Tag Archive for: Jordan Yamamoto

Marlins beat Blue Jays

Marlins Finish Road Trip with Thriller, Beat Blue Jays 14-11

The Miami Marlins escaped Buffalo, NY, with a series split after a thrilling win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Miami built an 8-0 lead before Toronto stormed back thanks to seven home runs. But after dropping the game in extra innings on Tuesday night, the Marlins put three runs on the board in the 10th and held on to beat the Blue Jays 14-11.

Thanks to 10th inning heroics from Magneuris Sierra and Jesus Aguilar, the Marlins return to Miami with an 8-4 record. The team’s 6-day road trip morphed into a 23-day odyssey that saw them lose 20 teammates along the way. And, improbably, Miami sits atop the NL East.

“Obviously, that was a crazy game,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said on the postgame Zoom call. “Seems like a perfect game to end this trip with. Just out of the ordinary, every bit of it.”

Marlins pitchers served up a franchise single-game high seven home runs in this one. The Blue Jays connected on homers in six consecutive innings to tie the game after their early deficit.

This game mirrored the rollercoaster road trip. There was a thrilling, unexpected start, considerable difficulty in the middle and a team-oriented response in the end to help the Marlins beat the Blue Jays.

Wild Ride as Marlins Beat Blue Jays

Brian Anderson connected on his fourth home run of the season to open the scoring. Then in the third inning, the Marlins put five more runs on the board with three singles, three walks, an error and an inexplicable pick-off attempt by Toronto’s catcher.

From there, though, Marlins pitchers allowed the Blue Jays back into the game. Starter Jordan Yamamoto couldn’t make it through four innings, surrendering up seven hits, four earned runs, two walks and two home runs. But the Blue Jay’s home run binge didn’t stop there. Miami’s bullpen gave up five homers and seven earned runs.

But one night after a frustrating extra innings loss, the Marlins rallied in the 10th inning.

Another Shot at Extras

On Tuesday, the Marlins played for the big inning, and were inches away from it, but they couldn’t push a run across. With the new extra innings rule, if the road team doesn’t score first, the odds tilt almost insurmountably in favor of the home team.

Mattingly played last night’s game for one in extras.

“I wanted to try and get a run,” Mattingly said. “The analytics tell me not to do that [bunt]. It ended up being big. You don’t get an out on the bunt, it usually causes you multiple runs.”

That was the case for the Blue Jays. With Eddy Alvarez placed at second base to start the inning, Jon Berti stepped up to move him over. But his bunt snuck pass the mound on the left side and Berti reached base safely, putting runners on the corners with no outs. After a wild pitch moved Berti to second, Sierra followed with a two-run single.

Sierra took second on a failed pickoff attempt, then made it to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Villar. Aguilar then drove in Sierra with a single, his fourth RBI of the game.

Josh A. Smith entered in bottom of the 10th as Miami’s ninth pitcher of the night. Despite the placed runner at second and starting the inning with a walk, Smith navigated the 10th with a pair of strikeouts to record the save. It was Smith’s second career save and his first with the Marlins.

“We’re competitors,” Smith said after the Marlins beat the Blue Jays. “It says a lot about this organization. It says a lot about the guys that we have down there. We come to work every day, blue collar. Whenever our name is called, we try to get it done. Whoever doesn’t get it done, then the other guys just pick them up.”

Up Next: Atlanta Braves

The Marlins return home after this rollercoaster road trip 8-4 and in first place. The Atlanta Braves (11-9) come in for a three-game set for control of the NL East. Pablo Lopez (1-1, 1.80 ERA, 11 K) takes the hill for the Marlins. The Braves counter with RHP Kyle Wright (0-2, 6.75 ERA, 11 K).

Marlins call up

5 Most Exciting Marlins Call Ups

The Miami Marlins 2020 season resumes in Baltimore this week. They face the 5-3 Orioles for four games in three days after spending more than a week in quarantine. During a Zoom call with media yesterday, Marlins President of Baseball Operations, Michael Hill, made several roster announcements including a number of call ups.

