2010 Archives http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/ Tue, 23 May 2017 20:37:31 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb And his name is … DAN UGGLA! http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/august/bc-castaldo.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/august/bc-castaldo.html uggla
Rich Waltz and Tommy Hotton gave their usual call of “and his name is… Dan Uggla!” as Uggla hit his 23rd home run of the 2010 season, but more importantly that home run made him the Florida Marlins career leader in home runs.  Truth is Dan Uggla is the best home run hitter in the league that very few people actually know of.  Since his rookie year in 2006 only Ryan Howard, Albert Pujols, Adam Dunn, David Ortiz, Miguel Cabrera, Lance Berkman, and Alfonso Soriano have hit more home runs then Uggla (144 home runs), and Dan could easily pass both Soriano and Berkman by the end of this year.

What most people outside of South Florida remember Uggla for was his horrendous performance in the 2008 All-Star game.  Dan Uggla had a total of 3 errors in that game, the most by a single player in an All-Star game, all coming in extra innings and two of them came on back to back plays in the 10th inning.  It also didn’t help matters much that Dan also went 0-4 with three strike outs and also grounded out to a double play.  What people don’t remember is that, that was actually Uggla’s second All-Star game appearance.  He was also an All-Star in his rookie season on 2006 and he became the first Rule 5 draft pick to ever go to the All-Star game the following year.

Thats right, Dan Uggla was a Rule 5 draft selection.  Dan was originally drafted by the Arizona Dimondbacks in the 11th round of the 2001 draft out of Memphis.  Although Dan was productive in the minors for Arizona, he never made it above Class-AA, and was left off of the Dimondbacks 40-man roster.  This gave the Marlins the opening to draft him, and he became the starting second baseman for the Marlins the following season.  Remember 2006 was the season after the Marlins traded away most of there talent form the 2003 World Series team, and were the youngest team in the majors.  In his rookie year Dan hit 27 home runs, went to the All-Star game, and came in third in the NL Rookie of the Year vote, but he was named the NL Players Choice and NL Sporting News Rookie of the Year.

Since that rookie year Dan Uggla has become the fastest second baseman to 100 home runs (only 502 games).  He became the first second baseman to hit 20 or more home runs in his first 5 seasons, and is two homers away from being the first to hit 25 in his first 5 seasons.  Dan is also on pace this year to hit 30 home runs for the fourth consecutive year and 90 RBIs for the third consecutive year.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) August Mon, 02 Aug 2010 01:38:05 +0000
Stephen Strasburg is the Real Deal http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/july/bc-castaldo.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/july/bc-castaldo.html img13647147As soon he came up I had to look at the Marlins schedule. I had to find out when the Marlins were playing the Washington Nationals. Earlier this week I again had to find out who the Nationals projected starters were going to be, and when he was going to pitch. The person that I am talking about is of course Nationals rookie pitching sensation Stephen Strasburg. He is the most hyped pitching prospect to come to the majors ever, and the hype around his greatness can probably only be compared to that when LeBron James entered the NBA. After watching him pitch in the minor leagues, Curt Shilling said that Strasburg could be the best pitcher in the majors the day he arrives in the Nationals clubhouse.  In his first outing he proved that he was worth all the hype winning his first start in the majors and striking out 14 Pittsburgh Pirates.  And after tonight getting to see him in person I can admit that he is as good as advertised.

Tonight the Nationals were in Miami playing there first game after the All-Star break.  Stephen Strasburg took the mound for his eighth start of the season and got off to a vert rocky start.  In the first inning alone Strasburg threw 34 pitches, 16 for balls, and walked two, Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty even came out to talk to Strasburg after 28 pitches.  However after walking Hanley Ramirez, who was then caught stealing, in the third Strasburg seemed to find his grove.  Strasburg finished the night throwing 100 pitches in 6 innings giving up 4 hits, no runs, 3 walks, and striking out 7.  Even though it was obvious (even from my seats in the outfield) that he did not have his best stuff tonight he still managed to throw 97 mph consistently and at times made the Marlins’ batters look foolish.  Gaby Sanchez and and Cody Ross especially took some swings that it looked as though they were just guessing where the pitch was going to go, and no Marlins hitter real made any great contact.

