Tag: Dan Haren

Mike Trout

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Angels 10, Rangers 2: Mike Trout had three hits, scored twice and drove in a run. The AP gamer likewise says that he convinced this game’s starter — Hector Santiago — to get a reverse mohawk after his last outing, which Santiago credits with helping him pitch well here: “Stay in your lane,” Santiago said, explaining what the haircut symbolized. “Just like I draw the lane out on the mound. Stay straight ahead.”

Hey, can’t criticize. Like the man said, if you believe you’re playing well because you’re getting laid, or because you’re not getting laid, or because you wear women’s underwear or because you get a reverse mohawk, then you are! And you should know that! Well, come on, Annie, think of something clever to say, huh? Something full of magic, religion, bulls**t. Come on, dazzle me!

Marlins 6, Braves 2: Dan Haren gave up two runs in seven innings for his first win of the season. It put him in a good mood, too:

Twins 3, Royals 1: Whenever the last remaining undefeated team finally loses a game, the last major league team to go 162-0 pops the corks of bottles of that special champagne they save for the occasion. It’s quite the tradition.

Indians 4, White Sox 2: Trevor Bauer started off the game with three no-hit innings to go with the six no-hit innings from his first outing of the season. I think that’s at least worth, like, half a dogpile on the mound. Which, yes, would’ve been awkward to do in the middle of the third of an ongoing game, but still. Bauer’s win stopped a four-game losing streak. Guess that makes him a “stopper.”

Nationals 10, Red Sox 5: The Red Sox winning some games early has masked the fact that their rotation has sucked eggs. Hard to mask it here as Wade Miley gave up seven runs in two and a third. It was a six-run third that set the tone here, featuring a Wilson Ramos three-run double and an Ian Desmond a solo homer.

Orioles 7, Yankees 5: The Yankees had a one-run lead when Nathan Eovaldi left and the pen came in to start the sixth inning. Then Jonathan Schoop homered and four more runs crossed the plate before the inning ended. Oops. Chris Davis drove in three in the game. Manny Machado homered and Caleb Joseph went 3 for 4 with an RBI. Not gonna jump to crazy conclusions, but the Yankees may not be very good.

Tigers 1, Pirates 0: Rajai Davis hit a solo homer and that was the whole dang thing. Well, the eight scoreless innings from Alfredo Simon helped too.

Blue Jays 12, Rays 7: Huge bats and some stellar D. Homers from Jose Bautista and rookies Devon Travis and Dalton Pompey. Travis had three hits overall. What a pickup Travis was from the Tigers last year.

Mets 6, Phillies 1: The sweep. Which should have Mets fans excited. But the optimism should be a bit cautious still, given that the Phillies are, from the looks of things early, gonna stink on ice. Lucas Duda homered and had an RBI double.

Cubs 5, Reds 0: Travis Wood — who used to pitch for the Reds — tossed seven shutout innings against his old mates. Or at least a few of his old mates as he was last in Cincy four years ago. And heck, maybe even those guys didn’t like him that much when he was there, making “mates” too strong a word. Maybe Wood was the guy who stole people’s lunches from the break room fridge, ever think of that?

Astros 6, Athletics 1: Collin McHugh struck out 11 and the Astros got homers from Jed Lowrie, Luis Valbuena and Evan Gattis. Factoid: the A’s have been outscored 32-14 in their five losses and have 42-1 margin in their five wins. Remember last year how, early, all their wins seemed to be blowouts too? There’s probably some cosmic meaning to that.

Cardinals 4, Brewers 2: Lance Lynn and six (!) relief pitchers combined on this one. Yadier Molina had three hits.

Padres 3, Diamondbacks 2: Justin Upton homered and Craig Kimbrel locked it down, giving the Braves the 3-2 win.


Dodgers 5, Mariners 2: I picked the Dodgers and the Mariners to go to the World Series. If this was that World Series the Dodgers would have a commanding 3-0 lead. Though they would have to explain how they got three home games to start off the World Series. Maybe some All-Star Game tweak happened. “This time it REALLY counts,” or something. Anyway, Joc Pederson singled home a run, made a diving catch to rob Mike Zunino of a hit and threw Zunino out at the plate on another play. Zunino probably isn’t joining the Joc Pederson fan club.