The team’s baseball ops crew scrambled over the last week to piece together a competitive roster. But to fill all of the holes for the 30-man roster, Hill needed to promote from within. Here’s a look at five of the most exciting Marlins call ups.

Marlins Call Ups: Monte Harrison

The road to the big leagues for Monte Harrison has been a winding one. He’ll be the last of the four prospects received in the Christian Yelich deal to reached the bigs. Now 24, Harrison made his pro debut at the age of 18, forgoing a commitment to the University of Nebraska where he would have played both football and baseball.

Harrison comes in as the No. 9 overall prospect for the Marlins via MLBPipeline and his impressive spring/summer had fans clamoring for his MLB debut. At 6’3”, Harrison boasts a unique blend of size, speed and power. He’s a plus outfield defender and wields a cannon arm.

What’s limited him in the past has been inconsistency at the plate. Strikeouts have been an issue, including 215 in 2018 at Double-A Jacksonville. But the Marlins have worked to make mechanical adjustments to Harrison’s approach, including lowering his leg kick and shortening his swing.

At Triple-A in 2019, Harrison dropped his K-rate drop 36.8 (in 2018) to 29.5 percent. Overall, he slashed .274/.357/.451 with nine home runs, 24 RBI and 20 stolen bases. He then hit .300 and posted a .397 OBP in the Puerto Rican Winter League.

Over the summer, Marlins manager Don Mattingly praised Harrison’s work and said: “I think South Florida fans are going to love this guy.”

Harrison should be a fixture in the lineup for the time being, considering the Marlins wanted to have him play every day. This call up is particularly exciting because Harrison has the potential to be a 20/40 guy for the Marlins.

Lewis Brinson

The South Florida native Lewis Brinson was considered the headline prospect return for the Marlins in the Yelich deal. But after struggling for two seasons, Brinson could be on his last opportunity with his hometown club considering some of the other outfield options in Miami’s system.

Brinson struggled in 2019, posting a .197/.247/.263 slash-line with a 34.1 K-rate in 27 games. The team demoted him to Triple-A where he improved (.270/.361/.510 in 81 games) ahead of an August promotion. But his end to 2019 (160/.230/.200 ) was worse than the start.

Brinson is a plus defender with great speed and power potential but contact at the plate remains an issue. With the COVID outbreak, Brinson’s call up for the Marlins should see him patrolling the outfield.

In an interview former MLB OF Xavier Scruggs prior to Opening Day, Brinson called playing for the Marlins a “dream come true.” He admitted his first two seasons “weren’t ideal to start my career” but called this the “best offseason” of his life. Brinson focused inward and remains confident in his abilities. He wants to be “more consistent” and “a leader.”

Brinson said the Marlins are out to “prove people wrong.” He says, “a lot of people sleep on us, but we’ve got a squad.”

Marlins Call Up: Eddy Alvarez

With his call up to the Marlins, Eddy Alvarez is believed to be the first US Winter Olympian to become an MLB player. Alvarez, a Miami native who attended Christopher Columbus High School, won a silver medal as a short track speed skater at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Alvarez returned to baseball after his speed skating career and worked his way up through the minor league systems of both the Chicago White Sox and the Marlins. Last year with Miami’s Triple-A affiliate, Alvarez hit 324/.408/.559 with 12 home runs and 12 stolen bases.

The 30-year-old is yet to make his MLB debut, but made a strong impression at the Marlins’ summer camp workouts.

“I like the kid,” manager Don Mattingly said in July. “I think he’s got a chance to help us.”

As a switch hitter with speed and defensive versatility, Alvarez could prove to be a valuable piece for Mattingly off the bench.

When he learned of his call up to the Marlins, Alvarez reportedly drove down to Miami from Jupiter to tell his family in person. He didn’t go into the house, cautious of COVID-19, but yelled the news through the front door.

