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Justin Bour wins arbitration case against Marlins

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Some positive news from the hot stove this evening: First baseman Justin Bour won his arbitration case against the Marlins on Friday, per an announcement from his agent, Marc J. Kligman. He’ll stand to make $3.4 million in 2018, just above the $3 million the Marlins countered with in January.

Bour, 29, is coming off of his most productive season to date, despite losing 55 days to the disabled list with an ankle injury and right oblique strain last year. He completed his fourth major league campaign with the Marlins in 2017, batting a cool .289/.366/.536 with 25 home runs and 2.2 fWAR in 429 plate appearances. This was his first offseason of arbitration eligibility.

Things didn’t go quite so smoothly for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, meanwhile, who lost his arbitration case on Friday and will receive $2.9 million in 2018 instead of the $3.5 million he requested. Realmuto had already voiced his displeasure with the Marlins’ offseason moves and reportedly requested a trade, though the club has given no clear indication that they’re close to moving him.

With Bour and Realmuto’s cases settled, the Marlins will tackle one more arbitration hearing when they meet with right-hander Dan Straily next week. Straily filed for $3.55 million back in January and was met with a counteroffer of $3.37 million. Robert Murray of FanRag Sports points out that the 2017-18 offseason has seen an unusually high number of arbitration hearings compared to past years, which is hardly surprising given the ongoing tensions between players and teams this winter.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.