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Urena expected to make final start Friday

Marlins Opening Day starter exited last outing due to muscle tightness
Special to MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Despite seeing his last start shortened by a niggling injury, Marlins right-hander Jose Urena remains scheduled to take his final turn in the rotation this Friday, manager Don Mattingly said.

Urena pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings Saturday before being lifted with muscle tightness in his right thigh. With an extra day's rest before the Marlins open their last series of the season on Friday at the Mets, Mattingly didn't expect any lasting issues.

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WASHINGTON -- Despite seeing his last start shortened by a niggling injury, Marlins right-hander Jose Urena remains scheduled to take his final turn in the rotation this Friday, manager Don Mattingly said.

Urena pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings Saturday before being lifted with muscle tightness in his right thigh. With an extra day's rest before the Marlins open their last series of the season on Friday at the Mets, Mattingly didn't expect any lasting issues.

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"He ran yesterday," Mattingly said of Urena on Monday. "He looks like he's going to be fine. He's a pretty heavy workout guy. We're trying to lighten him up this week, make sure he felt fine doing everything. As of right now, he's going to start his game. He's getting an extra day anyway. I think he'll start."

Urena has pitched to a 1.13 ERA in September and has thrown 168 innings so far in his fourth Major League season -- two shy of his career high set last year.

Video: PHI@MIA: Urena deals 7 innings of 1-run ball

Loft-y praise
After outfielder Magneuris Sierra posted the first consecutive multi-hit games of his Marlins career, Mattingly offered a flattering comparison for the 22-year old Dominican Republic native.

"Some people compare him to [former Marlin Juan Pierre]," Mattingly said. "I compare him to Kenny Lofton. Kenny Lofton was a really good player. He could really bunt, he could really run, he was a good base stealer, he had a little short stroke. But Kenny knew who he was. He wasn't trying to hit homers. He hit a few, but he was a line drive, slashing, bunting machine. And that's what I think Mags could be something like."

Video: CIN@MIA: Sierra laces an RBI single to right in 5th

A six-time All-Star, Lofton played parts of 17 seasons in the big leagues, collected 2,428 hits and posted a career slash line of .299/.372/.423. Acquired as part of the package that sent Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals last December, Sierra entered Monday with only 70 games under his belt. He's currently hitting .198 this season, though Mattingly sees a long future ahead.

"He's going to play here [in the bigs]," Mattingly said. "Absolutely. He runs too good, throws too good, he's got good hand-eye coordination, he's got a pretty good swing. That can always get better. But the kid's going to be good. He's a young 22. This is a kid that you feel like is an 18-year-old honestly playing up here, which is OK. He's going to be a player."

Worth noting
As Monday's game against the Nationals began, second baseman Starlin Castro departed the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park to return to South Florida, where his wife had gone into labor. He had been listed on the bench for the game.

Ian Quillen is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington.

Miami Marlins, Jose Urena

Alcantara labors for 2nd straight start vs. Nats

Organization's top pitching prospect struggles with command over four innings in rainy opener
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

WASHINGTON -- The elements created soggy conditions on Monday night at Nationals Park. But the bigger issue for Marlins rookie Sandy Alcantara was getting through the heart of the Nationals' lineup.

Alcantara surrendered back-to-back homers to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto in a four-run fourth inning en route to a 7-3 loss in the series opener.

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WASHINGTON -- The elements created soggy conditions on Monday night at Nationals Park. But the bigger issue for Marlins rookie Sandy Alcantara was getting through the heart of the Nationals' lineup.

Alcantara surrendered back-to-back homers to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto in a four-run fourth inning en route to a 7-3 loss in the series opener.

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"It's just like a little [wet]," Alcantara said. "But I got a good grip today. I was like a little out of control today, but next time I've got to keep doing the best, you know?"

Making his fifth start of the season, Alcantara had to deal with the rainy conditions along with facing the same lineup in consecutive starts. Last Tuesday at Marlins Park, the 23-year-old right-hander gave up three runs in four innings in a loss.

"Just didn't seem to have command," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Trouble with command. Rough day."

Video: MIA@WSH: Alcantara strands a pair in the 2nd inning

In both meetings, the Nationals grinded out at-bats against Alcantara. Miami's top pitching prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, walked five and struck out three on Monday after issuing six walks last week in Miami.

Alcantara threw 84 pitches (51 strikes) -- 22 two-seamers and 22 sinkers (or four-seamers), according to Statcast™. He recorded just six swinging strikes

"When he's not aggressive, then that's what you're going to get," Mattingly said. "He wants to throw the two-seamer instead of using the four-seamer. You were getting the ball running off the plate. And he's walking all the lefties. Obviously, we're going to work on that."

Rendon produced a two-run double off Alcantara in the first inning. In the fourth, Bryce Harper lifted a sacrifice fly for his 100th RBI, marking the first time in the All-Star outfielder's career he has reached the century mark. After Harper, Rendon belted a two-run shot and Soto followed with his 21st homer of the season. Per Statcast™, the Rendon homer was 102.6 mph off the bat, and Soto's shot at 107.7 mph.

Video: MIA@WSH: Rendon, Soto launch back-to-back HRs in 4th

"I had a little trouble with lefties," Alcantara said. "But we're going to keep working hard, keep working my 'pen, you know, [work] in to the lefties and to the righties outside a bit."

The rainy conditions caused both starters to struggle early.

Stephen Strasburg threw 38 pitches in the first inning, with Miami taking an early lead on JT Riddle's single and Miguel Rojas' RBI double.

"Even after they score [four], we still had guys out there and had a chance to get back in it there, and we're not able to do anything," Mattingly said.

Video: MIA@WSH: Rojas plates Riddle with a double in the 1st

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Trailing 6-1 in the fifth inning, the Marlins chipped away on Brian Anderson's RBI single. But Miami squandered a chance to get back into it. With two runners on, Lewis Brinson struck out. Austin Dean walked to load the bases, but Justin Miller fanned Magneuris Sierra and retired pinch-hitter Rafael Ortega on a groundout to second.

"It was one of those games where we had plenty of opportunities and we're not able to capitalize," Mattingly said. "We didn't really get anything done with guys in scoring position."