2010-07-16-19-23-35With tonight’s win, Strasburg lowered his ERA to a mere 2.03 and his strikeout to walk ratio is now just under 5 to 1.  There is no doubt that Strasburg is already one of the top pitches in the major league, the only real test left for Strasburg is to see how he will fare after an inning or start where he gives up five or more runs (most runs giving up so far is 4, 3 of which were earned, against Atlanta).

The only major whole in Strasburg’s game seems to be his hitting.  I have already said what my views are about pitchers batting in the National League are, but Stephen is a really poor batter.  After the game against the Marlins, Strasburg is hitting .071 with one hit for the year.  In the fifth inning today with one out and a runner on first, Strasburgh whiffed so badly on a bunt attempt that the bunt sign was taken off, and he tried a hit and run.  After fouling a ball straight back, Strasburgh swung and missed and Ian Desmond was thrown out at second.

It was not all bad news for the Marlins as Rick Nolasco actually looked like the better pitcher through the first five innings, striking out eight and giving up just two hits.  But it all fell apart in the sixth inning when he gave up a bases loaded triple to Josh Willingham.  The Marlins bullpen then came in and pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, which is a good start to the second half for a bullpen that in the first half of the season was pretty bad.

However it might be to little to late as the 4-0 loss tonight pushes the Marlins to 5 games under .500 and 11 games behind Atlanta.  With just over two weeks left till the trading deadline the Marlins may start looking towards the future and trade away players like Jorge Cantu, Dan Uggla, and/or Cody Ross to make room for players like Logan Morrison and Cameron Maybin, who many in the Marlins’ Management believe to have long major league careers ahead of them.

Unless Florida starts to get hot, it looks as though the Marlins and Nationals are heading for fourth and fifth place finished in the NL East.  While this will disappoint many fans on both sides, one thing they will both have to look forward to is that in Josh Johnson and Stephen Strasburg they will have two of the best aces in baseball to build around.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) July Sat, 17 Jul 2010 01:55:56 +0000
Marlin Sized Mess http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/june/bc-castaldo.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/june/bc-castaldo.html I do not think that most people in baseball were surprised at all that Marlins fired Fredi Gonzalez last week. It actually seemed like it was fairly inevitable that the two were going to split ways at the end of the year anyways. The Marlins owner Jeffery Loria had said earlier that he expected the Marlins to be a playoff team this year, despite the fact that the Marlins were picked almost universally to be third in the NL East this year by various media outlets, and Fredi is the guy that may people have expected to replace Bobby Cox in Atlanta next year, despite getting a contract extension with the Marlins before the season. Originally I would have said that this is one of those firings that both the manager and organization are to blame.

For his career Fredi was 276-279 and had the Marlins in the hunt for a Wild Card birth the last two years, but this year the Marlins have had an up and down year. The 2010 Marlins have been a real Jekyll and Hyde team who will win 3 games in a row and then drop 4, and despite being 2 games under .500 there +/- is over +20. Through out his tenure as the Marlins manager, Fredi has been second guessed on may of his moves involving when he uses pitch hitters and how he has used the Marlins bullpen. Also the tipping point for the Fredi was during infamous vuvuzala game against Tampa Bay there was a mix up in which Marlins pitch hitter was said to have batted out of order late in a tie game.

The Marlins also need to be blamed for some of Fredi’s failures as well. Loria belief that the Marlins should be a playoff team is not that far fetched. The Marlins were in second place in the NL East last year, they paid Josh Johnson with a nice contract extension, did not trade away Dan Uggla, and a healthy Anibal Sanchez gives the Marlins a playoff caliber 1-2-3 at the front of their rotation. However where the front office has failed is by not opening there wallets to get any real bullpen help. As of today the Marlins are 36-40 with a +/- of +26, they have scored the 4th most runs in the NL and their starting pitchers and closer have put up decent numbers. The problem with the Marlins is that the middle relievers have let teams back into games and have let up the leads late. In the off season the Marlins tried to sign former proven bullpen guys who were looking for second chances like Mike McDougal, Jorge Sosa, and Derrick Turnbow, none of which were successful. Only closer Leo Nunez and Clay Hensley have been consistently good. The Marlins also lack left handed bats and have a weaker bench this year then last year with veteran Wes Helms being the only player of note.

