Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Miami Marlins

news

Marlins News

Lopez cruises, helps Marlins win fourth straight

Bullpen closed show after Maybin delivered insurance homer in 7th
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

ST. PETERSBURG -- Some extra rest brought out the best in Pablo Lopez.

The 22-year-old rookie took the mound on Saturday night for the first time in 11 days, and was in total command, matching a career-high with six strikeouts in six innings in the Marlins' 3-2 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

View Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- Some extra rest brought out the best in Pablo Lopez.

The 22-year-old rookie took the mound on Saturday night for the first time in 11 days, and was in total command, matching a career-high with six strikeouts in six innings in the Marlins' 3-2 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

View Full Game Coverage

Martin Prado delivered an RBI double and Cameron Maybin connected on a solo home run, giving the Marlins enough support to take the first two in the three-game set. Miami has now won four straight, and has three consecutive series victories.

Video: MIA@TB: Prado hits an RBI double to left-center

The lone run Lopez allowed was a home run to Joey Wendle to lead off the fourth inning.

"He was really good," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of his rookie right-hander. "He was ahead in the count, and threw a lot of strikes."

Making his fourth big league start since being called up from Triple-A New Orleans, Lopez last pitched on July 10 in a loss to the Brewers. But from the start on Saturday, he was on point. In a clean first inning, the Venezuelan native threw 14 pitches, 12 for strikes, and his four-seam fastball topped at 95.5 mph.

Of Lopez's 89 pitches, 57 were strikes, and he walked just one and hit a batter.

"It felt like a really long time," Lopez said of his long layoff. "I'm happy to come back. It was an exciting game. I had great support from the team, both defensively and offensively, and we picked up a win."

Lopez was perfect through three innings with four strikeouts. But in the fourth inning, Wendle led off with a home run to center that Statcast™ projected at 420 feet with an exit speed of 103.4 mph, trimming Miami's lead in half to 2-1.

Because Lopez is a strike-thrower, teams have been aggressive off him early in counts. He was able to successfully vary his mix of pitches.

"Breaking the rhythm of the batters and mixing the pitches and locations can be huge against a team like the Rays, who like to swing the bat." Lopez said.

Adam Conley, Drew Steckenrider and Kyle Barraclough closed out the night. Barraclough, who wasn't available on Friday due to a stomach virus, allowed a one-out home run to Ji-Man Choi before locking down his 10th save. Choi's home run was a no-doubter, projected by Statcast™ at 460 feet with an exit velocity of 109.4 mph.

Video: MIA@TB: Barraclough retires Smith for the save

The Marlins have now won four of five against the Rays, and they have a chance for their first three-game sweep of the season on Sunday in the Citrus Series finale.

Tampa Bay opened with Ryne Stanek, who worked out of a first-and-third situation with one out in the first inning. From there, left-hander Ryan Yarbrough went the next four innings.

The Marlins pushed two runs across in the fourth inning off Yarbrough. Justin Bour worked a leadoff walk and after Starlin Castro's single, Prado drove an RBI double to left-center. Miguel Rojas' run-scoring groundout to second manufactured the second run.

Video: MIA@TB: Rojas plates a run on groundout

Maybin's home run came off Hunter Wood to lead off the seventh inning. Maybin has been getting regular time in center field with rookie Lewis Brinson (right hip inflammation) on the disabled list. The veteran provided a crucial insurance run, but the night was another indicator that Lopez has a bright future.

"It was fun," Maybin said. "[Lopez has] been fun to watch since he's been here. He's continued to attack the zone. He continues to put faith in the defense behind him. He pitched great today against a pretty good team. You can see his attentiveness to try to get better. It's been fun to watch him."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Without much run support and with Lopez's pitch count run up, the back end of the Marlins' bullpen stepped up. Conley and Steckenrider pitched for the second straight night, and Barraclough made his first appearance since the All-Star break.

In the seventh inning, Conley induced a double play grounder from Rays rookie Justin Williams with two on. And in the eighth inning, Steckenrider struck out Jake Bauers to strand a runner on second. In the ninth inning, Barraclough allowed the home run to Choi, but then struck out Carlos Gomez and retired Mallex Smith on a routine fly ball to left.

Video: MIA@TB: Conley induces a double play in the 7th

"A.C. was good again tonight," Mattingly said. "You could tell Steck was a lot more comfortable tonight. You never know what you're going to get coming out of the break. And honestly, we didn't know what Claw was going to look like coming out of the break and being sick. But he looked fairly sharp."

SOUND SMART
The Marlins are 10-8 on the road since June 5 after a 10-21 start.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
A game of inches, they say. That certainly was the case for Maybin in the seventh inning. Maybin blasted a leadoff home run to left off Wood. Per Statcast™, the drive projected at 423 feet with an exit velocity of 108.1 mph and a launch angle of 21 degrees. The blast also came two pitches after Maybin scorched a line drive that landed inches foul down the left-field line. Had it stayed fair, Maybin would have had extra bases. Instead, he regrouped and it worked out better for the 31-year-old outfielder.

Video: MIA@TB: Maybin hammers a homer to left-center

"I thought off the bat it was," Maybin said of his foul ball perhaps being fair. "But thank goodness it wasn't. I was like, 'Ah, man. Needed that one.' But it worked out. It's a big run."

HE SAID IT
"I think right now, you're starting to see a young team that slowly, but surely, is starting to learn how to finish games." -- Maybin

UP NEXT
Expect a change of pace when Marlins rookie Trevor Richards faces the Rays on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field. In his July 14 start against the Phillies, Richards threw his changeup 36.7 percent of the time, according to Inside Edge. The MLB average is 15.1 percent. Chris Archer goes for Tampa Bay.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Pablo Lopez

Top prospect Alcantara set for rehab

Guerrero progressing; Barraclough recovers from stomach virus
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

ST. PETERSBURG -- Right-hander Sandy Alcantara is continuing to make steady progress in his throwing program and is scheduled to start his rehab assignment on Monday for the Class A Advanced Jupiter Hammerheads at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

Alcantara has been on the disabled list since July 4 with a right axillary infection. In recent days, the 22-year-old right-hander has thrown off the mound with no discomfort.

View Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- Right-hander Sandy Alcantara is continuing to make steady progress in his throwing program and is scheduled to start his rehab assignment on Monday for the Class A Advanced Jupiter Hammerheads at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

Alcantara has been on the disabled list since July 4 with a right axillary infection. In recent days, the 22-year-old right-hander has thrown off the mound with no discomfort.

View Full Game Coverage

When he faces the Fort Myers Miracle on Monday, it will mark the first time Alcantara has seen game action since making his MLB debut against the Mets on June 29 at Marlins Park. In five innings that day, the hard-throwing right-hander gave up one run on three hits, but he walked five and struck out two on 98 pitches.

Alcantara picked up his first win that night, but he was scratched from his next start and placed on the disabled list.

Against Fort Myers, Alcantara is expected to throw about 35-40 pitches.

"Then, we will be able to jump him up again," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.

The Marlins acquired Alcantara from the Cardinals in December as part of the package for Marcell Ozuna.

Ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Marlins' No. 2 prospect, Alcantara opened the season at Triple-A New Orleans, where he was 5-3 with a 3.71 ERA in 14 starts, striking out 64 in 85 innings.

If all goes well in his first rehab assignment, Alcantara is expected to make at least one more rehab assignment before rejoining Miami's rotation.

"He's got to be around 75 [pitches] to get him back with us," Mattingly said.

Worth noting:

• Reliever Tayron Guerrero (left lumbar strain) is scheduled to pitch an inning of relief on Saturday for Double-A Jacksonville. Guerrero has been on the DL since July 5. One of the hardest throwers in the Majors this season, Guerrero last pitched in a big league game on July 3.

"He will have at least another [rehab outing], so we'll see after that," Mattingly said.

Getting Guerrero back in the near future will be a big boost for the bullpen.

• Closer Kyle Barraclough, who was not available in Friday's 6-5 win over the Rays, is feeling better, and he could be an option Saturday. Barraclough was stricken with what was basically a 24-hour stomach virus. On Thursday, he threw off the mound at Marlins Park, and traveled with the team to St. Petersburg later in the day. Thursday night, he became ill, and on Friday was sent to the hotel at game time.

"He's feeling better now," Mattingly said. "We're getting some fluids in him, and keeping him hydrated."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Sandy Alcantara, Kyle Barraclough, Tayron Guerrero

Marlins' 5-run 7th secures wild one at The Trop

Bullpen survives 9th-inning rally after Straily's 7 strong frames
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

ST. PETERSBURG -- Going with the percentages didn't matter to Derek Dietrich. It didn't matter if he was facing hard-throwing right-hander Nathan Eovaldi or lefty Hoby Milner, Dietrich still was able to find the right-field seats at Tropicana Field.

Dietrich's second career multi-home run game accounted for four runs, and the Marlins opened their second half on Friday night with a wild 6-5 win over the Rays.

View Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- Going with the percentages didn't matter to Derek Dietrich. It didn't matter if he was facing hard-throwing right-hander Nathan Eovaldi or lefty Hoby Milner, Dietrich still was able to find the right-field seats at Tropicana Field.

Dietrich's second career multi-home run game accounted for four runs, and the Marlins opened their second half on Friday night with a wild 6-5 win over the Rays.

View Full Game Coverage

"I'm just happy to get it rolling here, and get a win coming out of the All-Star break," Dietrich said.

The other time Dietrich hit two home runs in a game came at Cincinnati on June 20, 2015. Dietrich was a second-round pick of the Rays in 2010, and before the '13 season, he was dealt to the Marlins for Yunel Escobar. Friday marked the first time that Dietrich homered in 16 career games against Tampa Bay.

"I think the first [homer] was huge, because it got us on the board," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Nate was throwing the ball really well. It seemed like he had us on our heels, overpowering us a little bit."

Video: MIA@TB: Mattingly talks Dietrich, win vs. Rays

Miami needed all the support it could manufacture, because the Rays rallied for four runs in the ninth inning and had runners on first and second when the final out was recorded.

With closer Kyle Barraclough not available due to illness -- he was experiencing an upset stomach -- the Marlins barely protected a five-run lead in the ninth inning.

"[Barraclough] wasn't feeling good," Mattingly said. "I found out before the game, he was kind of sick to his stomach all day long. I think he came in to maybe get some medication, and we sent him back to the hotel. He wasn't a guy we could use tonight."

In the ninth, the Rays rallied off Javy Guerra, who committed a one-out error on Jesus Sucre's comebacker that loaded the bases. Drew Steckenrider surrendered a three-run triple to Mallex Smith and C.J. Cron lifted a sacrifice fly. After Adeiny Hechavarria's single, Adam Conley entered, yielding a single to Jake Bauers. But Conley -- with the count full -- struck out Daniel Robertson for his first career save.

Video: MIA@TB: Conley K's Robertson to earn the save

Dietrich connected on a solo home run off Eovaldi in the third inning to tie the game. And in the seventh inning, when the Rays went with Milner, Dietrich pulled a 79.3 mph curveball for a three-run homer.

"With the lefty, you kind of know what you're going to get," Dietrich said. "Pick a spot, pick a pitch, and take a good rip at it."

Marlins right-hander Dan Straily allowed one run in seven innings, scattering four hits while walking three and striking out three.

Video: MIA@TB: Straily hurls 7 solid innings vs. Rays

Eovaldi allowed one run on six hits with eight strikeouts in six innings. The former Marlin came out bringing heat, striking out three in the first inning with a fastball that ranged from 97.5 mph to 99.4 mph.

Straily countered with a mixture of four pitches, changing speeds and spotting his fastball.

