Grades for Every Miami Marlins Player in May
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Another banner month for the Miami Marlins.
After an 8-19 April, the Marlins managed to outdo themselves with a 6-22 May. Very impressive.
Included in that torrid month was a season-long nine game losing streak, and the Marlins never won more than three consecutive games.
And now, the report card is out on Marlins players for their miserable May, although a few did receive high marks. So delve in and, from worst to best, see what grade each Marlins received for the second month of the 2013 season.
Marlins Players Who "F"ailed
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Name: Duane Below
May stats: 0-1 record, 10.13 ERA, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 SO, 2 2/3 IP
Analysis: Claimed by the Marlins on April 25 from the Detroit Tigers, Below was promoted to the big leagues May 17. Below struggled in his Marlins debut as he yielded three runs in relief in a 7-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. After Thursday's loss, Below was sent back to Triple-A as the Marlins recalled starting pitcher Jacob Turner.
Name: Matt Diaz
May stats: .167 BA (3-18), .211 OBP, .222 SLG, 0 HR, 1 RBI
Analysis: Diaz was recalled from the minors May 2, but he spent just 18 days with the Marlins before landing on the 15-day disabled list because of a left knee bone bruise. As you can tell from the stats, Diaz didn't provide much when he was healthy.
Name: Greg Dobbs
May stats: .193 BA (16-83). .264 OBP, .217 SLG, 0 HR, 3 RBI
Analysis: Age might finally be catching up to Dobbs. A backup corner infielder for most of his career, it seems Dobbs' hot zone are on pitches on the outside corner whereas in the previous two seasons, it's been in the middle of the plate and in. At 34, Dobbs, who has been known for his ability to hit and inability to play decent defense, could be showing some cracks in the armor.
Name: Jeff Mathis
May stats: .045 BA (1-22), .043 OBP, .091 SLG, 0 HR, 1 RBI
Analysis: Never known for his hitting prowess, Mathis has been hitless in his last 17 at-bats. The only excuse the career .198 hitter has is the fact he was activated from the disabled list after recovering from a broken right collarbone that caused him to miss the first six weeks of the season.
Name: Jon Rauch
May stats: 0-0, 6.75 ERA, 4 ER, 9 H, 3 BB, 2 SO, 5 1/3 IP
Analysis: Rauch was supposed to be the main piece in the bridge between the Marlins starting pitchers and closer Steve Cishek. But six weeks into the season, the Marlins decided to cut Rauch after he posted a 1-2 record with a 7.56 ERA. And to imagine, Rauch was actually better in May than April.
Marlins Players Who Were "D"eficient
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Name: Rob Brantly
May stats: .213 BA (10-47), .255 OBP, .213 SLG, 0 HR, 2 RBI
Analysis: It's bad enough Brantly has taken a step back offensively in May from his already porous April numbers (.239/.313/.338), but his defense is still a work in progress. In Monday's loss to Tampa Bay, Brantly tried to turn a double play on a bunt with runners on the corners and he also helped fail to prevent Kelly Johnson from stealing third base on an intentional walk.
"New situations happen all the time," Brantly told MLB.com,
Name: Nick Green
May stats: .194 BA (6-31), .286 OBP, .258 SLG, 0 HR, 3 RBI
Analysis: Green was designated for assignment more times in May than he hit home runs. He was first demoted May 2 before being recalled five days later. Then, on Wednesday, the Marlins designated Green for assignment a second time and replaced him with a 31-year-old career minor leaguer Ed Lucas.
Name: Adeiny Hechavarria
May stats: .183 BA (17-93), .240 OBP, .333 SLG, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 3 2B, 4 3B
Analysis: The numbers are still ugly, but Hechavarria had his moments. For instance, Hechavarria hit a grand slam and a bases-loaded triple off an ailing Roy Halladay, tying a team record with seven RBI, in the Marlins' 14-2 victory May 5. Hechavarria also has five triples, which is second in the majors. The team record is 13, which was set by Juan Pierre in 2005.
Name: Austin Kearns
May stats: .000 BA (0-2), .000 OBP, .000 SLG, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Analysis: Kearns had a rather nondescript month. He had two at-bats before leaving the team for family reasons. On May 12, the Marlins placed Kearns on the restricted list.
