Results tagged ‘ Yunel Escobar ’
Creating an easy transition for Mike Stanton is a primary objective of the Marlins as an organization and Fredi Gonzalez as manager.
For weeks, Gonzalez has said Stanton likely would start off batting seventh, or perhaps second.
The recent offensive struggles may have prompted a change of thinking. Hanley Ramirez batted leadoff on Sunday in a 7-6 loss to the Mets at Citi Field.
Ramirez was hitless in two at-bats with three walks, including one intentionally. One of his outs was a crushed liner to deep right field that Jeff Francoeur made a terrific running catch.
Gonzalez noted that Ramirez leading off wasn’t a definite guarantee. But will the All-Star bat first on Tuesday night at Philadelphia? That may have now changed with Stanton officially called up.
Stanton batted third at Double-A Jacksonville. His numbers spoke loudly, 21 homers, 52 RBIs and a .311 average in 52 games.
Don’t be surprised is Stanton is batting sixth or second on Tuesday.
It was seem unlikely to put the 20-year-old in a prime power spot like No. 3 in his first big league game, especially since Dan Uggla belted his 13th homer while hitting third on Sunday.
If Stanton hits sixth in his big league debut, Ramirez would go back to batting third. A possible lineup that way, at least against right-handed starting pitching, would be Chris Coghlan, Gaby Sanchez, Ramirez, Jorge Cantu, Uggla, Stanton, Cody Ross, Ronny Paulino and Chris Volstad, Tuesday’s starter.
Ross already has produced batting seventh, while Uggla has been having a solid season batting mostly fifth.
Perhaps a better option is hitting Stanton second right away is Sanchez has already shown he has the discipline to bat eighth. Paulino is more of an aggressive hitter, and may not be best suited to hit in front of the pitcher.
One thing to consider about Ramirez batting second is if a base is open, like it was Sunday at New York, teams will likely intentionally walk him to get to Coghlan. The Mets did that with a runner on second and two outs. Then they brought in lefty Pedro Feliciano, who struck out the lefty hitting Coghlan. With Ramirez hitting third, he is protected by Cantu, a proven run producer, .
If Stanton were hitting second and Ramirez third, opposing teams couldn’t match their lefty reliever in those spots.
Earlier this season Gonzalez asked Bobby Cox why he put Jason Heyward, Atlanta’s 20-year-old sensation, second.
Cox said it was out of necessity because Yunel Escobar wasn’t hitting. Heyward has thrived batted second.
Perhaps that will be the best fit to start Stanton, and then see how the lineup comes together.
– Joe Frisaro
The Marlins will face the Braves on Wednesday afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium.
Back in the lineup for the first time since March 7 is Cameron Maybin, who is slated to play center field. Maybin has been out with a strained left groing. Jorge Cantu, out since Saturday with flu-like symptoms, also is scheduled to play.
Today’s game will be televised on Fox Sports Florida.
1) Nate McLouth, CF
2) Martin Prado, 2B
3) Chipper Jones, 3B
4) Troy Glaus, 1B
5) Brian McCann, C
6) Yunel Escobar, SS
7) Jason Heyward, RF
8) Matt Diaz, LF
9) Tommy Hanson, P
1) Chris Coghlan, LF
2) Cameron Maybin, CF
3) Hanley Ramirez, SS
4) Jorge Cantu, 3B
5) Logan Morrison, 1B
6) Hector Luna, 2B
7) Bryan Petersen, RF
8) Brad Davis, C
9) Andrew Miller, P
– Joe Frisaro
The Marlins look to rebound from Monday’s loss to the Braves on Tuesday night at Turner Field.
Florida has been held without a run for 21 straight innings, dating back to a seven-run fifth inning on Saturday night.
1) Coghlan, LF
2) Maybin, CF
3) Hanley, SS
4) Cantu, 3B
5) Gload, 1B
6) Uggla, 2B
7) Baker, C
8) Carroll, RF
9) Johnson, P
1) McLouth, CF
2) Prado, 2B
3) Jones, 3B
4) McCann, C
5) Anderson, LF
6) Escobar, SS
7) LaRoche, 1B
8) Diaz, RF
9) Hudson, P
– Joe Frisaro
Opponents have detected a pattern with Leo Nunez.
Scouting reports are out, and teams seem to be sitting on first-pitch fastballs. That was the case in the Marlins’ 5-4 loss to the Nationals on Sunday.
Nunez entered in the ninth inning trying to preserve a two-run lead. But the inning started off with Willie Harris teeing off on a first-pitch fastball. The end result was an upper-deck home run to right field.
Cristian Guzman followed with a first-pitch approach. The only pitch Guzman saw he swatted for an infield single. Ryan Zimmerman delivered a two-run, walk-off homer, but it came on Nunez’s third pitch.
On Sept. 2, Nunez also surrendered a home run on his first pitch of the ninth inning. That game, Yunel Escobar sat first-pitch fastball and connected.
“The last few games I feel like they’ve been timing up that first-pitch fastball,” Nunez said through a translater. “In these next games, I have in my mind to vary my pitches a little more.”
In July at San Diego, Kyle Blanks of the Padres opened the ninth inning by homering on Nunez’s first-pitch fastball.
“I feel like it’s been the last three games or so they’ve been jumping on that first pitch,” the Marlins closer said. “But I still have to come in there and challenge guys.”
– Joe Frisaro