Tampa Bay struck quickly off Straily on Kevin Kiermaier's leadoff double in the first and Hechavarria's RBI single.

"First inning was a tough one," Dietrich said. "Eovaldi was throwing the ball by us. He has a good fastball, but we settled in and put some good at-bats out there."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Even after Dietrich's three-run home run in the seventh inning, the Rays' poor fielding allowed two more Miami runs.

Miami broke open a five-run lead in the seventh, tacking on some needed insurance on J.T. Realmuto's two-out double that ended up being booted for two errors on the same play.

Video: MIA@TB: Realmuto races home for a Little League homer

Realmuto's drive to left was nearly a two-run homer, but it hit the wall. Brian Anderson, who was on first, raced to third, and on the relay, Hechavarria booted the ball to Robertson, who accidentally kicked it in the camera well. Both Anderson and Realmuto were awarded home.

"That was funky," Mattingly said of the double error. "That was a nice little couple of runs."

SOUND SMART
By holding on, the Marlins are now 12-12 in one-run games.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Dietrich's home run came on an 86.5 mph 2-2 Eovaldi slider in the third inning. Per Statcast™, the drive to right field projected at 387 feet with an exit velocity of 100.8 mph and a launch angle of 29 degrees.

Video: MIA@TB: Dietrich crushes 2 big homers vs. the Rays

Dietrich's homer in the seventh just barely cleared the fence, but it proved to be the biggest shot of the game. Statcast™ listed the drive to right off Milner at 358 feet with a 98 mph exit velocity.

HE SAID IT
"Changed the complexion of the inning. That's definitely on me tonight. I should be able to go in there and get that done. It's usually what I've done well. I'll get it done next time. Good job by everyone, picking us up, and get that big win." -- Guerra, on his error that extended the ninth inning

UP NEXT
Marlins rookie Pablo Lopez will start at Tampa Bay at 6:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, 11 days after his last outing. Lopez has given up 10 runs over 11 innings in his last two starts, which included a loss and a no-decision. He has 14 strikeouts in 17 big league innings. The Rays will counter with Ryne Stanek.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Derek Dietrich, Dan Straily

Realmuto ready to build on All-Star first half

Injury updates on Guerrero, Alcantra
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

ST. PETERSBURG -- Playing in his first All-Star Game is an experience Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto will never forget. It's also something the 27-year-old also isn't taking for granted.

Realmuto was the lone Marlins player represented in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. The American League defeated the National League, 8-6, in 10 innings, with Realmuto catching the final five innings at Nationals Park.

View Full Game Coverage

ST. PETERSBURG -- Playing in his first All-Star Game is an experience Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto will never forget. It's also something the 27-year-old also isn't taking for granted.

Realmuto was the lone Marlins player represented in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. The American League defeated the National League, 8-6, in 10 innings, with Realmuto catching the final five innings at Nationals Park.

View Full Game Coverage

On the cusp of being an All-Star the past few seasons, Realmuto finally made it to the Midsummer Classic, and he walked in his two plate appearances.

Video: 2018 ASG: Realmuto works a walk vs. Morton in the 7th

During the event, Realmuto said he spoke with Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman about savoring the moment.

"You never know when you're going to get back," Realmuto said. "I was talking with Freddie Freeman about it. He made the All-Star Game two years in a row, and he felt like he was going to be there every year for the rest of his career. He didn't make it three years in a row."

Freeman was an All-Star in 2013-14, and didn't make it back until this week.

"Stuff happens," Realmuto said. "Injuries happen. Even if you're one of the best players in the league, you don't always make the All-Star Game. It's something you really should take time to appreciate and cherish the moments that you get while you're there.

"It was a dream come true, just to get to be there with those players, and being part of the best players in the world, really. It's something I will definitely cherish the rest of my life."

The takeaway the Marlins hope to see from Realmuto in the second half is to keep building on his standout season.

"I always thought it was energizing, when you come out of those games because you get a chance to be on that stage, as far as being a part of all the best players," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "You see that game as a kid all the time. A lot of ceremony going on, a lot around it. It puts you on the stage that tells the world that you are one of the best players in the country."

However, there are also times when All-Stars fizzle down the stretch.

"I've seen it both ways, honestly," Mattingly said. "I've seen guys come out of that game and be energized and I've seen guys come out of it, like, 'Hey, I've made my season already,' and the second half is nothing like the first.

"I expect J.T. to keep playing. He's not that kind of guy who is going to be worried about the All-Star Game that much. I'm sure he looks at it as an honor. He will keep playing [hard]. That's who he is."

Worth noting:

• The non-waiver Trade Deadline is approaching, and a number of Marlins have been mentioned in various rumors. There's already been speculation on right-handers Dan Straily and Brad Ziegler, second baseman Starlin Castro and others. In advance of the Deadline, Mattingly said the team has discussed what may be ahead.

"The biggest thing we've talked about is knowing that it's there, but just play the game and we'll deal with the off-field stuff," Mattingly said. "If there is anything going on with a guy that we know about, we'll talk with the guy."

Tayron Guerrero (left lumbar strain) is starting a rehab assignment on Saturday with Double-A Jacksonville. He is scheduled to pitch one inning. Sandy Alcantara (right axillary infection) threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Friday in Jupiter.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, J.T. Realmuto

Analytics to play big role for Marlins at Deadline

Front office expanded use of various technologies in offseason
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

JUPITER, Fla. -- With the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching, the Marlins are tapping into all their resources to identify players they may be interested in acquiring.

Miami's pro scouts have been combing through the Minor League systems of postseason contenders, while president of baseball operations Michael Hill has corresponded with his peers, gauging the market. The Marlins are open for deals that make sense, but they won't make any moves without first consulting their analytics department.

JUPITER, Fla. -- With the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching, the Marlins are tapping into all their resources to identify players they may be interested in acquiring.

