While we’ve heard reports today that the Marlins may soon move their closer, Leo Nunez, there’s no fire sale in store for Florida this summer, not with the new ballpark opening next April.
Still, there’s something to say for striking while the iron is hot, and it’s never likely to be hotter for Anibal Sanchez. Despite struggling in his final two starts before the break, Sanchez is 6-2 with a 3.58 ERA this season. Capable of overmatching lineups when he’s on, he took a no-hitter into the ninth against the Rockies in April and into the seventh against the Nationals in May.
Sanchez, though, has a long history of injury. From 2007-09, he made just 32 starts in three seasons because of shoulder problems. He’s been healthy the last year and a half, but he’s struggled to bounce back on normal rest this season. On four days’ rest, he has a 4.57 ERA in 11 starts. On five or more days’ rest, he has a 2.01 ERA in six starts.
My feeling is that Sanchez is going to be a terrible risk on a long-term deal, and while he may well be able to help the Marlins contend next year in his final season before free agency, he’d be better utilized as trade bait. The Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Rangers and Rockies are among the teams likely to have interest if he’s made available.
For what it’s worth, the Sun-Sentinel’s Juan C. Rodriguez doesn’t think Sanchez will be traded. Still, if it’d bring two top prospects in return, the Marlins should make the move.
Emotions are apparently high all around baseball, not just in Miami. In Toronto, the emotion was anger between the Yankees and Blue Jays.
Josh Donaldson was hit by a Luis Severino 1-1, 97 MPH fastball with one out in the bottom of the first inning. In the top of the second, J.A. Happ threw to fastballs back-to-back that were up and in to Chase Headley. The second one hit him. The Yankees, understandably, were not too happy about it, but order was quickly restored and play resumed with home plate umpire Todd Tichenor issuing warnings to both teams. The Yankees would finish the inning without scoring a run.
In the bottom of the second, Severino began the inning with two up and in fastballs at Justin Smoak. Both Severino and manager Joe Girardi were ejected and the benches emptied again, this time with more anger. There was some yelling as well as some pushing and shoving.
It doesn’t appear that Severino appeared to intentionally hit Donaldson, but he very clearly intended to retaliate against Smoak. Happ has issued retaliatory beanballs before in defense of Donaldson. He did so on April 23 against the Athletics. Donaldson hit a home run in the second inning and was hit by a Liam Hendriks pitch in the sixth. Khris Davis led off the next inning for the A’s and Happ hit him with a pitch. Plus, Happ’s two pitches to Headley were both up and in.
Severino and Happ are likely looking at fines. There’s a possibility of suspensions as well. Happ, however, was not ejected from the game.
As expected, the Marlins and Mets paid their respect to pitcher Jose Fernandez prior to the start of Monday night’s game at Marlins Park. It was emotionally charged and very tough to watch without becoming a sobbing mess.
The stadium was as quiet as a library even before the P.A. requested a moment of silence. The Marlins’ players rubbed the chalk line, just as Fernandez used to do. The starters — sans starting pitcher Adam Conley — rallied around the pitchers’ mound. The Mets’ players poured out onto the field and removed their caps as the National Anthem was played.
Once the anthem was completed, the stadium remained quiet. The Mets and Marlins formed lines and went through hugging each player. The fans began chanting, “Jose, Jose, Jose!”
The rest of the Marlins joined the starters and they wrapped around the edge of the dirt on the pitcher’s mound. Some of them drew in the dirt with their fingers. Others rubbed dirt on their pants. Then, they huddled and Giancarlo Stanton gave a motivational speech of sorts. The players came in close and they all put their index fingers in the middle, pointed up at the sky, and broke the huddle to begin the game.
There is crying in baseball.