Fixing The Franchise: The San Diego Padres – The 2019-2020 Offseason

The 2019 season has come and gone – and a young Padres team has put the league on notice. We went from pretender to contender in just a season and are looking to build on that momentum. Will we stick with the current roster – allowing our players to build on their minor postseason success – or will we make the necessary moves to become the World Series favorite?

Retriements

  • Padres – 3B Greg Garcia – Injury
  • Yankees – SP J.A. Happ – Ability
  • Yankees – SP C.C. Sabathia – Age
  • Angels – 1B Albert Pujols – Age
  • Cardinals – CF Dexter Fowler – Ability
  • Cardinals – SP Adam Wainwright – Ability
  • Dodgers – SP Rich Hill – Age
  • FA – SP Bartolo Colon – Age
  • FA – RF Jacoby Ellsbury – Poor Free Agent Market
  • FA – RF Ichiro Suzuki – Age

Hall of Fame

No arguments here. Both players are well deserving of their place in Cooperstown.

Coaching Staff

We decided to let Andy Green go as manager with two years left on his contract. I expected him to go further in the playoffs after putting together the best roster in the league. I extended an offer to former World Series champion manager A.J. Hinch – he took the Royals job. I also offered Luis Rivera the 3rd base coach job – he accepted. After being turned down by Hinch, I offered Terry Francona the job next – he accepted. With his experience, I am hoping he can take our talent to the next level.

Exclusive Free Agent Window

PlayerAgePos.Ovr.Pot.Yrs.Sal.Contract
Hector Rondon32RP84C1$3.2M$3.2M
Stephen Vogt35C70C1$1.7M$1.7M

Hector Rondon put up great numbers for me from the bullpen. I also love getting Stephen Vogt back – for me he is one of the best pinch hitters in the game – he also gives us some more time to develop Adley Rutschman in the minors.

Around The League

PlayerTeamPos.YrsContract
Madison BumgarnerGiantsSP5$75.48M
Anthony RendonNationals3B6$180.6M
Gerrit ColeAstrosSP6$137.4M
Marcell OzunaCardinalsLF4$52.06M
Jameson TaillonPiratesSP6$9.6M
Jonathan SchoopTwins2B2$17.4M
Rick PorcelloRed SoxSP3$19.2M

Nothing too shocking here. Anthony Rendon got a huge deal with the Nationals – but they are in a better place than I am with Machado – as their deal is only for six seasons. I still have Machado for nine more years.

November 7th

Target: Get Rid of Manny Machado

I know that Manny Machado is one of the best talents in baseball, but I refuse to be locked in to a player that put up 1.9 WAR in 2019 for $30M a year. I am going to go for a big move here. I am pretty limited by what I can move Machado for, I have to find a player that has an equivalent salary. My options are Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Giancarlo Stanton, Chris Sale, Zach Greinke, and…

Player AgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedAgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Manny Machado2794AAngelsMike Trout28CF99A
Ender Inciarte2983B

Mike Freaking Trout. Wow. I am shocked that I was able to put together a package the Angles would consider – let alone accept. From a purely financial perspective – I trade away $35.6M for $35.8M. From a baseball perspective – I trade away what I viewed as a flawed talent with a crippling contract for the best player in the game. Inciarte become expendable because I no longer need him in center field.

Arbitration and Re-Sign Controllable Players

  • Arbitration Offered: LF Joc Pederson (signed at $4M), RP Adam Conley (signed at $1.5M), SS Tim Beckham (signed at $1.4M)

Contracts offered: (all but two were accepted)

PlayerAgePos.Ovr.Pot.Yrs.Sal.Contract
Matt Duffy293B75B2$3.4M$6.8M
Jonathan Holder26RP79B5$1.3M$6.5M
Robert Stock30RP80C2$550K$1.1M
Joey Lucchesi26SP77B5$2.4M$12M
*Andrew Toles27LF73B3$1.0M$3M
*Adley Rutschman22C72A6$3.2M$19M
Wander Franco19SS72A5$3.2M$16M
Jose Pirela301B71C1$530K$530K
Matt Wisler27RP70B1$530K$530K
Alexander Palma23RF69A3$530K$1.5M
Ryan Weathers20SP69A3$530K$1.5M
Luis Pedromo26SP68B4$400K$2M
Brendan McKay24SP68A3$466K$1.4M
Luis Patino20SP68A3$333K$1M
Mackenzie Gore21SP68A3$333K$1M
Freicer Perez24SP65B3$100K$300K
Mason Englert20SP61B3$100K$300K

*Did not accept – contract renewed at league minimum.

Free Agency: Offers

After trading away Machado for Trout I now had a hole in my infield at 3rd base. Matt Duffy was coming back – and had a solid year last year. He did play a limited role and I am unsure if he can handle full time duties at 3rd base. I prefer to have Duffy as infield depth.

PlayerAgePos.Ovr.Pot.Yrs.Sal.Contract
Josh Donaldson343B79B1$600K$600K
Ben Zobrist383B79A2$4.6M$9.2M
Nelson Cruz39RF72A1$600K$600K
*Kevin Pillar31CF75C1$600K$600K
Gio Urshela283B78C1$1.5M$1.5M
Danny Santana29SS73C1$600K$600K
Nick Markakis36RF75B1$600K$600K
Zach Plesac24SP70C1$100K$100K
Stephen Yang19SP67D1$70K$70K
Lewis Roe20RP67D1$60K$60K
Matthew Beam19RP66C1$70K$70K
Joel Cabrera19RP62D1$60K$60K
Otis McClendon20RP 62D1$60K$60K
Kevin Canales20RP61D1$60K$60K
Orlando Gonzalez18RP60D1$60K$60K
James Travis20C73C1$80K$80K
Jason Delay24C63C1$60K$60K
Santiago Chavez24C61C1$60K$60K
Aderlin Rodriguez281B60C1$60K$60K
Andres Cabrera182B68C1$70K$70K
Kyle Overstreet261B58C1$60K$60K
Jeter Downs212B64C1$60K$60K
Joel Ramirez183B62C1$60K$60K
Alan Meeks21SS70C1$60K$60K
Paul Hu18LF49C1$60K$60K
Devlin Granberg24LF51B1$60K$60K
Bernardo Rodriguez21CF70D1$60K$60K
Estevan Melendez19RF70D1$60K$60K
Jose Acevedo20RF64C1$60K$60K
Oliver Molina18RP60D1$60K$60K
Rickey Dubois20RP58D1$60K$60K
Seungwhan Oh37RP79A1$600K$600K
  • I initially offered Donaldson $9M over two years. Zobrist accepted his offer first, so I pulled the offer from Donaldson. I was able to get both players when Donaldson was still sitting there towards the end of free agency and took a discounted deal.
  • Kevin Pillar signed with the White Sox.
  • Everyone else on that list signed with us.

Free Agents Around The League

PlayerTeamPos.YrsContract
Will SmithCubsCP6$33.3M
Yasmani GrandalPiratesC6$57.7M
Steve CishekBravesRP2$16.1M
Dallas KeuchelCubsSP1$6.1M
Corey DickersonDodgersLF3$18.9M
Mike MoustakasPirates2B4$25.2M
Nicholas CastellanosBravesRF1$7M
Avisail GarciaBrewersLF3$14.7M
  • The Cubs grab one of the best relievers on the market in Will Smith. They also add to their rotation with Dallas Keuchel.
  • The Pirates are making moves – signing the best catcher and 2B available in free agency.

Removed from 40 man

  • Mason Englert
  • Freicer Perez
  • Luis Pedromo – Claimed by the Orioles
  • Tim Beckham
  • Jose Pirela

Novermber 27th

  • The Yankees acquired Justin Upton from the Angels for Brandon Belt.

December 3rd

Target: Blake Snell

I want to get another top of the rotation starter – Blake Snell is one of the best in the game. He also has a team friendly deal that won’t hurt my budget.

Player AgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedAgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Lorne Reyna1961ARaysBlake Snell27SP97A
Kenta Maeda3184CLucious Fox22SS62C
Hunter Renfroe2883A
Ryan Heath1969C
Ken Greer1973B

*This took place over two trades in which I moved Josh Hader then got him back.

I had to give up some pretty good pieces in order to make this trade happen. The game does not allow trades of more than 3 players – so I had to do this over two trades. I give up two players from my playoff roster in Kenta Maeda and Hunter Renfroe. I also trade away two of my top prospects – Lorne Reyna – and 2019 3rd round pick – Ken Greer. I have plenty of minor league depth, I view this as a solid trade to acquire one of the best starters in the game.

December 6th

  • The Cubs acquired Kirby Yates from the Yankees for Pedro Strop, Esteury Ruiz and Brendon Little.

December 11th

  • The Braves acquired Whit Merrifield from the Athletics for Max Fried and Chad Sobotka.

December 12th

Rule 5 Draft

I do not intend to keep any of the players I draft today. You can trade Rule 5 picks, so my intention is to move a few for prospects.

PlayerTeamPos.Ovr.AgePot.
Round 1Derek FisherAstrosCF6526A
Round 2Hunter HarveyOriolesSP6725A
Round 3Edgar SantanaAngelsRP7828C

Corresponding Trade

Player AgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedAgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Derek Fisher2664ARaysBrent Honeywell24SP70B
Hunter Harvey2565AMatthew Liberatore20SP69A
Lucious Fox2262C

At this point, I feel bad for the Rays. I have depleted their organization of future talent. I trade away two Rule 5 picks and grab two top tier pitching prospects. Matthew Liberatore has the highest ceiling, already at a 69 overall at just 20 years old.

December 14th

  • The Dodgers acquired Jesse Winker from the Reds for Drew Jackson.

December 27th

  • The Giants acquired Randall Grichuk from the Blue Jays for Evan Longoria and Jonah Tracy.