Miami's pro scouts have been combing through the Minor League systems of postseason contenders, while president of baseball operations Michael Hill has corresponded with his peers, gauging the market. The Marlins are open for deals that make sense, but they won't make any moves without first consulting their analytics department.

Under the supervision of director of player personnel Dan Greenlee, Miami's analytics department has become the epicenter for all player evaluation decisions.

Their input was heavily involved in offseason trades, the 2018 MLB Draft in June, the international signing period and, in two weeks, the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"The analytics department now has become one of the most valuable departments in the Marlins' organization," vice president of player development and scouting Gary Denbo said. "The reason is, they're affecting every single department. It's pro scouting, amateur scouting, international scouting, baseball operations, the Major League team, and every one of our Minor League teams. It will have a major effect at the Trade Deadline as well."

Contenders already have inquired about right-handers Dan Straily, Brad Ziegler and second baseman Starlin Castro. The Marlins also will listen to offers for, but are less likely to deal, All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto and closer Kyle Barraclough, unless they are blown away by an offer.

When the group led by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter assumed ownership last October, the commitment was made to build the organization from the ground up. Boosting analytics became a priority.

"I think we've done a lot of catchup in the past couple of months," Greenlee said. "I think we've sprinted ahead in some areas. I have the feeling this Trade Deadline, teams are not going to have more information than we have."

That hasn't always been the case, because analytics was not a high priority under previous ownership. The past few years, highly-respected former senior director of analytics Jason Pare had a seat at the front-office table. But he didn't have many resources.

In October, Pare joined the Braves, and Greenlee was hired after serving five seasons with the Yankees as an analyst.

"Analytics was an area that we were behind in," Hill said. "Now, there is no part of baseball operations that analytics does not touch. They are heavily involved with our advanced scouting in Major League operations, our shifting, our game planning at the Major League level. Similarly, at the Minor League level, analytics is great information from a teaching standpoint."

Based at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla., Greenlee's department is being leaned upon for the daily operations of all the team's affiliates, and they provide reports to the big league club.

Through TrackMan, the radar technology that also powers Statcast™ for MLB.com, the Marlins are prioritizing -- among many things -- exit velocities and launch angles to evaluate hitters. For context, the median MLB batting average on balls put in play at 100-plus mph in the first half of this season was .616, and batting averages on batted balls between 10-25 degrees was .651.

"One of the worst feelings you can have is when somebody is making a decision with more resources than you have," Greenlee said. "I feel like we're on even footing, with even the top teams in that space. That's my impression right now."

Ownership has made a substantial investment in providing the resources to assist in the decision-making process. That includes Greenlee overseeing a staff of seven -- Neil Gahart, David Sayet, Benjamin Wong, Robbie Knopf, Dawson Friedland, Bradley Woodrum and Myles Lewis.

"People like Dan Greenlee are very difficult to find, because he has a great deal of knowledge in the world of analytics, but he also has a way about him that he can easily explain the complicated numbers that come out of that department to our coaches, to our managers, to our coordinators, to our scouts," Denbo said.

Analytics played a key role in the first trade made under new ownership. Last Nov. 20, Miami acquired left-hander Caleb Smith and first baseman/outfielder Garrett Cooper from the Yankees for Minor League pitcher Michael King and international signing bonus pool money.

In Smith, the Marlins saw a left-hander with a mid-90s four-seam fastball with an above-average spin rate of 2,365 rpm. The league average is 2,264 rpms. The higher spin creates more deception for hitters. Before undergoing season-ending surgery a few weeks ago to repair a Grade 3 left lat tear, Smith led all MLB rookies in strikeouts -- 88 in 77 1/3 innings.

"Ownership has been phenomenal in affording us all the resources necessary to build a best-in-class analytics department," Greenlee said. "And because of ownership's genuine interest and support, we are on our way to that end."

Miami also has upgraded its video technology, making a substantial investment in high-definition cameras that pinpoint exactly what players are doing. At the disposal of Joey Nero, the club's MLB video coordinator, the videos show everything in super-slow motion. For example, a normal pitch that takes two seconds to throw in real time can be broken down in a 45- to 60-second video. These clips allow pitchers and staff to see exactly how the ball leaves the hand.

This technology has helped in the development of rookie right-hander Elieser Hernandez. With minor revisions to his mechanics, Hernandez's four-seam spin rate has improved this year. While his season average is 2,177 rpms (below the MLB average), in his past two outings, the pitch has been tracked at 2,363 rpms, according to Statcast™. In those two appearances, the 23-year-old has thrown three scoreless innings with four strikeouts.

"I guess if we had a motto, it's, 'We're not trying to use analytics the most,'" Greenlee said. "That's not the aim. We don't think that's necessarily impressive. It's to use analytics the best."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins

Marlins move No. 7 prospect Diaz to Triple-A

Second baseman was acquired from Crew for Yelich in January
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

ST. PETERSBURG -- Another highly ranked Marlins prospect has been promoted. Isan Diaz, who was acquired as part of the Christian Yelich trade with the Brewers in January, is moving up to Triple-A New Orleans.

The left-handed-hitting second baseman has bounced back from a slow start at Double-A Jacksonville, and he will now see regular playing time with the Baby Cakes.

ST. PETERSBURG -- Another highly ranked Marlins prospect has been promoted. Isan Diaz, who was acquired as part of the Christian Yelich trade with the Brewers in January, is moving up to Triple-A New Orleans.

The left-handed-hitting second baseman has bounced back from a slow start at Double-A Jacksonville, and he will now see regular playing time with the Baby Cakes.

Ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 7 prospect, Diaz had a slash line of .245/.365/.418 with 10 home runs and 42 RBIs for the Jumbo Shrimp. MLB Pipeline also ranks Diaz as the No. 4 second-base prospect in the Minors.

A power threat, Diaz also compiled 19 doubles, one triple, 10 stolen bases and 44 runs scored in 83 games. New Orleans needed infield depth after placing Cito Culver on the disabled list.