Video: MIA@WSH: Miller strands the bases loaded in the 5th

SOUND SMART
The Marlins left 10 on base and went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With runners on the corners and two outs in the fourth, catcher Matt Wieters retrieved a ball in the dirt and tried to pick off JT Riddle, who used a swim move, to get back safely to first. More >

Video: MIA@WSH: Riddle uses a nifty swim move to evade tag

HE SAID IT
"It didn't seem that bad. I know they were putting stuff out there. Javy [Guerra] threw three innings and didn't seem to have trouble. The other guys didn't seem to have trouble. Our guy [Alcantara] just struggled with command. All around, it wasn't real good." -- Mattingly, on the wet conditions

UP NEXT
Right-hander Jeff Brigham is getting an opportunity in September to see if he fits into the Marlins' future as a starter or reliever. On Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET, the rookie draws a tough assignment, taking on a star-filled Nationals lineup at Nationals Park. Making the task even more daunting is he is matched against National League Cy Young Award candidate Max Scherzer.

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

Miami Marlins, Sandy Alcantara

Riddle safe at first after impressive swim slide

The well-executed swim slide is a thing of beauty.

We've seen it time and time again this season -- a baserunner, seemingly beaten by a throw, his back to the proverbial wall -- only to see him wiggle his way out of it with some slick maneuverings, turning a sure out into a surprise "SAFE!" 

Marlins to focus on speed in rebuilding effort

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- Building an organization that is strong up the middle is clearly the objective for the Marlins.

As the organization continues to construct its roster at the big league and Minor League levels, the focus is to bring in as much speed and athleticism as possible.

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MIAMI -- Building an organization that is strong up the middle is clearly the objective for the Marlins.

As the organization continues to construct its roster at the big league and Minor League levels, the focus is to bring in as much speed and athleticism as possible.

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In a spacious ballpark like Marlins Park, where home runs are hard to come by, athleticism is considered a premium.

"If you get to pick and choose what you like, our ballpark is a ballpark that's bigger," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "A little guy who hits the ball in the air a lot doesn't really do you a whole lot of good. You've got to really hit it good here in this ballpark. There's a lot of ground to cover out there, so speed, obviously, is something you'd like to have."

The Marlins closed out the home portion of their schedule on Sunday, and like any offseason, changes are expected in the offseason.

First base is a position that will be addressed, but the question is if they will go with a stop-gap free agent or fill it through a trade. A main reason Justin Bour was dealt to the Phillies in early August was because he is more of a power threat without much speed, and he is a below average defender.

Speed in the outfield also is imperative, which is why rookies Lewis Brinson and Magneuris Sierra are getting plenty of looks this month.

"Speed and athleticism gives you opportunities to do a lot more things," Mattingly said. "You put pressure on the defense from the standpoint of being able to hit-and-run more, being able to [steal] more.

"Even if you don't steal a bunch of bases, it puts pressure on the pitcher to at least have to hold you, to pitch quicker. Then, those guys usually aren't as good when they have to slide-step, or do two things."

The type of players the Marlins are going for are more gap-to-gap hitters with power potential.

"The more athletic you get, the type of players you want, should fit your ballpark," Mattingly said. "It doesn't mean you don't want guys who can hit it in the seats, but I do think you want guys who are able to drive in runs with gap power, and line-to-line type guys who are more pure hitters."

Worth noting

• The Marlins held a pregame tribute Sunday to veteran radio voice Dave Van Horne, who is completing his 50th season in the booth. Van Horne was the Ford C. Frick Award winner in 2011, earning him a place in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

• Right-hander Jose Urena is tentatively set to make his last start on Friday against the Mets at Citi Field. His status is up in the air because he is dealing with a tight right IT Band, which is on the right side of his leg. Urena was lifted after 5 2/3 innings on Saturday due to discomfort.

• Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter said the organization has made a priority to be more active in the international free agent market.

"It's a priority for us," Jeter said. "We've acquired some international money through trades and we'll continue to do that. That's a big area of growth for us as an organization. We'll be making some changes to our academy down in the Dominican Republic, and we're going to build a new academy down there, so we're going to invest a lot in our international market."

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

Miami Marlins

Who is Marlins' all-time single-season ace?

Which pitcher should take the hill with everything on the line?
MLB.com @williamfleitch

The thing about baseball is that you can have the best lineup in the history of the game, but if it runs up against a hot pitcher at the wrong time, it's essentially useless. Nothing happens until the pitcher throws the ball; we're all reacting to him. And when you have a truly great one, it doesn't matter how fantastic a hitter you are: He can get you out regardless. A true ace can be unhittable.

Imagine, then, a tournament of the future, one that transcends space, time and death, in which every franchise had to win one game, with its best pitcher ever, for its own survival. That'd be fun, right? Who would you want throwing in that game? This conversation happens a lot this time of year, when we look ahead to the Wild Card Games, where one dominant pitching performance can change everything. (Remember Madison Bumgarner in 2014 and '16?)

The thing about baseball is that you can have the best lineup in the history of the game, but if it runs up against a hot pitcher at the wrong time, it's essentially useless. Nothing happens until the pitcher throws the ball; we're all reacting to him. And when you have a truly great one, it doesn't matter how fantastic a hitter you are: He can get you out regardless. A true ace can be unhittable.

Imagine, then, a tournament of the future, one that transcends space, time and death, in which every franchise had to win one game, with its best pitcher ever, for its own survival. That'd be fun, right? Who would you want throwing in that game? This conversation happens a lot this time of year, when we look ahead to the Wild Card Games, where one dominant pitching performance can change everything. (Remember Madison Bumgarner in 2014 and '16?)

With all of this in mind, we take a look at each franchise's One Game To Live pitcher, the one pitcher, during his one peak season, who you'd put on the mound with it all on the line. You just get to pick one pitcher, and one season, when he was at the height of his game. Who's your pick? Here are mine.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: 1997 Roger Clemens
21-7, 2.05 ERA, 292 K

As tempting as it might be to pick a Dave Stieb or Roy Halladay season, Clemens was unbelievable in 1997; according to bWAR, this was, in fact, the best season of his career. This was the season in which he won the fourth of his seven Cy Young Awards; he won one each of his two seasons in Toronto. (Clemens was really good.)