Name: Wade LeBlanc
May stats: 0-1, 4.43 ERA, 12 R, 11 ER, 26 H, 6 BB, 13 SO, 22 1/3 IP
Analysis: LeBlanc struggled as a starting pitcher, going 0-5 with a 6.11 ERA in seven starts, before he was demoted to the bullpen. On the bright side, since LeBlanc has been in his new role, he's compiled a 3.09 ERA in five relief appearances. That said, starters are almost always more valuable than relievers, thus this grade.
Name: Miguel Olivo
May stats: .194 BA (6-31), .257 OBP, .323 SLG, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Analysis: Olivo's best play of the month didn't occur in his domain, home plate. Instead, it involved himself and the Phillie Phanatic.
Name: Placido Polanco
May stats: .202 BA (20-99), .262 OBP, .222 SLG, 0 HR, 1 RBI
Analysis: The good news is Polanco is still healthy. The bad news is he hasn't been productive for the last six weeks. Since April 18, Polanco has a .197/.267/.219 slash line. For a player who provides no power, that is worst than replacement level. On the bright side, Polanco is with the team because he wanted to play close to home and help the Marlins' young players.
“I’m at home, 15 minutes from my house and I have two kids that need me,” Polanco told www.nj.com May 5. “I can help some of the kids here who are good guys, good friends. It’s cool, there’s a great facility here and it’s a great organization. In the short time they’ve been around (since 1993) they’ve won (the World Series) twice.”
Name: A.J. Ramos
May stats: 0-1, 1 hold, 1 blown save, 4.50 ERA, 9 R, 6 ER, 8 H, 10 BB, 12 SO, 12 IP
Analysis: Speaking of non-baseball plays to make headlines, Ramos, like Olivo, had one himself in May. Ramos, on an off-day in San Diego, tried to devour a six-pound, 12-egg omelet smothered in chili and cheese, three potatoes worth of home fries and two biscuits the size of two hockey pucks stacked together in an iron man omelet challenge. Take a look here at the report by the Sun Sentinel.
Name: Justin Ruggiano
May stats: .191 BA (17-89), .280 OBP, .382 SLG, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 4 SB
Analysis: Normally, Ruggiano would join Polanco and Dobbs with a failing grade, but Ruggiano has one attribute that Polanco and Dobbs has yet to show: Power. Ruggiano leads the team with eight home runs. However, seven of Ruggiano's blasts have been solo shots and all of them have come on the road.
Name: Kyle Skipworth
May stats: .000 BA (0-1), .000 OBP, .000 SLG, 0 HR, 0 RBI
Name: Kevin Slowey
May stats: 1-3, 5.76 ERA, 16 ER, 34 H, 6 BB, 18 SO, 25 IP
Analysis: Since earning his first win of the season, a two-hit shutout in seven innings of work on May 5, Slowey has not had one good start. In three of the four starts, Slowey allowed four runs or more and in the only start where that did not occur, Slowey exited the game with a strained left lat muscle. After an exemplary April, the real Kevin Slowey might have finally shown up.
Name: Chris Valaika
May stats: .150 BA (3-20), .190 OBP, .350 SLG, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Analysis: He was supposed to be the everyday second baseman until Donovan Solano returned, but that was short-lived when he fractured his left wrist May 7 against the San Diego Padres. Three days later, Valaika underwent surgery. Then again, it wasn't like Valaika was going gangbusters before the unfortunate injury.
Marlins Players Who Were "C"ompetent
Watch Alex Sanabia's spitball as Domonic Brown rounds the bases. Since cheating has been accepted in baseball since its inception, Sanabia receives a boost in his grade for not getting caught and getting his only win of the month.
Name: Steve Cishek
May stats: 0-1, 2 saves, 1 hold, 3.48 ERA, 4 ER, 7 H, 7 BB, 8 SO, 10 1/3 IP
Analysis: Cishek hasn't had a save since May 10, but it seems as though he's gotten more comfortable as the season progressed. In his last 11 appearances, Cishek did not allow a run in nine of them.
Name: Derek Dietrich
May stats: .230 BA (17-74), .296 OBP, .419 SLG, 3 HR, 8 RBI
Analysis: Despite what the numbers say, Dietrich has been impressive since promoted to the majors May 8. Dietrich has hit third in the batting order since his fourth career start, provided some pop in a lineup in desperate need of it, and has reached base in 18 of his 20 career games, including in each of his first 14 games. And did we mention he's a rookie?