January 18th

  • The White Sox acquired Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees for Steele Walker and Frank Forrest

February 26th

I decided that it was time to flip my final Rule 5 pick for another prospect.

Player AgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedAgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Edgar Santana2878BAngelsJeremiah Jackson20SS64B

I am able to acquire a decent middle infield prospect from the Angels in Jeremiah Jackson. He provides me some depth at the minor league level.

February 28th

Joc Pederson is entering his final year of control. He is seeking a 5 year deal worth $55M. I am unwilling to pay that for a platoon outfielder. I will go ahead and move on from him. Andrew Toles is seeking a 5 year deal for $16M – no thanks buddy. It is time to get rid of these guys for some prospects.

Player AgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedAgePos.Ovr.Pot.
Joc Pederson2785BAstrosYordan Alvarez22RF72A
Andrew Toles2773BSeth Beer23LF63B
Mason Englert2059B

The rich get richer. I flip two guys that I no longer want to pay – for one of the best pure hitting prospects in the game. Yordan Alvarez had unbelievable power – I just need to find a place for him on my Major League roster. Seth Beer isn’t too shabby of a prospect either.

Prospects

The best minor league system in the game somehow got better in the offseason. We now boast five of the top 25 prospects in the game, and nine of the top 45 prospects in the game.

Team RankPrevious MLB RankCurrent MLB RankNameAgePos.Ovr.LevelPot.
1146Wander Samuel Franco19SS70AAAA
2NR7Yordan Alvarez22RF73AAAA
3218Brenden McKay24SP70AAAA
4810Adley Rutschman22C70AAAA
52525Mackenzie Gore21SP66AAA
63334Alexander Palma23RF67AAAA
7NR41Matthew Liberatore20SP69AAAA
83143Ryan Weathers20SP67AAAA
93045Luis Patino20SP68AAA
10NRNRBrent Honeywell24SP70AAAB

Financial Situation

Things are looking pretty good for the Padres from a financial perspective. Our nine most talented players are locked into team friendly deals through the 2021 season.

Roster, Lineup, and Rotation

As the offseason comes to a close – I have managed to put together the best talent in the game. Terry Francona has a lot of pressure on him this season to go deep into the playoffs.

On paper, this may be one of the best offenses in the history of the game. Aside from the superstars in this lineup – some veteran leadership was also brought to the squad in the form of Nick Markakis and Ben Zobrist.

The rotation looks pretty similar to last season – except we added Blake Snell to the top. Josh Hader anchors a strong bullpen – with the addition of veteran Seunghwan Oh.

Coming Up

We will head into the 2020 season. The Padres have the best combination of talent in baseball – the question is – can Terry Francona get this group of stars to buy-in and be successful in the playoffs?

– Buzz

Fixing The Franchise: The San Diego Padres – The 2019 Postseason

Wild Card Game

We did it. We made it to the postseason. The Padres turned into a contender in less than a season. Does the team have what it takes to beat a perennial postseason disappointment – The Washington Nationals – in the Wild Card Game? Let’s find out.

The Nationals jumped to an early lead thanks to a leadoff single and stolen base from Trea Turner. Juan Soto was able to drive him in with one out to put the Nats up 1-0.

After that inning, Noah Syndergaard settled down and shut down the Nationals offense. With the help of Machado’s glove – Syndergaard only allowed one hit through the next four innings.

In the midst of our pitcher’s duel – the Padres got their first hit off the bat of Ender Inciarte in the bottom of the 5th innings.

The bats came alive for the Padres in the 7th inning. Manny Machado and Christian Yelich started things off with back to back singles. Josh Bell was up next and loaded up the bases with a single of his own. Gary Sanchez rolled over into a double play on the next at bat – but the run scored – tying the game at 1-1.

Hector Rondon came in for Syndergaard in the 9th and shut down the Nats in order.

In the bottom of the inning – Machado reached on a single. Yelich followed that with a grounder to the shortstop – one in which the Nats made and errant throw on allowing both runners to reach base safely. Josh Bell was up next and flew out to left field. With two on a two outs – Gary Sanchez drove the ball off the wall in right field. Machado scored and the Padres won the game 2-1.

Noah Syndergaard was a stud on the mound. He lasted 8 innings – allowing just 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 8 batters.

NLDS

For the Division Series we had to take on our N.L. West rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Game 1

The Padres come into this series in the midst of an 8 game winning streak.

The Padres were able to put a threat together in the top of the first. Manny Machado and Christian Yelich were both able to single, but Gary Sanchez and Josh Bell were unable to capitalize.

With two outs in the bottom of the second A.J. Pollock started the scoring for the Dodgers, hitting a solo shot to left field just over a leaping Hunter Renfroe at the wall.

Mike Clevenger and Jeff McNeil led off the top of the 3rd with back to back singles. Machado rolled over into a double play and Yelich struck out, ending the threat.

With two outs in the bottom of the 4th the Dodgers had Justin Turner on 3rd with two outs. Clevenger challenged Pollock inside – and Pollock launched his second homerun of the game – putting the Dodgers up 3-0.

The Padres came out swinging in the top of the 5th. Ender Inciarte and Fernando Tatis Jr. started off the inning with back to back singles. Clevenger then bunted – moving Inciarte to 3rd and beating out the throw to first on a potential double play. McNeil stepped in and drove the ball to center field – scoring Inciarte from 3rd.

The Dodgers decided to leave Kershaw in after a brief mound visit from Rick Honeycutt. Machado was up next and finally started to earn some of that $30M salary – he drove the ball off the wall in left-center field, scoring both runners and tying the game at 3-3.

The Dodgers got their lead back the following half of the inning. Corey Seager hit a ground rule double with two outs. Shane Peterson drove him in with the dinkiest little slow roller up the middle to grab the 4-3 lead.

In the bottom of the 6th the Dodgers knocked Clevenger from the game. After a leadoff walk to Cody Bellinger, Clevenger left a slider over the middle of the plate, and Max Muncy drove it over the left field wall to extend the Dodger lead to 6-3.

  • Clevenger allowed 7H and 6R through 5IP – with 8K and 1BB.

The Padres started the 7th off with a leadoff double from Tatis Jr. Matt Duffy – who pinch hit for the pitcher – and McNeil both lined out to Bellinger in right field. Machado then rolled over, ending the inning.

The Dodgers brought in Adam Liberatore to pitch the 8th. This was a mistake. Yelich led off the inning with a single. Gary Sanchez then drove the ball into the hitter’s eye in dead center field to bring the score to 6-5.

Max Muncy started off the Dodgers half of the 8th with his second homerun of the game – extending their lead to 7-5.

Kenley Jansen came in to pitch the 9th for the Dodgers. He retired the first three batters he faced to seal the victory and grab the 1-0 series lead.

Game 2

The Padres bounced back and defeated the Dodgers 10-1. Jeff McNeil led the offense, going 4/5 with 5 RBI and falling a triple short of the cycle. Ender Inciarte also collected four hits on the day. Marcus Stroman went 7.1 IP allowing just 4H and 1ER while striking out 7.

Game 3

The Dodgers took home the victory 5-1. They were able to secure the win with the help of homeruns from Justin Turner, A.J. Pollock and Austin Barnes. Ryu went 8 scoreless innings on the mound for the Dodgers. Chris Paddack struggled for the Padres, giving up 5 ER in just 4 innings of work. Manny Machado led the Padres with 3 hits.

Game 4

The Padres decided to give Noah Syndergaard the start over Kenta Maeda in game four of the series. Unfortunately, the Dodgers still took home the 4-1 victory and won the series 3-1.

Notable Padre Playoff Performances

  • Manny Machado – .524 AVG, 1.381 OPS, 5 2B in 21 AB
  • Noah Syndergaard – 13 IP, 2.77 ERA, 15K
  • Marcus Stroman – 7.1 IP, 1.23 ERA, 7K

Division Series Results

  • The Braves defeated the Cubs 3-1
  • The Dodgers defeated the Padres 3-1
  • The Indians swept the Mariners 3-0
  • The Yankees swept the Red Sox 3-0

Championship Series Results

  • The Yankees defeated the Indians 4-1
  • The Dodgers defeated the Braves 4-3

World Series Results

  • The Dodgers defeated the Yankees 4-2
  • World Series MVP – Cody Bellinger – .273 AVG, 4 HR, 6 RBI
  • N.L. Postseason MVP – Max Muncy – .283 AVG, 5HR, 15 RBI
  • A.L. Postseason MVP – Giancarlo Stanton – .327 AVG, 4 HR, 14 RBI

Coming Up

We will head into the offseason. We put together a solid squad – but it wasn’t enough to reach postseason glory. How different will the roster look in 2020?

– Buzz

Fixing The Franchise: The San Diego Padres – The Second Half of 2019

Following the 2019 First Year Player Draft – we are now ready to see how the Padres perform through the rest of the season. Will any more trades be necessary for this squad as they make a playoff push?

As of June 6th, we are 7.5 games out of the lead in the N.L. West with a 36-26 record. At this point we are tied with the Rockies for a Wild Card spot.

June 2nd

  • The Marlins acquired Gavin Lux from the Dodgers for Anfernee Seymour.

June 6th

Target: Kenta Maeda

I took a look at the trade block – and for some reason the Dodgers had Kenta Maeda there. He is 30 years old – and has five years left on his deal. I am not too concerned with that because it is only $3.1M per season. This will give me an opportunity to build my pitching depth and add a veteran as I continue to seek a playoff spot.

PlayerAgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedPos.AgeOvr.Pot.
Luis Gil2061BDodgersKenta MaedaSP3084C
Peter Van Gansen2566C
Ivan Castillo2361C

Of the prospects I moved in this deal – Luis Gil has the most potential. I have plenty of minor league pitching depth. This move also allows me to move Chris Paddack to AAA – he needs some more time to develop and has a 4+ ERA at the moment.

