On Wednesday the fat lady started tuning up her voice. On the final day of this week’s match-up, she’s getting a little anxious to start singing. The Miami Carlins lead Si Hurricanes 223-202, with 3 starts left to Si Hurricanes’ 1 start.
I haven’t been doing much intrepid reporting so I thought I would take some time to do a quick team review. Ever since Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta were suspended there have been more opportunities for other players to step up. Has anyone?
The weakest position on the Carlins, Starlin Castro started off as the team’s starter and now only because Jose Iglesias struggling nearly as much, the spot is still open. Castro is nearly guaranteed to earn the Disappointment of the Year Award. Somehow he has survived being released, mostly because I keep convincing myself he’s overdue. Shortstop will continue being a revolving door between the two for the rest of the season and into the playoffs. I don’t have much faith in either of these guys as this week they have a combined -4 points. I would be better off not having any shortstop at all. Wow.
Wilson Ramos came in during Carlos Santana’s struggles and has gotten a few spot starts. The position still belongs to Santana, but I feel a lot more comfortable with Ramos as the backup than Salvador Perez who is a singles hitter with a .270 average. Santana started off great and slowly “Starlin Castro’ed” his way to a poor average. And yes, I want to start calling people who disappoint me Starlin Catros.
Another player who struggled this year for me and was a high pick as Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval kept landing on the disabled list too, which didn’t help his cause at keeping him in the lineup with the numbers Matt Carpenter has put up. Now with the Utility position open, Sandoval has seen more playing time and has made the best of it. This week Sandoval has already earned 16 points. That’s 1 point for every 3 pounds he needs to lose to be a good player again. Not bad.
The Miami Carlins picked up some ground yesterday, but it’s still a high ladder left to climb. At the end of the day the score got to 246-199 in favor of Cecil Cantrell.
Both teams will be using their final start today too. The Miami Carlins send Mike Minor against the Miami Marlins while Cecil Cantrell will pitch Jeremy Hellickson against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hellickson has gotten negative points his last two outings and Mike Minor has been solid most of the season.
“I’m glad the coach calls me solid,” said Minor after reading the above. “I’ve heard some players compared to liquid or gas, or even worse, plasma. It’s nice to know that I am one of the few solid ones in the coach’s eye.”
The Miami Carlins need a huge day from their offense today. The struggles cannot be blamed on any one player, although a lot of fingers have been pointed at Allen Craig who hasn’t contributed any points yet this week. The biggest change this week though comes after the suspensions of Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta. This has opened up a near permanent spot in the lineup for Jayson Werth who is quietly having a great season. Still, there is the open utility spot that has yet to be solidified by anyone in particular.
“The coach called [Minor] solid so maybe he will be the one to solidify the position? I don’t know. I’m new here.” said shortstop Jose Iglesias who has been splitting time with Starlin Castro.
The only other position that has turned into a platoon is catcher. Carlos Santana has been playing poorly lately and now with Wilson Ramos on the team Santana’s playing time has gone done drastically.
“I may not be in the lineup as much as I would like,” said Santana. “But at least I share a name with a popular guitar player. Well, popular among other musicians. He’s kind of like the Spanish Slash.”