Orioles: 1975 Jim Palmer
23-11, 2.09 ERA, 10 shutouts, 323 IP

Palmer was never a huge strikeout pitcher, all told, but as many innings as he pitched, he didn't need to be. This was the second of his three Cy Young Award-winning seasons. Palmer somehow threw 25 complete games.

Rays: 2018 Blake Snell
21-5, 1.90 ERA

Yeah, we'll opt for this year. David Price's 2012 was close, but Snell has struck out more batters a game and may end up even winning more games. And he's pretty much the only starting pitcher on his team!

Video: BO@NYY: Pedro throws shutout against the Yankees

Red Sox: 2000 Pedro Martinez
18-6, 1.74 ERA, 284 Ks, 2.17 FIP

This was peak Pedro, at the absolute apex of his powers. There may have never been a more viscerally enjoyable pitcher to watch than Martinez at the turn of the century.

Yankees: 1978 Ron Guidry
25-3, 1.74 ERA

Guidry got a relatively late start to his career and battled injuries in his mid-30s, so he never quite had the longevity to be a Hall of Famer. But 1978, at the age of 27, Guidry was as good as any Yankee has ever been.

AL CENTRAL

Indians: 1946 Bob Feller
26-15, 2.18 ERA, 348 K

We'll never know how hard Feller truly threw … but to batters, judging from the numbers, it must have looked about 150 mph.

Video: KC@SEA: Greinke throws a one-hit shutout

Royals: 2009 Zack Greinke
16-8, 2.16 ERA, 242 K

It's close between Greinke and a couple of late-1980s Bret Saberhagen seasons, but Greinke's lone Cy Young Award-winning season is probably the call. His ERA actually jumped two runs the next season.

Tigers: 1968 Denny McLain
31-6, 1.96 ERA

Advanced stats would argue this wasn't even McLain's best year, and there are some great Justin Verlander seasons not here, as well as the great 1976 Mark Fidrych year … but 31 wins are 31 wins.

Twins: 2004 Johan Santana
20-6, 2.61 ERA, 265 K

We're not counting the Washington Senators era here, obviously, or it would be any one of about nine Walter Johnson seasons.

White Sox: 1917 Eddie Cicotte
28-12, 1.53 ERA, 346 2/3 IP

Cicotte should have had 30 wins in 1919, but White Sox owner Charles Comiskey ordered him benched so he wouldn't get a 30-win bonus he would be owed. That led, of course, to Cicotte taking money to fix the 1919 World Series, the scandal that would get Cicotte banned from baseball.

AL WEST

Angels: 1977 Nolan Ryan
19-16, 2.77 ERA, 341 K

An argument could be made that teammate Frank Tanana had an even better year in 1977 than Ryan … but with one game to decide the fate of your franchise, you really would rather face Ryan than Tanana?

Video: SF@HOU: Scott's no-hitter clinches the NL West

Astros: 1986 Mike Scott
18-10, 2.22 ERA, 306 K

Apologies to some wonderful Roy Oswalt years, not to mention a couple of great Clemens ones, but Scott was otherworldly in 1986.

Athletics: 1931 Lefty Grove
31-4, 2.06 ERA

Grove threw 27 complete games in 1931 … and notched five saves to boot.

Mariners: 1995 Randy Johnson
18-2, 2.48 ERA, 294 K

One gets shivers just thinking about having Johnson staring down at you during this era. So much hair!

Rangers: 1974 Ferguson Jenkins
25-12, 2.82 ERA, 225 K

Jenkins has always been underappreciated. This was his first, better stint with the team.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves: 1995 Greg Maddux
19-2, 1.63 ERA

Maddux was an absolute magician. It was unfair what he could do while making it look so simple.

Marlins: 1996 Kevin Brown
17-11, 1.89 ERA

Brown's general orneriness had a tendency to mask how dominating a pitcher he could be.

Video: Remembering Gooden's historic achievement in 1985

Mets: 1985 Dwight Gooden
24-4, 1.53 ERA, 268 K

Jacob deGrom is Jacob deGrom, and Tom Seaver was Tom Seaver … but no one was ever better than 1985 Dwight Gooden. At the age of 20!

Nationals: 2017 Max Scherzer
16-6, 2.51 ERA, 268 K

We're -- controversially! -- ignoring the Expos and sticking with the Nats here. It's possible this year has, in fact, been better.

Phillies: 1972 Steve Carlton
27-10, 1.97 ERA, 310 K

This was the year after the Cardinals traded him, by the way. And on a Phils team that had 59 wins. Carlton won 46 percent of their games!

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: 1986 Teddy Higuera
20-11, 2.79 ERA

It is very tempting to go with 2008 CC Sabathia, who, after all, only made 17 starts.

Video: 1968 WS Gm1: Gibson passes Koufax with 16th strikeout

Cardinals: 1968 Bob Gibson
22-9, 1.12 ERA, 268 K

How in the world did Gibson lose nine games?

Cubs: 1992 Greg Maddux
20-11, 2.18 ERA

Sorry John Clarkson, Pete Alexander and Three Finger Brown, but we had to stick with modern era. So it's Maddux again!

Pirates: 1945 Preacher Roe
14-13, 2.87 ERA

For such a storied franchise, the Pirates don't actually have a ton of incredible individual starting pitching seasons.

Reds: 1993 Jose Rijo
14-9, 2.48 ERA, 227 K

Kids, ask your loud uncle: Rijo is the greatest pitcher no one remembers was a great pitcher.

Video: SD@ARI: Big Unit completes Opening Day shutout

NL WEST

D-backs: 2002 Randy Johnson
24-5, 2.32 ERA, 334 K

Somehow, Johnson was 38 when he did this.

Dodgers: 1966 Sandy Koufax
27-9, 1.73 ERA, 317 K

It's probably too late for Clayton Kershaw to ever match this.

Giants: 1908 Christy Mathewson
37-11, 1.43 ERA, 259 K, 42 BB

We make an exception for our "modern era" rule because … jeez, look at the K/BB ratio.

