Tag:Brad Hand
Posted on: December 18, 2011 2:24 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Miami Marlins

Miguel Cabrera

By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

The new-look Miami Marlins went out and spent some cash on big free agents this offseason, but had that cash been around (or, you know, owner Jeffrey Loria willing to spend it before getting his new ballpark), the team could have kept some of the notable talent in South Florida. While the Marlins sent Josh Beckett and Miguel Cabrera out after winning a World Series, it's intriguing to think of what could have been had the Marlins stayed homegrown.

Lineup

1. Logan Morrison, CF
2. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
4. Mike Stanton, RF
5. Josh Willingham, LF
6. Alex Gonzalez, SS
7. Brett Hayes, C
8. Robert Andino, 2B

Starting Rotation

1. Josh Johnson
2. Josh Beckett
3. Chris Volstad
4. Jason Vargas
5. Livan Hernandez

Bullpen

Closer - Steve Cishek
Set up - Chris Resop, Chris Leroux, Sandy Rosario, Alex Sanabia, Rick VandenHurk
Long - Brad Hand

Notable Bench Players

The bench is deep and versatile, including young and old alike, infielders and outfielders. Some of those guys include Gaby Sanchez, Edgar Renteria, Ross Gload, Matt Dominguez, Mark Kotsay, Chris Coghlan and Jeremy Hermida. Of those, Sanchez and Dominguez are good, young players that are just blocked by superstars, while the rest are clearly bench players.

What's Good?

Gonzalez, Cabrera, Stanton? Does any pitcher want to face that heart of the order? That's two MVP-worthy players plus the best young power hitter in the game. The bottom of the lineup offers a respite, but it's not like it's a wasteland. The top of the rotation can stand in just about any postseason series, throwing Johnson and Beckett back-to-back.

What's Not?

Of course, once you get past the two Joshes, things get a little easier. And once you get past them to the bullpen, the road gets a little easier, as well. Cishek may one day be a closer, and had three saves last year, but there's a reason the team went out and signed Heath Bell. Morrison probably isn't the first choice to play center field, but he's athletic enough to do it, and having Stanton in right helps out, as well. Cabrera hasn't played third base since 2008, but it was a way to fudge the lineup a bit. 

Comparison to real 2011

The Marlins were 72-90 in 2011, the same as their Pythagorean record. Of course, they didn't have Johnson for most of the season, so it's hard to really predict where he'd be with this squad. This team is probably better than the 2011 team, scoring more runs, but also struggling in the rotation, just as the regular Marlins did. Better than the 2011 team, this team is not as good as the 2012 team is shaping up to be.

Next: San Francisco Giants

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Posted on: August 8, 2011 8:39 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 10:48 pm
 

Uggla's hitting streak to 29

Dan UgglaBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Dan Uggla extended his hitting streak to 29 games with an infield single in the fifth inning of the Braves game in Florida.

Uggla hit a dribbler off of Marlins starter Brad Hand to Marlins shortstop Emilio Bonifacio and beat it out. It was his fourth infield single of the team's current road trip.

Uggla's hitting streak is the second-longest in the majors this season behind Los Angeles' Andre Ethier earlier this season. He's just two games short of the Atlanta record of hits in 31 consecutive games set by Rico Carty in 1971.

Uggla walked in his first at-bat of the game and then grounded out to Hand to end the Braves' four-run second. He finished the game 1 for 3.

Against Tuesday's starter for the Marlines, Clay Hensley, Uggla is 2 for 8 with a home run and a walk. 

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Posted on: July 8, 2011 1:03 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Walk-off Grand Slam for Pronk



By Matt Snyder


Travis Hafner, Indians. We could concentrate on the colossal meltdown by the Blue Jays to lose after having a 4-0 lead entering the ninth, but let's instead focus on the man with the big blow, because you don't often see a walk-off grand slam. That's exactly what Travis Hafner did in front of the Cleveland fans who stuck around for the ninth Thursday. (Click here to watch the highlight on MLB.com). The Blue Jays only recorded a single out, allowing a single, double, walk and single before Hafner's bomb. The Indians appear to be somewhat back on track and have a 1-1/2 game lead in the AL Central.

