Phillies Series Preview: Miami Marlins

Apr 25, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) reacts during a MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The Marlins defeated the Dodgers 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) reacts during a MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The Marlins defeated the Dodgers 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Philadelphia Phillies host the Miami Marlins in a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park to begin the week.

Both the Phils and the Marlins have spent the first couple of weeks of May stalking the division-leading New York Mets and Washington Nationals, and the Phils have now passed New York for 2nd place.

The Marlins captured the final two games of their weekend series with the Nats, pulling them to within 2.5 of first place, just a game and a half behind the Phillies coming in to play.

Miami got into the race after a slow start to the season by winning 11 of 12 games, a streak that the Phillies ended with their series win last weekend. That started the Marlins into reverse, and they had lost five of seven prior to the two wins over Washington.

The Fish have a potent offensive attack led by perhaps the most powerful slugger in the game today, 26-year old right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. Though hitting just .238, Stanton leads the team with 10 homers and 24 RBI.

But this is far from a one-man show. 25-year old center fielder Marcel Ozuna has a ..313/.361/.522 slash line with six homers and 19 RBI, and is second on the club with 21 runs scored.

24-year old left fielder Christian Yelich has a .317/.431/.516 slash line with five homers and 18 RBI. He leads the club with 23 runs scored. The trio makes up one of the best outfield groups in the game.

There is more still, as 1st baseman Justin Bour has a ..276/.348/.510 slash with six homers and 18 RBI. Derek Dietrich has taken over most of the 2nd base playing time after the suspension of Dee Gordon due to PED use. Dietrich has supplied a ..313/.409/.550 slash with 14 RBI.

Veteran 3rd baseman Martin Prado remains a tough out, having produced a .381 batting average and .419 on-base percentage thus far. His seven doubles are tied for 3rd on the club.

In the bullpen, A.J. Ramos is closing things out, and has 10 Saves thus far. He has allowed just seven hits in his 15 innings with 21 strikeouts. His 11 walks can sometimes cause him problems.

Setting up Ramos has been right-hander David Phelps, who has been fantastic. Phelps has allowed just 12 hits over 22 innings, with a 24/9 K:BB ratio.

Craig Breslow and Chris Narveson have been the principal lefties out of manager Don Mattingly‘s bullpen, and neither has been particularly effective.


MONDAY: Jerad Eickhoff (1-5, 4.43 ERA) vs Adam Conley (2-2, 3.72 ERA): Conley is a 26-year old lefty, which means Phils’ fans will get to see rookie 1st baseman Tommy Joseph get another start. Conley made 11 starts over 15 appearances in his big league debut a year ago. Thus far this season he has allowed 30 hits over 36.1 innings with a 38/15 K:BB ratio. He has only pitched well in three of his seven starts this season, and is coming off a poor four inning outing against the Milwaukee Brewers last week. Eickhoff is also coming off a poor outing at Atlanta, and has allowed 16 earned runs on 28 hits over his last 21.2 innings.

TUESDAY: Vincent Velasquez (4-1, 2.70 ERA) vs Wei-Yin Chen (3-1, 4.40 ERA): Chen is a 30-year old Taiwanese lefty, so it will again be a Joseph opportunity to start. Chen went 46-32 over four seasons with the Baltimore Orioles before signing a player-friendly free agent deal with the Fish back in January. he is coming off a strong outing in which he struck out a dozen Brewers, which followed his worst start of the season last weekend against the Phillies in which he struck out no one. Velasquez has been dominant at times this season, but has allowed four earned runs in each of his last two outings.

WEDNESDAY: Jeremy Hellickson (3-2, 4.12 ERA) vs Tom Koehler (2-3, 5.14 ERA): Koehler is a 30-year old righty who is in his fourth season in the Marlins rotation. He is the very definition of an up-n-down, back-end starter. In his last outing he walked five and allowed six hits in 5.2 innings at Washington. Before that, he shut the Phillies down on two hits over seven innings in which he struck out eight and walked two. Hellickson gave up three earned on eight hits to the Marlins in 5.1 innings last weekend. In his last outing, Hellickson was fantastic, allowing just four hits with a season-high nine strikeouts to the Reds.


ONE ALREADY HAPPENED: Once again the Phillies will miss Marlins’ ace right-hander Jose Fernandez, who is 4-2 and has allowed just 33 hits over 40.2 innings with a 58/20 K:BB ratio. A legit ace at just age 23 years, the Phils will be happy to just keep on missing the righty every time the two teams meet as the season, and his career, rolls along.

KEEP FISH IN THE YARD: that Stanton-Yelich-Ozuna trio, as well as Bour, can go yard in any plate appearance. The Phillies pitchers have to keep the ball down against them, particularly at home. Citizens Bank Park can sometimes be a shooting gallery, and that could mean trouble, especially with Stanton. Thankfully it looks to be cool weather to start the week, not as amenable to the long ball as normal warmer weather would be at this time of year.

PRODUCE ON OFFENSE: the Phillies left a ton of runners on base in losing a 9-4 series finale to the Reds on Sunday. It’s amazing to say that a game was winnable when you surrender nine runs, but that one absolutey was. These are not major talents taking the mound for Miami this week, and the lineup needs to produce more than their usual 3-4 runs against what can be a tough Fish lineup.


Monday, May 16thvs. Miami Marlins7:05 PM EDTCSN TV94 WIP FM radio
Tuesday, May 17thvs. Miami Marlins7:05 PM EDTCSN TV94 WIP FM radio
Wednesday, May 18thvs. Miami Marlins1:05 PM EDTCSN TV94 WIP FM radio

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE forecast for Citizens Bank Park


Sunny, with a high near 65. Breezy, with a west wind 15 to 21 mph.

Monday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 51. West wind 6 to 10 mph.


A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 67. West wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Tuesday Night

Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.


A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 64. Chance of precipitation is 50%.


Miami Marlins

5/9Nefi Ogando, PFractured rib (on 15-day DL)
4/18Edwin Jackson, PStrained right triceps (on 15-day DL)
4/3Carter Capps, PRight elbow surgery – out for season (on 60-day DL)
3/25Mike Dunn, PLeft forearm strain (on 15-day DL)

Philadelphia Phillies

4/29Dalier Hinojosa, PRight hand contusion (on 15-day DL)
4/24Charlie Morton, PTorn left hamstring – out for season (on 15-day DL)
4/2Aaron Altherr, LFTorn tendon in left wrist (on 60-day DL)
4/2Matt Harrison, PLower back inflammation (on 60-day DL)
4/2Mario Hollands, PRecovery from left elbow surgery (on 60-day DL)
3/25Cody Asche, LFStrained right oblique (on 15-day DL)
3/25Michael Mariot, PRight ankle sprain (on 15-day DL)

Next: Phillies Drop Series Finale to Reds