, despite Cox’s four season of minor league experience, and drafted a third basemen who they did not talk to during the pre-draft process.

“I hadn’t talked to them too much before the draft, so I guess it was a little bit of a surprise,” Moran said after the draft. “But I’m definitely really excited.”

Miami Marlins
Logan Morrison made his season debut last Sunday. (Photo Credit: Kathy Willens / AP)

In other roster news, the Marlins activated first baseman Logan Morrison from the 60-day DL, and placed OF Chris Coghlan on the 15-day DL with numbness in his right calf. Slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was also activated from the DL, and the team placed first baseman Casey Kotchman back on the DL. Former starting second baseman Donovan Solano was also activated from the DL, but was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans, as rookie Derek Dietrich has played well in his stead, and rookie utility infielder Ed Lucas, a 10-year minor league veteran, has provided manager Mike Redmond with great flexibility.

LoMo’s return to the lineup will prove to be perhaps the most important return, as the team needs to assess what it has in the talented first baseman. Morrison injured his knee last July, and has been shut down ever since. He’s up for arbitration this coming winter, so the team will take the summer to evaluate him. Should Morrison struggle, the team might dump him, a la Cameron Maybin, but if he excels, he’ll be due a significant raise. (Another reason the team might dump him.)

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