Brad Hand/Jack McKeon, Marlins. Hand, a 21-year-old rookie, picked up his first major-league victory Thursday in a spot-start for the Marlins. He threw seven shutout innings and allowed just two hits. Sure it was against the Astros, but it still counts -- and the hitters are definitely better than Hand had been seeing in Triple-A. As for the McKeon inclusion here, he sent Hand out to warm up for the eighth inning and removed Hand before the inning started. Why? So the home fans could give the kid a standing ovation (Joe Capozzi via Twitter). Great move by the wily veteran McKeon. And don't look now, but the Marlins have won six of their last nine. Two of those three losses were to the Phillies, too.

Barry Zito, Giants. Alright, who took us back to 2002 in the time machine? I always knew Doc Brown was onto something with that flux capacitor. Zito was 40-57 with a 4.45 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in his first four years for the Giants after signing a gargantuan contract. After a brutal start to the 2011 season, most Giants fans were wondering what they had to do to be freed from this albatross. But, wait. Time circuits on ... Zito is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 0.81 WHIP in three starts since returning from the disabled list. He was masterful Thursday night, striking out seven and walking zero. The only real blemish was a solo home run off the bat of Ryan Ludwick in the seventh. Zito's eight innings also allowed the Giants to rest the bullpen, other than one inning from closer Brian Wilson, after a 14-inning marathon Wednesday. If Zito keeps throwing like this, that's a pretty scary rotation for the defending champs.



White Sox vs. Twins. This is absolute ownership. After the Twins beat the White Sox 6-2 Thursday night, it ran the White Sox's record against Minnesota to 0-5 this season. That's not near the worst part. The White Sox have lost eight straight to the Twins. And that's not really the worst part either. In the last 36 games between the two, the White Sox have won just seven (LaVelle Neal via Twitter).

Nationals after the fourth inning. This just can't happen. The Nationals were leading the Cubs -- the team with the second-worst record in all of baseball -- 8-0 through four innings. That's gotta be the game. No discussion. Instead, the Nationals let the Cubs storm back and take a 9-8 lead in the eighth. Worse yet, the Nats tied it back up in the bottom of the eighth, only to see Henry Rodriguez allow a run. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, the Nationals had the tying run on third with one out and couldn't score him. Still, nearly all the blame has to go on the pitchers. Livan Hernandez allowed six runs in the sixth while Rodriguez, Sean Burnett and Todd Coffey combined to allow four runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Pedro Viola, Orioles. The Orioles as a whole are in a bad, bad place right now. They've gone 6-18 since pulling to within one game of .500 and Thursday night allowed 10 runs, 13 hits, six home runs and five walks to the Red Sox. But poor Viola, man, what a bad night. He faced just four batters. He walked one. The other three hit home runs.

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Posted on: June 12, 2011 10:13 am
Edited on: June 13, 2011 4:04 pm
 

On Deck: Changes atop Central leaderboards?



By C. Trent Rosecrans

CENTRAL SHOWDOWN: After taking the first two games of their series, the Brewers could take first place in the National League Central with a victory over the Cardinals at Miller Park. Milwaukee's Shaun Marcum takes on St. Louis' Jake Westbrook as the Brewers trail the Cardinals by just a half-game in the standings. Westbrook has won his last four decisions, while Marcum hasn't won in his last four, even though he allowed just two hits in six innings his last time out, Tuesday against the Mets. Cardinals at Brewers, 2:10 p.m. ET (Follow live scoring)

FINAL DAY IN FIRST? Having dropped their last three and eight of their last nine, the Indians have fallen into a virtual tie for first place in the American League Central with the Tigers, leading Detroit by just percentage points. Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin has seen his ERA rise nearly a run from 2.74 to 3.71 with his last two starts, allowing six earned runs in six innings in a victory over the Blue Jays and doing the same in a loss to the Twins. He faces the Yankees' Freddy Garcia, who was knocked around in his last start. However, the Tigers need to solve Felix Hernandez to either take first or keep pace with the Indians. Indians at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. ET (Follow live scoring) and Mariners at Tigers, 1:05 p.m. ET (Follow live scoring)

ENCORE: In his big-league debut, Florida's Brad Hand allowed just one hit in six innings against the Braves, striking out six. However, the one hit Hand allowed was a solo home run by Atlanta's Alex Gonzalez in a tough-luck 1-0 loss to the Braves. Hand gets another chance at a victory, facing Daniel Hudson (6-5, 3.98 ERA) and the Diamondbacks. Diamondbacks at Marlins, 1:10 p.m. ET (Follow live scoring)


