The Marlins are no better off without Edwin Rodriguez


Edwin Rodriguez’s surprising resignation Sunday brings an end to another pretty forgettable managerial tenure in Florida.  In 163 games after taking over for Fredi Gonzalez, he went 78-85, and he exits with the Marlins in last place in the NL East at 32-39 this year.

If Rodriguez hadn’t resigned, he may well have been fired soon.  It never appeared as though the Marlins had a lot of faith in him, even though they chose to stick with him after interviewing other candidates in the offseason.

Rodriguez, though, did a pretty good job with the Marlins on the field.  He was a clear upgrade from Gonzalez there, especially in the way that he ran his bullpen.  Gonzalez was all about putting guys in roles and leaving them there until being left with no other choice.  Rodriguez was much more proactive.  He rode his hot hands in the pen without wearing guys out.

The lineup was the same deal.  Gonzalez thought Jorge Cantu was an RBI guy, so he batted him cleanup and let him so often bring the offense to a screeching halt.  Rodriguez entered the season planning to use Mike Stanton as a cleanup man, but he showed flexibility when Gaby Sanchez turned in his strong spring.  He made lemonade out of lemons by giving Greg Dobbs a crack at the third-base job.

In the end, Rodriguez was undone by the hand he was dealt.  There was no anticipating Hanley Ramirez’s horrible season.  Plus, Josh Johnson’s injury had taken a toll this month.  A bigger problem that won’t get so much attention was that the Marlins had been without their sixth and seventh starters all year.  With Alex Sanabia and Sean West sidelined due to arm problems, they had no one to step in for Javier Vazquez and Chris Volstad, both of whom are sporting ERAs over 6.00.

So now Rodriguez is gone.  And spared from the stress of working for Jeff Loria.  It’s too bad that he probably won’t be so quick to have another opportunity fall into his lap like Gonzalez did with the Braves.  He was an upgrade in the manager’s seat for the Marlins.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.