Jordan Yamamoto

2019’s roller coaster started fast for Jordan Yamamoto but slowed considerably. Yams began his Marlins career with a pair of seven-inning shutouts, posting 12 strikeouts, five hits and four walks in 14 IP.

But Yamamoto struggled in July and August, posting an 8.13 ERA during a seven-game stretch. He finished 2019 strong with a one-hit, 10-strikeout performance over six innings in his final start of the season.

All in all, Yamamoto posted a 4.46 ERA with a 25.2 percent K-rate. His walk-rate (11.1 percent) needs to come down though.

The 24-year-old was in the running for the fifth starter spot, but lost out to Elieser Hernandez. Miami optioned Yams to Jupiter because he doesn’t necessarily profile as a reliever. He sports a six-pitch arsenal, with his slider as his best offering.

With his call up, the Marlins now have three starters set: Pablo Lopez, Hernandez and Yamamoto. He’ll take the mound during Wednesday’s doubleheader after making 15 starts for Miami last season and posting 82 strikeouts and 36 walks over 78.2 innings.

Marlins Call Up: Jorge Guzman

During Monday’s Zoom call, Marlins president Michael Hill announced Jorge Guzman’s name among the team’s call ups. Guzman is considered the Marlins No. 19 prospect overall by MLBPipeline. The 24-year-old sports a live arm and can touch triple digits on the radar gun.

Guzman slots into a bullpen decimated by COVID-19. Eight of the 12 arms in Miami’s ‘pen have tested positive, so Guzman will initially fill one of those holes despite his pedigree as a starter. The Marlins acquired Guzman from the New York Yankees as part of the Giancarlo Stanton deal.

Mattingly didn’t rule out Guzman getting a turn in the starting rotation, though. “Our guys are going to have to be flexible,” Mattingly said, noting Guzman will “get the opportunity to pitch.”

The 24-year-old hasn’t pitched about Double-A, where the Marlins had him in 2019. With Jacksonville, he posted a 3.50 ERA with 127 strikeouts over 138.2 IP.

Guzman’s call up might surprise some Marlins fans who were expecting the arrival of top-end pitching prospects Sixto Sanchez or Edward Cabrera. The Marlins are being careful with both. Cabrera is dealing with an unspecified arm issue (that’s not being portrayed as serious). Sanchez did not make an appearance in Spring Training and Hill noted the team has “been incredibly cautious with him and his workload.”

Marlins 2020 roster

5 Predictions for the Miami Marlins 2020 Roster

Miami named Sandy Alcantara the Opening Day starter earlier this week, answering one of the big questions for the Marlins 2020 roster.

Alcantara’s final 11 starts of the 2019 season, coupled with an impressive spring/summer, has propelled the 24-year-old to the front of the rotation. Spots 2-4 will likely feature Caleb Smith, Pablo Lopez and Jose Urena in some order.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly has mentioned the 30-man roster will be pitcher-heavy. He’s considering carrying as many as 17 hurlers to Philadelphia to open the season. That leaves 13 slots for position players on the 30-man set.

The Marlins won’t fully cut down their roster until after the two exhibition games in Atlanta next week. With that in mind, here are five predictions for the Marlins 2020 roster come July 24th.

Miami Marlins 2020 Roster – Fifth Starter Prediction

For the fifth starter, there’s a four-man race. Jordan Yamamoto, Elieser Hernandez and Robert Dugger all have Major League experience, whereas Nick Neidert would be making his MLB debut if he’s it.

The prediction for Opening Day is Yamamoto. Yams tossed back-to-back seven-inning shutouts to open his MLB career. In 2019, he made 15 starts and threw 78.2 innings, posting a 4.46 ERA and 1.14 WHIP with 82 strikeouts. He’ll need to improve upon his 4.1 BB/9 and 1.3 HR/9 rates, but his track record in the minors indicates he will.

