Jul 10, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (16) reacts from the dugout during the seventh inning against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Series Preview With Marlin Maniac

As the Nats head to Miami for a three-game set with the Marlins, I spoke with Fansided’s Miami Marlins site editor, Ehsan Kassim, about their team. The Nats are 5-1 against Miami this season, but haven’t faced them since April 17th. Check his answers out for a glimpse of what Marlins fans are thinking.

I also answered some questions for him over on Marlin Maniac, so be sure to check them out!

AFGiancarlo Stanton was injured earlier this season, and has not played like many expected him to. Is this a matter of injury or something else, and how concerned are the team and fans, if at all?

Jul 9, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) reacts in the dugout before a game against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

EK: He played well in the month of June after returning from injury and has been slumping a bit in the month of July. That has not stopped him from reaching base at a 40% clip. He may not be hitting for power, but he is doing his job of getting on in front of Logan Morrison, who does have a hot bat. It’s only a matter of time till Stanton figures things out and gets hot. He has always been a streaky player and maybe that double against the Braves in the first is what will get him going.

AF: The Marlins have yet to agree to terms with their first round pick in this draft, UNC’s Colin Moran, and supplemental first rounder Matt Krook will attend Oregon. Has the draft experience increased frustration with the front office, or are fans unconcerned about the future status of these picks?

EK: The Marlins came to terms with Moran, as expected, on Thursday. (Note: Moran signed shortly after I sent Ehsan this question. What luck, right?) No idea what the holdup was, but I had heard the Marlins were offering the recommended slot amount from the get go. Now that he is signed, he will likely start off with the Batavia Muckdogs and have a chance to prove himself for the rest of the season with the organization. Depending on his play, the team will decide then how to handle him next season.

Krook did not sign with the Marlins because he had problems in his shoulder according to his physical and the Marlins decided not to offer him the full slot. Fans will be quick to blame the front office for the lack of signing a player of the caliber of Krook, but the Toronto Blue Jays did not sign their first rounder and people around baseball see their front office as stable. Marlins fans need to learn, nothing everything is Loria’s fault.

AFJose Fernandez was the only Marlin selected to the All-Star team. Do you believe any other Marlin merited consideration, and if so, who?

EK: Nope, don’t believe any other Marlin was deserving enough. An argument could have been made for Marcell Ozuna, but I think Jose Fernandez was the right choice. If Giancarlo Stanton was healthy all season, there is a great chance he would be in the All-Star Game for the Fish.

AF: Many younger players have played major roles on the Marlins this season, like Fernandez, Jacob Turner, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Marcell Ozuna. How impactful have these players been, and what are your thoughts on their future potentials?

EK: Jose Fernandez has proven that he is going to be the Marlins ace for the foreseeable future and I believe Jacob Turner has shown that he could be a fantastic middle of the rotation guy. Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez still need to prove themselves a bit more to merit a spot in the rotation going forward, especially with some more impressive pitching prospects on the way.

On the hitting side, Marcell Ozuna has likely entrenched himself in a starting role somewhere in the Marlins outfield in 2014. If Stanton is still around, it will be between Yelich and Marisnick in center field, starting in 2014. Both are higher rated prospects than Ozuna and have better pedigrees, but Ozuna’s strong 2013 to date may have gotten him an edge over the other two. Derek Dietrich and Adeiny Hechavarria still need to start hitting on a more consistent level to earn their starting positions going forward.

AF: What are your predictions and expectations for the series?

EK: The Marlins take two of three from the Nationals and head into the all star break on a positive note. I really look forward to tonight’s pitching matchup between Nathan Eovaldi and Stephen Strasburg. Both guys can light up the radar gun and it should be interesting to see how the hitters respond.

Tags: Miami Marlins Washington Nationals

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