After reading a report by Mark J. Miller on Yahoo Sports that the Marlins and Bobby Valentine stopped talks for Valentine to take over the manager job because of philosophical differences, I now have to say that the problem with the Marlins is Loria and the other higher ups in the organization. Valentine is a very good manager, and also a strong willed manager who could keep the ego of someone like Hanley Ramirez in line, remember Hanley had issues with Fredi after Fredi benched him for not hustling after a ball. While it may not be uncommon for an organization to have philosophical differences with someone they are interviewing, with the Marlins its different. The Marlins fired manager Joe Girardi after Girardi led and very young 2005 Marlins team to a 78-84 record and won NL Manager of the Year because of the philosophical differences he with Loria on how to play some of the players. This is the same Joe Girardi who just won the World Series with the New York Yankees last year. To make matters worse, after firing Fredi Gonzalez team officials publicly said that the organization did fail Fredi by not putting together a better bullpen for him to work with. So to sum up the Marlins last week fired a guy who had won 3 of 4 games, someone who will be managing another team next year, replaced him for the year with an interim manager from the minors, and it was partly the organizations fault that he was not winning…then why fire him?

Like I said at the start, I like a lot of other people was not shocked by the firing of Fredi Gonzalez, and I thought it would have been great if the team could have added Bobby Valentine. However with the team announcing today that Edwin Rodriguez will manage the team for the rest of the year I really do think that it fair to question what this organization and Jeffery Loria are doing. Although the last time the Marlins changed managers in the middle of the season was 2003 and the Marlins won their second World Series, so who knows.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) June Thu, 01 Jul 2010 01:53:04 +0000
2010 MLB Predictions http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/march/bc-castaldo.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/march/bc-castaldo.html AL

1. New York________1. Chicago___________1. Texas
2. Boston_________2. Minnesota_________2. Los Angeles
3. Tampa Bay______3. Detroit____________3.  Seattle
4. Baltimore_______4. Kansas City________4. Oakland
5. Toronto_________5. Cleveland


1. Philadelphia_____1. St. Louis_________1. Colorado
2. Atlanta________2. Chicago__________2. San Francisco
3. Florida________3. Cincinnati________3. Arizona
4. New York______4. Milwaukee_______4. Los Angles
5. Washington_____5. Houston_________5. San Diego
_______________6. Pittsburgh

Divisional Round
New York over Texas______Chicago over Boston
St. Louis over Atlanta______Philadelphia over Colorado

Championship Round
New York over Chicago_____Philadelphia over St. Louis

World Series
New York over Philadelphia in 6 games

Dark Horse Teams–> AL: Detroit_____NL: Cincinnati

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) March Fri, 05 Mar 2010 02:04:17 +0000
3rd Base Umpire's Call Cost Marlins the Game http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/august/bc-castaldo.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/august/bc-castaldo.html 2010-08-05-21-03-43I was at last night Phillies v. Marlins game and I thought I would come back and write about Roy Oswalt's solid second start as a Phillie, then I thought I would write about the Marlins doing a great job of battling back to avoid the sweep against their divisional foes.  But then something happened, something that got me extremely angry,  and something that will not doubt be talked about today on all the talk radio shows.

With the Marlins and Phillies tied at 4 in the bottom of the ninth inning and Hanley Ramirez on second with one out Gaby Sanchez hit a game winning double down the third base line for the walk-off win.  Or at least he did if it was not for third base umpire Bob Davidson.  Davidson called a ball that was fair by a good half foot a foul ball.  On the next pitch Gaby struck out and two batters later the inning ended with a Cody Ross strike out.  The Phillies then went on to win the game in the tenth inning on a Carlos Ruiz solo home run.  The Davidson call is amplified by an earlier close play that went against the Marlins.  He called another ball foul, that looked fair, that would have been an inning ending ground out, but instead the foul call lead to a Ruiz two run double three pitches later.

