I recently exchanged three questions with Michael Jong lead writer for the Florida Marlins related blog known as Marlin Maniac and here is what he had to said
1. Coming in to the season a lot of people had the Marlins finishing 3rd in the NL East this year so are you at all surprised at their record so far and do you think they have the team to stay in the top 2?
I am not surprised that the Marlins are in second place as much as I am that the Atlanta Braves are struggling the way they are. I figured the Fish and Braves would battle for the second spot in the division for a while, with the Marlins fading at the end. To see the Braves and their offense struggle this badly has me surprised, but to see the Marlins play good baseball like this does not. The Fish have one of the best pitching staffs in the NL, so it should be no surprise that early in the season that staff has excelled.
2. During the off season the Nationals name was tied to then free agent Javier Vazquez how do you feel he has done since signing with the Marlins and did the Nats dodge a bullet on that one?
The Marlins clearly miscalculated on Javier Vazquez, figuring he could either regain his lost fastball velocity or retool himself as a “crafty” right-hander. Vazquez has simply been unable to manage at this velocity, losing all semblance of the pitcher who routinely struck out 200+ hitters a season. He has not been able to spot any of his pitches, especially against lefties, who are now crushing him at the plate. If he continues to perform this poorly, expect the Marlins to make a change within ten starts. Yes, the Nats were lucky to avoid outbidding the Fish on this catch.
3. The Nats are projected to go against Chris Volstad on Saturday who has been struggling are you starting to worry yet about him and what do you think has been his problem so far this season?
Chris Volstad has been struggling this season, but you can see from his stats that his numbers aren’t a far cry from what he’s always posted for his career. The walk rate is increased, and that’s certainly a problem, but the truth is that Volstad has had three seasons to prove that he is better than a run-of-the-mill fourth or fifth starter, and he just hasn’t done that. He can’t disappoint me if he is performing as poorly as I expected to see.