For the others, Hernandez and Dugger can both transition to the bullpen. Neidert probably won’t break camp with the club, but he could be the first pitcher called up should the rotation suffer injuries.

Bullpen Prediction

If Yamamoto takes the 5-spot, Hernandez and Dugger likely land in the bullpen as long relievers. Mattingly has mentioned the possibility of a piggyback with the fifth starter, and both of those pitchers could fill that role.

The Marlins turned over much of their terrible bullpen from 2019. Free agent additions Brandon Kintzler and Yimi Garcia should be backend staples, with Kintzler taking the closer role. Non-roster invitee Brad Boxberger stands as another veteran option with closing experience.

Adam Conley, Sterling Sharp, Ryne Stanek and Drew Steckenrider also seem like locks.

Predicting the final three arms for the ‘pen: Jeff Brigham (if he’s fully healthy), rookie Alex Vesia and Nick Vincent.

Brigham didn’t pitch in the spring thanks to a right bicep injury, but he sports maybe the best slider on the staff. Vesia has impressed and consistently thrown strikes. Mattingly called Vincent an “experienced, strike-throwing veteran,” which is key.

Should Brigham’s injury linger, look for Aaron Northcraft (or Josh Smith) to take his spot. If Mattingly wants a third left-handed reliever, he may swap Vincent for Stephen Tarpley, who Miami acquired via trade from the Yankees in January.

Dark horse options include prospects Jordan Holloway and Jorge Guzman. Both are starters, but they’ve impressed during camp and could be bullpen arms if need be.

Outfield Prediction

The unfortunate reality is that the Marlins are missing two outfielders who, in spring, figured to play significant roles. Matt Joyce and Lewis Brinson would have competed for right and center field respectively. Pulling those two from the competition simplified Mattingly’s decision making.

The prediction for the starting outfield on Opening Day is: Corey Dickerson in left, Jonathan Villar in center and Harold Ramirez in right. Monte Harrison will make the team and rotate between center and right. Garrett Cooper will see time in right and as DH.

While Ramirez is aided by Joyce’s absence, Mattingly called him “the most impressive overall” of the right field candidates. “He’s a guy people don’t give as much credit to. He’s been working hard in the outfield to get better.”

Magneuris Sierra, who is out of minor league options, should also make the team. His versatility, speed and defensive acumen carve out a role for him early, though he could be replaced once Joyce returns. He could also be among the cuts when the team pares down from 30 players to 28 and 26.

“Mags is a guy that we continue to see develop,” Mattingly said. He envisions Sierra as someone who can “[s]teal a bag, [be a] defensive replacement, you’ve got the 10th inning-type thing. There’re some scenarios in this type of setting. That creates a different role.”

Mattingly did say recently that both Joyce and Brinson will have a chance to play this year and that both players are optimistic and upbeat. Their delay makes the first few weeks of the season important for both Sierra and Harrison if they want to stick with the club.

Prospect Jesus Sanchez could find a role on the big club as well, if Mattingly wants a left-handed bat with pop off the bench.

Infield Prediction

The Marlins 2020 roster along the infield has been fairly set since the offseason. Holdovers from 2019 include Jorge Alfaro, Isan Diaz and Miguel Rojas. Offseason addition Jesus Aguilar remains the odds-on favorite for first base. And Brian Anderson seems poised to retake his regular role at third.

Cooper will spell Aguilar at first from time to time, and super utility Jon Berti can plug the other holes. Villar will likely spend some time cycling through middle infield spots in addition to centerfield.

For Diaz, the start to the season is particularly important. Mattingly has called Diaz “the guy” and “the second baseman of the future” but the presence of Villar should keep pressure on him to produce. His minor league track record indicates he’ll hit.

New bench coach James Rowson said he’s been impressed by Diaz. “I love the swing. He does a lot of things that work well.”

Should Aguilar struggle out the gate, first base prospect Lewin Diaz might get an early call-up. He’s a powerful, sweet-swinging lefty who’ll be a mainstay in the lineup for years to come.

