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Series Preview #51: Talking Marlins With Fish Stripes One Last Time




91-65 (1st place, NL Central)
71-85 (5th place, NL East)

GAME 1: September 23, 2011 @ 7:10 p.m. CDT
(TV: FS-Wisconsin; Radio: 620 WTMJ)

: September 24, 2011 @ 6:10 p.m. CDT

(TV: WMLW 41; Radio: 620 WTMJ)

GAME 3: September 25, 2011 @ 1:10 p.m. CDT
(TV: FS-Wisconsin; Radio: 620 WTMJ)

Miller Park   Milwaukee, Wisconsin

SBN Coverage: Marlins vs Brewers coverage

A View from the Other Dugout: Fish Stripes

Game 1 Yovani Gallardo (17-10, 3.60)
vs. Chris Volstad (5-12, 5.13)
vs. Marlins
(1-0, 1.50)
vs. Brewers
(0-1, 3.86)
Game 2 Zack Greinke (15-6, 3.75)
vs. Alex Sanabia (0-0, 1.29)
vs. Marlins
(1-0, 2.57)
vs. Brewers
(0-0, 0.00)
Game 3 Chris Narveson (10-8, 4.40)
vs. Ricky Nolasco (10-11, 4.46)
vs. Marlins
(0-0, 6.75)
vs. Brewers
(0-0, 6.00)

This is the final meeting between these two teams in 2011, so it's time once again to talk to our friends over at Fish Stripes. Thanks to Craig for taking the time to answer these questions:

NH:  In the preview at the beginning of June we talked about the possible loss of Hanley Ramirez to the DL for back stiffness. In the beginning of August he went on the DL with a shoulder injury and eventually had season-ending surgery. This season, the Marlins are 20-45 (as of Tues. night) when Hanley is not in the lineup. Clearly he's not the entire cause of the losing season, but why does the team struggle so much without him in the lineup? Do you see Hanley being ready for Opening Day next year?

CS: Considering the year Hanley was having I wouldn't even begin to say if he had stayed healthy, things would've been different. The only positive thing Hanley did this season was hit pretty well with RISP. Other than that, he didn't add much. The reason the win-loss record without him is so skewed is that he missed the first half of June. The Marlins went 5-23 for the month and after his return on June 14 the Marlins finished out the month with a record of 4-12. I won't go into the reasons why June was so horrid, but it had nothing to do with Hanley being out of the lineup. If the back troubles had happened in May, you would see a completely different won-loss record with him out of the lineup. And possibly be asking why he was such a drag on the team. In an average Hanley year, him being out of the lineup would leave a big hole on offense, but this wasn't anything close to an average Hanley year. 

The Marlins are saying he could be ready by Opening Day, but that is a very optimistic timeline. Given how the surgery went, I think it is very possible he will be in Jupiter in extended Spring Training when the season starts and will join the team some time in early to mid-April. If all goes well.

Follow the jump for more on the pitching staff, that new logo and Logan Morrison

NH: Rookie RHP Alex Sanabia is pitching just his second major-league start of the season on Saturday. He's struggled with elbow issues all season and didn't have great stats in AAA New Orleans (0-3 with a 7.89 ERA in four starts over 21 2/3 innings.) However, he earned a no-decision against the Phillies giving up just one run in six innings last week. Which is more indicative of the type of pitcher he is? What should we expect to see out of him on Saturday?

CS: Alex Sanabia opened the season on the Minor League DL due to elbow soreness and didn't even begin throwing until July. Basically his time in New Orleans was extended rehab. Sanabia is one of the few Major League ready pitchers in the Minors. Had he been healthy, he had a good chance of the cracking the rotation out of Spring Training. Of course, that didn't happen. 

As to what you should expect, I have no idea. I'm curious about this too. He is a three-pitch pitcher, he throws a fastball (90 mph), slider and change. When on, he does a good job of spotting the fastball and his change is effective. But I don't how consistent he will be from start to start given how little he has thrown this season. From the Marlins standpoint, the organization and fans alike are interested to see if he is returning to his 2010 form or whether there are still some rough patches to go through.

NH: Javier Vasquez has been the Marlins best pitcher in the second half and has been one of the best in the majors over that time, yet is talking about retirement. Will the Marlins try to get him to stay? If he does go, how will they replace him in the rotation?

CS: Javier Vazquez has been told by the front office that they have a place for him in next year's rotation, if the money can be worked out. But Javy is still talking about retiring and it is looking more like he will be very happy to retire on a good ending to the year and his career. Sanabia, if back to form, could take his spot in rotation next season. Also, the Marlins might look in the free-agent market for a replacement. It is kinda early to tell how this will be handled.

NH: That supposed new logo is making the rounds and its not getting positive reviews. What's your take? Do you think its real?

CS: It's awful! I hate it and so do the Marlins fans. Personally, I was hoping that the Marlins would just take the "F" off the cap and slap a "M" on it and call it a day. But obviously, that isn't going to happen. There are going to be major changes to the uniform. That's what Loria wants to do and it will be done. Marlins management doesn't care what the fans think and the team colors and logo will change. Which is pissing off every fan since the base wants to keep the colors as black and teal.

I don't know if that is the final design or not, but from what I have been hearing it is definitely one of the prototypes.  But even if it isn't the final one, expect whatever is chosen to equally as hideous. 

NH: Tell us a little bit about the Logan Morrison situation. He filed a grievance after being demoted. He's something of a twitter star. He supposedly called out Hanley Ramirez. What's the fan reaction to all these situations? Is he still a fan-favorite? Is he getting labeled a distraction? 

CS: Oh, he did call out Hanley - twice. Also he said some negative things about the front office when the hitting coach was fired. And there are others. In every case, LoMo has been right, but that doesn't help his cause. The Marlins front office doesn't like it when players speak out and tend to hammer a player for doing so. However, that doesn't deter LoMo who feels the need to share his opinion.

I really wish he hadn't filed the grievance. Everyone one in baseball knew that LoMo was sent down as punishment and not for the made-up reason the team gave, but there is no way to prove it. There is nothing good that will come from filing the grievance, however it is possible it could turn negative.

Yeah, the fans still like LoMo, but most think he should do a little better job of picking his battles.