June 25th

Texas League All Star Game

  • Tim Tebow – DH – 0/4 K
  • Jasson Dominguez – CF – 1/3
  • Kyle Overstreet – 1B – 0/1
  • Aderlin Rodriguez – 1B – DNP

June 28th

  • The Angels acquired Hunter Dozier from the Royals for Jo Adell.

June Results

  • The Padres were 16-10 through the month and sit in third in the N.L. West. We are 7.5 games back of the first place Dodgers, and currently hold the second position in the N.L. Wild Card standings behind the Rockies.
  • SP Mackenzie Gore (AAA) 3.19 ERA, 29 K, 31 IP.
  • SP Jesse Scholtens (AA) 3.23 ERA, 29 K, 30.2 IP.
  • 1B Jose Pirela (AAA) .354 AVG, 14 RBI, 82 AB.
  • LF Tim Tebow (AA) .341 AVG, 19 RBI, 82 AB.
  • *SP Ryan Weathers (AAA) 5.24 ERA, 13 BB, 22.1 IP.
  • *SP Freicer Perez (AA) 4.71 ERA, 10 BB, 28.2 IP.

July 2nd

  • The Giants acquired D.J. LeMahieu from the Yankees for Reyes Moronta and Brandon Belt.

July 4th

  • The Brewers acquired Craig Stammen from the Mets for Braden Webb and Brice Turang.

July 7th

Futures Game

  • Brenden McKay – SP – 2IP, 2H, 1R, 1 ER, 2BB, 2K
  • Adley Rutschman – C – 0/4
  • Robert Puason – SS – DNP

July 9th

All Star Game

  • Jose Alvarado – CP – DNP
  • Christian Yelich – RF – 0/3 BB
  • Gary Sanchez – C – 1/3 2RBI, HR, BB
  • Hector Rondon – RP – DNP

July 10th

AAA All Star Game

  • Jose Pirela – 1B – 0/4
  • Alexander Palma – RF – 1/3 2B, BB

July 14th

With the Padres down a run in the bottom of the 9th – Gary Sanchez stepped up with one on and one out. He turned on a hanging cutter and drove it over the left field wall for his third homerun of the game and the 8-7 win.

July 15th

Our organization took the opportunity to reward some of our players for the seasons they were having. We also saw this as a great time to extend some of our young talent.

NameAgePos.Ovr.Pot.Yrs.Sal.Contract
Gary Sanchez26C89B3$5.7M$17M
Marcus Stroman27SP87B3$8.3M$25M
Fernando Tatis Jr.20SS80A5$7M$35M
Chris Paddack23SP77A3$1.7M$5M

July 21st

  • The Angels acquired James Paxton from the Yankees for Hunter Dozier and Trevor Cahill.
  • The Rockies acquired Billy Hamilton from the Royals for Ryan Rolison and Dom Nunez.

July 21st

Target: Josh Hader

Jose Alvarado has been struggling as our closer lately – even though he was an All-Star. He has a 5.00 ERA with 5 BS this season. He just is not ready for the 9th inning. The Brewers are 5 games out of the wild card race and have decided to sell. Josh Hader has a 2.57 ERA and is just the guy I need for our playoff push.

PlayerAgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedPos.AgeOvr.Pot
Jasson Dominguez1862BBrewersJosh Hader CP2490A
Jose Castillo2380B
Austin Hedges2676C

Jose Castillo has not been performing well this year – he has a 6.99 ERA and 1.94 WHIP. The same can be said for Austin Hedges – who has a .144 AVG and .216 OBP. Jasson Dominguez is a young prospect – but I am OK including him to get this deal done.

  • Stephen Vogt is called up from AAA to backup Gary Sanchez.

Contract Extensions

NameAgePos.Ovr.Pot.Yrs.Sal.Contract
Josh Hader24CP88A4$5M$20M
Zach Wheeler28SP81B2$9.3M$18.6M

Josh Hader is an exciting young talent with high upside. I locked him down for four more season. Zach Wheeler is an impending free agent and I do not want to lose him for nothing. While the salary is high I maintain control of him for two more years.

July 29th

We had another walk off opportunity – and this time Josh Bell was at the plate. The game was tied 7-7 and Will Smith was in to pitch for the Giants. Josh Bell stepped up and drove the ball over the fence to give the Padres a 9-7 victory. This extended the Padres winning streak to six games.

Target: Dump Zach Wheeler

Wheeler is really pissing me off. I negotiated an extension with him – that he accepted. Somehow he still has a bad attitude around the clubhouse and his morale is low. Rather than carry that salary I am going to call up Chris Paddack to take his spot in the rotation. I am going to move Wheeler for a prospect.

PlayerAgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedPos.AgeOvr.Pot
Zach Wheeler2883BRaysWander Franco SS1868A
Robert Puason1863A

This is huge! The move does not really impact my starting rotation at all, I shed a huge chunk of future salary, and snag Wander Samuel Franco. Wow.

July 29th

  • The Athletics acquired Whit Merrifield from the Royals for Franklin Barreto and Grant Holmes.

July 30th

  • The Cubs acquired Starlin Castro from the Marlins for Brennen Davis.
  • The Braves acquired Chris Archer from the Pirates for A.J. Minter and Allen Cordoba.
  • The Astros acquired Edwin Diaz from the Mets for Lance McCullers Jr. and Juan Pineda.
  • The Rangers acquired Martin Maldonado from the Royals for Christopher Seise.
  • The Mariners acquired Adalberto Mondesi from the Royals for Jarred Kelenic and David McKay.
  • The Royals have made a ton of moves this year. They traded away Hunter Dozier, Billy Hamilton, Whit Merrifield, and Adalberto Mondesi. In return they have received Jo Adell (#4/#1), Franklin Barreto, Grant Holmes (NR/#14), Ryan Rolison (#89/#2), Dom Nunez (NR/NR), Jarred Kelenic (#24/#1) and David McKay (NR/#28).
  • Real world prospect rankings in parenthesis (MLB Rank/Organization Rank)

July Results

  • The Padres were 16-9 in July and are third in the N.L West, 9.5 games back of the Dodgers. We are currently holding the second Wild Card spot behind the Rockies.
  • SP Mason Englert (AA) 2.40 ERA, 42 K, 30 IP.
  • 3B Jason Vosler (AAA) .306 AVG, 7 RBI, 72 AB.
  • *RP Aaron Loup (AAA) 4.15 ERA, 13 IP.

August 25th

  • Ender Inciarte sprained his MCL – out 2 weeks.

August Results

  • This was a terrible month for the ball club. The Padres were 11-17 in August. We ended the month with an 8 game losing streak. We are third in the N.L West, 11.5 games back of the Dodgers. We are currently out of the second Wild Card spot by 2 games behind the Rockies and Nationals.

Prospects

*As of September 1st 2019

Team RankPrevious MLB RankCurrent MLB RankNameAgePos.Ovr.LevelPot.
1128Adley Rutschman21C71AAAA
2NR14Wander Samuel Franco18SS69AAAA
33221Brendan McKay23SP72AAAA
42225Mackenzie Gore20SP68AAAA
54730Luis Patino19SP67AAAA
64531Ryan Weathers19SP69AAAA
72633Alexander Palma22RF69AAAA
8NRNRFreicer Perez23SP63AAB
9NRNRJoey Lucchesi25SP77AAAB
10NRNRMason Englert19SP61AAB

We continue to have one of the best – if not the best – farm systems in baseball. The Padres have seven of the top 35 prospects in the game.

  • Luis Urias was traded to the Mets. He is their everyday second baseman. He is batting .250/.318/.372 with 11 HR and 47 RBI through 524 AB.
  • Xavier Edwards, who was traded to the Orioles, is the #26 prospect in baseball.
  • Michael Baez, who was traded to the Rays, is currently not ranked.

September Results

  • What a month for the Friars. With an 18-9 record in September – including a 7 game winnings streak to end the season – the Padres clinched the top Wild Card spot and will host the Nationals for the right to play the Dodgers in the NLDS.

Awards

Our organization did not come away with any of the notable regular season awards this year. Mike Clevenger (P) was our lone Gold Glove recipient and we came away with two Silver Sluggers – Gary Sanchez (C) and Christian Yelich (OF).

AwardPlayerTeamStats
N.L. MVPNolan ArenadoRockies.310 AVG, 40 HR, 116 RBI
N.L. Cy YoungClayton KershawDodgers17-5, 2.83 ERA, 204 K
N.L. Rookie of the YearAustin RileyBraves.279 AVG, 23 HR, 92 RBI
A.L. MVPMike TroutAngels.330 AVG, 34 HR, 106 RBI
A.L. Cy YoungChris SaleRed Sox19-9, 3.00 ERA, 249 K
A.L. Rookie of the YearYusei KikuchiMariners19-5, 2.51 ERA, 183 K

Player Performance Through The Regular Season

PlayerGABRHHRRBIAVG.OBP.SLG.
Jeff McNeil156560821741977.311.376.475
Manny Machado155607771521865.250.331.399
Christian Yelich16056710817532101.309.407.557
Josh Bell1485347715731102.294.391.522
Gary Sanchez126493761353497.274.360.523
Ender Inciarte14656055154645.275.339.363
Fernando Tatis Jr.140487581051244.216.302.355
Hunter Renfroe9129732671645.226.279.438
Franchy Cordero9827750741441.267.349.484
Matt Duffy13832043104540.325.392.462
Stephen Vogt30781013412.167.292.397
Andrew Toles631521729417.191.241.342
Tim Beckham54108102726.250.325.333
  • Christian Yelich was the heart and soul of this offense all year. He put up great numbers and proved to be an awesome acquisition. Josh Bell and Gary Sanchez were not too far behind him – establishing a murderers row in the middle of our lineup.
  • Manny Machado had a disappointing season. Especially when you compare him and his $30M salary to someone like Matt Duffy, who led the team in batting average off the bench.
PlayerGWLSVIPERAWHIP
Noah Sydergaard33141001963.581.25
Marcus Stroman331390198.23.441.21
Chris Paddack23780130.13.941.30
Mike Clevenger321160192.23.361.28
Kenta Maeda311170165.13.271.23
Robert Stock5773060.12.391.28
Hector Rondon9332097.12.681.15
Diego Castillo7151074.13.751.39
Jose Alvarado675123642.811.25
Adam Conley64307922.541.16
Jonathan Holder73480744.011.38
Josh Hader632343572.841.33
  • It is awesome to see that all of our starting pitchers ended the season with ERAs under 4.00.
  • The bullpen was incredibly reliable all season. Robert Stock was a nice surprise in middle relief for us this year.
  • Jose Alvarado was much more successful after making the move away from the Closer’s spot.

