Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports had a Q&A session with new Marlins starter Mat Latos and asked him a series of questions. Latos was asked what was appealing about the Marlins, and the right-hander said that they would have been on the top of his list of potential destinations if he had not been traded and simply became a free agent after the season.
Latos suggested he could be the veteran presence on a young team that makes the difference. To emphasize his point, he pointed to the Reds after losing third baseman Scott Rolen in 2012 and starter Bronson Arroyo in 2013. Latos said, “Everything went to [expletive].” He continued:
When Scott was there, we had guys doing exactly what they were supposed to do. After Scott left, we had guys with two years in the big leagues, in the clubhouse, on their phones, laying down in the video room, just hanging out during games, not in the dugout, not cheering their teammates on. Our dugout looked like a ghost town.
After Bronson, the same exact thing. We had starters in there roping our (clubhouse attendants), like, cattle-roping our clubbies. Guys on their computers, buying stuff, hanging out in the clubhouse. We had a guy with a year-and-a-half in the big leagues wandering around the clubhouse, hanging out. We had a closer in there sleeping until the seventh inning. We lose that veteran leadership, that’s what happens. You can’t have that . . . it turns into a circus.
The Reds went 90-72 in 2013 sans Rolen, losing the National League Wild Card game to the division rival Pirates. Due mostly to injuries, the Reds finished 76-86 this past season, their first without Arroyo.
Latos will be looking to bolster a Marlins team that went 77-85 and finished fourth in the NL East in 2014. He had another strong showing, posting a 3.25 ERA with a 74/26 K/BB ratio in 102 1/3 innings for the Reds, but the 27-year-old missed 85 games on the disabled list recovering from knee surgery to start the season and elbow problems at the end of the season.