Rockies 4, Giants 2: As we all expected, the amazingly good road team, the Colorado Rockies, swept the defending World Series champions. One night after that amazing catch he made running into the tarp, Nolan Arenado hit a three-run homer. This guy is one of the best-kept secrets in baseball.

Dan Haren didn’t want to pitch for the Marlins, but he’s pitching pretty well for the Marlins

Dan Haren Marlins

Dan Haren spent all offseason saying he only wanted to play for a team on the West Coast, before and after the Dodgers traded him to the Marlins, but he eventually stopped talking about retiring at age 35, relented, and agreed to spend this season in Miami.

And through two starts the Marlins are very happy he did. Haren tossed six innings of one-run ball against the Rays in his first start last week and followed that up with seven innings of two-run ball against the Braves today.

Not bad for a guy the Dodgers basically paid the Marlins to take off their hands after Haren exercised his $10 million player option for 2015, covering his entire salary as part of the Dee Gordon trade regardless of whether he kept playing or retired.

2015 Preview: Miami Marlins

Giancarlo Stanton

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up: The Miami Marlins.

The Big Question: Do the Marlins have what it takes to compete for the NL Wild Card in 2015?

The Marlins have averaged 70 wins over the last four seasons, including 62 in 2013 after owner Jeffrey Loria orchestrated one of his franchise’s characteristic fire sales. Indeed, the Marlins have become a target of derision for Loria’s wishy-washy approach to building a competitive team. If there is a sign ownership is serious about contending, their build-up to the 2015 season is it.

In November, 25-year-old right fielder Giancarlo Stanton signed a record 13-year, $325 million extension. The past season was Stanton’s first in which he played in more than 123 games, and it ended with an unfortunate injury as he was hit in the face with a Mike Fiers fastball. Nevertheless, Stanton still led the National League with 37 home runs and a .555 slugging percentage. As good as he has been, Stanton’s best years may still lay in front of him. It should also be noted he can opt out of his contract after the 2020 season, the sixth year of his extension. Should he choose that route, the Marlins will have only paid him $107 million.

The Marlins also extended left fielder Christian Yelich on Wednesday, committing $49.57 million over seven years to the 23-year-old. Yelich, in his first full season in 2014, batted .284/.362/.402 with nine home runs, 54 RBI, and 21 stolen bases while playing superb defense. He would have been eligible for arbitration after the 2019 season, so this buys out two pre-arbitration seasons, three arbitration seasons, and two free agency seasons.

That wasn’t all the Marlins did over the winter. They bolstered their rotation in acquiring Mat Latos from the Reds in exchange for Anthony DeSclafani and minor leaguer Chad Wallach. They also got Dan Haren and Dee Gordon from the Dodgers in exchange for prospect Andrew Heaney and a handful of other players. They acquired third baseman Martin Prado and pitcher David Phelps from the Yankees in exchange for Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Jones, and minor leaguer Domingo German. They signed Mike Morse to a two-year, $16 million deal to play first base. In January, they brought in Ichiro Suzuki on a one-year, $2 million contract to serve as a fourth outfielder.

The Marlins arguably have an average or better player at every position on the diamond, throughout their starting rotation, and in the back of their bullpen. While their roster lacks the ceiling of the division rival Nationals, the Marlins are certainly strong enough now where they can reasonably be considered contenders in the NL Wild Card race. FanGraphs, using Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, pegs them at an even 81-81 record. Among those not projected to win a division title, only the Pirates (85 wins), Cubs (84), Padres (83), and Giants (82) are expected to finish better. With a couple of breaks going their way and perhaps the intra-division battling among the NL West teams deflating each other’s records, the Marlins might be able to sneak into the Wild Card playoff game. If they happen to reach the post-season, they will have done so for the first time since 2003. The only two times the franchise has reached the playoffs (also in 1997), they have won the World Series, so look out, National League.

What else is going on?