Playoff Picture

Matchup
N.L. Wild CardNationals @ Padres
NLDSCubs vs Braves
NLDSWild Card vs Dodgers
A.L. Wild CardAstros @ Yankees
ALDS Indians vs Mariners
ALDSWild Card vs Red Sox

Coming Up

It is time for playoff baseball! Can our beloved San Diego Padres take down Max Scherzer in the Wild Card game? How would the Padres fare against their division rival Los Angeles Dodgers in a best of five series?

– Buzz

Fixing The Franchise: The San Diego Padres – Early Regular Season 2019

Opening Day

We have finally made it to Opening Day of the 2019 MLB season. The Padres have a completely changed team and are ready to take on their division rivals at home.

This is a solid offense with a number of all-stars throughout the lineup. Manny Machado and Christian Yelich are the obvious marquee names – but the added power of Josh Bell in the five spot can’t be ignored.

The bats were quiet through the first few innings of action on Opening Day. After cruising through the Giants lineup while only allowing one hit, Noah Syndergaard made his first mistake of the game.

With a full count against Madison Bumgarner, Syndergaard hung a pitch over the plate, and Bumgarner drove it 391ft off the Western Metal Supply building.

In the bottom of the seventh the Padres were finally able to get things even. With two outs in the inning, Hunter Renfroe stepped up and drove a cutter over the center field fence for a solo shot.

With two outs in the 8th – after allowing a hit and walk – Noah Syndergaard’s day was done. Kirby Yates came in to pitch, along with Matt Duffy at first in the double switch (Josh Bell was the last out of the inning).

After beaning Kevin Pillar with his first pitch, Yates was able to strike out Steven Duggar to end the inning.

The Giants brought Derek Holland in to pitch the 8th. Ender Inciarte and Fernando Tatis Jr. led off the bottom of the 8th with back to back singles.

After an Austin Hedges strikeout – Matt Duffy was up. He came up clutch in his first AB for the Padres – he drove the ball down the left field line for a double – scoring both runners.

Jose Alvarado came in for the Padres in the 9th and tossed a flawless inning – striking out all three batters he faced.

March 29th

With two outs in the bottom of the 9th – the Padres were tied with the Giants 2-2. Franchy Cordero was on third and Stephen Vogt came up to pinch hit with the game on the line. With an 0-1 count, Vogt drove the ball down the line to drive in the game winning run.

*Joc Pederson tore his achilles tendon and will be out for 6 months. He was placed on the 60 day IL.

Losing Pederson this early on really puts a wrench into my plan for platooning in LF. I know it is early – but I want to make sure I can replace the power that Pederson provides from the left side of the box.

Target: Kyle Schwarber

This guy is the definition of power from the left side of the box. I know fielding will be an issue – but this plan is just to get me through the year. I have Pederson locked down for the near future.

PlayerAgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedPos.AgeOvr.Pot.
Eric Laurer2370BCubsKyle SchwarberLF2682B
Tyler White2868B
Esteury Ruiz2065C

I lose a good arm in Eric Lauer – but I also have five minor league arms ahead of him. Tyler White was nice to have on the bench, but I can replace him pretty easily.

Free Agent Signing

I decided to fill the void in the roster that was left by Tyler White with a pitcher rather than a position player. There was a good lefty arm on the market, so I went out and grabbed him rather than give up more prospects.

NameAgePosOvr.Pot.Yrs.Sal.Contract
Adam Liberatore31RP79B1$1.8M$1.8M

April 13th

*Greg Garcia (AAA) tore his ACL – will be out 6 months. Placed on 60 day IL.

April 16th

The score was tied against the Rockies 2-2. With runners on first and second and one out – Austin Hedges came in to pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot. He drove the ball to the left center field gap to score Fernando Tatis Jr. from second base to end the ballgame.

April 27th

The Blue Jays traded Bo Bichette to the Tigers for Casey Mize.

April Results

  • The Padres are 18-12 through the month and sit in second in the N.L. West. We are 4 games back of the first place Dodgers, and currently hold the top position in the N.L. Wild Card standing.
  • SP Ryan Weathers (AAA) 2.86 ERA, 20 K, 28.1 IP.
  • RP Chris Rowley (AA) 0.00 ERA, 12 K, 15.2 IP.
  • 1B Jose Pirela (AAA) .363 AVG, 17 RBI, 91 AB.
  • 1B Kyle Overstreet (AA) .307 AVG, 9 RBI, 88 AB.
  • *SP Mackenzie Gore (AAA) 8.44 ERA, 12 BB, 21.1 IP.
  • *RP Tyler Higgins (AA) 4.76 ERA, 5.2 IP.
  • *SS Ruddy Giron (AAA) .114 AVG, 35 AB.

May 2nd

The Red Sox acquired Jose Urena from Miami for prospects

May 3rd

With one out in the bottom of the 9th, Fernando Tatis Jr. stepped up to face Kenley Jensen with the Padres down 5-4. There was a runner on second. Tatis Jr. lined the ball to left field – just under the glove of a diving Chris Taylor. The ball rolled to the wall – scoring one and putting Tatis Jr. on 3rd.

In the bottom of the 10th the game was still tied. Josh Bell stepped up with one out and the bases loaded. He lined the ball to left field – deep enough for Jeff McNeil to score and end the game.

May 12th

Down 2-1 against the Pirates in the bottom of the 9th, Manny Machado stepped up to the plate. With a runner on second and a 1-2 count, Machado drove the ball through the 6 hole to tie the game. In the bottom of the 10th with one out, Franchy Cordero did his part, driving the ball into the right center gap to score the winning run from second.

May 14th

The Rays acquired Matthew Boyd from the Tigers for Gabriel Arias.

May 16th

The Angels acquired Jedd Gyorko from the Cardinals for Tommy La Stella.

May 18th

The Red Sox acquired Joey Gallo from the Rangers for Michael Chavis.

May 20th

The Astros acquired Matt Harvey from the Angels for Joe Smith.

May Results

  • The Padres were 13-13 in May and are third in the N.L West, 7.5 games back of the Dodgers. We are tied with the Rockies and Nationals for a Wild Card spot.
  • SP Ryan Weathers (AAA) 1.41 ERA, 37 K, 38.1 IP.
  • RP Bryan Mitchell (AA) 2.49 ERA, 17 K, 21.2 IP.
  • 3B Ivan Castillo (AA) .320 AVG, 23 RBI, 100 AB.
  • *SP Jesse Scholtens (AA) 5.68 ERA, 31.2 IP.

Player Performance Through The First Few Months

PlayerGABRHHRRBIAVG.OBP.SLG.
Jeff McNeil531932355722.285.346.451
Manny Machado532092349622.234.314.373
Christian Yelich5719640601139.306.414.571
Josh Bell541842550928.272.390.457
Kyle Schwarber4415219261024.171.300.388
Ender Inciarte552111753016.251.312.327
Fernando Tatis Jr.521861839314.210.258.349
Austin Hedges451581624719.152.216.304
Hunter Renfroe3911914231023.193.262.487
Franchy Cordero23267818.308.455.538
Matt Duffy481091940010.367.469.495
Stephen Vogt18403503.125.308.225
Tim Beckham274881312.271.340.354
  • Jeff McNeil, Christian Yelich, and Josh Bell are doing exactly what I brought them to San Diego for.
  • Manny Machado has struggled in his first two full months as a Padre – but I know he will come around.
  • The Kyle Schwarber plan has failed greatly – I may move on from him if I can get a solid return of prospects. Franchy Cordero is putting up better numbers as a left-handed hitter.
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. struggled early on – he is starting to heat up.
  • There is a hole in my lineup coming from the Catcher’s spot. If I can find some offense there we will be unstoppable.
  • Matt Duffy is producing from the bench and has proven to be a solid utility player.
PlayerGWLSVIPERAWHIP
Noah Sydergaard1253075.24.041.23
Marcus Stroman12460753.241.21
Chris Paddack1134061.14.401.47
Mike Clevenger1131071.12.401.05
Zach Wheeler1125063.14.971.48
Robert Stock2030019.24.121.63
Hector Rondon3610038.22.561.06
Adam Liberatore1912016.04.501.56
Jose Castillo28100274.331.59
Kirby Yates212411410.932.00
Diego Castillo2950034.12.621.11
Jose Alvarado21111518.22.891.02
  • Mike Clevenger stands out as the lone starter that is having a great season so far. Marcus Stroman is doing what I was hoping he would do this season. I honestly expected more from Noah Syndergaard and Zach Wheeler.
  • Hector Rondon, Deigo Castillo, and Jose Alvarado are studs out of the pen through two months.
  • Kirby Yates was initially in the set up role – and that has failed miserably. Even though he has thrown just 14 innings he has given up 17 runs this year. I am going to move him if I can before I try to send him down to AAA.