Padres: 1998 Kevin Brown
18-7, 2.38 ERA, 257 K, 49 BB

Bet you didn't imagine seeing Brown on this list twice, did you?

Rockies: 2018 Kyle Freeland
16-7, 2.84 ERA

The only season that's even close is Ubaldo Jimenez's 2010 season … and Freeland may end up having considerably more staying power.

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

The top pending free agent for all 30 teams

MLB.com @williamfleitch

With trade season in the past, we can now look forward to two wonderful baseball things: the postseason and the Hot Stove. The fun thing about the Hot Stove is that, unlike the postseason, everyone gets to be involved. Whether your team won the World Series or finished 50-plus games out of first place, you're a part of the Hot Stove. The offseason is for everyone.

This week, we take a look at the top pending free agent for every team heading into this offseason. Some of these players will re-sign with their old team, some of them will be the object of bidding wars, but all of them have a decision to make. As do their former employers.

With trade season in the past, we can now look forward to two wonderful baseball things: the postseason and the Hot Stove. The fun thing about the Hot Stove is that, unlike the postseason, everyone gets to be involved. Whether your team won the World Series or finished 50-plus games out of first place, you're a part of the Hot Stove. The offseason is for everyone.

This week, we take a look at the top pending free agent for every team heading into this offseason. Some of these players will re-sign with their old team, some of them will be the object of bidding wars, but all of them have a decision to make. As do their former employers.

For the sake of discussion here, we are counting players who have an option to opt out of their contract, if we consider them more likely to do so than not.

American League East

Blue Jays
Marco Estrada
Estrada is having the worst year of his career, and has particularly struggled since June -- though lingering back soreness might have a little bit to do with that. He was an All-Star only two years ago.

Video: TOR@MIA: Estrada K's Brinson on foul tip

Orioles
Adam Jones
He obviously loves it in Baltimore, but it might get a little ugly there the next few years. He still has plenty to offer a competitive team.

Video: TOR@BAL: Jones cranks a grand slam to left in the 5th

Rays
Carlos Gomez
Gomez has had his worst season since his Twins days, but someone will surely give him a shot as a fourth outfielder.

Video: TB@ATL: Gomez plates Wendle with a single to left

Red Sox
Craig Kimbrel
He has talked about how much he'd like to return to the Red Sox. But considering how good he has been, once again, they'll have to pay for the privilege.

Video: TB@BOS: Kimbrel retires Kiermaier, earns 37th save

Yankees
Andrew McCutchen
McCutchen will be one of the most fascinating free-agency cases this offseason. He could make himself some money with a big postseason.

Video: DET@NYY: McCutchen makes the catch in right

AL Central

Indians
Andrew Miller
Michael Brantley and Cody Allen would also have been options. But even after a somewhat down year, the way baseball is played now, someone's going to pay through the nose for Miller.

Video: LAA@CLE: Miller fires a fastball past Young for the K

Royals
Alcides Escobar
Considering the Royals' devotion to Escobar over the years, they might as well sign him for five more seasons at this point.

Video: DET@KC: Escobar lays out for the stop, nabs Iglesias

Tigers
Jose Iglesias
Since Victor Martinez has said he's going to retire, we'll go with the slick-fielding shortstop.

Video: MIN@DET: Iglesias drives 2-run smash to left

Twins
Joe Mauer
His massive contract is finally expiring. But by all accounts, he and the team look like they'd be happy to see him back next year.

Video: OAK@MIN: Mauer moves to 2nd in Twins all-time hits

White Sox
James Shields
Though Shields hasn't been that bad this year, it's difficult to see the White Sox picking up his $16 million option.

Video: CWS@NYY: Shields tosses 5 2/3 frames of 2-run ball

AL West

Angels
Jim Johnson
He's still hanging around, and is still a pretty effective relief pitcher. The other major free agent, Garrett Richards, had Tommy John surgery and won't be back until 2020.

Video: KC@LAA: Johnson fans Moustakas to retire side in 5th

Astros
Dallas Keuchel
The former AL Cy Young Award winner will be one of the more fascinating names on the market this summer (as will his teammate, Charlie Morton).

Video: HOU@LAA: Keuchel tosses 7 strong frames vs. Angels

A's
Jonathan Lucroy
The A's would surely be happy to bring him back on another one-year contract, but someone else might be willing to go longer at this point.

Video: MIN@OAK: Lucroy cranks a 3-run homer to left field

Mariners
Nelson Cruz
Thirty-eight years old or not, every team could use a guy who hits at least 35 homers every year.

Video: SEA@OAK: Cruz crushes a solo homer to left-center

Rangers
Adrian Beltre
The future Hall of Famer has said he wants to return to Texas in 2019, but he'll have suitors out there.

Video: MIN@TEX: Beltre clubs solo homer, strikes karate pose

National League East

Braves
Nick Markakis
He picked an excellent time to have the best season of an already excellent career.

Video: TB@ATL: Markakis dives to rob Bauers in the 9th

Marlins
None

Seriously. Now that they traded Brad Ziegler at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Marlins have no pending free agents -- though that could change when the 40-man roster gets tighter this offseason. But this is a good thing. The Marlins are laying a foundation.

Mets
Devin Mesoraco
He has been a handy player since he came over from the Reds, rebuilding his value enough that he might get a nice deal this offseason.

Video: NYM@PHI: Mesoraco clubs a solo homer to left field

Nationals
Bryce Harper
You might have heard a little bit about his pending free agency.

Video: WSH@NYM: Harper clears bases with pinch-hit double

Phillies
Wilson Ramos
Fitting for a team that's just starting to build, its only major free agents (Ramos and Asdrubal Cabrera) were Trade Deadline acquisitions.

Video: WSH@PHI: Ramos cuts the lead with RBI double in 9th

NL Central

Brewers
Joakim Soria
It's up in the air whether or not the Brewers will pick up his $10 million option this offseason. He's just off the disabled list, and it's not like the Brewers don't have plenty of bullpen options. (You could also say Mike Moustakas for this, but given the premium teams are putting on their bullpen these days -- and the fact that Moose struggled to get a multiyear deal last year -- Soria could end up being more in demand.)

