The Miami Marlins (24-28) went to Boston reeling from a recent spate of injuries, and they leave uncertain about the state of the roster. After losing Brian Anderson and Miguel Rojas during the last homestand, the Marlins saw another starter scratched from the lineup versus the Red Sox.
Even though Miami welcomed back Jorge Alfaro and Starling Marte, the roster flux still thinned out the order. Jazz Chisholm did not play in either contest against the Red Sox. And Marlins manager Don Mattingly pulled Adam Duvallfrom the lineup Friday due to left side soreness.
The depleted Marlins lineup couldn’t muster much of an offense against the Red Sox. Miami’s lost three in a row and four of five, averaging just 1.25 runs in those games. Pitching continues to carry the team, but if the offense doesn’t get going, the season will continue to slip away.
Depending on the severity of Anderson’s injury, the Marlins might need to bolster this lineup with outside help, considering the injury replacements have done so little.
Marlins Offensive Woes Continue versus Red Sox
During the two rain-soaked losses in Boston, the Marlins mustered just three runs. The team couldn’t convert in clutch situations, going 2-for-15 with runners-in-scoring-position. The losses were decided by three and two runs each, so stranding 17 runners on base hurts.
The bottom of Miami’s order had an acutely arduous effort against the Red Sox last Saturday. The Marlins five- through nine-hole hitters went just 3-for-19 with eight strikeouts. Mattingly continues to mix and match the lineup, but injuries have limited his options. And the replacements haven’t produced.
Isan Diaz, in particular, continues to squander his opportunity. He remains mired in an extended slump, 2-for-39 (.051) with 15 strikeouts. He has five walks and one hit-by-pitch over that span. Sure, he’s had a few hits robbed by great defense, but still, his lack of production remains a major problem.
Jon Berti took over at third base for Anderson but has provided inconsistent results. His clutch hit against the Phillies helped salvage that series split, but overall, he’s 2-for-16 with four strikeouts over the last five games.
The Marlins also expected more from Corey Dickerson. With runners-in-scoring-position, Dickerson has gone 5-for-32 (.156), driving in just seven runners in that situation. For the season, Dickerson’s registered just 11 RBI and one home run. With big bats missing time, Dickerson’s production needs to improve, or the team will need to reconsider his role.
Good News on the Offensive Front
In good news, though, Alfaro and Marte have provided a lift for the lineup. Alfaro connected on a two-run homer in his first road start in over a month and went 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI against the Red Sox.
Marte, meanwhile, recorded a pair of hits in his return to the lineup. He had two doubles and two RBI in the two games.
Jose Devers also seems to have settled in. Devers is 3-for-10 with two runs scored, an RBI, HBP and walk since his return to the big club. He’s struck out only twice and posts .417 on-base percentage. In his first run with the Marlins, Devers went 2-for-12 with five strikeouts and a .154 OBP. If he continues to hit and reach base, Devers might very well squeeze Isan off the roster.
Luis Marte should also get a look amid Isan’s struggles. The 27-year-old had his Major League debut delayed at least two more days after 10 years toiling in the Minors.
After a slow start in Jacksonville, Marte has 10 hits in his last 30 ABs, with two homers, two doubles and eight RBI. He provides the positional versatility Miami desperately needs. He’s played at all four infield positions as well as left field for the Jumbo Shrimp this season.
Also good news: Although Mattingly scratched Duvall for precautionary reasons, he said Duvall was “better” recently. Chisholm, meanwhile, went through a series of agility exercises and participated in batting practice in Boston. Hopefully, he’s ready to rejoin the lineup against the Blue Jays in Buffalo.
Up Next: at Toronto Blue Jays (27-25) in Buffalo, NY
Rain affected Toronto’s recent series as well. The Blue Jays split a double-header with the Cleveland Indians on Sunday after having their game Saturday postponed. The Jays recently completed a doubleheader against the New York Yankees as well.
Toronto is 4-6 over their last 10 games. The team suffered through a six-game losing streak before winning their next two series.
This series marks the first for the Blue Jays in Buffalo. Last season, Toronto played the majority of its home games at Sahlen Field, finishing 17-9 there. This season, the Jays were 10-11 in Dunedin, their spring training home.
These two clubs split four games in 2020, with each team winning once at the other’s home field.
The Blue Jays team ERA sits at 3.91 (14th) with a 1.26 WHIP (13th). Toronto’s bullpen sports a 3.56 ERA (9th) and have converted 11 of 18 save opportunities.
The Blue Jays expect to start LHP Robbie Ray (2-2; 3.81 ERA) on Tuesday. Ray’s allowed 10 homers over 29.1 IP in May, but the Marlins have hit the third-fewest home runs as a team this season (45). Rookie RHP Alek Manoah (1-0; 0.00 ERA) should get his second career start in this series. He dominated the Yankees in his debut, throwing six shutout innings and recording seven strikeouts. He has a strong fastball-slider combo.
Toronto leads the AL with 77 homers, trailing only MLB leaders Atlanta (80). Their .258 team batting average is third-best in MLB. Their .764 OPS is second-best.
The Marlins counter with Sandy Alcantara (2-4; 3.46) and Pablo Lopez (1-3; 2.71). The two have allowed 12 homers over 128 IP this season. Keeping the ball in the yard will be key for these two if the Marlins are going to compete in this series.