The Marlins have not hesitated to promote players who are performing. Diaz, who impressed the big league staff in Spring Training, got off to a slow start, and then he missed time on the disabled list due to a concussion he suffered after getting plunked in the head by a pitch.

Since returning, Diaz has made steady progress in the Southern League. He's picked things up over his past 10 games, hitting .314/.429/.714 with four home runs and 12 RBIs.

If he shows he can handle Triple-A pitching, the 22-year-old Diaz could be in line for a September callup with the Marlins. His progression to the big leagues also could be accelerated if Miami trades second baseman Starlin Castro.

The Marlins have promoted several of their top prospects since the season started. A few weeks ago, pitchers Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez made the leap from Triple-A, although Alcantara (right axillary infection) is currently on the disabled list.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Isan Diaz

What could happen in NL East at Deadline

MLB.com @mlbbowman

As the Nationals enter the second half attempting to live up to expectations and defend their National League East crown, they are looking up at the Phillies, who want to make a significant acquisition, and the Braves, who have the prospect currency necessary to make a big deal before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

The Phillies own a half-game lead over the Braves and a 5 1/2-game advantage over the Nats. So, what happens over the next two weeks might significantly impact the NL East race. This will also be a potentially impactful stretch for the Mets and Marlins, a pair of teams that have the significant pieces necessary to impact their respective futures with what would be among the year's biggest trades.

As the Nationals enter the second half attempting to live up to expectations and defend their National League East crown, they are looking up at the Phillies, who want to make a significant acquisition, and the Braves, who have the prospect currency necessary to make a big deal before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

The Phillies own a half-game lead over the Braves and a 5 1/2-game advantage over the Nats. So, what happens over the next two weeks might significantly impact the NL East race. This will also be a potentially impactful stretch for the Mets and Marlins, a pair of teams that have the significant pieces necessary to impact their respective futures with what would be among the year's biggest trades.

Here is a look at what each NL East club needs and wants approaching the Trade Deadline.

PHILLIES
What they need: Now that Manny Machado has gone to the Dodgers, Phillies general manager Matt Klentak must look elsewhere to satisfy his wish to improve offensively. Scouts have identified acquiring a bat as the team's biggest need. But the addition of a front-line starter could also enhance the team's bid to gain a postseason berth and progress through October.

"Machado would have been a huge get, but they will still be active players because it does not seem like money is an issue," an American League scout said. "The rotation lacks a true No. 1, but they have pitched better lately. So expect them to continue kicking the tires on some starting pitchers."

What they can get: As soon as it appeared Machado might head to the Dodgers, Mike Moustakas was mentioned as a candidate to land in Philadelphia. If Klentak does not land a middle-of-the-lineup bat, he may at least attempt to upgrade the team's offensive capability off the bench. Potential starter targets include J.A. Happ, Cole Hamels and Michael Fulmer, who is drawing interest from multiple NL East contenders.

"They will be willing to give up premium prospects, but they will not completely wreck what they have been doing," an AL scout said. "My expectation is they will target veteran-type starting pitchers. Without Machado, I just don't see a significant bat available that would be an upgrade."

BRAVES
What they need: There is a need to add veteran presence and depth in the bullpen. Some of the concerns about their 'pen could be lessened by adding a starter to the front of their rotation. Such an acquisition could lead to using one of their young pitchers to enhance their bullpen depth. The addition of a bat could also improve what is an offensively-thin bench.

"Fulmer makes a lot of sense here," an AL scout said. "Everybody is looking for a reliever. Getting a top starter would allow the Braves to take advantage of their depth by moving one of their young pitchers to the bullpen. Fulmer is 25 years old and has four years of control remaining. Those guys don't come cheap, but they aren't supposed to be cheap."

What they can get: Shortly after becoming the Braves' general manager this past winter, Alex Anthopoulos inquired about Fulmer. So it certainly makes sense for him to keep tabs on the former AL Rookie of the Year. Getting Jeurys Familia from the division-rival Mets seems like a long shot, but the Braves have the prospect pool necessary to pursue veteran relievers like Zach Britton or Joakim Soria. The club will also keep tabs on Kyle Barraclough and Craig Stammen, who have the ability to add depth to a young 'pen.

"The Braves are loaded with prospects and have the pieces necessary to get any deal done," an NL scout said. "They just have to determine which pitchers are a part of their future. They can't wait too long though, because once they start to struggle, they don't have value. But they all have value right now."

NATIONALS
What they need:
There's no doubt the Nationals want to acquire a catcher. They have inquired about a reunion with currently injured Wilson Ramos, but their top target is J.T. Realmuto. To get the All-Star catcher from the Marlins, Washington would almost certainly have to part with top prospect Victor Robles, who may at least be more expendable now that Juan Soto has been successful at the Major League level. There may also be a desire to add a starter.

"Much of the prospect talent is at the lower levels right now," an AL scout said. "That's not a knock against the club. It's just how it goes with the process. So unless they are willing to move Robles, I can't see them making a significant trade."

What they can get: An AL scout who recently inquired about the possibility of Matt Harvey landing with the Nationals was told it would likely not happen. Still, Harvey, Happ and Nathan Eovaldi are among the starters who may draw interest from the reigning division champs. But it's no secret that the top target from both an immediate and long-range point of view is Realmuto.

"I talked to a scout whose team asked about Realmuto, and I can't believe how much teams are asking in return for some of these top players," an NL scout said. "I get it from the Marlins' perspective. But it makes it harder to believe a deal will get done."

Video: deGrom on his future with the Mets, trade rumors

METS
What they need: While rumors surrounding Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard will continue to create a buzz, the most likely significant piece the Mets could end up dealing is Familia, who is arguably the best in what should be an active bullpen market. deGrom would net a significant return that would upgrade a thin farm system. But it seems unlikely teams will be willing to acquiesce a justifiably significant ask. So, Zack Wheeler may be used to at least get a decent piece for the pipeline.

