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MLB Team Report - Miami Marlins - INSIDE PITCH
MIAMI -- On June 17, the Miami Marlins were just a half-game out of first place in the National League.
They are now six games out.
That shows how quickly things can change, and no one is more aware of that than Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee, who hit 23 homers and drove in 104 runs for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2010.
But McGehee's numbers never again reached that lofty status, and, by 2013, he was out of the major leagues, playing in Japan instead.
He returned to the majors for 2014, signing a one-year contract with the Marlins in what has been a steal of a deal for Miami.
Miami got just 44 RBIs out of its third baseman last year. This season, McGehee alone has produced 50 RBIs -- and we're not even at the All-Star break.
It would seem prudent if the Marlins spend the All-Star break trying to sign McGehee to a two- or three-year contract extension. But the Marlins are a small-market team -- some would say cheap -- and that may not happen.
McGehee is 31 and would seem to have at least three good years left.
Plus, that length of a deal would allow 2013 first-round pick Colin Moran time to develop. Moran, a third baseman drafted out of the University of North Carolina, hit .299 in low Class A ball last season and is hitting .296 in high Class A this year.
Moran should arrive to the Marlins in late 2016 or early 2017.
When he initially comes up, Moran, a lefty line-drive hitter, can sit out some tough lefties and let McGehee -- assuming he is still with the Marlins -- take those starts.
In that scenario, McGehee, a right-handed hitter, could also play first base when Moran starts at third.
McGehee, by all accounts, is a very good clubhouse influence, and it would make a lot of sense to retain him as soon as possible.
But the better he plays and the longer the Marlins wait, the more his price tag will soar. And right now, you could make a strong argument that McGehee is an NL All-Star and the team's second-most valuable hitter behind Giancarlo Stanton.
MLB Team Report - Miami Marlins - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost one
NEXT: Marlins (RHP Nate Eovaldi, 5-3, 3.71 ERA) at Cardinals (RHP Lance Lynn, 8-6, 3.38 ERA)
--RHP Nate Eovaldi will start at St. Louis on Friday night as the Marlins begin a nine-game road trip. Eovaldi is 0-0 with a 3.09 ERA in two previous starts in his career against the Cardinals. He's also been a pretty good road pitcher this year with a 2-1 record and a 3.21 ERA. Eovaldi, 24, has been pitching in at least parts of big-league seasons since 2011 and has yet to produce a winning record despite a pretty decent career ERA of 3.80. That means that this year's 5-3 record could be a breakthrough in the making. In fact, the five wins are already a career high, and Eovaldi is on pace to be a double-digit winner this season.
--LHP Brad Hand, who was activated from the disabled list Thursday, pitched rather well before running into trouble/bad luck. After five innings, Hand led the Phillies 2-0. But he gave up three straight singles to lead the sixth inning and was removed from the game. Reliever Chris Hatcher looked like he would escape the jam with only one inherited runner scoring. In fact, he was one strike from ending the inning. But he gave up a two-out, two-run double and stuck Hand with the following line: five-plus innings, seven hits, one walk, three runs. Hand also did a great job with the bat, getting two sacrifice bunts -- including one that netted him an RBI on a squeeze play -- in his only two plate appearances.
--RF Giancarlo Stanton is the fourth player in franchise history to have at least 20 homers and 60 RBIs before the All-Star break. The others were Gary Sheffield (1996), Cliff Floyd (2001) and Mike Lowell (2003).
--3B Casey McGehee on Thursday extended his hitting streak to 10 games. On Wednesday, he became the first Marlin since Hanley Ramirez in 2009 to get 100-plus hits in 84 games. Among current National League players, McGehee (100) ranked third in hits entering Thursday, trailing Daniel Murphy (104) and Jonathan Lucroy (101). McGehee also has 50 RBIs, and we're not even at the All-Star break.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a tough way for the series to end." -- Marlins manager Mike Redmond after a 5-4 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday.
MLB Team Report - Miami Marlins - ROSTER REPORT
--RHP A.J. Ramos (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 27.
--SS Adeiny Hechavarria (strained right triceps) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 21.
--2B Rafael Furcal (left hamstring strain) went on the 15-day disabled list June 22. Manager Mike Redmond said it did not appear to be a short-term injury.
--RHP Carter Capps (right elbow strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 4. He got a second opinion June 4 on his ailing elbow from Dr. James Andrews, who agreed with team doctors that Capps doesn't need surgery but will need at least four weeks of rest.
--RHP Jose Fernandez (right ulnar collateral ligament tear in elbow) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 10. He underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery May 16. He had the cast and stitches removed May 27. He could begin throwing in mid-September. The timetable for his recovery is 12-18 months.
RHP Nathan Eovaldi
RHP Henderson Alvarez
RHP Tom Koehler (paternity leave)
LHP Andrew Heaney
LHP Brad Hand
RHP Steve Cishek (closer)
LHP Mike Dunn
RHP Bryan Morris
RHP Chris Hatcher
RHP Jacob Turner
RHP Kevin Gregg
LHP Dan Jennings
RHP Sam Dyson
1B Garrett Jones
2B Derek Dietrich
SS Ed Lucas
3B Casey McGehee
INF Jeff Baker
INF Donovan Solano
INF Justin Bour
LF Christian Yelich
CF Marcell Ozuna
RF Giancarlo Stanton
OF Reed Johnson