2010-08-05-19-38-29This is just the latest example of why baseball needs to update its game and include replay.  Baseball purist say that the umpires and human error is part of the game, but that is load of bull.  The entire reason that we as humans have created things like cameras, calculators, computers, ext. is because human error is not good enough.  Fans don't go to sporting events and just hope that the referees and umpires make the right calls.  No we want to have our games called correctly and for the umps and refs to have as minimal effect in the game as possible.  Certainly a judgment call should not be the difference between winning and losing.

MLB wants to know why they are losing their fans, it is because the game is slow, not a lot of actions, and because of its refusal to embrace change.  Right now baseball only will do replay for home run calls and for fan interference.  I don't really know how baseball would implement replay, maybe having one or two manager challenges for base out calls, and let umps go to replay on home runs and fair/foul calls when necessary.  Baseball fans will say that this will cause the games to go longer, but will it really?  Do you think going to replay will really take longer then when a manager goes out to argue a call?  No it won't, if anything it could speed up the game.  And most importantly, THEY WILL GET THE CALL CORRECT!

2010-08-05-19-37-54I know baseball purist will point out that the Marlins did blow a 4-2 lead in the top of the 9th, they had opportunities to win the game in the bottom of the 9th or 10th.  But A,  that is not the point.  Yes, the Marlins should not have been in that position, but they were.  What if the Marlins had rallied to tie the game at 4 when this happen, would it have made a difference? No.  And B, the Marlins did rally to win the game, but it was because off an incorrect call by an umpire they lost.

Baseball should be embarrass by something like this.  Tennis is using replay to see if a ball was in, out or on the line, and has been embraced as a great thing.  The NFL loves using technology to improve its game so much that it is looking to put a microchip in its ball so that they can better tell if the ball crosses the first down marker and the goal line.  Heck even the Little League World Series is going to have manager replay challenges for things like force outs, tags on the base paths, missed bases and hit batters.  Thats right, Little League World Series will be more advanced then the MLB.  Managers in the Little League World Series will get one replay challenge for the first six innings and another challenge for extra innings.

It is time for baseball to wake up and smell the technology.  If MLB does not embrace replay and at least try and catch up to all of the other major sports then they will run the risk of being left behind.  Again Americans don't give a damn about purity and human error, we want things done right and for calls to be made correctly.  That's it, that's all.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) August Sat, 07 Aug 2010 00:56:40 +0000
Marlins get 4th Walk-off Win of the Week, makes thing Tough on Management http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/july/bc-castaldo.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/july/bc-castaldo.html img13669440The Florida Marlins started this week with a 9-8 walk-off win against Colorado on Monday and ended with a Wes Helms walk-off single in the 11th for a 5-4 win over the Braves.  What was not mentioned there was the two other walk-off wins the Marlins had on Thursday and Friday to finish the week 5-2 and 7-3 since the All-Star break.  Over that time the Marlins have not only been getting timely hitting but they have also been getting very good starting pitching (with the exception of Nate Robertson who was designated for assignment after a 10-0 loss to Colorado on Tuesday).  The one negative for the Marlins this week has been the same negative that the Marlins have had the entire season, the bullpen.  This week the Marlins bullpen blew 5 leads the Marlins had in the 7th inning or later, the worst performance being Saturday where a 5-2 Marlins lead became a 10-5 Marlins deficit.

The Florida Marlins are now back to .500 at 49-49 and are 8 games behind Atlanta in the East and 6 games behind San Francisco (who are currently playing Arizona) in the wildcard.  While Marlins fans are happy with the winning and also idea of going to the playoffs still not out of the question, this has put the Marlins management in a very tough spot.  With the non-waiver trade deadline coming on Saturday, no one really knows whether or not the Marlins are going to be buyers or sellers at the deadline.  The Marlins are about to take off on a sever game west coast trip to play four games in San Francisco and three games a in San Diego.  If the Marlins get swept by the Ginats they will definently become sellers, but outside of that the Marlins could be anywhere from 2 games out of the wildcard to 9.5 games out depending on how many games the Marlins win and the other teams in the hunt do.