"The whole deGrom buzz is overblown, because it's going to have to be a significant overpay for it to make sense to move him," an NL scout said. "It's a hard read with the new front-office guys. It's going to come down to what kind of returns they can get."

What they can get: The direction of the Mets might be determined this winter, when they may have a better opportunity to get a feel for the potential trade values of deGrom, Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes. But with Familia and Wheeler, the club at least has a chance to start enhancing its prospect pool.

"They would love to get a premium offensive prospect," an AL scout said. "Though Wheeler has pitched better lately, he's not going to get you that kind of player. But they could get a mid-level Double-A guy, or a young kid who is still in the early stages of his development."

MARLINS
What they need:
As the Marlins progress through the early stages of their rebuild, they will focus on potential returns for Realmuto, Barraclough and reliever Brad Ziegler.

What they can get: Realmuto is the one big piece the Marlins still have to use to significantly strenghten their farm system. But it remains to be seen whether they will eventually get what they want in return for the All-Star, who arguably stands as the game's best catcher.

"Moving Realmuto before the end of this month seems like a long shot to me, unless somebody really steps up," an NL scout said. "They want a huge return, and that's exactly what they should be seeking. But I think it's more likely we'll see him moved this winter."

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals, New York Mets

Moves imminent for Marlins at Trade Deadline

Barraclough, Ziegler among players generating interest
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- Coming out of the All-Star break, the Marlins will continue to focus on improving on the field while exploring ways to strengthen the organization for the future.

The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline is the next significant date, because it is another opportunity to acquire players that may fit into Miami's long-term plans.

MIAMI -- Coming out of the All-Star break, the Marlins will continue to focus on improving on the field while exploring ways to strengthen the organization for the future.

The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline is the next significant date, because it is another opportunity to acquire players that may fit into Miami's long-term plans.

Since the ownership group led by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter took over, the Marlins have been firmly committed to building a first-class organization from the bottom up. And in the first half, a revamped roster showed plenty of resiliency and improvement. They entered the break at 41-57, percentage points ahead of the Mets for fourth place in the National League East.

Moving forward, the organization will continue to assess which players match what they are building, and which are more likely trade targets. Here's a look at where the Marlins stand at the season's halfway point.

Video: PHI@MIA: Barraclough incudes pop out to record save

Current status: Seller
Looking to stock the organization with as much talent as possible, the Marlins are open to making as many moves as possible. What they are wrestling with internally, however, is which players under club control make the most sense to retain or move. So while the front office will listen to offers for all their players, those that are either viewed as rentals or that don't fit into the long-term plan appear to be the most expendable.

What they are seeking
If the 2018 MLB Draft and the early stages of the international free agent signing period are indicators, the Marlins are seeking athletic players who play in the middle of the field. As for pitchers, they're eyeing those with clean deliveries and have a track record of throwing strikes. Through trades, the Draft and international free agents, Miami has improved its Minor League system. Still, the focus is to be as deep as possible.

Video: MIL@MIA: Ziegler gets DP with bases full in the 10th

What they have to offer
Miami is sitting in a nice position, because it has what most contenders covet -- relievers. Clubs are already inquiring about closer Kyle Barraclough, right-hander Drew Steckenrider, veteran right-hander Brad Ziegler and lefty Adam Conley. Ziegler is a free agent after the season. Barraclough and Conley have yet to reach arbitration. The asking prices on both are extremely high, and the same is true for Steckenrider, who is a rookie.

All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto (.310/.365/.536) has been the subject of plenty of rumors, most recently connected to the Nationals, but the organization views him as a building block whom it would ideally like to sign long-term in the offseason. It would take a significant overpay to lure Realmuto away from Miami. Right-hander Dan Straily, second baseman Starlin Castro, first baseman Justin Bour, left fielder Derek Dietrich and shortstop Miguel Rojas have all attracted various levels of interest.

Video: MIA@WSH: Realmuto tallies 5 singles and 3 RBIs

Possible scenario
Ziegler, 38, has impressed since moving out of the closer role and into a setup situation. Teams like the Red Sox and Astros could use him as an option to help neutralize power-hitting, right-handed hitters in ground-ball situations.

If the Marlins can get a high return on Barraclough, the Indians and Astros would be among the frontrunners. And the Brewers are among the clubs with at least some level of interest in Dietrich, who can play left, third, second and first.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins

New dad Realmuto shows patience in ASG

MLB.com

Persistence and discipline -- two qualities necessary to earn a 10-pitch walk and flourish as a father of a newborn baby girl.

Just seven days after the birth of his first child, Gracie Laine Realmuto, Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto fouled off several tough pitches, earning a walk in his first plate appearance of the 2018 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night at Nationals Park.

View Full Game Coverage

Persistence and discipline -- two qualities necessary to earn a 10-pitch walk and flourish as a father of a newborn baby girl.

Just seven days after the birth of his first child, Gracie Laine Realmuto, Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto fouled off several tough pitches, earning a walk in his first plate appearance of the 2018 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night at Nationals Park.

View Full Game Coverage

AL outslugs NL

Tweet from @Marlins: Please welcome the most important All-Star. And J.T. Realmuto. 🤩 pic.twitter.com/ErGWx17WOr

Realmuto's restraint didn't stop there. In his second trip to the batter's box, he worked another walk and scored on Scooter Gennett's game-tying, two-run homer in the ninth.

"It was a great time. I hope I can do it plenty of more times in my career," Realmuto said. "You've got to appreciate the ones you do get. You never know when you get to come back, so I definitely had a lot of fun and I enjoyed it."

The first-time All-Star entered the game as a defensive replacement in the sixth. Realmuto caught a scoreless inning before stepping into the box against Houston's Charlie Morton in the seventh.