Video: MIL@CIN: Soria fans Dixon, earns 1st win of season

Cardinals
Bud Norris
Norris, along with Jordan Hicks, has been the most stable part of a Cardinals bullpen, which was once one of the worst in baseball but is now one of the best.

Video: PIT@STL: Norris induces double play to notch the save

Cubs
Daniel Murphy
Every hit he gives the Cubs makes him a little more money this offseason.

Video: CIN@CHC: Murphy smacks a 2-run homer to right-center

Pirates
Jordy Mercer
Mercer feels like he has played for the Pirates since Sid Bream, but it has actually only been since 2012.

Video: PIT@SF: Mercer drives in Freese with an RBI single

Reds
Matt Harvey
One of the teams that could probably use him the most is … Cincinnati.

Video: MIL@CIN: Harvey fans Peralta, the side in the 4th

NL West

D-backs
A.J. Pollock
The D-backs have a ton of pending free agents, but none have been as critical to the team's success -- and will be as desired by other teams -- as Pollock.

Video: SEA@ARI: Pollock gives D-backs lead with 2-run single

Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw and Manny Machado
There's no way we could pick just one of these two -- though Kershaw is no guarantee to actually hit the market. The Dodgers ace can opt out of the final two years and $65 million on his contract this winter. Kershaw can also do what CC Sabathia and the Yankees did in 2011, and renegotiate the contract in lieu of an opt-out.

Video: AR@LAD: Machado barehands slow roller to get the out

Giants
Hunter Pence
It has been another lost season for Pence. But if he can get healthy in the offseason, he might be worth a one-year flyer.

Video: TEX@SF: 'Underpants' lifts pinch-hit homer in 7th

Padres
Freddy Galvis
Galvis hasn't missed a game since 2016, for what it's worth.

Video: COL@SD: Galvis dives to make grab on Story's liner

Rockies
DJ LeMahieu
How much teams factor in Coors Field in their evaluations of LeMahieu -- and he actually has a higher slugging percentage on the road this year than in Denver -- will determine where, and for how much, he'll spend the next few years of his career.

Video: COL@SD: LeMahieu swats a solo homer to left-center

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Rejuvenated Richards ends home slate in style

Rookie strikes out 9 over 7 scoreless frames; Wallach hits 1st career HR
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- The grind of the season seemed to be catching up to Trevor Richards. But the rookie right-hander pitched like he got his second wind on Sunday afternoon and turned in a dominant performance in his final home start.

Richards struck out nine and scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings, and Chad Wallach belted a three-run home run in the Marlins' 6-0 win over the Reds at Marlins Park. Wallach's homer capped a four-run third inning against Michael Lorenzen, and it was projected by Statcast™ at 407 feet, with an exit velocity of 105.3 mph.

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MIAMI -- The grind of the season seemed to be catching up to Trevor Richards. But the rookie right-hander pitched like he got his second wind on Sunday afternoon and turned in a dominant performance in his final home start.

Richards struck out nine and scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings, and Chad Wallach belted a three-run home run in the Marlins' 6-0 win over the Reds at Marlins Park. Wallach's homer capped a four-run third inning against Michael Lorenzen, and it was projected by Statcast™ at 407 feet, with an exit velocity of 105.3 mph.

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Video: CIN@MIA: Wallach clobbers a 3-run home run in the 3rd

"Trevor, obviously, was really good today," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "His changeup was really good today. We talk about him having command, when you're able to get ahead in the count. His changeup, he really had a good one today. It looked like it was down in the zone. They hadn't seen him much, either. So it's a team that's a little bit young, so you have guys who haven't seen that change."

Video: CIN@MIA: Mattingly on Richards' outing vs. Reds

The victory was the first for Richards since July 14 against the Phillies, and he was able to bounce back after posting an 11.12 ERA in his first three September starts.

"The last home start here. I just wanted to go out and attack the hitters, and keep doing what we've been working on, keeping hitters off-balance," Richards said. "It worked out. Wally called a great game. We were on the same page the whole time. It turned out to be a good day.

"The fans showed up today. You could hear them, it was a pretty good crowd. It was fun today."

Richards re-established his changeup, throwing 39 and generating 15 swinging strikes. Of his 95 pitches, he had 19 swinging strikes. Another big pitch was his slider, which he threw 15 times.

"The changeup is always good, but the best thing today was his slider," Wallach said. "It kept them off the fastball/changeup mix. We could wrinkle the slider in there, and give a different look. He did a great job today."

Behind Richards' gem, the Marlins took three of four from the Reds, including the last three after falling on Thursday night. Miami closed its home schedule at 38-43. Overall, Miami is 62-93. It's likely that the Marlins won't make up a Sept. 9 rainout at Pittsburgh on Oct. 1, making it even more likely that Miami avoids the 100-loss mark.

"No matter what, we knew what we were kind of embarking on this year, with a lot of the changes," Mattingly said. "The new direction of the club, under the new ownership. You understand all that. Still, the losses add up, and those are hard to deal with. But I've been proud of the guys. I've felt they've continued to play hard and continued to give you the effort, and that's not easy to do when you're taking that many losses on the chin."

With J.T. Realmuto given the day off because he caught on Saturday night, Wallach made just his 11th start for the Marlins and enjoyed a three-hit game. Wallach was the Marlins' Opening Day catcher because Realmuto was on the disabled list. Wallach spent a majority of the season at Triple-A New Orleans, and he was a September callup.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Marlins hammered out 14 hit and scored six runs (five earned). Miami was able to extend its cushion in the fifth inning, capitalizing on two errors and two wild pitches. Brian Anderson had a single, advanced to second and scored on a wild pitch. An error by Scooter Gennett on Richards' grounder to second extended the inning, and Magneuris Sierra had an RBI single, giving the Marlins a six-run advantage.

Video: CIN@MIA: Sierra laces an RBI single to right in 5th

Anderson also made a big play in the four-run third inning, getting to second base safely on Lewis Brinson's infield RBI single. The Reds tried to get a force at second on Brinson's grounder to short that was fielded in the hole by Jose Peraza.