Local product Eddy Alvarez, a switch-hitting utilityman, could find a role should injuries pile up.

Miami Marlins 2020 Roster – Rotating Positions

The final prediction for the Marlins 2020 roster is that there will be rotating positions. With this group, there’s fluid nature to the lineup. GM Mike Hill has assembled a group of players who can play multiple positions, and this versatility affords Mattingly the flexibility to shuffle players based on matchup and who’s hot.

Lineup fixtures like Villar, Cooper, Rojas, Ramirez and Anderson can bounce around the diamond and outfield. The addition of the designated hitter to the NL gives Mattingly another bat, and multiple players can fill that role as well.

Even the construction of the bench should feature players who can be deployed across a number of spots. Berti can play all over. Sierra can man each outfield position. Same for Harrison.

The ability for the roster to rotate positions means Mattingly can optimize the lineup card almost every day.

What Should Marlins do With Surplus of Starting Pitchers in MLB?

The Miami Marlins have one of the strongest starting rotations in baseball. They currently own the 7th best rotation ERA in the league, not just National League, but in all of Major League Baseball. With a 3.92 rotation ERA, they place behind the Rays, Dodgers, Nationals, Reds, Twins, and Astros. 

With the current rotation doing as well as they have, what should the Marlins do when Jose Urena and Pablo Lopez return from the IL?. Personally, I think the Marlins should trade Trevor Richards before/at the deadline. 

Between the staff, Richards has the fourth highest ERA behind Jose Urena, Zac Gallen, and Pablo Lopez. Jose Urena and Pablo Lopez have been on the injured list so they haven’t had a chance to lower their ERAs. Zac Gallen only has twelve major league innings to his name so there’s not much to go off of there. Gallen has shown a lot of promise, just needs to limit his walks.

  • Jose Urena (4.70 ERA)
  • Zac Gallen (4.50 ERA)
  • Pablo Lopez (4.23 ERA) 
  • Trevor Richards (4.18 ERA)

Let’s say Richards has been traded at the deadline, and Urena and Lopez are back from the IL, what should the Marlins do now? Well, there are now seven starting pitchers that could get a rotation spot, but there are only five spots. I say move Urena and Elieser Hernandez to the bullpen.

Urena has the stuff to be in a middle relief type of role and Hernandez already has bullpen experience so I don’t think this is a bad situation

What Could The Rotation Look Like?

Use the rotation that will give the club the best opportunity to win a game, and in my opinion that rotation looks like this:

  • Caleb Smith
  • Sandy Alcantara
  • Jordan Yamamoto
  • Pablo Lopez
  • Zac Gallen

I could make the argument that Yamamoto should be the number one starter or the “Ace” of the staff because of how amazing he has been but he only has 29 innings pitched. As a result, Caleb Smith seemed like the more obvious choice as the front of the rotation pitcher. 

This is a Top 10 in the league rotation, possibly even Top 5. I mean they’re already Top 7 so Top 5 is definitely doable. All the team needs now is some run producing bats and in fact, they’re on their way. A trade for a very highly regarded Cleveland Indian (I won’t say any names) may be possible this offseason if Cleveland decides to sell.

Some impactful free agent bats are also on the Marlins’ radar this offseason as well. Players eligible for free agency this offseason that could be targeted by the Marlins include:

  • Jose Abreu
  • Didi Gregorius 
  • Marcell Ozuna
  • Yasiel Puig
  • Nicholas Castellanos

It’s going to be a fun offseason and the trade deadline is only the beginning. 

Most Pleasant Surprise of Marlins’ First Half? Jordan Yamamoto.

Through all the disappointments and hard times of the Marlins’ first half there were a few bright spots to be excited about. I’m only going to be talking about one exciting bright spot in Jordan Yamamoto.

