D’backs-Marlins Preview with Ehsan Kassim From Marlin Maniac


Tonight starts another three game series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins with this set taking place in Phoenix.  When the two met in South Florida last month, the D’backs took two out of three with the Marlins picking up their victory on a gem spun by Ricky Nolasco.  Arizona misses Nolasco this time around but that doesn’t mean that the Fish, who just won a series over the St. Louis Cardinals, will be easy pickings.  Taking time out from his bouts of joy and agony covering the Miami Heat, Ehsan Kassim, Editor at marlinmaniac.com was kind enough to answer a few questions about his beloved Marlins.

Patrick Corbin looks to improve to 10-0 this season tonight at Chase Field against the Miami Marlins. Image: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Lynch: Don’t you wish the Marlins could play the Mets 81 times?

Ehsan Kassim:  An 162 game  schedule would be ideal personally, but I guess the 81 games would suffice. Even in those 81 games, the Marlins would be on pace to win at least 60 games. Even with that said, I feel plenty confident that the Marlins are going to turn things around going forward

TL:  Miami just took 2 out of 3 from St. Louis.  Is it the biggest series win of the season?

EK:  It’s only the Marlins fourth series win of the season and the first one against a team not named the Mets, so yes very much. The Marlins offense received a huge boost with Giancarlo Stanton returning to the lineup. It felt so good to see the Marlins winning ballgames for a change. The team has actually gone 7-6 in the month of June and is starting to get better as they return to health.

 TL:  Who from the Marlins will represent the team at the All-Star Game?

 EK:  Since every MLB team has to have one representative, Jose Fernandez is the logical choice. He is in the middle of a phenomenal rookie season but is being overshadowed by an even more impressive campaign by Cards lefty Shelby Miller. At the ripe age of 20, Fernandez owns a 3.11 ERA and a 3.21 FIP. He has struck out over a hitter an inning, with an impressive 9.58 K/9 IP. Fernandez recently became the first pitcher under the age of 21 to strikeout 10 hitters in a start since 2007 (Felix Hernandez)

In a telling story, Rays manager Joe Maddon was singing the praises of Fernandez after he had his worst start of his career. Fernnadez is well on his way to fill out his ace promise as a prospect.

TL:  What are your first impressions of manager Mike Redmond?

EK:  Mike Redmond is a solid manager, but like most other managers, he is not going to win you many games. All he can do is put the team in the best position to win. As a rookie manager, he does not seem to always do that, but you can understand that if he can continue to improve. One of Red’s early problems has been sticking with a clearly declining Juan Pierre over a player with more promise, Justin Ruggiano.

TL:  If Jeffery Loria remains the owner for the next decade, do you think there will be another purge like what we saw this past offseason? 

EK:  I don’t really want to think about that, but more than likely yes. My personal hope is that the Marlins go on a spending spree of their own top players, starting with Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton. The team has promising young players beyond those two that could build a strong foundation for the team moving forward. The key will be finding away to supplement those players with future free agent signings.

TL:  The Marlin most likely to be dealt at the deadline is……

EK:  Ricky Nolasco. He has pitched excellent of late and with Nathan Eovaldi making his return to the rotation on Tuesday and Henderson Alvarez not far behind, Nolasco may find his way out of Miami sooner rather than later. Three teams have been listed as interested include the Orioles, Yankees, and Giants. All three could offer the Marlins a mid-level prospect that has a shot to impact the Marlins in the future.

I would like to thank Ehsan for taking the time to answer my questions and to wish the Marlins and their fans the best of luck this season.  If you would like to read my responses to Ehsan’s D’back questions, head over to marlinmaniac.com by clicking here.   Ehsan and his staff do a tremendous job covering the Marlins and it is a must-read for all baseball fans.


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