Trades

June 1st

Target: Gary Sanchez

PlayerAgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedPos.AgeOvr.Pot
Kirby Yates3285BYankeesGary Sanchez C2684B
Kyle Schwarber2682BJonathan HolderRP2574B
Dietrich Enns2748B

I trade away two players that are struggling with my franchise for a better offensive catcher. The Yankees used this move to build their bullpen, and add Kyle Schwarber’s power to their lineup. They are a righty heavy team – they can use Schwarber’s bat to attack that short porch in right field. He is also better suited for the A.L. with the DH position. I save about $6M with this deal on the 2019 season.

Target: Fast Left Handed Outfielder

I need to add another outfielder to my squad – and I am looking for speed. I currently have three catchers on my major league roster so one of them will be moving down to AAA.

PlayerAgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedPos.AgeOvr.Pot
Adam Liberatore3182BDodgersAndrew TolesLF2671B
Buddy Reed2361B
Webster Rivas2866C

Andrew Toles is a good fit for my roster. I was able to make this trade with my division rival because they have an abundance of outfielders – Toles was sitting in AAA. I give up Adam Liberatore, a RP that has not impressed me since we singed him a few months ago.

Target: Relief Pitcher

PlayerAgeOvr.Pot.ToReceivedPos.AgeOvr.Pot
Luis Torrens2262CMarlinsAdam ConleyRP2876C

The Marlins placed Adam Conley on the block – and he is dominating this season. Through 37 IP he has a 0.96 ERA. Seems like a great fit for my pen.

Updated Roster

*Stats reflect games played through June 6th.

The Pitching staff remains pretty much the same as it was to start the season. Adam Conley and Jonathan Holder are new additions to the bullpen.

*Stats reflect games played through June 6th.

This lineup is even better than it was to start the season. We now have the big bat of Gary Sanchez in the middle of the order. Franchy Cordero is now the platoon partner with Hunter Renfroe in left field.

Prospects

We continue to have one of the best – if not the best – farm systems in baseball. The Padres have five of the top 25 prospects in the game.

Team RankPrevious MLB RankCurrent MLB RankNameAgePos.Ovr.LevelPot.
11912Adley Rutschman21C69AAAA
22218Mackenzie Gore20SP66AAAA
33224Brendan McKay23SP69AAAA
44525Ryan Weathers19SP67AAAA
5NR26Alexander Palma22RF66AAAA
64750Luis Patino19SP65AAA
7NRNRJasson Dominguez18CF61AAA
8NRNRRobert Puason18SS61AAA
9NRNRJoey Lucchesi25SP75AAAB
10NRNRMatt Wisler26RP66AAAB
  • Luis Urias was traded to the Mets. He is their everyday second baseman. He is batting .242/.315/.357 with 5 HR and 20 RBI through 227 AB.
  • Xavier Edwards, who was traded to the Orioles, is the #42 prospect in baseball.
  • Michael Baez, who was traded to the Rays, is the #47 prospect in baseball.

Coming Up

We will head into the 2019 First Year Player Draft. The Padres have the 6th overall pick. What position should we focus on as we look to build upon the best farm system in baseball?

– Buzz

Fixing the Franchise: The Miami Marlins – Winter 2019-2020

We had an incredible run last season. The Marlins won the N.L. East, defeated the N.L. Central champion Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS, and came within one game of the World Series.

My minor league system is incredibly depleted. I am OK with that. The Marlins are going for World Series victories, not AA and AAA titles.

I want to beef up my lineup a little bit heading into the offseason. I also think there are a few spots in my bullpen that I can improve. Other than that I am interested to see how this season plays out with the Miami Marlins.

If you need to get yourself caught up on the complete 2019 season, the links are below:

A Brief History
Spring Training Through Opening Day
March and April
MLB First Year Player Draft
June Through The Trade Deadline
August And September
NLDS 2019
NLCS 2019

Hall of Fame

Ichiro Suzuki was the lone Hall of Fame inductee this offseason. He ended his career with 3,089 Hits, 500 steals, and a .311 AVG over 20 seasons.

A New Manager

Don Mattingly’s contract ran out at the end of the season. A new change of direction may be exactly what this club needs. I decided to put an offer out to a former World Series Champion – Joe Maddon. My offer was for 3 years and $25 million dollars.

Joe Maddon decided to accept the Mets offer to be farm director.

Next I decided to go after a younger manager – Alvin Da Costa. At only 45 years old he was younger and unproven. He looked like he would be a key asset to our offensive approach moving forward.

Alvin Da Costa took the Tigers offer to be farm director.

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

I next approached Gene Holbrook. At only 43 years old, he preaches speed and plate vision. I offered him a 3 year $20 million dollar deal. He accepted. The Marlins had a new boss.

Exclusive Free Agents

I had six players that I had an exclusive window to negotiate with following the season:

NamePos.Ovr.Age
Craig KimbrelCP8531
Josh FieldsRP8034
Ervin SantanaSP7937
Logan Morrison1B7332
Ryan MadsonRP6539
Troy TulowitzkiSS6935

I considered tendering a qualifying offer to Kimbrel. If another team were to sign him, I would snag another early draft pick. If he accepted the qualifying offer I’d be on the hook for a year at $18.3M.

I decided to let all of those guys walk in favor of getting a younger roster and financial flexibility.

Around the league we had a few key players re-sign for massive extensions:

PlayerPositionTeamYRSContract
Will SmithCPGiants5$52.50M
Marcell OzunaLFCardinals5$68M
Trevor RosenthalRPNationals4$33.2M
Madison BumgarnerSPGiants5$75.50M
Dellin BetancesRPYankees3$24.90M

40 Man Roster

I had to set my 40 man roster prior to the Rule 5 draft. I was afraid of losing some of my younger prospects with more potential. I decided to remove the following guys from my 40 man roster:

NamePos.Ovr.AgePot.
Ben MeyerRP5327B
Brett GravesRP6127B
Dixon Machado2B6728C
Yadiel Rivera2B6327C
Devin Marrero3B6729C
  • Devin Marrero was claimed by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Renewable Contracts

These are the players that were still under team control – and the contracts that I offered to each of them after the season. You have to offer a contract to a player in order to renew them the following season – if they do not accept your offer, you can renew them for 80% or more of their previous salary.

PlayerPosAGEOVRPOTYRSContractAccepted
Willians AstudilloC2877B5$8MYes
Antone CruzCF1976C4$5.2MYes
Bryce Geiger1B1975C3$2.2MYes
Chris MartinRP3375C2$1.1MYes
Alfredo MolinaRF2573C1$70KYes
Tayron GuerreroRP2971B2$920KYes
Maxwell CastilloRP2371C2$2.5MYes
Martin RiedlingRF1971D1$70KYes
Kevin TrejoRP2470C1$70KYes
Giancarlo GarciaSP2869C1$70KYes
Sandy AlcantaraSP2468B3$1.5MYes
Guillermo PerezSP2068B1$70KYes
Marshall DaleyRP2067D1$60KYes
Garrett Cooper1B2967B5$1MYes
Elliot ZimmerSP2067B1$70KYes
Alex HealyLF2466B1$70KYes
Clifton HandCF2166C1$70KYes
Phil HastingsRP1966D1$60KYes
Dan McMahanSP1965C1$70KYes
Angel PeraltaRP2365B1$70KYes
Darwinzon HernandezRP2365B3$180KYes
Julio LopezCP2464B1$70KYes
Alex MateoRP1964D1$60KYes
Randy PeraltaRP2164C1$60KYes
Willis YoungSP2360B1$70KYes
Charles Holmes1B2459B1$70KYes
Gary FernandezSP2255B1$60KYes
Rodney Tucker3B2751A1$70KYes

Everyone accepted the contracts that I offered. I was incredibly pleased with some of the deals I was able to make. Locking up Willians Astudillo, Antone Cruz, and Bryce Geiger for multi-year team-friendly deals bodes well for the future of my club.

Free Agents

Free Agency was kind of boring for me. I put together an incredibly talented Major League roster in 2019. I didn’t want to overpay for anyone – especially when there was not a player that would drastically improve my squad. I cautiously went into free agency, looking to add pieces at the right price.

PlayerPos.AgeOvr.Pot.Yrs.OfferAccepted
Nick MarkakisRF3678B1$3.7MYes
Justin Barnett3B2071C1$80kYes
Bobby CovingtonCF2271C1$80KYes
T.J. HagerCP2676B1$100KYes*
Scott RagsdaleSS2776B1$100KYes*
Babe FoxxLF2575C1$80KYes
Sandy DunlapCP2975A1$90KYes
Thad HarperRF2874C1$80KNo
Nolan EdwardsCP2774B1$80KYes
Darnell Morse2B2671B1$80KYes

I was able to add a few players to my squad prior to the Rule 5 Draft. Nick Markakis was a solid addition to my lineup – he is a great contact hitter and can provide veteran leadership for my younger players. I also take his bat away from the Braves – which will only help in the battle for the N.L. East. T.J. Hager and Scott Ragsdale were picked up with the intention of being on my bench. However, I was unable to add both players to my 40 man roster prior to the Rule 5 draft – and lost both of them.

Significant Free Agent Signings

PlayerTeamPos.AgeOvr.Pot.Yrs.Contract
Craig KimbrelNationalsCP3185B4$20.4M
Yasmani GrandalAstrosC3187A6$65.7M
Gerrit ColeAthleticsSP2989A5$65.3M
Pedro StropRed SozCP3484B2$14.8M
Will HarrisIndiansRP3592A1$6.8M
Steve CishekDodgersRP3387B3$28.8M
Sean DoolittleRed SoxCP3391A4$40.2M
Josh DonaldsonIndians3B3491A2$22.1M

The boldest move of Free Agency was the Oakland A’s picking up Gerrit Cole for a 5 year $65.3M deal. They have their ace locked down for the foreseeable future. I was right in not giving Craig Kimbrel a qualifying offer, as his AAV is around $5M, and not the $18M I would have had to give him.

Trades

As you know by now, I am always looking to make moves to improve my roster. I was able to make a few moved to make the Marlins a much better team heading into 2020.