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Posted on: June 7, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: June 7, 2011 7:54 pm
 

On Deck: Jeter's big homestand

OD

By Matt Snyder


Jeter Watch: Derek Jeter has entered the home stretch in his quest to reach 3,000 hits, and he now has a 10-game homestand where he could possibly make it. But he'll have to pick up the pace. He needs 14 hits to reach the plateau. He's averaging 1.09 hits per game so far this season, so that would give him about 11 hits during the homestand. Tuesday night, there's much more going on for the Yankees than Jeter, as the Red Sox come to town. The battle is as it always should be in the minds of many fans from the northeast: For first place in the AL East. The Yankees lead the Red Sox by one game. Taking the hill for the Red Sox is Jon Lester (7-2, 3.94). Freddy Garcia (4-4, 3.34) will go for the Yankees. As for the Jeter watch, he's faced Lester 41 times in his career, gathering 12 hits in 38 at-bats (.316) while striking out nine times. Boston at New York (AL), 7:05 p.m. ET. WATCH LIVE SCORING

Homecoming: Braves second baseman Dan Uggla and manager Fredi Gonzalez are returning to Sun Life Stadium for the first time in an opposing uniform. Uggla's return is the much bigger deal, as he manned second base for the past five seasons for the Marlins. He racked up 154 home runs, 465 RBI, 499 runs, 170 doubles and two All-Star appearances during that time and was one of the premier power-hitting second basemen in baseball. This season for the Braves, well, things haven't quite gone as planned. Uggla is hitting .172 with a .552 OPS. Coming off the best season of his career, he's compiling his worst stats, and it's not even close. The homecomings coincide with a series that is important for both the Braves and Marlins. Each are trailing the Phillies by four games in the NL East. The Marlins have lost five straight, and the Braves have dropped four of six. Tommy Hanson (6-4, 2.82) takes the mound for the Braves, and the Marlins send 21-year-old Brad Hand for his major-league debut. He was 7-1 with a 3.53 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in Double-A. Atlanta at Florida, 7:10 p.m. ET. WATCH LIVE SCORING

Moving CarGo: For the second straight game -- and only the second time all season -- the Rockies will send Carlos Gonzalez out to center field and also bat him leadoff. The move to center comes because of Dexter Fowler's injury, but Ryan Spilborghs could have been an option, too. Moving CarGo to leadoff seems designed to do whatever it takes to jumpstart him and the Rockies' offense. There's obviously no correlation between playing a different position and better production at the plate, but Jim Tracy is trying any kind of mix to get Gonzalez on track. After an MVP-caliber season, Gonzalez is hitting .249 with a .728 OPS. Last season, those figures ended at .336 and .974. The experiment didn't work Monday night. Gonzalez went 0-4 with two strikeouts. Tuesday, he'll give it another go in San Diego. The Padres send Tim Stauffer (1-4, 3.99) to the mound to face off against Ubaldo Jimenez (1-5, 4.98). Of note there: Jimenez had been terrible until a shutout last time out. Colorado at San Diego, 10:05 p.m. ET.

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Posted on: June 6, 2011 3:01 pm
Edited on: June 6, 2011 3:41 pm
 

Marlins disable Ramirez, call on Hand

RamirezBy Evan Brunell

The Marlins placed Hanley Ramirez (pictured) on the disabled list Monday, retroactive to May 30 with a left back strain.

The move was expected after the hobbled shortstop spoke about how bad his back pain has been. But the team still waited a week to place him on the DL, meaning Ramirez will be eligible to return in a little over a week from Monday. The Marlins will move forward with Emilio Bonifacio as the primary shortstop until Ramirez returns.

To replace Ramirez on the roster, the club selected the contract of lefty pitcher Brad Hand from Double-A. Hand is only 21 but will make his major-league debut in place of Josh Johnson, who is dealing with shoulder inflammation.

Selected in the second round, Hand had a 3.53 ERA in 11 starts for Double-A, the highest level he has reached in his career with only 12 career starts. He's only struck out 44 and walked 27, so his statistics are far from dominating. Baseball America noted in its preseason organization rankings that Hand is young for the league and could eventually develop into a No. 3 starter. Hand's fastball ranges from 91-94 mph and he possesses a quality hard curveball, but his changeup still needs work.

Hand will make his debut on Tuesday against the Braves, opposing Tommy Hanson.

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