Last time out, Lance Lynn looked as ready for the season to begin as I am, striking out ten Braves, including eight in a row. He'll look to continue that success today against a rather toothless Miami Marlins squad.
Jon Jay is batting second again, for the fourth time in the last eight games. I think it's becoming likely he stays there during the season when he's in the lineup, at least to start the year. If you're into reading spring tea-leaves, they're saying Jay and Wong bat second against righties and Bonny Jhonny bats second against lefties.
As Michael Jong, editor of FishStripes, detailed here, the Marlins offense should be a little improved from last year, but not necessarily in ways that will help the team long-term.
Hitting, the questions seem to be:
-Is Giancarlo Stanton a star or a superstar this year? It's important because there's a good chance they try to trade him next year when he becomes arb-eligible. What kind of package can they get?
-Can Marcell Ozuna hit major league pitchers who know how to attack him? He's had a rough spring.
-How good will Christian Yelich be? He was a premium prospect and now has an opening day job at just 22.
-Will Derek Dietrich get some playing time? I watched the Marlins a good deal last year, and he looked like he could develop into Dan Uggla light.
So why did I watch the Marlins a good deal last year? Because Jose Fernandez is special. You know that baseball archetype of the grinning good-hearted boyish hotshot with skills straight from Zeus? Here it is.
I say he makes an argument for best pitcher in baseball this year.
I'll take a brief look at the rest of the Marlins rotation in one of the GT's with the fishies next week.
This strikes me as a team that could be a lot better than expected if things break right, but could be a train-wreck if they don't.
By the way, I am hoping to get some FishStripers to stop by today. Michael Jong came over in 2012 for a joint gamethread, and a good time was had by all.