TradedAgeOvr.Pot.ToRec.AgeOvr.Pos.Pot.
Adalberto Mondesi2486BTwinsWhit Merrifield31912BA
Darnell Mores2671B
Willis Young2360B
Sandy Dunlap2975ATwinsAdalberto Mondesi2486SSB
Antone Cruz1976C
Matt Dudley1960B
Nolan Edwards2774BRangersJose Leclerc2686RPB
Justin Barnett2071C
Clinton Hand2166C
Elliot Zimmer2067BPhilliesSeranthony Dominguez2584RPB
Chad Marquez2265B
Alfredo Molina2573C
Chris Taylor2977BPadresKenny Davies1974RFB
Garrett Cooper2965BCarmen Cedeno1967SPB
Dan McMahan1965CDarnell Smyth22481BC
  • I first acquired All-Star second baseman Whit Merrifield from the Twins for Gold-Glove shortstop Adalberto Mondesi and a couple of OK prospects.
  • Next I had a hole at shortstop to fill. I went back to the twins. I wanted Adalberto Mondesi’s speed and glove back. I had to give up a number of significant players in order to get him back. Antone Cruz – my rookie sensation, was now a Twin. I also had to include young CF prospect Matt Dudley – a 2019 second round pick, and RP Sandy Dunlap – who I had just signed.
  • I needed to replace Kimbrel and Fields next – two players that I allowed to walk in Free Agency. I continued to beef up the youngest and best bullpen in the league by trading for Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Leclerc.
  • Chris Taylor had low morale – he wanted more playing time. While I appreciated his versatility I have a younger version of him in Kike Hernandez, and now with Johan Camargo on the bench he was a distant option. I decided to look for a younger outfield guy to have off of the bench. The Padres had minor league all star Kenny Davies on the block. He was just 19 years old – I decided this was a better direction for my franchise.
  • The Blue Jays and Giants made the only significant trade of the offseason on November 18th, 2019. The Blue Jays traded away former Marlin 3B Brian Anderson, and OF Randal Grichuk. The Giants gave up 1B Brandon Belt, SP Andrew Suarez, and RP Tyrell Jarrell.

Minor League Free Agents

PlayerPosAGEOVRPOTYRSContract
William McCauleySP2767D1$60K
Pete CrosbySP2166D1$60K
Orlando FernandezSP2064D1$60K
Fletcher SandersonSP1963D1$60K
Danny MartinSP2460C1$60K
Giancarlo TorresSP2245B1$60K
Honus CoveyC1954D1$60K
John WimberlyC2452D1$50K
John Meyers1B2059D1$60K
Hitoki Sasaki1B2454D1$50K
Richie Aviles2B3070C1$70K
Larry Isaacs2B2867D1$60K
Jered Bronson2B2346B1$60K
Ben Zobrist2B3868A2$1.1M
Mike Will3B2253C1$60K
Jon Lowery3B2347B1$60K
Troy TulowitzkiSS3569C2$1.1M
John GizziSS2657C1$60K
Henry BorbonLF1970C1$70K
Terrell PukLF1957C1$60K
Marcos BarreraCF2961C1$60K
Tommy GloverCF2258C1$60K
Jose ArrojoCF2057C1$60K
Nelson CruzRF3968A2$1.1M
Elvis GonzalesRF1861D1$60K
  • For the most part, these guys are filling out my minor league rosters. It was nice to pick up veterans Nelson Cruz, Troy Tulowitzki and Ben Zobrist. They can help out the young guys on the farm and are around if I need them later in the year.

Contract Extensions

NamePos.AgePot.Ovr.Yrs.Total Salary
Seranthony DominguezRP25B884$9.5M
Jose MartinezRF31C802$3.6M
Kenny DaviesRF19B782$2.0M
  • I basically bought out the renewable years for Kenny Davies, a bonus was his overall rating jumped from a 74-78 after his extension.
  • I was very pleased with the negotiations with Seranthony Dominguez. I have him for the next four years at a very team friendly price. His overall also improved, going from an 86-88.
  • Jose Martinez has such a good bat – I am happy to have him for the next two seasons at a discounted rate.

Prospects

RankNamePos.Pot.AgeOvr.
37Derrick MeyerCPA1867
Carlos AlvaradoCB1873
Sandy AlcantaraSPB2468
Alex HealyLFB2466
Guillermo PerezSPB2068
Carmen CedenoSPB1967
Pablo ValenzuelaCB1869
Darwinon HernandezRPB2365
  • My minor league system is definitely in a different place than it was last year. I will be curious to see how some of my draft picks pan out over the course of the next few seasons. Derrick Meyer is the only player to crack the top 50 at #37.

Where Are They Now?

Below are some of the notable players/prospects I traded away in the past to get my team to where it is at today. I will continue to track their progress – hoping none of these player turn out to be Hall of Famers.

RankNamePos.Pot.Age.Ovr.New Organization
26Cyrus ReynaRPA1974Mets
30William RyuCPA2176Blue Jays
35Tom ParkSPB2070Brewers
38Gilberto BecerraCPA2272Rays
40Lawrence JacksonSPB2675Pirates
  • Brian Chu, my former top prospect is now platooning at 2B for the Blue Jays in his first full season in the bigs. They are also starting Scott Ragsdale at shortstop, a player they snaked from me in the Rule 5 draft.
  • Antone Cruz is leading off against lefties for the Twins.
  • Clinton Hand is the everyday center fielder for the Rangers. T.J. Hager is their closer – another player I lost in the Rule 5 draft.

Up Next

We head into the 2020 season. I will take a detailed look at my lineups for the season as well as opening day. Do the Marlins have what it takes to make it back to the playoffs? Can they make it to the World Series this year?

– Buzz

Fixing the Franchise: The Miami Marlins – NLCS 2019

The Miami Marlins took down the Cincinnati Reds in 5 games in the NLDS. You can read previous installments on this season at the links below:

A Brief History
Spring Training Through Opening Day
March and April
MLB First Year Player Draft
June Through The Trade Deadline
August And September
NLDS 2019

We now take on the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League Pennant.

NLCS

The Dodgers had a great regular season – finishing with a 105 – 57 record. They also produced Cy Young Award Winner Clayton Kershaw, Batting Title holder Justin Turner, and Reliever of the Year Kenley Jensen. Oh yeah, they have also been to the previous two World Series – losing both.

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

Justin Turner is definitely someone that I need to worry about, but the Dodgers also have Cody Bellinger providing pop from the cleanup spot.

MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

The Dodgers have a good stretch in their lineup from 2-5, all players that I need to be worried about hitting the ball out of the yard at any moment. Outside of those four hitters – I am comfortable with my pitching staff attacking anyone. We just need to be careful with Justin Turner, Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, and Joc Pederson.

The Marlins lineup lived up to their expectations in the first round of the playoffs. We do have two struggling bats in the lineup with Johan Camargo and Adalberto Mondesi.

Game 1

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E

The Dodgers took an early lead in the bottom of the second. Joc Pederson hit a solo home run to start the inning off. They were able to manufacture another run with a sac fly to go up 2-0.

In the bottom of the 3rd, Justin Turner hit a solo shot to add an extra run to their lead.

In the top of the 5th, Johan Camargo got a run back for the Marlins, with a solo homerun of his own to make the score 3-1 in favor of the Dodgers.

In the bottom of the 7th Justin Turner hit his second homerun of the night, putting the Dodgers in front 4-1.

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That is how the game ended. The Dodgers brought Kenley Jensen in to close out the 9th.

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Justin Turner ended the game with two homeruns and Walker Buehler was electric on the mound. He threw 8 strong innings while only allowing a single earned run.

Game 2

After the game 1 loss I decided to mix things up and give Julio Teheran his first postseason start. He was well rested and ready to go. We had Teheran vs Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound.

Adalberto Mondesi has struggled at the plate with a .136 AVG – I gave Kike Hernandez the start at shortstop. He thrives against lefties and has the extra incentive of playing against his old squad.

With the first pitch of the game Johan Camargo singled up the middle. Christian Yelich flew out to right field. Jose Martinez lined a single up the middle. With 1st and 2nd and one out Vladamir Guerro Jr. grounded into a fielders choice. That brought Max Muncy up with 1st and 3rd and 2 outs. Muncy singled to left field scoring Camargo. Marlins up 1-0.

In the top of the 3rd Yelich hit a solo homerun to put the marlins up 2-0.

The top of the 5th started off with back-to-back-to-back singles with Yelich, Martinez and Guerrero Jr. The Marlins were somehow unable to score after that great start to the inning.

Jorge Alfaro led off the 6th with a single. Yelich came up with two outs and hit his second homerun of the game, putting the Marlins up 4-0.

Dave Johnson pinch hit for the Dodgers to lead off the bottom of the 6th and hit a solo homerun. That put the Dodgers down by three runs, and unfortunately for them – that was the only damage they could do offensively. The score remained the same as the Marlins took home the victory 4-1.

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Teheran was solid throughout the night and stayed in to finish out the game. He ended his night with 10 Ks and only allowed 2 hits.

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Christian Yelich was the difference in this game. He had an incredibly night at the plate and just about single-handedly won this at the plate for the Marlins.

Game 3

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The series was tied heading back to Miami. Kike Hernandez once again started at SS, as the Dodgers were throwing lefty Clayton Kershaw. I had Chris Archer on the mound.

The game was scoreless until the top of the 4th inning when Cody Bellinger hit his first homerun of the series, a solo shot.

With two runners on, and 2 outs in the top of the 5th inning, Cory Seager singled in a run to put the Dodgers up 2-0. The Dodgers put another run across the plate in the 6th, ending Chris Archer’s night on the mound.

In the 7th, Bellinger singled with 2 outs, bringing up Joc Pederson to the plate. Pederson hit a two run bomb to put the Dodgers up by 5.

The Dodgers scored again in the 9th, going up 6-0.

