Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Scouting Report: Nationals at Marlins (4/8)

The Nationals are 0-2, outscored 20-9. Dukes is still riding the pine. Bonifacio's still ripping it up. Milledge has never looked more like a corner outfielder. Shawn Hill is scheduled to start Friday. Stan loves Phillies fans.

Well, at least Felipe Lopez had an 0-fer.

Check out my preview of the series here for breakdowns on the Marlins' hitters and bullpen. Here's my look at the Marlins' starter on getaway day and prediction.

On the Mound
Chris Volstad is 6'7", but he's not what you expect. Tall guys usually throw hard; he doesn't. His average fastball sits at 90 mph. Tall guys, especially young ones, usually have big command problems; he doesn't. He walked just 9.9% of batters faced in his rookie year, which isn't great but is fine.

As a rookie last year, he threw 84.1 innings with a 2.88 ERA. Such a low ERA is rarely a function purely of repeatable skill, and in his case it certainly was not. He profited from triple good-fortune .282 batting average on balls in play (.300-.310 is typical, especially for a groundball pitcher); his HR per flyball rate was a silly 3.9% (normal is around 11% and any difference is due to luck, park effect or both); and his runners stranded rate was up at 77.1% (only the most elite pitchers can consistently maintain rates above 70% or so).

He's a fastball, curveball, change-up guy who gets by on excellent groundball rates (53.4% last year). He struck out just 5.55 per 9 last year, and his minor league rates were really no better. He projects as a very efficient, innings-eating mid-rotation stalwart, and he may be that as early as this year, but he's never going to dominate anyone.

Fearless Prediction
Season record: 2-0
Volstad sees a little regression to the mean, while Cabrera's wildness matches up well against Marlins hackers like Cantu, Maybin, Bonifacio, and Hermida. The result is a respectable, close game, but the Marlins pull it out with a late rally off an already overworked bullpen full of relievers not named Bergmann or Mock. This one feels like 7-5 Marlins.


phil dunton said...

Milledge looks more and more like a corner outfielder? Actually, Milledge looks like he belongs in Hagerstown. His fielding is awful and his bat is even worse.

redcottageaudio said...

Milledge just looks like he ha a 10 cent head that is all over the place. He is going to be better than this and maybe building him up is the best path. Thing is that he will probably never be a centre fielder.

The problem is that Dukes is our right fielder of the future, and needs to be treated as such. So that leaves us with nothing up the middle. I honestly don't understand why we didn't go after guys like Felix Pie or Carlos Gonzalez.

Incedentally SI suggests we should trade Belliard for Drayl Jones and Peter Kozma. All of which leads me to heartly second you frustration with people suggesting bizarre trades that no one in their right mind would make. We might as well suggest trading Kearns for Sizemore.

Steven said...

I would advise patience with Lastings, at least with his bat.

Kenny G said...

switching targets: how about sending scott olsen down to the minors when balester is ready?

redcottageaudio said...

I agree we need to be patient when it comes to his offense. His defense though is classic LF. Thing is we have five if those already.

Thanks Jim. We need a trade. Maybe we can get Ellsbury for Willingham...

C L said...

You're killing these predictions.

Anonymous said...

Can you please change the name of this blog to ""? What a LOSER that dude is. First he assembles a team of goats. Then he tells us that we have cool new statues in our park with like ten hands or something. Then he invites the Philly faithful down to DC to enjoy our park and buy Phillies hats in the team shop. I extend my middle digit at Mr. Kasten, and ivite him to sit and spin.

An Briosca Mor said...

To be fair, Stan Kasten and the Lerners had nothing to do with those statues. The blame for them is all on the DC government.