Teams have already contacted the Marlins about trying to trade for Dan Uggla, Cody Ross, Jorge Cantu, Wes Helms, Ricky Nolasco, and Leo Nunez.  While the Marlins would most likely need to be blown away by an offer to give up Uggla, Nunez or Nolasco, the other could all be gotten if the Marlins feel as though they are no longer in contention, if for no other reason so that the Marlins would be able to promote Cameron Maybin and Logan Morrison.  But if as long as there is playoff hope Marlins management maybe forced into becoming buyer by the fans, who would become extremely dissatisfied if a team seems to again try to pinch pennies rather then get the help needed to win.  Marlins fans will be quick to remind team owner Jeffrey Lurie, who at the beginning of the year said that he expected the Marlins to be a playoff team, that the only reason why this team is not six, seven, eight, or nine games over .500 right now is because he refused to spend money on a bullpen this past off-season.

With the exceptions of Clay Hensley and Leo Nunez, the Marlins bullpen has been a mess, and has recycled the same bullpen guys from their farm system over and over again.  Sure guys like Brian Sanches, Burke Badenhop and Jose Veras have all had good stretches, but they are not consistent enough to be considered reliable by anyone.  Right now the Marlins have a lineup that can hit, a good playoff quality 1-2-3 starting pitchers in Johnson, Nolasco and Sanchez, but they will need to work on their bullpen if they want to make any kind of serious playoff push.  Relievers Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Kevin Gregg, Matt Capps, Octavio Dotel, and Kyle Farnsworth among others are all on the trading market and can be acquired for the right price.

The most likely scenario to happen maybe for the Marlins to trade away someone like Jorge Cantu and/or Wes Helms, then make a move for a left handed reliever, and then bring up Logan Morrison to either be on the bench, or he may play everyday at either 1st or 3rd with Gabby on the other infield corner.  This way the Marlins will be able to do what they do best in selling off talent, but at the same time be able to tell fans ‘look we brought in someone for the bullpen’.  While most fans will be able to see right through a move like this, it would at least be something from the Marlins ownership, who one of these days will need to spend some real money.  No matter what happens however, one thing that we do know is that this Marlins teams is fighting strong and will do whatever they can to force managements hand.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) July Mon, 26 Jul 2010 01:48:45 +0000
Marlins send Cantu to Texas http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/july/bc-castaldo.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/july/bc-castaldo.html 55193380-27102726The Florida have sent 1B/3B Jorge Cantu to Texas for Double-A pitchers Evan Reed and Omar Poveda.  The move will help Texas fill a hole at first base that was a result of the Rangers sending Justin Smoak to Seattle in the Cliff Lee deal.  For the Marlins this is not a salary dump move, but rather getting what they can for a player who will be a free agent at the end of the year, and will not be resigned.  Cantu, who was a fan favorite in Florida, for the year is hitting .262 with 10 homers and 54 RBIs, but he has been slumping as of late and about a third of his 16 errors have come in the last three weeks.  Wes Helms, Donnie Murrphy, Emilio Bonifacio will all split time at third base for the Marlins until Chris Coghlan returns from the DL when he become the everyday third baseman.

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) July Sat, 31 Jul 2010 01:44:25 +0000
MLB Trade Deadline Winners and Losers http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/july/bc-castaldo.html http://marlinsbigcatch.com/2010-articles/july/bc-castaldo.html The 4pm non waiver trade deadline has come and gone and there was a suprising amount of action that happened.  While sluggers like Adam Dunn and Prince Fielder are stating put, pitchers Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and Dan Haren have all been switched teams.  Now it is time to see what teams are the big winners of this years trade deadline.