Acquired in the Christian Yelich trade, Yamamoto was thought of as the least regarded prospect in the trade. Yet, he has outperformed his fellow trade pieces, who have performed very well at the minor league level. He has made his way onto the big league scene before Monte Harrison and Isan Diaz have. *Lewis Brinson is progressing very well.*

Both Harrison and Diaz have had great seasons thus far for Triple-A New Orleans but an immediate need in the rotation due to injury opened the door for Yamamoto to make the big league club out of Double-A Jacksonville.

In five starts for the Marlins, Yamamoto holds a 3-0 record with a 1.24 ERA, yes a 1.24 ERA… I don’t think that’s too bad for a “throw in” piece. In 29 innings pitched, he has allowed 11 hits and he hasn’t allowed more than THREE hits in any of his outings. That makes him only the THIRD pitcher since 1900 to have five straight starts without allowing more than three hits. He also hasn’t allowed a home run this season. (via @DuseReport)

His slider has been his best pitch and it’s un-hittable, literally. Batters are 0-31 with 19 strikeouts against his slider, yes 19 strikeouts. Hitters are having trouble hitting his other pitches also. Batters are only hitting for a .117 average and only have 11 hits against him.

An impressive stat for Jordan Yamamoto is that he holds the longest streak of allowing no more than three earned runs and three hits or less while pitching four innings or more to start a career with five straight starts that meet that criteria. (via @MaxSportsStudio)

He shut down a very hot Atlanta Brave’s lineup in probably his best outing of the season in my opinion, based on who he faced. Video below of his dominance against Atlanta. (via @Marlins)

I think he could be a possible NL Rookie of the Year candidate this year, he would have to beat Mets’ Pete Alonso to win it but he could definitely be a candidate if he keeps pitching the way he has been. 

Yamamoto Wins Again as Marlins Sweep

The Marlins completed the sweep of NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 6-4 with a 16 HIT bombardment off Philadelphia pitching. Yamamoto took the ball for the Fish and he put the Marlins in a position to win. The Marlins outscored the Phillies 13-8 and out hit them 29-20. Very solid series sweep for the Fish.

Offense Produces

The Marlins offense managed to scratch a run off Phillies’ starter Enyel De Los Santos in the first inning. Rojas opened the game with a lead off single, followed by a Garret Cooper single which advanced Rojas to second. A wild pitch pushed Rojas to third and Cooper to second. 

Starlin Castro comes up huge with a single scoring Rojas but Cooper is thrown out at the plate after a Phillies’ challenge on the original safe call. Nonetheless, Miami is on the board early.

After a Cesar Puello single to open the second inning, JT Riddle blasts a two run homer to right field to give the Marlins a 3-2 lead. That is Riddle’s second home run in back to back games and he has now homered in three of his last four games.

More offense followed after the homer by JT Riddle. Garret Cooper and Brian Anderson followed up with homers of their own launching back to back home runs in the fifth inning.

Yamamoto’s Solid Start

Yamamoto got off to a rocky start in the first inning when he walked the bases loaded. He struggled to find the zone with his off speed pitches but minimized the damage to only two runs. A Jean Segura single scored two runs in the inning as they were the only runs the Phillies were gonna scratch off Yamamoto or the rest of the game. 

He managed to bounce back from that rocky start and threw five innings of quality baseball without allowing additional runs. His final stat line for his outing is 5 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 Walks, and 7 Strikeouts on 99 pitches. Three of those four walks came in the first inning, so a solid bounce back in the aspect of command for the rookie.

Yamamoto Makes History

After his solid pitching performance and the Marlins securing the win, Yamamoto became the first Marlins’ pitcher in franchise history to win their first three starts to start their career. (via @DuseReport)

His performance also pushed the Marlins rotation to sole possession of the 3rd best rotation ERA in ALL of baseball with a 3.71 ERA. They passed the Cincinnati Reds and the Minnesota Twins and kept their lead of the Houston Astros. The only two teams ahead of the Marlins are the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays, both with sub-3 ERA’s. (via @fishstripes)