After working the count full, Realmuto fouled off four straight two-seam fastballs, making the right-hander labor with one out. On the 10th pitch, a cutter down and out of the zone, Realmuto held off for ball four.

Tweet from @BradZiegler: Everybody���s scared of @JTRealmuto

In his second plate appearance, Realmuto didn't swing the bat, taking all five pitches from Mariners closer Edwin Diaz in the ninth. It didn't take long for Realmuto to circle the bases, as Gennett homered to right field two pitches later.

Video: 2018 ASG: Gennett crushes game-tying HR in 9th

Tuesday's takes fall in line with the 27-year-old backstop seeing the ball incredibly well this season.

Realmuto dazzled in the first half, leading all NL catchers in average (.310), runs (46), slugging percentage (.536), OPS (.902) and WAR (3.8). He's second to Buster Posey and Yasmani Grandal in hits (85) and RBIs (45), respectively.

Max Goodman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami. Follow him on Twitter @Max_Goodman97.

Miami Marlins, J.T. Realmuto

On record-setting night, AL outslugs NL

MLB.com @castrovince

WASHINGTON -- The ball wasn't flying out of Nationals Park quite as frequently as it did during Bryce Harper's heroic hometown homer binge a night earlier, but it was flying all the same in a dinger-driven, record-breaking 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night.

View Full Game Coverage

WASHINGTON -- The ball wasn't flying out of Nationals Park quite as frequently as it did during Bryce Harper's heroic hometown homer binge a night earlier, but it was flying all the same in a dinger-driven, record-breaking 89th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night.

Video: 2018 All-Star Game sets new record with 10 home runs

View Full Game Coverage

In the end, the two standout swats were the back-to-back solo shots hit by Astros teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer -- off a Dodgers pitcher (Ross Stripling), no less -- in the top of the 10th inning of what became an 8-6 victory for the American League.

Video: 2018 ASG: Bregman wins MVP, gives car to his mother

Bregman was given the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet for his role in the AL's sixth straight win in the Midsummer Classic.

"I took a cutter down the middle of the first pitch and kind of went into battle mode and just was trying to put a line drive in play, and it left the yard," said Bregman. "It was crazy. It was a lot of fun."

But while the result reflects the AL's recent dominance in this summer showcase and, in a way, the Astros' standing as defending champs, the game itself was reflective of the homer-happy times we live in.

Video: 2018 ASG: AL bash 5 homers to earn extra-innings win

"It was like a regular-season game with the home runs accounting for pretty much everything," said Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ, who made a rare turn in the "closer" role by getting the save in the 10th. "Maybe a few less walks than normal, but pretty standard stuff. We were commenting in the bullpen that that's the way it's going these days."

The two teams combined for 10 homers, destroying the previous record of six that had last been reached in 1971 by some gentlemen named Johnny Bench, Hank Aaron, Reggie Jackson, Frank Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and Roberto Clemente -- Hall of Famers, all.

Video: 2018 ASG: NL crush 5 home runs in Washington, D.C.

Maybe not all of the blasts on this night were hit by guys who are Cooperstown-bound. But Bregman, Springer, Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, Willson Contreras, Trevor Story, Jean Segura, Christian Yelich, Scooter Gennett and Joey Votto collectively put up a performance for the All-Star ages. All but one of the game's 14 runs was driven in by a long ball.

Video: 2018 ASG: Segura clobbers a go-ahead 3-run HR

"To kind of empty your tank and hit homers at this event is probably the best thing imaginable," said AL and Astros manager AJ Hinch. "Just to have that kind of emotion that comes with the home run. Especially when the big boys hit it, and especially when the Astros hit it."

Video: 2018 ASG: Hinch on Bregman, Springer in All-Star Game

The AL seemingly had the game in hand thanks to Segura's pinch-hit three-run homer off Josh Hader in the top of the eighth. But Gennett wowed the crowd and stunned the junior circuit by taking Mariners closer Edwin Diaz deep in the bottom of the ninth to tie it.

To extras it went, and it didn't take long for Bregman and Springer to summon the Fall Classic magic of old. The AL added another run on -- of all things -- a sacrifice fly from Michael Brantley. And though Votto's solo shot in the bottom of the 10th kept things interesting, Happ was able to close it out before any more dinger drama developed.

Video: 2018 ASG: Sale K's 1 in scoreless 1st inning

So this was a night for watching it fly and letting it fly. AL starter Chris Sale threw a fastball clocked by Statcast™ at 100.7 mph -- his fastest pitch since 2010. NL starter Max Scherzer threw his four fastest pitches of the season en route to striking out four in two innings of work.

Video: 2018 ASG: Scherzer fans 4 batters in ASG start

The All-Stars capitalized on their opportunity to showcase their skills in the nation's capital, and they let their personalities show, too, with in-game selfies and mic'd-up position players. Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor felt so bad when he couldn't muscle a drive over the wall that he dropped down and did some pushups. It was that kind of night.

Video: 2018 ASG: Lindor hits the grass for some pushups

There was even some off-the-field drama developing, with reports swirling about Manny Machado possibly heading to the Dodgers as he played what might have been his last game in a Baltimore Orioles uniform. In an in-game interview with FOX Sports and MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, Machado acknowledged the not-so-subtle storyline by saying, "If this is the last time, hopefully I treated them well, I did everything I could for the organization."

Video: 2018 ASG: Machado talks All-Star Game, trade rumors

The AL could be losing one of its signature stars. But it won a game that very much resembled a Derby.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gennett's game-tying homer might get lost to history, given the end result, but he still put himself in a pretty cool spot in the All-Star history books. When he hit his two-run, 396-foot blast off Diaz, Gennett became just the third player to hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning of a Midsummer Classic, joining Ralph Kiner in 1950 and Fred McGriff in '94. That sent the All-Star Game into extras for a second consecutive year. The last time that had happened was 1966-67.