unknownTexas Rangers- The Rangers actually started things off in June by trading for catcher Bengie Molina, and then adding pitcher Cliff Lee. Those two moves alone would have made them winners in my book, but with Texas was not finished.  With holes in its infield caused by trading Justin Smoak in the Cliff Lee deal and then Ian Kinsler getting hurt, the Rangers also added Jorge Cantu from Florida and Cristian Guzman from Washington.  Also should be noted that Texas traded catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to Boston for 3 prospects and cash.  All and all Texas has done a great job, and if Cliff Lee and Dan Harden, who is coming off the DL, can be consistent this could a team who could make it to the ALCS.

images2New York Yankees- To bad for Texas that they are going to run into the Yankees in the ALCS and the Yanks may have made themselves the clear favorite for the World Series, if they were not already.  Without giving up any of their top prospects the Yankees were able to add Lance Berkman, Austin Kerns, and relief pitcher Kerry Wood.  That Yankee lineup should strike fear in the hearts of every pitching staff they come across.  The Yankee lineup now looks like: 1. Jeter-SS  2.Berkman-DH  3.Teixeira-1B  4.Rodriguez-3B  5.Cano-2B  6.Posada-C  7.Swisher-RF  8.Granderson-CF 9.Gardner-LF and in the playoffs they will have Kearns, Thames, Johnson, and Cerveli all available to pitch hit off the bench.  That is just stupid, not to mention that they have a good pitchers and relievers.

images-11SAN DIEGO PADRES-  All year long the Padres have had outstanding pitching, but no one believed that they could keep up their winning ways because they would not be able to score enough runs. So without damaging their current pitching staff and bullpen the Padres went out and added Miguel Tajada and Ryan Ludwick.  With the NL not having any clear cut front runner this will keep San Diego in the mix for not only the playoffs but also possibly advancing in the playoffs.

images-21Los Angles Dodgers- The Dodgers were able to make a couple of nice moves before the deadline by acquiring Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot, Octavio Dotel, and Scott Podsednik.  These are all good solid moves that I can not fault the Dodgers  for making.  That being said I still do not believe that the Dodgers will be able to pass either the Padres or San Francisco.


-San Francisco Giants were able to strengthen its bullpen by acquiring Javire Lopez form Kansas City and Ramon Ramirez from Boston, however were unable to get another power bat.

-Atlanta Braves added a solid bullpen player in Kyle Farnsworth and a good bat in Rick Ankiel.  They could have used another staring pitcher I believe, but for a team leading the NL East and would be a game back in the wild card these will help them stay in the playoff race.

-Los Angles Angles added Dan Haren and gave up very little for him, but this was a move to improve them next year more so then this year.  The Angles seem to have put up the white flag for the 2010 season as they only made one move and the Rangers stocked piled talent.

-Philadelphia Phillies did the biggest move of the trade season by getting Roy Oswalt at a very discounted price, but I do not consider them winners because the only reason they had to get Oswalt is because they traded away a better pitcher in Cliff Lee


Chicago White Sox/Tampa Bay Rays- Both of these teams were looking to add a big bat to there lineup.  The White Sox even traded for Edwin Jackson because he was the player that the Nationals said that the wanted for Dunn.  I do have to give the Rays so credit though for adding Chad Qualls to their bullpen, but that is not enough to keep up with the Yankees.

St. Louis Cardinal- They were able to add a player that they wanted in Jake Westbrook, but they had to give up Ryan Ludwick to do so.  I know that Jon Jay has come on strung for the Cardinals making Ludwick expendable, but they should have gotten more then just Westbrook for him.  Also Cardinals should have gotten Oswalt, I think if they had they would have been the team to beat in the NL.

FLORIDA MARLINS/CINCINNATI REDS/BOSTON RED SOX/COLORADO ROCKIES-  All these teams seem to have given up on this year, which is a shame because I do not think that any of them are far off from being playoff teams.  However none of them made any significant moves, or any moves at all in the case of the Rockies and Reds.  Meanwhile all of these teams have seen other teams in their divisions make improvements.

I also want to give a shut out to the Kansas City Royals and Arizona Dimondbacks who tried to trade off any player of any value of their roster.  Way to go!

bcastaldo2000@gmail.com (BC Castaldo) July Sun, 01 Aug 2010 01:19:54 +0000