Name: Mike Dunn
May stats: 0-1, 1 save, 2 holds, 1 blown save, 4.76 ERA, 6 ER, 12 H, 8 BB, 12 SO, 11 1/3 IP
Analysis: Up until his last three appearances, Dunn was downright dominant as he had been untouched in 22 of his first 25 games. Dunn was so good, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal said teams have asked the Marlins about Dunn's availability in a trade. Meanwhile, ESPN.com's Buster Olney thinks the Atlanta Braves could be one of Dunn's landing spots. But in his last three appearances, Dunn has yielded five earned runs in two innings.
Name: Brad Hand
May stats: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 3 SO, 1 2/3 IP
Analysis: Hand appeared in only one game, but he was wildly effective before he was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.
Name: Tom Koehler
May stats: 0-3, 4.03 ERA, 13 ER, 26 H, 8 BB, 16 SO, 29 IP
Analysis: Koehler replaced LeBlanc in the rotation, and while he has been winless in four starts, he has been just as effective regardless of the role. As a starter, Koehler has a 3.24 ERA in 25 innings while as a reliever, he has a 3.18 ERA in 11 1/3 innings.
Name: Ed Lucas
May stats: .250 BA (1-4), .250 OBP, .250 SLG
Analysis: A 10-year minor leaguer, Lucas finally got the call to the majors Wednesday. In his first career start, Lucas had a RBI single and scored a run.
Name: Ricky Nolasco
May stats: 1-4, 3.57 ERA, 16 ER, 36 H, 9 BB, 40 SO, 40 1/3 IP
Analysis: For what it's worth, Nolasco has done pretty much all he can do to fulfill his role as the de facto ace of the staff. In six May starts, he allowed one run or less in three of them. Unfortunately, he's had just one win to show for it as the offense scored just six runs during his outings.
Name: Juan Pierre
May stats: .239 BA (17-71), .316 OBP, .310 SLG, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 SB
Analysis: Not a great month for Pierre, but it might have been memorable. For starters, Pierre hit his 18th career home run, in what is now 7,383 at-bats, against Cincinnati on May 16. He let out a whoop when his homer barely cleared the fence just inside the right field foul pole. Two weeks earlier, Pierre swiped his 600th career stolen base, which made him the eighth player since 1920 to have 1,000 runs, 2,000 hits and 600 steals.
"It feels good to be mentioned with guys like that," Pierre told the Associated Press. "But I really don't feel like I should be mentioned with those guys. It's nice to have played all this time and accomplished something."
Name: Chad Qualls
May stats: 0-0, 1 hold, 3.24 ERA, 3 R, 7 H, 1 BB, 5 SO, 8 1/3 IP
Analysis: No better than fourth in the Marlins' bullpen pecking order, Qualls has been quietly effective as he's currently thrown six consecutive scoreless appearances.
Name: Alex Sanabia
May stats: 1-4, 4.91 ERA, 17 R, 14 ER, 37 H, 9 BB, 16 SO, 25 2/3 IP
Analysis: Who says cheating doesn't pay?
Sanabia was dreadful this month, but in his line victory, he was caught illegally spitting a baseball. Sanabia said he didn't know it was illegal and he did it to get a better grip on the ball.
"I didn't know. I was in my zone and just grooving. It's something you live and learn from. I didn't mean anything bad by it or I didn't mean to do anything more," Sanabia told the AP. "It's something that showed up that way and people all of a sudden just create their own perception of."
Marlins manager Mike Redmond said they were not contacted by Major League Baseball about the incident, a game in which Sanabia allowed one run on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.
A week later, Sanabia was placed on the 15-day DL with a right groin injury.
Name: Donovan Solano
May stats: .385 BA (5-13), .385 OBP, .615 SLG, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 15-day DL
Analysis: After a slow start to the season, Solano heated up, which included his first home run of the season in the last game he played before he headed to the disabled list May 7 with a left intercostal strain.
Name: Ryan Webb
May stats: 0-2, 1 hold, 1 blown save, 3.75 ERA, 5 ER, 12 H, 5 BB, 10 SO, 12 IP
Analysis: Like Dunn, Webb was unhittable for much of May. From April 20 to May 20, Webb threw 17 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings spanning 13 appearances, and during that stretch, Webb had faced 32 batters without allowing a base hit. Unfortunately, that string of dominance ended as Webb has allowed at least a run in each of his last four appearances.