Video: CIN@MIA: Brinson opens up scoring with a 2-out single

"I thought Andy's play at second was huge," Mattingly said. "He beats that ball out at second. We get a run there, and then Chad hits that homer. It was a huge play, and then the guys kept going."

Miami focusing on speed, athleticism in rebuilding effort

SOUND SMART
The Marlins were 28-25 at Marlins Park after June 8.

HE SAID IT
"You know where you're at, and the situation that you're in. A lot of losses in there. That's never any fun. Hopefully, we're going to continue to get better." -- Mattingly

"It was just a lot of fun. The homer was obviously fun. It was great catching Trevor out there. He was phenomenal today. He had everything going for him. It was just a fun day." -- Wallach

Video: CIN@MIA: Wallach on 1st career homer, Richards

UP NEXT
Sandy Alcantara gets a second crack at the Nationals when the Marlins open their final road trip on Monday at 7:05 p.m. ET at Nationals Park. Alcantara is coming off a home loss against the Nats on Sept. 18, where he gave up three runs in four innings with six walks. Stephen Strasburg goes for the Nationals.

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

Miami Marlins, Trevor Richards

Dean, Marlins' Minor League star, shines in win

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- A night before, the Marlins presented Austin Dean with their Minor League Player of the Year award during a pregame ceremony at Marlins Park. On Saturday, the rookie outfielder gave another indication of why he belongs in the big leagues.

Dean connected on a two-run home run and had three RBIs in the Marlins' 5-1 victory over the Reds at Marlins Park.

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MIAMI -- A night before, the Marlins presented Austin Dean with their Minor League Player of the Year award during a pregame ceremony at Marlins Park. On Saturday, the rookie outfielder gave another indication of why he belongs in the big leagues.

Dean connected on a two-run home run and had three RBIs in the Marlins' 5-1 victory over the Reds at Marlins Park.

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Ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 27 prospect, Dean enjoyed a breakthrough Minor League season, combining to hit .345 with 12 home runs and 68 RBIs at Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans.

"It's a huge accolade," Dean said of being selected the top Minor League position player. "The year I had in the Minors was unbelievable. I learned a lot of things down there. Had fun."

Video: CIN@MIA: Dean flares an RBI single into right field

The big season earned him a shot in the big leagues, where he has seen significant action in left field.

For Saturday's game, Dean was miked for the Fox Sports Florida telecast, and throughout the game, the rookie interacted and engaged the fans in left field. The Marlins have now taken two of three against the Reds, with Sunday being the final home game at Marlins Park this season.

Jose Urena, again was masterful, throwing 5 2/3 shutout innings, with two strikeouts. But the right-hander's night was cut short in the sixth inning due to a tight right IT Band (the side of his right thigh).

Video: CIN@MIA: Urena whiffs Votto for his first strikeout

"I didn't want to do too much, I had a little cramp," Urena said.

Urena is lined up to make one more start, which would be Friday at the Mets. As of now, he expects to be ready.

"Yeah, we'll take care of that, do a little treatment and I'll be ready," he said.

Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani was charged with five runs in 5 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts. Gabriel Guerrero hit his first big league home run, which came off Nick Wittgren in the eighth inning.

Video: CIN@MIA: Guerrero launches his 1st career home run

In the sixth, Urena favored his right leg on the pitch that induced a groundout to second off the bat of Scott Schebler.

Urena stayed in the game, and gave up back-to-back singles to Jose Peraza and Joey Votto, before giving way to Jarlin Garcia.

Urena now has won five straight decisions, and has a 1.13 ERA in September, and his ERA is 1.85 since the incident in Atlanta in mid-August, when he was suspended after hitting rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. with a pitch.

"I'm going out there and doing my thing," Urena said. "I know what kind of person I am. My teammates, they know who I am. I just go out there and compete. I don't try to show people who I am, because they already know."

Video: CIN@MIA: Anderson rips an RBI single into left field

After weathering the top of the sixth, the Marlins broke open a five-run lead off DeSclafani on Brian Anderson's RBI single and Dean's two-run homer, which Statcast™ projected at 406 feet. J.T. Realmuto started the inning with a double down the third-base line.

DeSclafani was dominant in the first two innings, including a stretch of five straight strikeouts. But the Marlins broke through against the right-hander, who spent 2014-15 with Miami, with two runs in the fourth inning.

Video: CIN@MIA: DeSclafani ties career high with 10 K's

DeSclafani committed two errors in the inning, which made both runs unearned. He misplayed Realmuto's chopper to the mound, and he surrendered an RBI single to Lewis Brinson and Dean.

"We were having a lot of trouble with him," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "We didn't exactly feel like we beat him up all over the yard, but we got some hits and got some guys out there, and got some key hits."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Wittgren picked up the bullpen by working the seventh and eighth innings, allowing one run, but preserving a four-run lead heading into the ninth inning. In the seventh, Wittgren had a clean frame, and after Guerrero's homer to lead off the eighth, the right-hander retired Billy Hamilton on a line drive to left field, and then got two straight fly ball outs.

"It was nice to not have to stretch your 'pen," Mattingly said. "The extra runs were nice, too. Gave him the freedom to go two."

SOUND SMART
The home run by Guerrero in the eighth inning snapped a string of 19 scoreless innings by Miami pitchers in the series. On Friday, the Marlins won 1-0 in 10 innings.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
The defensive play of the night came in the sixth inning, when Scooter Gennett smoked a line drive that appeared to be headed into right field. But second baseman Starlin Castro made a diving stop to his left. The stop potentially saved a run, or at least, the Reds would have had bases loaded. Statcast™ tracked the liner at 101.3 mph, and it had a hit probability of 76 percent.

Video: CIN@MIA: Castro makes diving grab to strand a pair

It was Castro's second big play this homestand in a similar situation with Garcia on the mound. In a win over the Nationals on Sept. 17 in Miami, Bryce Harper hit a sharp grounder to second that Castro snared for the third out.

"Harper hit a rocket over there, and Gennett hit a rocket," Mattingly said. "So, obviously, they're hitting it to the right spot, and Starlin made two nice plays over there. Big outs to get us out of innings."