  • Jose Fernandez is on his way back from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent last May. He recently threw his entire repertoire of pitches in a 25-pitch bullpen session – though not at full effort – and is expected to make a return to the Marlins around mid- to late-June. The talented 22-year-old has a terrific 2.25 ERA and a 257/71 K/BB ratio over 224 1/3 career innings in the majors. His return, even if not immediately at his previous level of performance, will be a significant boon to the Marlins.
  • Steve Cishek has quietly been one of the league’s better closers, compiling a 2.73 ERA with 73 saves and a 158/43 K/BB ratio in 135 innings over the last two seasons as the Marlins’ ninth-inning answer. He earned $6.65 million in avoiding arbitration coming into this season and will be eligible for arbitration going into each of the next two season as well. Unless he suffers a catastrophic injury or completely melts down, he’ll inevitably reach an eight figure salary before becoming a free agent. As freely as the Marlins have spent, they’re still entering the 2015 season with a sub-$70 million payroll and Cishek may prove too expensive for his role. As a result, the Marlins could shop him in an attempt to bolster any weaknesses on their roster at the July trade deadline.
  • Dan Haren threatened to retire if the Dodgers traded him away from the West Coast, and they did anyway in sending him to Miami. He tried to push the Marlins into trading him back West so he could be closer to his family and his home, but obviously nothing happened. He recently said he is no longer considering retiring and appears poised to contribute to the Marlins out of the back of the starting rotation. Haren’s production has waned as he’s posted an ERA above 4.00 in each of the last three seasons while becoming increasingly homer-prone. The spacious confines of Marlins Park should help him.
  • With Fernandez out, Henderson Alvarez is the ace of the Marlins’ staff for now. He had an extremely good 2014 campaign, putting up a 2.65 ERA with a 111/33 K/BB ratio in 187 innings. His 14.4 percent strikeout rate, though, was the seventh lowest among qualified starting pitchers last season. Pitchers who posted similar strikeout rates aren’t exactly inspiring, as that list includes Kyle Kendrick, Roberto Hernandez, and Jeremy Guthrie. Alvarez succeeds by limiting walks (his 4.3% walk rate was ninth-lowest) and inducing ground balls at about a 54 percent rate. It may be a stretch to expect him to post a sub-3.00 ERA again, but he should still wind up posting above-average numbers.

Prediction: The Nationals will run away with the NL East, but the Marlins and Mets will battle for the honor of being second-best in the division. The Marlins hang around in the NL Wild Card picture throughout most of September before narrowly missing out with 84 wins.

2015 Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers

Andrew Friedman, Stan Kasten

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up: The Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Big Question: Will the revamped front office put the Dodgers over the top?

After losing in the NLCS in 2013, the Dodgers won their second straight NL West title last season before being ousted by the Cardinals during the NLDS. It was bitterly disappointing, especially to see the division rival Giants go on to win the World Series, but such is life with the randomness of the playoffs. However, rather than stand pat and hope for better luck in 2015, the Dodgers decided to shake things up by reassigning GM Ned Colletti and giving big money to Andrew Friedman to lure him from the Rays. Friedman, who was hired as president of baseball operations, then brought on Farhan Zaidi from the A’s to serve as general manager and made a host of other changes throughout the organization.

Friedman and Zaidi were accustomed to making the most out of limited resources with their former organizations, so being free from these shackles allowed them to not only improve around the margins with their new team but also make some bold moves. After letting free agent Hanley Ramirez walk, the Dodgers remade their middle infield by acquiring Jimmy Rollins and cashing in on Dee Gordon’s big 2014 to get Andrew Heaney as a chip for Howie Kendrick. They flipped Matt Kemp to the Padres and landed a new primary catcher (Yasmani Grandal) in the process. They threw money at risk with the backend of their rotation by signing Brandon McCarthy to a four-year, $48 million contract, Brett Anderson to a one-year, $10 million deal and the rehabbing Brandon Beachy for $2.75 million. The Dodgers will pay $30.5 million (between Kemp, Dan Haren, and Gordon) for players who aren’t playing for them this season. Talk about a different world.