Marlins Players Who Came Up "B"ig
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Name: Jordan Brown
May stats: .333 BA (2-6), .375 OBP, .500 SLG, 0 HR, 5 RBI
Analysis: Since being called up May 20, Brown hasn't had many opportunities, but when given the chance, he has come through. In a mere eight plate appearances, Brown has driven in five runs, which is more than what Pierre, Polanco and Dobbs have each accumulated in 70 or more at-bats this month.
Name: Chris Coghlan
May stats: .322 BA (19-59), .385 OBP, .542 SLG, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 2B, 3 3B
Analysis: Welcome back, Chris Coghlan.
For the first time since June 2010, which is about a month before he wrecked his knee in a shaving cream pie celebration, Coghlan hit .300 or better in a single month. And since Coghlan was inserted into the everyday lineup on May 18, Coghlan has hit .326 in 46 at-bats.
"Playing consistently is a lot easier than once a week or once every couple of weeks," Coghlan told MLB.com. "There was a span there for a while that I didn't play, but I was able to pinch-hit and work my way back into the lineup."
The only reason Coghlan didn't get a higher grade is because he spent half the month toiling the bench.
Name: Jose Fernandez
May stats: 2-1, 3.18 ERA, 13 R, 10 ER, 24 H, 10 BB, 29 SO, 28 1/3 IP
Analysis: As Fernandez has shown time and time again, the 20-year-old phenom can pitch.
He picked up his first career win when he threw one-hitter in seven innings while striking out nine in a 2-0 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Fernandez became the youngest starting pitcher in more than a quarter-century to win a game while allowing fewer than two hits. The last starter as young as Fernandez to do so was Edwin Correa of the Rangers in 1984; the last in the NL was Dwight Gooden in 1984.
In his next start, Fernandez labored a little early on when he delivered a three-run homer to Adrian Gonzalez, but he regrouped long enough to get his second consecutive victory.
“He reminded me of King Felix,” Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told the Sun-Sentinel. “Same body, kind of the wide lower half, that turn he has and kind of the attack from there to the strike zone. Obviously, not as polished. It seemed like if guys had good swings he came back with the heater. It was almost like, ‘Go hit this one.’ He’d try to throw harder.”
Fernandez had two more solid starts until his struggles in front of his homecoming crowd against the Tampa Bay Rays. He surrendered seven runs, four earned, on five hits in 3 1/3 innings.
“It hurts,” Fernandez told the Miami Herald. “It’s good to come back home. I’m sorry it didn’t come out the way it should. I tried my best.”
Name: Dan Jennings
May stats: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 SO, 2 2/3 IP
Analysis: Jennings has been solid since his call up Monday as he's thrown three scoreless appearances. It could be a continuation of last season, when Jennings went 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA in 22 appearances.
Name: Jacob Turner
May stats: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 SO, 7 IP
Analysis: It took two months in the minors, but Turner might have been fixed.
"I feel I've been throwing the ball like this in Triple-A," Turner told the Associated Press. "To be honest with you, it was a matter of time of making the adjustments I needed to make and get everything right."
Turner could have received a higher grade as well if he had spent more time in the majors.
He Was "A"wesome, Except...
Marcell Ozuna would've gotten an A if he didn't commit this blunder...
Name: Marcell Ozuna
May stats: .330 (35-106), .372 OBP, .462 SLG, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 9 2B
Analysis: Ozuna has, by far, been the best Marlin in May.
Ozuna has also been hitting cleanup since May 12 and on Friday night, he became the first rookie in the major leagues this season with three hits in a game from the cleanup position in the batting order, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. His three hits extended his hitting streak to 16 games, the longest current run in the majors. The hitting streak is also the second-longest by a Marlins rookie behind Edgar Renteria's 22-game run in 1996. He is batting .356 during the streak.
"I feel good because I'm enjoying my game," Ozuna told the Associated Press. "The manager and coaches give me confidence and always stress that I remain calm and also have fun."
Moreover, Ozuna has shown he has an arm as he has four outfield assists already.
"Ozuna, with his throwing arm, and his ability and his accuracy, he's going to excite the crowd," Marlins vice president of player development Marty Scott told MLB.com. "He will make some unbelievable throws from time to time to nail runners and electrify the crowd."
Ozuna, though, did not get an "A" because of a gaffe that made national headlines. Instead, he received a "B" just like Brown, Coghlan, Fernandez, Jennings and Turner.
But he was so good, he deserved a slide all to his own.