The Rotation is starting to pull its weight. Exclude Josh Johnson from this conversation. He again was brilliant on Sunday and was cheated out of his fourth win because of the bullpen’s first blunder of the season. Ricky Nolasco has also been stellar solid giving the Marlins at least 7 innings in three of his first four starts. This is about the trio of Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad and Javier Vazquez. Those three combined for a (2-3) record with a 6.18ERA in their eight starts before April 21st. This was the week it finally started to turn around. Chris Volstad took advantage of an 8 run cushion last Thursday to notch his first win of the season last Thursday. Things looked better for Volstad through five innings against Pittsburgh but he’s still failed to get through 6 innings this season.
Anibal Sanchez had mirrored Vosltad’s statistics going into his Friday start against the Rockies. By the end of the night he had separated himself from the pack. After five seamless innings fans were ntoicing that the right hander hadn’t given up a hit. Sanchez put together a stretch of retiring eleven straight and struck out a career high of nine batters before giving up a broken bat single to Dexter Fowler. Sanchez would stay on to finish off the complete game 1-hitter. Sanchez has always had the ability to frustrate a lineup when he’s willing to attack the strike zone and if he can show more consistency the Marlins will be in a much better position for the rest of the year.
Javier Vazquez has a lot of Marlins fans shaking their heads when he takes the mound. He’s no longer the pitcher that lead the league in strikeouts. He’s no longer the pitcher that has pinpoint control. He’s not even the starter that has logged over 200 innings nine times in his career. The veteran right hander is still coming to grips with the lack of zip on his fastball and trying to make his off speed stuff even slower. His last start on Saturday showed some encouraging signs. Though it got off on the wrong foot with a pair of walks and an RBI single to Troy Tulowitzki, over the next five innings his control improved. He was able to record five strikeouts and get through six innings. He fell to (1-2) on the season in the 3-0 loss, but it was more about the Marlins lack of hitting that night than Vazquez’s struggles. It’s not going to be pretty watching Vazquez as he adjusts to his new skill set. But the right hander has too many years in the big leagues to think that he won’t find away to get National League hitters out. As April is coming to an end, things are looking up for the Marlins starting staff.
About the Author
Written by Brendan Tobin
Life long Marlins fan who's had the privilege of covering the team the last 2 seasons for Sports Talk 790 The Ticket in Miami, FL.