Video: 2018 ASG: Gennett hits game-tying HR in the 9th

SOUND SMART
This was the first game in MLB history -- regular season, postseason or All-Star -- in which five players homered for each team.

HE SAID IT
"In the beginning, it was, 'Is anybody going to get a hit other than a homer?' And at the end, it was, 'Are we going to have enough pitching to get out of this mess?'" -- Hinch

UP NEXT
Oh yes, they'll meet again. The 90th All-Star Game will take place on July 9, 2019, at Cleveland's Progressive Field, which last hosted the Midsummer Classic in 1997 (when it was still known as Jacobs Field). The AL will take an All-Star edge into that contest, having broken the all-time tie Tuesday by improving to 44-43-2 against the NL.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Alex Bregman, Willson Contreras, Scooter Gennett, Aaron Judge, Jean Segura, George Springer, Trevor Story, Mike Trout, Joey Votto, Christian Yelich

Johnson has big game in GCL

MLB.com @wboor

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Wednesday.

Very few hitters are hotter than Ryan Mountcastle right now and the Orioles' top prospect continued to rake in Double-A Bowie's 5-3 loss to Altoona.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Wednesday.

Very few hitters are hotter than Ryan Mountcastle right now and the Orioles' top prospect continued to rake in Double-A Bowie's 5-3 loss to Altoona.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Mountcastle, the No. 79 overall prospect, has a hit in 16 of his past 17 games after going 2-for-4 with a homer. Mountcastle has also homered in back-to-back games and is 5-for-13 (.385) in the three games since Sunday's Futures Game.

The 21-year-old has certainly played well lately, but the truth is he's pretty much hit all year, although his season got off to a bit of a late start because of a fractured hand. Mountcastle hit .278 in May, then bumped that up to .324 in June and has a ridiculous .357 average through 13 games in July.

While Mountcastle's calling card has always been his ability to hit, it's important to note that he's hitting well this year while also learning to play a new position. After coming up as a shortstop, the 2015 first-round pick was shifted to third late in 2017. After playing 37 games at the corner last year (as well as in the Arizona Fall League), Mountcastle has played third base exclusively in 2018.

Mountcastle goes yard

Overall Mountcastle is hitting .318/.366/.528 with 10 homers and 40 RBIs through 62 games.

Other top prospect performances from Wednesday's action:

• No. 6 overall prospect Brendan Rodgers (Rockies' No. 1) came up clutch with a pair of walk-off hits as Double-A Hartford swept a doubleheader against Reading. Rodgers went 2-for-3 with a walk-off single in Game 1 and then won the second game, which he finished 1-for-3, with a two-run double.

Rodgers hits a walk-off

• No. 34 overall prospect Taylor Trammell (Reds' No. 3) went 2-for-4 with a double and his first homer since late May for Class A Advanced Daytona. Trammell, who won the Futures Game MVP on Sunday, is 4-for-12 in three games back with Daytona. Jose Siri (Reds' No. 7) also had a big night at the plate, hitting a pair of homers and finishing 3-for-5 with four RBIs for Double-A Pensacola.

• No. 72 overall prospect Stephen Gonsalves (Twins' No. 4) was dominant once again. The lefty, who has struggled with command this season, walked five, but still threw six scoreless frames for Triple-A Rochester. Gonsalves has given up one earned run or less in six straight starts and has a 3.34 ERA through 14 starts with Rochester this season.

Gonsalves finishes strong

Astros No. 29 prospect Brandon Bailey was unhittable as he extended his scoreless streak for Class A Advanced Buies Creek. Bailey, who hasn't given up a run over his past three starts (16 innings), cruised through five hitless innings. The right-hander issued a pair of walks and struck out five while throwing 34 of his 55 pitches for strikes.

Cardinals No. 7 prospect Randy Arozarena was perfect at the plate in the first two-homer game of his career. Playing for Double-A Springfield, Arozarena went 4-for-4 with two homers, a double, four RBIs and four runs scored. The 23-year-old hit a solo homer in the fifth and then, needing a triple for the cycle, went deep again -- this time a two-run shot -- in the seventh.

Watch: Arozarena goes yard

Marlins No. 27 prospect Tyler Kolek and Osiris Johnson, the club's second-round pick from the 2018 Draft turned in strong performances in the Rookie-level GCL. Kolek, making his first appearance since August 2017, gave up one hit in a scoreless inning. Offensively, Johnson put together the best game of his young pro career, going 4-for-6. The 17-year-old, doubled, hit his first homer, drove in three runs, scored three runs and stole a base.

Red Sox No. 3 prospect Tanner Houck spun his second scoreless start of the season for Class A Advanced Salem, yielding five hits over six innings. The outing was a nice bounceback start for Houck after he had given up five runs over six innings in his last start. The right-hander also showed strong command in the outing as he struck out seven and issued just one walk. Red Sox No. 9 prospect Mike Shawaryn also had a good day on the mound, firing six innings of one-run ball in a win for Double-A Portland.

Yankees No. 26 prospect Garrett Whitlock has been lights out this season and that continued in his debut with Double-A Trenton. The right-hander posted a 1.55 ERA through 87 1/3 innings with Class A Charleston and Class A Advanced Tampa before being promoted to the Thunder where he spun five scoreless frames. Whitlock struggled with his command as he walked five and didn't record a strikeout, but only gave up three hits and kept himself out of trouble.

• Astros fourth-round pick Alex McKenna hit his first two homers for Class A Short Season Tri-City. The 20-year-old, who finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs, has hits in nine of his past 10 games and is slashing .288/.386/.475 through the first 16 games of his professional career.

Watch: McKenna launches 2nd homer of game

• Kevin Woodall, the Cardinals' 10th-round pick from the 2018 Draft, hit a trio of homers as he finished 3-for-3 for Rookie-level Johnson City. Woodall, who also drew two walks, hit a two-run homer in the first, a solo shot in the fifth and capped his night with another two-run blast in the seventh.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.