Series Preview: Marlins vs Braves with Q&A


The Miami Marlins travel to Atlanta to square off against the Braves for the first time this season, and we have a special series preview for you here at Tomahawk Take.  For this series preview, Jeff and I teamed up with Chris Logel, co-editor of Fansided’s Marlin Maniac, for a special Q & A edition of the series preview.

 

Game 1:

7:10 PM EST, Monday, April 21st

Probables:  Tom Koehler (2-1, 1.89 ERA) vs Julio Teheran (2-1, 1.93 ERA)

Game 2:

7:10 PM EST, Tuesday, April 22nd

Probables:  Jose Fernandez (2-1, 2.66 ERA) vs Alex Wood (2-1, 1.67 ERA)

Game 3:

12:10 PM EST, Wednesday, April 23rd

Probables:  Nathan Eovaldi (1-1, 3.55 ERA) vs Aaron Harang (3-1, 0.70 ERA)

 

 

Q&A with Chris Logel

Brandon Woodworth:   The Marlins are off to a 9-10 start, including winning 5 of the first 6 games to open the season, which is frankly more than a lot of people in baseball expected from a team that is still in full rebuilding mode.  Do you think this better than anticipated start is sustainable into and out of the summer, and what do you attribute most to this early success?

Chris Logel:  In a sense I do think the success is sustainable in the fact that I expected them to be competitive from the start of the season. They simply have to much talented pitching to not be in games. That being said, the ceiling for this team is really .500 baseball, and many of their contributors have exceeded certain stats that would imply that a regression is coming. This team is still learning what it means to win games day in and day out, on the road or at home. This season their success has been against teams outside of the N.L. East and at home, we will see if they can take the next step

BW:  There have been a lot of solid contributors to the Marlins offense early on, who should the Braves fear in this series (Giancarlo Stanton excluded)

CL:  Casey McGehee has been a pleasant surprise this season. He has proven clutch with runners in scoring position and has provided more than adequate protection for Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup. His numbers aren’t incredible, but he seems to get the big hit when needed. Also shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria has been excellent. New Marlins hitting coach Frank Menechino has worked with all of the Marlins’ hitters and he has done wonders in a short amount of time. Hech is staying back on off speed pitches and taking them the opposite way, and really showing some quick hands at the plate

BW:  The starting rotation has been pretty solid out of the gate, with Nathan Eovaldi posting really good peripheral numbers.  What can you say about the Marlins pitching staff coming into this series?

CL:  Miami have only given up 3 earned runs in the last 27 innings pitched by their starting rotation. The first game you will see Tom Koehler who allowed 1 hit in 7 shutout innings last time out against the Nationals. He was one of the Marlins best pitchers in spring training and has parlayed that start into a 1.89 ERA early this season. The second game you will see Jose Fernandez. Obviously you are familiar with him. Fortunately you get him away from Marlins Park where he has been lights out. He has merely been fantastic on the road. For the finale you will see Nathan Eovaldi, who is the Marlins workhorse of the staff. He strikes out almost a hitter an inning and has seen a considerable improvement on his secondary pitches this season which has allowed him to really take the next step

BW:  The Braves play extremely well in the later innings of the game, do the Marlins have the bullpen to fend off the Braves?

CL:  Well that is certainly where the difference between the two teams lie. The Marlins bullpen has been suspect at times, including manager Mike Redmond‘s use of certain relievers. This team is a completely different team on the road, and a lot of that is due to the bullpen. If the game is close late, I would bet on the Braves hitters to overcome the Marlins relievers. Hopefully the Marlins can put it out of reach early.

BW:  Given the detailed history of the Marlins and their star players, do you see Giancarlo Stanton or Jose Fernandez signing an extension that ensures the team a true star going into post rebuilding years?

CL:  The multi-million dollar question. Selfishly I hope they sign both players to long contracts, but that won’t happen. As far as I am concerned, Stanton is a lost cause. Too much bad blood has transpired for him to trust this organization enough to sign him without a no-trade clause, which Miami refuses to give to anybody. Not to mention he is getting expensive quickly and could bring in a nice haul of young players in return. The Marlins have a loaded outfield and Stanton won’t be in the future plans. Fernandez, on the other hand, is a definite possibility. Owner Jeffrey Loria has brought his grandmother over the the States from Cuba, and has seemed to put forth some effort into making sure Fernandez knows how special he is to the organization. If they give him a fair offer he likely will sign, I just don’t see them offering him any large contract that he will deserve.

Note:

Special thanks to Chris Logel, co-editor of Marlin Maniac for his time and for bringing the idea of a Q&A to us, and I apologize in advance for the sweep the Marlins will be experiencing over the next three days!

 

 

 

 

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  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Sweep, huh? That would be a tall order, for sure. Even Koehler, in his last 2 starts, gave up a total of 2 earned against Washington in 13 innings. Braves will have to work the counts and be patient for a good pitch to hit.

    Fernandez vs. Wood: could be dueling no-hitters again, especially if Wood keeps Stanton in the park.
    Eovaldi iw hittable, though strikes out a lot, so getting early hittable pitches will be important then.

    The way Atlanta has been hitting (not), I’ll be happy with 2 out of 3.

    • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

      I agree that a sweep won’t be a walk in Turner Field, but on paper at least the Braves have better pitching, minus Koehler’s sustained start, and the fact that NONE of the Marlins starters are slouches. The Fish are scoring more runs on average though, and are always a dangerous team, and typically (despite what you see on paper) give the Braves fits. Always an interesting series, and one I hope we’ll just win, never mind the sweep. Good litmus test in many ways, and may come down to the pens.

  • fireboss

    Koehler appears to the least dangerous of the pitchers. He’s been helped by better defense behind him than the others Beating Fernandez and Eovaldi will require beating their bullpen. Fernandez is Grade A Stud but has been vulnerable in the first inning. Once he settle in his stuff is so good he can be unhittable particularly if our hitters swing early and often. He has had issues in the fifth against the Phillies when the top of their order got hot all at once. he’s been a six inning pitcher this year so their bullpen should be ours for three innings, Eovaldi is right behind Fernandez publicity and hype wise but he’s been a bit unlucky according to FIP. His k/bb ratio is 7.57/1 -10/1 for RHB) so look for hitters to attack him before he gets ahead of them because down 0-2 is usually followed by a view from the bench. His BAbip against is .333 which speaks to his supporting cast more then him. He’s allowed just one homer this year in 25 1/3 innings so the ball stays in the park and in Florida there’s a lot of room in the outfield.
    As Chris said this is a team that has world class pitching and a major league average lineup or they would be serious contenders. A sweep is not high on the probability scale. Taking two is a success.

  • Chris Logel

    Hey guys, great series! That was some serious pitching! I just checked back here to see how we did and noticed how knowledgeable you guys are! It is nice to see fans like you. Good luck the rest if the season and I look forward to our next series down in Miami! Just try not to run off with the division before then!