This is a lot of turnover for a roster that already had some great pieces in place. Clayton Kershaw, with three Cy Young Awards in the last four seasons, is the undisputed best pitcher on the planet. Meanwhile, Zack Greinke has been excellent during his first two seasons in Los Angeles and Hyun-Jin Ryu has gone underappreciated since coming stateside. Yasiel Puig is one of the most talented and exciting players in the game today and will likely face more pressure to be the face of this offense with Kemp and Ramirez elsewhere. Fortunately, Adrian Gonzalez is a durable and consistent force in the middle of the lineup.

Barring something unexpected, like an injury to Kershaw, it’s hard to not see the Dodgers as the overwhelming favorite to win their third straight NL West crown. Perhaps the gambles in the backend of the starting rotation won’t work out, but they have the prospect depth and the money to make a trade if an in-season upgrade is necessary. However, the great unknown of October lingers. And no front office change or player acquisition can bring certainty.

What else is going on?

  • The dynamic between Don Mattingly and the new Dodgers’ front office will be fascinating to follow. After Friedman joined the Dodgers and Joe Maddon opted out of his contract with the Rays, many immediately assumed that they would be reunited in Los Angeles. However, the Dodgers stood behind Don Mattingly while Maddon ended up with the Cubs. Still, Mattingly wasn’t chosen by them. He was a holdover. Mattingly has never been vocal about his use of analytics in the past, but he said back in January that “you’re a fool” if you’re not using them as part of your decision making. He’s talking the talk, which is a good idea for a person who wants to keep his job, but we’ll have to see if he meshes with the new regime.
  • Kenley Jansen underwent surgery in mid-February to remove a growth from his left foot and is expected to miss the first month of the season. Some speculated that the Dodgers would throw money at Francisco Rodriguez (who eventually signed with the Brewers) or Rafael Soriano (who is still a free agent), but they appear content to rely on internal options to fill in. Joel Peralta was acquired from the Rays over the winter and figures to be in the mix, but keep an eye on Chris Hatcher. Hatcher, who came over to the Dodgers in the Gordon trade, is another former catcher (like Jansen) and quietly posted a 3.38 ERA and 60/12 K/BB ratio across 56 innings last season. There’s some uncertainty with this situation, but they should be able to get by for a month.
  • Juan Uribe currently projects to be the regular third baseman if he’s healthy, but the Dodgers are one of the teams who have been linked to Cuban free agent infielder Hector Olivera. In fact, they reportedly made a $77 million offer before Olivera switched agents. Who knows if that offer was legitimate — he’d probably already be a Dodger by now if that was true — but clearly they like him. He’s 29 and was one of the best hitters in Cuba, so he could be ready to make an impact in the majors right away.
  • While Andre Ethier is on the outside looking in for playing time, rookie Joc Pederson is penciled in as the Dodgers’ regular center fielder this season. He turns 23 in April and is coming off a monster season in Triple-A where he batted .303/.435/.582 with 33 home runs and 30 stolen bases across 121 games. Baseball America recently ranked him as the No. 8 prospect in the game. He put up those numbers in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League and strikeouts are an issue for him, so expect some growing pains, but he should be exciting to watch.
  • Zack Greinke is guaranteed $71 million from 2016-2018, but he has the ability to opt out of his contract after this season and test the free agent market. He would almost certainly fetch more if his 2015 is anything close to his first two seasons in Los Angeles. From that perspective, the Dodgers likely won’t be upset if it works out that way. And heck, they certainly have the money to bring him back if they want.
  • Vin Scully is back in the booth for his 66th season, which is a treat for all baseball fans. Don’t take him for granted.

Prediction: The Dodgers will win the NL West handily.

The Marlins expect Jose Fernandez back around June 1; would consider trading Dan Haren

Jose Fernandez

From Barry Jackson’s notes column in the Herald, a couple of items relevant to the Marlins’ 2015 pitching staff:

  • The Marlins expect Jose Fernandez to throw off a mound in spring training and expect him to be back to throwing balls in anger by June 1. This is a the standard timetable given his May 2014 Tommy John surgery;
  • The team is well aware of Dan Haren’s desire to play in southern California and will try to accommodate him if they get any offers for him from California teams, but at the moment they are hearing nothing and they’re not making calls. They think he’ll pitch well in Miami and hope he does.

As for the retirement threat, Jackson notes this tweet from Haren last week:

Yeah, he’s gonna pitch.