The Dodgers (13-20) and the Marlins (10-25) begin a three game series Friday night at Dodger Stadium. The two teams could not be any farther apart payroll wise. The Dodgers have one of the largest payrolls of Baseball at over 200 million dollars, while the Marlins have one of the smallest payrolls at around 40 million. Despite the two clubs disparaging,and far apart payrolls, the two teams enter into Friday’s series only three games apart, with both teams in last place in their respective divisions.
The Marlins at least have a viable excuse. Their owner preformed another trademark fire-sale, trading away nearly every one of their major league caliber players and pissing off their entire fan base. Only Giancarlo Stanton remained, and is now out with an injury. What excuse do the Dodgers have for sucking? Oh right the plethora of injuries to their roster. And other stuff.
Both teams will do battle in what I like to call, the battle of the cellar dwellers! The winner gets bragging rights and avoids being endlessly made fun of for being the worst team in the National League.
There is a bit of a connection between the two teams after last season’s trade that sent Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers, and former prospect Nathan Eovaldi to the Fish. The Marlins also signed former Dodger Juan Pierre this offseason. Today I sat down with Marlinmaniac.com editor Ehsan Kassim, to talk about the upcoming series, injuries to both clubs, What’s gone wrong, and commiserate over this lousy season. You know what they say misery loves company.
LL. The Marlins have been extremely bad this year, after their latest fire sale. Of course the Dodgers stink as well. So we can feel your pain. What’s the opinion of the Marlin fans of the team right now? Is there any hope for the future?
MM: Opinion of the team right now? We hate that the team sucks, but at the same time, we do not fault the players, as this all falls on the shoulders of our very own grinch, Jeffery Loria. The team cannot hit, field, but they can pitch. So that is a major plus. As for the future, we have some promising prospects in Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna. Two of those three are already making an impact on the team and the third should be on his way very soon.
I am also excited for the return of former Dodger prospect Nathan Eovaldi. For whatever reason, he has become my favorite Marlins pitcher since our Hanley Ramirez dump-off last July.
LL: Can you name a bright spot on the team this season? Who would that be?
MM: Jose Fernandez is one of the lone bright spots for the Fish this season. I tend to watch every game, but get lazy sometimes, but never for one of Fernandez’s starts. His confidence on the mound and the poise he has for a 20-year old are just amazing to see by themselves. He has an amazing story of how he made it to not just the majors, but America. Jose is also has future ace stuff. He is constantly in the strike zone and is always challenging hitters. He is a joy to watch pitch and I am sure Dodgers fans will love him when he takes the mound.
LL: How long is Stanton going to be out?
MM: Stanton is unfortunately out for at least a month. After dealing with shoulder issues for most of the month of April, Stanton finally got hot with his bat. He had two home run game and then all of a sudden, running down the first base line, pop went his hamstring. He suffered a grade 2 hamstring sprain and is expected to miss at least one month. But with the Marlins playing for nothing, there will be no rush for the Marlins to bring Stanton back before he is ready.
LL: How has Juan Pierre played this year? Has he developed any kind of throwing arm? We can remember his no-arm days with the Dodgers vividly. What is your opinion of the former Dodger this season?
MM: Juan “Noodle Arm” Pierre? He has struggled this season. Batting just above the mendoza line and reaching base under 30% of the time. He cannot hit lefties anymore and has become sort of a platoon player. He is still a fan favorite in Miami, but he cannot do much anymore, except steal bases. Even with subpar hitting, Pierre has an NL leading 12 stolen bases. He is really just biding his time until the aforementioned Yelich is ready to take over.
The two Basement occupants duke it out starting Friday night at 7:10 PM at Dodger Stadium.