Marlins Midseason Report





Best Player: When the need arose for starting pitching this season, the Marlins hoped to have Alex Sanabia or Sean West at the ready. Both were hurt early on, and with Tom Koehler underperforming at Triple-A New Orleans, the Marlins plucked Brad Hand from Double-A Jacksonville.

A second-round pick out of Chaska (Minn.) High in 2008, Hand took the loss in his three big league starts before returning to the minors. He posted a 3.45 ERA with 10 strikeouts, but he also walked nine and gave up four homers in 16 innings.

Hand made one start for high Class A Jupiter after his demotion because the Southern League was on its all-star break, and he gave up five runs and five walks in five innings. In his first start back with the Suns, Hand was touched up for seven earned over six innings.

Biggest Leap Forward: Outfielder Kyle Jensen, 23, went from four homers in 182 at-bats for short-season Jamestown in 2009 to 18 last season at low Class A Greensboro. Playing in the more challenging Florida State League, Jensen—a 12th-round pick out of St. Mary's in 2009—was hitting .316/.387/.523 with 13 homers in 256 at-bats with Jupiter.

Biggest Disappointment: The 18th overall pick in the 2009 draft, lefthander Chad James took the loss in 11 of his first 15 starts for Jupiter this season without a win.

He hasn't often been shelled, evidenced by a 3.30 ERA, but some of James' peripheral numbers are eyebrow-raising. For a pitcher with top-flight stuff, James has given up a lot of hits (105 through 85 innings) and opponents were batting .309 against him. He also had allowed eight homers, five more than he allowed in low Class A last year.

The 2.6-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio isn't great either. Though James struggled with command at times during his first pro season with Greensboro, he did strikeout 105 in 114 innings. James' strikeouts per nine have plunged from 8.3 in 2010 to 7.0 this year.

FISH BITES


• Double-A reliever Jhan Marinez was the lone player selected to represent the Marlins in the Futures Game during all-star week in Phoenix.

• Righthander Elih Villanueva had come on at New Orleans and was Pacific Coast League pitcher of the week after allowing a combined two runs on seven hits and striking out 13 in 14 innings in outings at Oklahoma City and at Chattanooga. He was 4-6, 4.59 overall.