After giving up six more runs, Javier Vazquez has to go

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It’s just not happening for Javier Vazquez.  

In allowing six runs over four innings Sunday in a loss to the Nationals, his ERA jumped to 7.55.  Even when Vazquez has struggled in the past, it’s usually come with a respectable or better WHIP.  This year, he’s at 1.91.  He’s struck out just 20 batters and walked 24 in 39 1/3 innings.  He’s given the Marlins all of one quality start in eight tries, and he did the absolute minimum that day, surrendering three runs over six innings in a loss to the Rockies.

Things seem hopeless at this point.  He hasn’t regained any of the miles per hour he lost off his fastball last summer, and in trying to throw harder, he’s lost command.  Since hitters no longer worry about his fastball, he’s not getting any swings and misses with his slider or curve.  All signs point to him being done unless he finds some of that velocity he lost.

Unfortunately, the Marlins are short on replacements.  They were feeling pretty good about their pitching depth entering the spring, but their sixth and seventh starters, Alex Sanabia and Sean West, are shut down with elbow injuries. 

I’m kind of surprised they didn’t try stretching Burke Badenhop out after sending him down to Triple-A New Orleans, but he’s back in the major league pen now.  They have stretched out reliever Jay Buente, and he’s been a nice surprise with a 1.91 ERA and a 32/6 K/BB ratio in five starts for New Orleans.  He’d probably be the choice if Vazquez gets bumped this week.  Tom Koehler is their other option. 

Kevin Millwood is still out there, and while he didn’t show much of a fastball in his stint in the Yankees system, he might be able to finesse his way to being an average fifth starter for the Marlins.  Giving him a look wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Report: Twins interested in Logan Morrison

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The Twins are reportedly interested in signing free agent first baseman Logan Morrison, according to a report from Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The two sides don’t appear to be working toward anything concrete at the moment, but Berardino adds that newly-signed pitcher Jake Odorizzi has been having conversations with the slugger to gauge his interest in a potential deal.

Morrison, 30, enjoyed a tremendous season with the Rays in 2017. He finished his two-year circuit with the team after slashing .246/.353/.516 with a career-best 38 home runs, .363 wOBA and 3.3 fWAR in 601 plate appearances. It was just the second time he’d managed to produce more than 20 home runs in a single season, and he finished the year tied for fifth-most dingers in the AL and eighth-most in the league.

The free agent slugger has been linked to a plethora of interested parties this offseason, including the Red Sox, Royals, Indians, Angels and Mets, but hasn’t drawn any substantial offers in an admittedly slow market. Should he reach an agreement with the Twins, Berardino notes that the club could use him to back up both Joe Mauer and Miguel Sano in a dual first base/DH role.