Jon Rauch

Through 19 games, the Marlins are historically bad

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With a 10-6 loss to the Reds this afternoon, the Miami Marlins dropped to 4-15 on the season. Not that it is a shock to anyone, but they are by far the worst-hitting team in baseball: their .242 weighted on-base average (wOBA) is well below the second-worst Mariners’ .279.  The starting pitching has been decent, but the five-to-seven innings of good starting pitching is quickly undone by the bottom-feeding bullpen which includes such luminaries as John Maine and Chad Qualls.

The Marlins’ start through 19 games is historically bad. They have never won fewer than five games in their first 19 in franchise history — they started 5-14 in 1995, 1998, and 1999.

The Marlins, with 43 runs scored through 19, become the 19th team in baseball history to host such an anemic offense and only the fourth to do it in the 2000’s. The full list:

Team Date Wins WP RS RA RunDiff
CLV 5/27/1884 6 .316 42 108 -66
IND 5/30/1884 2 .111 42 133 -91
BSN 5/6/1905 6 .333 39 101 -62
STL 5/5/1907 3 .158 41 88 -47
BRO 5/11/1907 2 .111 21 70 -49
STL 5/10/1908 5 .263 41 57 -16
WSH 5/12/1909 6 .316 34 78 -44
NYG 5/12/1909 8 .421 41 54 -13
SLB 5/12/1910 4 .222 43 78 -35
STL 5/19/1919 5 .263 40 81 -41
CHW 5/16/1943 8 .421 40 51 -11
KCA 5/7/1966 5 .263 36 83 -47
CHW 5/5/1968 5 .263 40 65 -25
MIL 5/13/1972 6 .316 38 65 -27
BAL 4/26/1988 0 .000 36 118 -82
DET 4/23/2003 2 .105 43 100 -57
MON 4/25/2004 5 .263 34 72 -38
PIT 4/27/2012 8 .421 42 57 -15
MIA 4/21/2013 4 .211 43 89 -46

And with a -46 run differential, the Marlins become the 15th team since 1975 to start the season off so poorly and the eighth of the 2000’s. The list:

Team Date Wins WP RS RA RD
BAL 4/26/1988 0 .000 36 118 -82
ATL 4/30/1988 3 .158 50 104 -54
MIN 4/24/1994 6 .316 91 147 -56
BOS 4/22/1996 4 .211 72 119 -47
CIN 4/22/1997 6 .316 69 116 -47
DET 4/24/1998 4 .211 65 127 -62
DET 4/25/2000 5 .263 70 126 -56
TBD 4/22/2001 5 .263 66 121 -55
DET 4/23/2002 4 .211 76 125 -49
CIN 4/20/2003 6 .316 90 144 -54
TEX 4/20/2003 8 .421 77 125 -48
DET 4/23/2003 2 .105 43 100 -57
PIT 4/26/2010 7 .368 65 147 -82
MIA 4/21/2013  4 .211 43 89 -46

If the team gets any worse, Jeffrey Loria will have to find another fan or two to alienate.

Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery could share Cubs’ rotation spot in 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 01:  Mike Montgomery #38 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Six of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon hasn’t selected a fifth starter for his 2017 rotation yet, but told reporters that he could envision left-handers Brett Anderson and Mike Montgomery sharing the spot throughout the year. Neither pitcher was stretched out to the full 200-inning threshold last year, Maddon added, and suggested that the two could alternate innings out of the rotation and bullpen as needed (via MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat).

Anderson, 29, was acquired by the Cubs in January on a $3.5 million deal. He’s coming off a rough 2016, during which he underwent back surgery and missed all but 11 1/3 innings of his last season with the Dodgers. His last full, healthy year in the majors yielded a 3.69 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 5.8 SO/9 over 180 1/3 innings with Los Angeles in 2015.

Montgomery, meanwhile, is vying for a rotation spot after pitching almost exclusively from the bullpen during the second half of the Cubs’ 2016 run. The 27-year-old lefty put up a 2.82 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings for Chicago last year, returning in the postseason to post a 3.14 ERA during the Cubs’ championship finish.

Maddon also mentioned the possibility of throwing a sixth starter into the mix, which would help prevent his other starters from getting overworked too early in the year. Either way, Anderson and Montgomery are expected to get a lot of looks early in spring training as rotation spots are finalized in the weeks leading up to Opening Day.

Michael Bourn to miss four weeks with a broken finger

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 6:  Michael Bourn #1 of the Baltimore Orioles looks out of the dugout as he waits to get on deck to bat during the sixth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 6, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Orioles’ center fielder Michael Bourn is expected to be sidelined for four weeks while he rehabs a broken ring finger on his right hand, according to reports from the Baltimore Sun’s Peter Schmuck. Bourn broke the finger while playing catch with a football after a spring training workout.

The veteran outfielder re-signed with the club earlier this week on a minor league deal and was prepared to compete for a bench role this season. He’s in line to receive a $2 million salary if he makes the major league roster and can make an additional $3.5 million in incentives based on a set number of plate appearances. Now, however, his chances of cracking the roster out of spring training look considerably diminished, as his current timetable gives him an approximate return date of March 25 if all goes well.

Bourn had an impressive, if short-lived run with the Orioles following his trade to Baltimore last August, batting .283/.358/.435 with two home runs and a .793 OPS in 55 PA. While still somewhat removed from the totals that brought him an All-Star nod with the Braves in 2012, his defensive chops should give the Orioles some depth in center once he’s healthy again.