Can anyone explain what kind of flaxseed oil concoction Emilio Bonifacio took before this season? The man is leading the team in hitting. That is not a typo. He’s leading the whole team in batting average (.346). This is more surprising than the team’s (19-10) record which is third-best in the National League.
This is a team using a platoon of Greg Dobbs, Wes Helms, and Donnie Murphy at third base. This is a team whose best player in Hanley Ramirez is still hitting below the Mendoza line (.198). This is a team whose back end of the rotation is allergic to the seventh inning. Yet with all of their flaws the speedy utility man is giving his team a much needed spark to the offense. Bonifacio doesn’t look lost at the plate anymore. He’s second on the team to Gaby Sanchez in on base percentage (.398). He is not striking out as much (14 k this season). As a regular in 2009 Bonifacio struck out 22 times through 84 at bats. Omar Infante is the only regular to strike out less. To emphasize the improvement, at this time in ‘09 his slash line looked something like this (.274/.307.345/)…Not too good. Now he’s not too bad.
Fans found it laughable when Edwin Rodriguez said before the season, that he wanted Bonifacio in his starting lineup as much as possible. Edwin wasn’t just channeling his inner Mickey Goldmill thinking that his team needed greasy fast speed. Bonifacio is making the Marlins skipper look like a genius. Rodriguez has had the golden touch with his moves this year. His stellar bullpen helps in that regard, but the manager deserves some credit. Rodriguez has shown that he’s not afraid to change the status quo when things aren’t going well.
He dropped a struggling Mike Stanton to sixth in the order. The young slugger has responded with four homeruns since the move, three on this road trip. He also has put the scorching Bonifacio in the two hole while Infante has slipped to hitting seventh. On the first night of the switch, the duo combined to go 6 for 10. It’s hard to figure out just how good this Marlins team can actually be, but it’s even harder not to enjoy the ride they’re on.
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.