After last night’s embarrassing loss, it best to just keep looking forward. Although the new left field wall found four victims last night (3 solo would-be homers by the Phils and a potential 3 run shot by the Nats), the story was Ryan Madson’s awful line, which can be found appropriately under The Steve Jeltz Award. So let’s stay positive and see if the Phils can finally win a home series as the last place Marlins swim into town. Peter Gammons thinks the Fish will be a team to be reckoned with in two years; hopefully that means the Phils can roll over them in the 38 games until then. To provide a forecast of the upcoming series, our friend Timothy Miller has the story.
This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the Phillies play host to the 4-10 Florida Marlins. On Opening Day, the Marlins contained six rookies in their starting lineup, becoming the first team to ever start that many rookies in an opening day game. They have lost maybe their best young player in outfielder Jeremy Hermidia who is currently on the fifteen day disabled list due to an aggravated right hip flexor.
The Marlins still contain at least four rookies in their starting lineup pretty much at one time. The veteran every day starter is third baseman Miguel Cabrera who is essentially the only starter left from last year. The Marlins shipped out Carlos Delgado (Mets), Luis Castillo (Twins), Jeff Conine (Orioles), Juan Pierre (Cubs), Mike Lowell (Red Sox), and Paul LoDuca (Mets) who were usual position players in this lineup. Without players backing up Cabrera in the lineup, Cabrera could suffer this season. Cabrera
is currently batting .346 with three home runs. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez is the only batter with a higher average then Cabrera at .367. The rest of the infield contains first baseman Mike Jacobs who is batting a dismal .188 with three homers, and second base rookie Dan Uggla. The outfield contains rookie catcher converted to outfielder Josh Willingham who is batting .327 with three home runs and fourteen RBI’s. He is a major threat in the Marlins lineup. The outfield also contains Reggie Abercrombie and Chris Aguila. Behind the plate is veteran Miguel Olivio (Mariners, Padres) until Hermidia comes back and Willingham will return to behind the plate.
Five guys make up a starting rotation, and fourteen games into the season the Marlins rotation is noted for only three wins this season (though the Phils have just four). The Marlins shipped out pitchers this past off season as well - Josh Beckett (Red Sox) and A.J. Burnett (Blue Jays). So, Dontrelle Willis is the only member of the rotation left from last year. He is currently 1-0 with an ERA below three. The other two guys with wins are Sergio Mitre and Jason Vargas, who have a combined 11.28 Earned Run Average. The other two pitchers in the rotation are Scott Olsen who is 0-1 with a 1.69 ERA, and the pitiful Brian Moehler who is 0-3 with a 13.14 ERA. The Marlins rotation gives up a lot of runs, which should makes the Home Run happy though otherwise offensively-challenged Phillies ecstatic.
The Marlins bullpen currently boasts a 3.44 ERA which is pretty decent with a team whose rotation is giving up a lot more runs. Last year’s closer (and Philly hater) Todd Jones is listed on the Detroit Tigers roster, though he is on the disabled list. The new guy in town is Joe Borowski, the former Chicago Cubs relief man. It seems as though the Marlins do not even need a closer this season as they only have one save through fourteen games, and that belongs to Borowski who has the highest ERA in the bullpen at 7.20. The pen also includes former Dodger Matt Herges, Todd Wellemeyer, Franklin German, Ricky Nolasco, and Josh Johnson who has the only win by a relief pitcher on the Marlins.
Friday: Scott Olsen (0-1, 1.69) vs. Jon Lieber (0-3, 9.18)
Saturday: Sergio Mitre (1-1, 4.08) vs. Brett Myers (1-0, 3.06)
Sunday: Brian Moehler (0-3, 13.14) vs. Cory Lidle (1-2, 5.00)