HE SAID IT
"I'm going to be one of those guys who has a smile on my face. I love winning. I want to win every game possible. I want to finish this season strong, and whatever happens next year, bet on me just playing the game hard and trying to win every single game." -- Dean

Video: CIN@MIA: Dean on his clutch HR, playing with energy

UP NEXT
Trevor Richards gets the nod in the final Marlins' home game, taking the mound at 1:10 p.m. PT against the Reds. The rookie seeks his first win since July 14 against the Phillies. In three September starts, Richards' ERA is 11.12. Right-hander Michael Lorenzen goes for the Reds.

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

Miami Marlins, Austin Dean, Jose Urena

Prospects visit Marlins Park to get a feel of bigs

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- As part of their final homestand weekend, the Marlins are recognizing and introducing several of their Minor Leaguers to the big league experience.

On Friday night, Miami's Minor League MVPs and their instructional league team visited Marlins Park, with some prospects participating in batting practice with the Marlins before they faced the Reds.

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MIAMI -- As part of their final homestand weekend, the Marlins are recognizing and introducing several of their Minor Leaguers to the big league experience.

On Friday night, Miami's Minor League MVPs and their instructional league team visited Marlins Park, with some prospects participating in batting practice with the Marlins before they faced the Reds.

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Prospects mingled with the players in the clubhouse, and they interacted with manager Don Mattingly and the coaches.

"Donnie and staff were gracious enough to let them out on the field, and take batting practice with the big leaguers," Marlins vice president of player development and scouting Gary Denbo said. "We have some young guys, Rookie League players who have never been out on this field before. It's a tremendous experience, it means a lot."

MLB.com looks at four prospects who have shown potential at various levels:

Right-handed pitcher Nick Neidert : The 21-year-old is Miami's Minor League Pitcher of the Year, and No. 3 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. Acquired from the Mariners in the Dee Gordon trade, Neidert went 12-7 with a 3.24 ERA at Double-A with 154 strikeouts in 152 2/3 innings.

Neidert will compete for a big league rotation spot in Spring Training, but likely will open at Triple-A New Orleans next year.

Neidert's goals?

"Just be a better pitcher than I was this year," he said. "I know I have stuff I need to work on. Stuff I need to do to keep taking steps in the right direction."

Second baseman Isan Diaz: Acquired from the Brewers in the Christian Yelich deal, the 22-year-old was promoted from Double-A Jacksonville to Triple-A New Orleans. His slash line was .232/.340/.399 with 13 home runs and 56 RBIs. According to the Marlins' advanced analytics, Diaz put 9 percent of the balls in play at 105 mph or higher. The league average at Double-A is 7 percent.

"Absolutely. I was told a little more about that," Diaz said of his hard contact rates. "Stay the same. Don't worry about the results, and just go out there and stick to an approach, and let everything else take on its own. Everything worked out."

This offseason, Diaz, Miami's No. 8-ranked prospect, will represent Team Puerto Rico in Colombia during the U-23 Baseball World Cup 2018.

Shortstop Jose Devers: Regarded as the Marlins' shortstop of the future, the 18-year-old advanced this season from low Class A Greensboro to Class A Advanced Jupiter. The left-handed hitter finished .272/.313/.330 with 12 doubles and four triples. Devers was part of the Giancarlo Stanton trade with the Yankees, and he is Miami's No. 12 prospect. He was one of the younger players in the Florida State League.

"I was kind of surprised because it was a league you don't see many 18-year-olds in," Devers said through an interpreter. "But I knew what I've been working on, and I knew what I was capable of."

Devers finished the Minor League season on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis. He is participating in the instructional league, hitting and fielding, but not making long throws.

"My main offseason plan is taking care of my body and my arm," Devers said. "Obviously, I've got to do some things to improve offensively and defensively. But my main priority is taking care of my body and my arm."

Left-handed pitcher Luis Palacios: The left-hander from Venezuela posted impressive numbers in the Dominican Summer League. The 18-year-old was 8-0 with a 0.85 ERA, striking out 62 in 63 2/3 innings. His most telling statistic is just four walks.

"One of the things I do before the game is focus a lot on the strike zone," Palacios said through an interpreter. "I want to get ahead in the counts, and after that, I can go for the strikeout."

Palacios' fastball maxed at 91 mph, but he pitches in the 88-89 mph range. He credits his success to an improved curveball and changeup.

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

Miami Marlins, Jose Devers, Isan Diaz, Nick Neidert

Marlins walk off on Reds after Chen's gem

Lefty K's 8 over 7 scoreless frames; Galloway hits game-winning 2B in 10th
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- Wei-Yin Chen has felt right at home at Marlins Park all season. The left-hander, in his final appearance of the year in Miami, again was masterful, tossing seven scoreless innings. But it wasn't until the 10th inning Friday night that Miami was able to celebrate.

Isaac Galloway lined a double off the wall in right field, driving home Brian Anderson from second, and the Marlins walked off on the Reds, 1-0. In a game that moved briskly behind the pitching of Chen and Reds right-hander Luis Castillo, Galloway delivered his first career walk-off hit.

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MIAMI -- Wei-Yin Chen has felt right at home at Marlins Park all season. The left-hander, in his final appearance of the year in Miami, again was masterful, tossing seven scoreless innings. But it wasn't until the 10th inning Friday night that Miami was able to celebrate.

Isaac Galloway lined a double off the wall in right field, driving home Brian Anderson from second, and the Marlins walked off on the Reds, 1-0. In a game that moved briskly behind the pitching of Chen and Reds right-hander Luis Castillo, Galloway delivered his first career walk-off hit.

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Video: CIN@MIA: Galloway wins it with a double in the 10th

The constant for Chen all season has been his success at Marlins Park, where he made 13 starts and finished up with a 1.62 ERA over 78 innings. The left-hander has the lowest home ERA of any starter in the National League.

After the win, Chen said he talked with teammate Dan Straily, and the two joked about a strategy to even out his home and road splits in 2019.

"We discussed that in Spring Training next year, I should probably pitch all my games on the road [to reverse the pattern]," Chen said through his interpreter.