The Marlins were able to get a run back in the 9th, but couldn’t put a rally together and lost 6-1.

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Kershaw proved why he was the Cy Young winner, He went 8.2 IP with 8 Ks, only allowing one run.

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Game 4

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With one out in the bottom of the second, Jorge Alfaro homered to put the Marlins up 1-0.

In the bottom of the 3rd – with Jose Martinez on base following a walk, Christian Yelich added to the lead with a 2-run homer of his own. Max Muncy singled – and with 2 outs in the inning – Johan Camargo joined the 2-run homer club to put the Marlins up 5-0. Adalberto Mondesi double the next at bat – running Kenta Maeda from the game after just 3.2 IP.

In the bottom of the 5th, Camargo hit his second homerun of the game to put the marlins up 6-0.

In the 7th, Ender Inciarte doubled home Mondesi to add another run.

And that was all she wrote. The Marlins won 7-0 and tied the series up at two games apiece.

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Marcus Stroman threw 8 strong innings, allowing just two hits and striking out 12. Camargo was the star at the plate, with a 2 homerun performance.

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Game 5

The series was all tied up at 2-2. This was the final game in Miami before heading back to Los Angeles. It was Jameson Taillon on the mound against Walker Buehler.

In the ALCS the Red Sox were up 3-1 against the White Sox. Would we have a rematch from last years world series? I hope not.

Vladamir Guerrero Jr. led off the 2nd inning with a solo shot putting the Marlins up 1-0.

Max Muncy led off the 5th inning with a single. Jorge Alfaro put one deep, where the homerun statue used to be, to give the Marlins a 3 run lead.

In the top of the 7th, Drew Jackson put some fight into the Dodgers with a 2 run homerun of his own, cutting the Marlin lead to just one run.

In the bottom of the 7th, the Marlins had the bases juiced with just one out. The pitchers spot was up, so I brought in Kike Hernandez to hit against lefty reliever Caleb Ferguson. Hernandez drove the second pitch he saw for a double down the line, clearing the bases and giving the Marlins a 6-2 lead.

In the bottom of the 8th, Christian Yelich led off the inning with a homerun. The Marlins strung together a few singles with two outs to score another run and grab an 8-2 lead.

The Dodgers couldn’t put together a threat in the 9th. The Marlins were heading to Los Angeles with a 3-2 lead in the series.

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MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

Game 6

It was Trevor Williams against Hyun-Jin Ryu. With a lefty facing the Marlins I once again started Kike Hernandez at Shortstop. He was hot in the playoffs so far – hitting .417.

In the American League the White Sox grabbed a win, bringing the series to 3-2 in favor of the Red Sox.

In the bottom of the first inning, Cody Bellinger made his mark on the game with a 3-run homerun.

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The game was pretty slow for a long point after that. Neither offense was able to put much together, that is until the top of the 8th inning. With two outs in the inning Jorge Alfaro singled. Willians Astudillo pinch hit for the pitcher and had a single of his own. This put two runners on base for Johan Camargo. With one swing of his bat, the game was tied 3-3. Yelich was up next and had a single of his own. The very next batter, Jose Martinez, hit a double into the right center gap – scoring Yelich from first. The Marlins were now up 4-3. It was Vladamir Guerrero Jr.’s turn next. He took the first pitch and singled up the middle, scoring Martinez from second. 5-3 Marlins.

In the bottom of the 8th the Dodgers had two runners on and only one out. In a risky move, the Marlins brought in Edwin Diaz. Diaz struck out Austin Barnes to get two outs. The Dodgers brought in Dave Johnson to hit for their pitcher. He flew out to left and the threat was over.

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With one out and a runner on first in the bottom of the 9th, Christian Yelich made a huge error on a ball hit right at him. The Dodgers had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Cody Bellinger was at the dish. He already had a homerun earlier in the game, so I gave him the free base.

Diaz was able to strike out Joc Pederson. The bases were juiced and the series was on the line. With two outs A.J. Pollock came to the plate. Pollock hit a single up the middle with two strikes, scoring both runs and tying the game. Diaz struck out the next batter, and we were going to extras.

The Marlins were out 1-2-3 in the top of the inning, and Diaz struck out all three Dodgers he faced. We headed to the 11th.

An error by Kike Hernandez and back to back singles loaded the bases for the Dodgers with one out in the bottom of the 11th. A.J. Pollock hit a deep fly ball to Center Field, scoring the runner from 3rd and giving the Dodgers a 6-5 win. We were heading to Game 7.

Game 7

We had Julio Teheran vs Rich Hill on the mound. Over in the American League the Red Sox finished off the White Sox and were headed to the World Series.

Game 7 started much like Game 6 did. In the bottom of the first inning Bellinger hit a 2-run homerun to put the Dodgers up 2-0.

Christian Yelich led off the top of the 4th with a single. A couple of at bats later Vladamir Guerror Jr. singled him home to get a run back.

In the bottom of the 5th, Justin Turner doubled to score Andew Toles and give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead. After a single by Cory Seager and a walk by Joc Pederson, A.J Pollack singled to score two more runs. The Dodgers were now up 5-1.

In the top of the 6th, Jose Martinez walked, and with two outs Ender Inciarte hit a 2-run homerun to bring the Marlins back. the score was now 5-3.

In the top of the 9th the Dodgers brought Kenley Jensen in to close this series out. He retired the Marlins in order, and the game was over. The Dodgers were headed to the World Series.

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MLB(R) The Show(TM) 19

World Series

The Dodgers were once again facing the Red Sox in the World Series.

With the series tied at 3-3 they were heading towards a decisive Game 7. It was Rick Porcello for the Red Sox vs Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound.

Mookie Betts put the Red Sox up early with a 3-run homerun in the top of the 1st. The Dodgers never had a chance from that point, and the Red Sox were back-to-back World Champions.

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Up Next

We head into the offseason. I will take a look at my staff and my roster and see which ways I can improve as we head into the 2020 season.

– Buzz

Fixing the Franchise: The Miami Marlins – NLDS 2019

The regular season is in the books for the 2019 Miami Marlins. We are playoff bound, taking on the N.L. Central winning Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS. You can read previous installments on this season at the links below:

A Brief History
Spring Training Through Opening Day
March and April
MLB First Year Player Draft
June Through The Trade Deadline
August And September

I am feeling pretty accomplished at this point. I took one of the worst teams in baseball – and after only 68 trades and free agent signings – took them to the playoffs.

NLDS

As I mentioned earlier, the Reds won their division and were pretty consistent throughout the regular season.

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The Reds only have a couple of bats that I need to worry about – Scooter Gennett provided the most power and Tucker Barnhart was the most consistent at the plate. They also have Joey Votto – who you can’t forget about. On the mound, Tanner Roark was their best arm, but Luis Castillo is the true ace of the staff.

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Honestly, their lineup is not very much to worry about. It seems just fine – but there are only a couple of intimidating bats. Outside of Votto and Gennett there is truly nobody I need to be too careful pitching to.

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Now that is a nice looking Marlins lineup. Jose Martinez, Christian Yelich, Vladamir Guerror Jr., and Max Muncy give me an incredibly tough heart of the order to get through.

Game 1

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Ender Inciarte took the first pitch of the game and lined it to right center field for a single. Jose Martinez did the very same thing with the second pitch, and the Marlins had two on and nobody out with Christian Yelich coming to the plate. Yelich flew out to right, not quite deep enough for Inciarte to tag up on. Vladamir Guerrero Jr. came up and hit a shot to the Left Fielder Jesse Winker – who made an incredible catch down the left field line. Inciarte took off from second – not expecting a catch to be made and was doubled up at second base to end the inning.

The Reds were also able to put to hits on the board in the first inning. Jorge Alfaro threw out their leadoff guy on a steal attempt, and no damage was done after that.

In the top of the second, Jorge Alfaro lined a single up the middle with one out. Johan Camargo was up next and drove a double into the left-center gap – scoring Alfaro from first to put the Marlins up 1-0.

With two outs in the bottom of the second, Matt Kemp hit a towering shot off the top of the left field wall for a double. Jameson Taillon was able to strike out Tucker Barnhart to end the threat.

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Taillon, who hit .049 on the year, led off the 5th with a single to shallow right field. Inciarte followed with a single to left field. Martinez was up next and drove a double to the right center gap with his first pitch, scoring both runners. Yelich was beaned and Valdamir Guerrero Jr. singled up the middle to load the bases with nobody out. This knocked Luis Castillo from the game, and the Reds brought in a relief pitcher.

Max Muncy grounded to Joey Votto at first base – who tried to turn two – luckily the turn was not quick enough. A run scored and the Marlins still had first and third with only one out. Alfaro next singled down the 3rd base line to score Yelich. Camargo and Mondesi both hit the ball well on the next two at bats – but they hit it directly to Reds players to end the inning. The damage was done and the Marlins were up 5-0.

The Reds were able to score in the 5th and 6th inning to bring the game a bit closer.

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In the top of the 9th Yelich drove the first pitch over the left field wall for a solo homerun – putting the Marlins up 6-2

In the bottom of the ninth Matt Kemp led off the inning with a single. Jose Alvarado was able to get a fly out and strike out the final two batters to end the game.

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Alvarado was great on the mound – only allowing a single hit in two innings of work. He was so great that the Marlins were able to save their pen for another day.

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Game 2

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The first two innings were rather quiet at the plate. The Marlins were able to get a hit in each of the first two innings, and the Reds got their first hit in the second with Yasiel Puig. That threat ended quickly when Christian Yelich made an amazing catch to end the inning.

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In the top of the third Scooter Gennett made his own web gem play – robbing a hit from Trevor Williams

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The game was quiet – until the bottom of the 5th. Yasiel Puig led the inning off with a mammoth homerun to left center field. Williams was able to retire the next three batters in order – but the Reds had a 1-0 lead.

