Is it possible Derek Jeter knows what he’s talking about? I’m not trying to challenge the baseball icon’s ability to point out talent, but the owner and CEO of Miami’s MLB franchise may have known something we didn’t from the start of Spring Training. The Miami Marlins are beginning to show life this season.
As Glenn Geffner, a member of the Marlins broadcast team pointed out, Miami has won three in a row and has five wins in the last six games. Players like Brian Anderson, Tayron Guerrero and Merandy Gonzalez are starting to show they are the next generation of Miami superstars.
The Miami Marlins pitching staff, which got a boost from Wei-Yin Chen the other night, has been better than advertised of late. The starting rotation, although it has been turned upside down and all the way around in the first month of the season, could be a force in the second half of 2018. Jarlin Garcia, Dillon Peters and Caleb Smith have been better than advertised at times.
The return of Dan Straily and better pitching by Jose Urena could mean less innings for the bullpen.
It would appear Miami’s mantra of “Just Getting Started” is the right catchphrase for a major-league team hoping to see what mediocrity feels like.
Although Straily labored through four innings, where he allowed for runs on six hits, the defense and four RBI from Anderson helped Miami win its third straight game of the year. It’s also a sign that this team can regroup from its shortcomings.
“Getting out there tonight was a big step, and now it’s getting to work,” Straily said. “Fine tune in between starts. Tonight, it was frankly bad command of the breaking ball, and kind of turning myself into a one-pitch pitcher at times. Then, when I was throwing the slider, it was kind of in the dirt or over the plate.”
Straily has been on the disabled list since the season started. Any boost from him, the veteran of the rotation, helps a young and improving pitching staff.
Anderson, in his rookie season for the Miami Marlins, had a two-run homer in a two-run double, and also made a diving catch to rob Carlos Santana of a hit in the seventh-inning. Veteran Starlin Castro had two doubles and an RBI and scored two runs. This is the kind of production manager Don Mattingly has been looking for since the start of the season. Maybe the bats are finally coming alive and fans will see a more consistent ball club.
“For me not to have the outing I’m looking for, but to see guys like Castro and Anderson have nights like that, and Miggy [Rojas] making some plays on defense,” Straily said. “Those types of things right there, just kind of remind you why we keep playing and keep working.”
Straily opened the season on the disabled list with the right form strain. The No. 2 starter for the team gave up four runs, which snapped a string of eight straight games by Miami Marlins starters of allowing to a few runs. Hopefully that is just a sign of rust as Straily was one of the more consistent pitchers in the rotation last year.