Three games, two last-place teams, one winner. This means everything.
To help us cut through the hype that inevitably surrounds a meeting of the Padres and Marlins in July, Dave Gershman of Marlins Daily has popped in to offer his thoughts on a few burning questions that the public demands be answered. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, without further ado, I give you Dave Gershman…
GY: Aside from a horrendous June, the Marlins have played good baseball this year. What happened in June, and how did it get fixed?
DG: Everything seemingly just fell apart. But most importantly it had to do with a combination of Josh Johnson getting hurt and Hanley Ramirez continuing to slump. Im addition, the Marlins hitters couldn’t bite on anything the opposition was throwing, despite a strong set of arms to face. Jack McKeon then took over and the Marlins are now 14-9 since then.
GY: The Marlins have the worst attendance in the National League, as they have every year since 2006. How difficult is it to deal with fan apathy, and long-term, can the Miami area legitimately support a big-league franchise?
DG: I think baseball in Florida was never a good idea to begin with. The Rays, all Florida State League teams (High-A), in addition to the Marlins don’t draw any crowds, though. Therefore it’s really not just the ballpark or lousy team to blame. Heck, even when they were good, fans never attended. That’s why I worry about next year at the new ballpark. However, even though it’s sad that they don’t have fans at the park, they have a very high television watching base, so that’s at least something to hang a hat on.
GY: Jack McKeon recently took over as manager. How surprised were you by his hiring, and how do you feel about the job he’s done?
DG: I liked it. He obviously is experienced and has done the job before, and with a young team, having a guy like this at helm couldn’t hurt. They are playing well since he took over and it looks as though he might even be back for yet another season. That wouldn’t disappoint me to say the least.
GY: Mike Stanton is a beast. Can we have him? Seriously, he must be fun to watch every day; what is his upside?
DG: He certainly is fantastic, but you can have him. [My heart skipped a beat before I realized Dave was just teasing us. - GY] It’s remarkable how much power he has. Not only that, but he’s shown that he can hit for average, even if this season’s line wouldn’t suggest that. He has speed and can get balls in the outfield. He’s really a player that organizations dream of and it seems like he’s finally finding his footing. His upside is probably a 5-tool player with above average power, and it’s going to be exciting to watch him continue to develop.
GY: The Marlins figure to be sellers in this year’s trade market. Who are they likely to move?
DG: I think Hanley, Stanton, Logan Morrison, Josh Johnson, and Gaby Sanchez are the only guys the Marlins won’t listen on. However, the only likely trade candidates seem to be Ricky Nolasco, Leo Nunez, Omar Infante, Randy Choate, and possibly Anibal Sanchez. I think they can get something valuable back for each one of those sans Infante and Choate, but does it really make sense to trade Anibal Sanchez?
GY: Any predictions for the series?
DG: The Marlins will face Stauffer, Harang, and Moseley this series. Moseley has been lucky on balls in play this year but I still think he pitches well against the Marlins. That’s why I say the pitching comes through and takes two from the Marlins. The Padres win the series 2-1 and Maybin homers to say “thanks for trading me, Loria.” However, Gaby Sanchez will have a good series in return.
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Big thanks to Dave for stopping by to give us the dirt on the Fish. (He’s had me do the same with the Padres over at his place, although presumably you already know about that team.) For more of Dave’s stuff, visit Marlins Daily or follow him on Twitter.