We didn’t have much action again for the next few innings. Williams pitched a great seven innings, and wood lasted through 8 full innings – holding the Marlins scoreless.

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In the top of the 9th with one out Yelich singled to left field. On the next pitch he stole second base.

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Jose Martinez lined up the middle to score Yelich and tie the game at 1-1. Antone Cruz came in to run for Martinez. Cruz stole second on the first pitch of Max Muncy’s at bat. The next pitch was a wild pitch, advancing Cruz to third base with one out. Muncy struck out, and Vladamir Guerror Jr. flew out to end the inning, leaving Cruz stranded on 3rd base.

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Joey Votto was up to lead off the bottom of the 9th inning. Votto was up on the count 1-0 and absolutely turned on the ball, sending a shot down the right field line. The ball unfortunately stayed fair – giving the Reds a 2-1 walkoff victory.

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Williams and Wood had incredible stat lines in this pitcher’s duel:

  • Williams: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 7 K
  • Wood: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 K
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Game 3

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With the series tied at 1-1 and heading to Miami, we had Chris Archer against Tanner Roark on the mound.

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This was a straight up pitcher’s duel through the first four innings. The Marlins were able to sprinkle a few hits here and there – and the Reds had a hit of their own. No team was able to advance a runner past second base through the first four frames.

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With one out in the bottom of the 5th inning Adalberto Mondesi roped a ball to the right-center field gap – using his speed to make it safely to third with a triple. Chris Archer came up to the plate next and struck out – bringing up Ender Inciarte with two outs and a runner on third. Inciarte lined a pitch off the hip of Roark and the ball deflected to the 3rd baseman. Inciarte was able to beat out the throw at first – scoring Mondesi – giving the Marlins a 1-0 lead.

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Jose Martinez was up next. On the first pitch of the at bat Inciarte stole second. Martinez then hit a line shot to right field, where Yasiel Puig was waiting to make an incredible diving catch, saving a run and ending the threat from the Marlins.

In the top of the 6th, the bats of the Reds finally came to life. Jorge Peraza singled to left field. Joey Votto came to the plate and did what Joey Votto does, hit a homerun to right field. This gave the Reds a 2-1 lead.

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In the top of the 7th Archer allowed a double to Puig and a walk to Kemp. There was one out – after a mound visit the boss decided to keep Archer in the game. With a 2-2 count, Archer hung a slider to Tucker Barnhart – who put it into the right field bleachers. This gave the Reds a 5-1 lead. Archer stayed in to finish the inning, but the damage was done.

In the top of the 8th Craig Kimbrel came in and got the first two guys out. Eugenio Suarez came up, and with two strikes hit a blast over the left field wall. 6-1 Reds.

The Miami Marlins were unable to string together enough hits to create a threat. The Reds took home a 6-1 victory and 2-1 series lead.

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Game 4

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In Game 4 we had Marcus Stroman vs Luis Castillo. I was surprised to see the Reds bring Castillo out again so soon, especially after his game 1 performance. He was sitting with an 11.25 playoff ERA.

I decided to sim this game – I had played the first three games and it was not working out to well for me.

In the bottom of the 3rd inning Miami scored first – getting four runs across the dish. Christian Yelich homered – scoring two runs. Marcus Stroman was able to help himself later in the inning with a 2 run single.

The Reds responded with two runs of their own in the top of the 4th. Matt Kemp had a 2-run homerun of his own. The Reds were down 4-2.

  • In the bottom of the fourth the Marlins scored twice. 6-2 Marlins.
  • In the top of the 6th the Reds scored two more runs. 6-4 Marlins.
  • In the top of the 8th the Reds scored 3 runs. 7-6 Reds.
  • The Marlins scored one in the bottom of the 8th. 7-7.

For some reason – Marcus Stroman was still in the game. He was at 132 pitches. I needed to take over. I stopped the sim and entered in the Top of the 9th. I brought in Edwin Diaz, and the Reds didn’t have a chance.

In the bottom of the 9th Max Muncy ledoff with an infield single. Johan Camargo singled after a Jorge Alfaro line out. The Marlins had 1st and 2nd with one out. Antone Cruz came in to run for Muncy at 2nd.

Adalberto Mondesi grounded to the second baseman. Double play ball. The Reds got the out at second, then threw to first. The throw was wide and Mondesi was safe. However – Cruz decided to push things and round 3rd, he tried to score from second on a double play ball. Votto was able to get the throw home in time, ending the inning.

I went back to simming because I got bored at this point. I had a headache from staring at the screen. The Marlins got out of the inning without giving up a run. I accidentally pushed the wrong button when I wanted to hit for the Marlins in the bottom of the 10th. The Marlins scored and won 8-7.

It looks like Kike Hernandez pinch hit and doubled. With two outs Yelich doubled – scoring Hernandez and tying the series 2-2.

Game 5

In game 5 we had Jameson Taillon vs Alex Wood. I decided to go with the quick manage because I was pretty burnt out at this point.

Miami scored first in the 4th inning. They put three more across the plate in the 6th to go up 4-0. They scored again in the 7th. The Reds came back with 2 more in the 8th.

Now was my time to enter the game. We were up 5-2 heading into the 9th.

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With one out – Yelich doubled down the line. Martinez was up next and struck out.

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Muncy came to the plate and absolutely wrecked a ball – hitting it deep over the right field wall. The Marlins were up 7-2 heading into the bottom of the 9th.

Taillon was still in the game – but at 111 pitches I decided to be safe and bring in Edwin Diaz to close this series out.

With a quick 1-2-3 inning it was all over – Diaz sat the Reds down in order and the Marlins were off to the NLCS.

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Up Next

We are going to follow the Marlins to Los Angeles for the NLCS against the Dodgers. Over in the American League we have a surprising ALCS – with the White Sox against the Red Sox.

– Buzz

Fixing the Franchise: The Miami Marlins – August And September 2019

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Another month is in the books for the 2019 Miami Marlins. You can read previous installments on this season at the links below:

A Brief History
Spring Training Through Opening Day
March and April
MLB First Year Player Draft
June Through The Trade Deadline

August was an awful month for the Miami Marlins. In the midst of an already terrible month – Chris Taylor dislocated his ankle on August 25th – ending his season. Antone Cruz had been tearing it up at AAA – hitting .291 AVG with 5 HR and 22 RBI. At just 18 years old, Cruz found himself on my bench heading into the most important part of the season.

On August 29th Cruz had his coming out party. In just his third game with the club – and on the fifth at bat of his young career, he hit a homerun for his first major league hit. He came to the plate with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth – down by one run. With a runner on first and second he drove the first pitch deep into the left center field gap – in a perfect place for both runners to score and the Fish to take home the W.

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That game he would go on to be 4/5 with 2HR, 2B, 2R, and 5RBI.

After an embarrassing start to the month, in which had just 5 wins to go along with 15 losses, the Marlins finished August strong. They were winners of their last 8 games of the month – ending the month with a 13-15 record.

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Christian Yelich was now the leader in the MVP race – proving that gutsy trade to be worthwhile.

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Aaron Nola led the Cy Young race – despite Clayton Kershaw having superior numbers.

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Vladamir Guerrero Jr. Finally found himself atop the Rookie of the Year race after claiming his second Rookie of the Month award in August.

Other News:

  • Brian Chu, now the #6 prospect in baseball, found his way onto the Blue Jays. Hopefully Marcus Stroman proves his worth – or I may really regret that trade.
  • The New Orleans Baby Cakes finished the year at 68-72 – out of the AAA playoffs.
  • The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp finished at 30-40 in AA. No playoffs for them either.

September

As we entered September the Marlins found themselves at 68-67, 3 games back of the Braves and Phillies – who were tied for the division lead. The Marlins were actually further back in the wild card race now, at four games behind the Rockies. *The Rockies had a great month, they were two games under .500 at the trade deadline.

The Marlins winning streak continued into the month. Christian Yelich sustained a lat strain on September 5th and missed a few games. The win streak eventually ended against the Brewers on September 9th – ending at 15 games.

On September 29th – the last game of the year – the Marlins found themselves one game up on the Braves for the division lead. They were playing at Philadelphia. The Phillies were out of it, and I had Chris Archer on the mound. I was feeling good.

Apparently, I was wrong to feel good. Archer laster just 1.2 innings – and the Phillies took home the win 9-4. Luckily for the Marlins, the Braves lost to the Mets – giving me the division crown.

Our playoff series was against the Cincinnati Reds, who won the N.L Central with a 97-65 record.

Pitching

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Trevor Williams had a great season. He put up Cy Young numbers – and any other season he would have won it with a 17-4 record and 2.16 ERA. The rest of my rotation was pretty great as well, all starters in my staff had a sub 3.50 ERAs.

Hitting

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Christian Yelich had an MVP worthy season and makes that trade much easier to stomach. He had a .296 AVG and .390 OBP with 39 HR and 114 RBI. Max Muncy also had a great year with a .281 AVG and .379 OBP. He led the league in HR with 45 and slugging percentage at .594.

Awards

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Clayton Kershaw took home the Cy Young Award.

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Bryce Harper was the MVP. It sure doesn’t hurt to be the cover athlete for the game. I would argue that Christian Yelich ended up with superior numbers on the season.

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Vladamir Guerrero Jr. came through the win the Rookie of the Year award. He had a good debut season at the plate. I will expect his numbers to improve with the money I am paying him now.

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I had a number of players take home the Gold Glove for their positions this season:

  • Adalberto Mondesi – SS
  • Johan Camargo – 3B
  • Ender Inciarte – CF
  • Christian Yelich – RF
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The Marlins also had a good showing with the Silver Slugger:

  • Max Muncy – 1B
  • Julio Teheran – P
  • Christian Yelich – OF

Up Next

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I will go in depth with the 2019 MLB Postseason. The Marlins will take on the Reds in the Division Series – hopefully they can bring home the pennant.

– Buzz