Marlins weekend wrapup; Updates on Rogers, Sixto, Jazz and Gio
Man On Second Baseball breaks down the Miami Marlins weekend games. They split two over the weekend, and gained some clarity on at least one more starting pitcher. Plus Jazz Chisholm making his push to be the everyday second baseman.
By Joe Frisaro @ManOn2nd
Strong starting pitching has been the constant for the Miami Marlins throughout Spring Training, and that held true over the weekend.
Sixto Sanchez retired all nine batters he faced over three innings on Saturday night at the Nationals. On Sunday, left-hander Trevor Rogers impressed over five innings against the Astros at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter.
The Marlins split the two games, falling 7-4 on Saturday, and rebounding with a 4-2 win on Sunday.
Final scores, to Man On Second Baseball, are secondary to how players and the team in general is performing.
Starting with Sunday, Rogers opened eyes again with his ability to strike hitters out. The lefty fanned six in five innings, including all three in the first inning.
The Astros loaded up on right-handed hitters, which resulted in Rogers countering by throwing a bunch of changeups, which tend to break away from righties. He added an overpowering fastball, and was dominant for most of his outing.
Rogers allowed two hits and two runs. Jeremy Pena connected on a two-run homer in the fifth inning.
In 13 1/3 innings, Rogers now has 19 strikeouts while allowing allowing four walks.
The left-hander’s four-seam fastball topped at 97 mph on Sunday, and his average on the pitch was 94.6 mph. He got 11 swinging strikes on 39 four-seamers.
On his 22 changeups, he induced seven swinging strikes.
All the data is impressive for Rogers. Key for him will be repeating his delivery. MO2 is monitoring his mechanics, and from feedback we’ve received, everything was working together. The results were obvious.
Also significant is Rogers is now built up to 71 pitches, meaning he is right on schedule. Essentially, he is good to go for the regular season. Next time out, he likely will get to 90 pitches.
Officially, Rogers hasn’t been announced to the rotation. That’s appears to be a formality at this point.
Sticking with starting pitchers, on Saturday, Sanchez didn’t allow a baserunner, and he didn’t log a strikeout. That isn’t a big deal right now, because if he can get quick contact, and limit his stressful innings, he will be just fine to be effective over an entire season.
Now, manager Don Mattingly has said they will not rush Sanchez. So if he’s not ready for Opening Day, then he will continue to build up and perhaps join the rotation a few weeks into the season.
As of now, the top four starters appear to be Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez, Elieser Hernandez and Rogers. Alcantara and Lopez have been announced as one and two.
Sanchez’s fastball, according to the stadium scoreboard reading on Saturday, topped at 101 mph. There was no Statcast data to confirm if that was accurate.
On the position player side, Jazz Chisholm is making a late push to win the starting second base job. Isan Diaz started on Sunday, and went hitless in two at-bats, dropping his Grapefruit League average to .083 in 24 at-bats.
Chisholm entered in the sixth inning, and hit a two-run homer off Enoli Paredes, who pitched in the big leagues last year. The two-run shot to right gave Miami it’s 4-2 victory.
Per Statcast, the exit velocity was 109.8 mph, and projected distance, 415-feet. Chisholm added a bunt single, and now is hitting .250 with an .871 OPS.
Does this mean the second base spot has already been decided? On merit for Spring Training, the answer would appear to be yes. The Marlins have publicly stated it is a competition. Still, Diaz has more big league experience, and had a strong Minor League season in 2019. There also could be the question of whether the Marlins truly want Chisholm to play second base, when he is a natural shortstop. Right now, he is playing second because Miguel Rojas is at short.
If there is a push within the organization to give Diaz a chance to try to pick things up in the regular season, they ultimately make the call.
There also could be a sense that neither is fully ready, and both could use more work in the Minor Leagues. In that scenario, the club could check the market for a possible utility stopgap.
Lastly, MO2 did some homework on veteran left-hander Gio Gonzalez, who had a rough Marlins’ debut on Saturday. Gonzalez was tagged for seven earned runs on eight hits with two walks in one-third of an inning. Not idea by any stretch. But let’s put his 189.000 ERA aside for a moment.
According to insiders MO2 has reached out to, the bottom line wasn’t as dire as the stat line appeared. Gonzalez’s fastball was 88-91 mph, and the 35-year-old has too long of a track record to completely dismiss as being a factor for Miami in the regular season.
It’s probably doubtful Gonzalez breaks camp with the big league club. He got a late start, and on Saturday, he was facing hitters were are locking in for the regular season. In his case, the hitters are way ahead of him.
If Gonzalez remains with the organization, and builds up at the alternate site, he could make himself a starter or reliever candidate at some point. Gonzalez also could be a lefty bullpen piece to line up against left-handed hitters.
Foremost, he has to get on track.
One thought on “Marlins weekend wrapup; Updates on Rogers, Sixto, Jazz and Gio”
Really enjoying Man on Second Baseball. You are off to a great start Joe Frisaro, and as always, your insight into the Marlins is top of scale. I agree on Geo Gonzalez. The Marlins will have a lot of innings to cover this year. Geo is a veteran who does not rely on velocity to succeed. Look for him to have a role on the team before it’s all over.
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