Video: CIN@MIA: Galloway, Chen and Mattingly on Marlins' win

Chen's home splits vastly contrast his numbers on the road, where he has a 9.29 ERA in 12 starts over 51 1/3 innings. For the season, Chen's ERA is 4.66.

"I can't explain why I can pitch like this at home, and not so much on the road," Chen said. "I probably should practice more in Spring Training."

The Marlins are now 60-93 on the season, and they evened their four-game set with the Reds.

With both starters putting up zeroes, the Marlins were waiting for someone to step up. It was Galloway, who entered in the eighth inning as a pinch-runner and was involved in a replay review after a hard slide.

"It felt good just to help the team come through," Galloway said. "I came in late in the game, I had that slide, which kind of slowed momentum down a little bit. But it was good to get an opportunity. I put a good swing on the ball."

Castillo carried a shutout into the ninth inning. But after issuing a one-out single to Starlin Castro and a walk to J.T. Realmuto, Castillo was lifted for David Hernandez, who got out of the jam by inducing a 6-4-3 double play out of Peter O'Brien, forcing extra innings.

Chen scattered three hits, struck out eight and didn't issue a walk in seven innings. He rebounded from two straight sluggish four-inning starts, where he gave up eight runs while taking a pair of losses.

Marlins hand out Minor League awards

"All I can do is try to stay with the same mindset and do the same routine, and try to attack hitters more," Chen said. "I guess that's all I can do."

Chen effectively mixed up his pitches, throwing 30 sliders and 19 curveballs. He added 45 four-seam fastballs, and topped out at 93.2 mph, per Statcast™. Neither team could mount much of anything. But the Reds had the best chance early. In the third inning, Curt Casali led off with a double, but Chen responded with consecutive strikeouts of Blake Trahan and Castillo, and ended the threat by retiring Billy Hamilton on a fly ball to right.

The defensive play of the game for the Marlins came in the fifth inning after Phillip Ervin doubled and advanced to third on a fly ball. With one out, Miami played its infield in, and Trahan bounced to short. JT Riddle drifted to his glove side, and was able to make an accurate throw to the plate, and Realmuto tagged out Ervin.

Video: CIN@MIA: Riddle nabs Ervin at the dish in the 5th

From there, Chen was in complete control.

"He's got a pretty good pitch mix," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I think we haven't quite seen it until this year, where it's a full year of it. He can back-door the slider, he has a curveball. He can throw it inside on you. He's got a little slider for the lefties that you don't see the spin. I've stood in on him, and you don't see that spin. When he's good with that, he's tough, because he can get the ball to both sides of the plate."

Video: CIN@MIA: Mattingly on Chen's lights-out start in win

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Galloway's walk-off double in the 10th inning was partly assisted. During his at-bat, the Reds moved Ervin in a few steps in right field. Cincinnati was looking to take away a low liner and have Ervin in better position to make a throw to the plate on a single to right. But Galloway was able to drive the ball 342 feet, according to Statcast™, over Ervin's head. When the ball bounced off the wall, Anderson scored easily as Galloway was credited with a double.

Off the bat, he wasn't sure the ball was deep enough to fall.

"If anything, I thought at least [Anderson] can get to third," Galloway said. "I was out in front a little bit on it. Luckily, it fell."

Asked if he was intentionally trying to drive the ball over Ervin's head, Galloway noted: "I wish it was that easy."

Video: CIN@MIA: Galloway discusses walk-off, time in Majors

SOUND SMART
Friday was the seventh 1-0 win in extra innings by the Marlins in franchise history.

HE SAID IT
"I've hit a couple of walk-offs in the Minors. Big games, it seemed at the time, but this one was pretty special." -- Galloway, who spent parts of 11 seasons in the Minors before his first big league opportunity this year

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Reds got a crucial overturn in the eighth inning, which led to a double play. With Galloway pinch-running for Rafael Ortega, who singled, Magneuris Sierra bunted. Castillo went to second for the force, and Trahan threw on to first, and the speedy Sierra was easily safe. But the Reds challenged, because on Galloway's hard slide through the base, he popped up and made contact with Trahan. After a two-minute and 31-second review, both Galloway and Sierra were ruled out due to slide interference by Galloway.

Video: CIN@MIA: Castillo starts double play in the 8th

"I didn't think he was going to go to second with it," Galloway said. "So I ran hard. Then I saw either the shortstop or second baseman getting ready. I slid a little late. I clipped the base and came up, so it was interference. It kind of stinks, but it's the way it goes sometimes."

UP NEXT
Jose Urena is 3-0 with a 1.47 ERA in September, and the right-hander takes the mound at 7:10 p.m. ET at Marlins Park on Saturday. Urena is 2-9 with a 4.20 ERA at home this season. Former Marlins right-hander Anthony DeSclafani goes for the Reds.

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

Miami Marlins, Wei-Yin Chen

Marlins honor Minor League award winners

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- A message the Marlins gave to their Minor Leaguers early in Spring Training was, if players performed, they would be rewarded. A prime example is outfielder Austin Dean, who put up big numbers at Double-A and Triple-A, and now is getting substantial time in left field with Miami.

Dean was recognized by the organization on Friday night and received his award as the Marlins' Minor League Player of the Year. Along with Dean, right-hander Nick Neidert was named the Pitcher of the Year Award winner, while Walner Espinal was awarded the Student of the Year and Bruce Walton awarded the Staff Member of the Year.

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MIAMI -- A message the Marlins gave to their Minor Leaguers early in Spring Training was, if players performed, they would be rewarded. A prime example is outfielder Austin Dean, who put up big numbers at Double-A and Triple-A, and now is getting substantial time in left field with Miami.

Dean was recognized by the organization on Friday night and received his award as the Marlins' Minor League Player of the Year. Along with Dean, right-hander Nick Neidert was named the Pitcher of the Year Award winner, while Walner Espinal was awarded the Student of the Year and Bruce Walton awarded the Staff Member of the Year.

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"We're very proud of Austin Dean, and the progress that he made," Marlins vice president of player development and scouting Gary Denbo said. "He started out hot, and is finishing hot. He has done a tremendous job offensively. He's improved on his defense. We want well-rounded players and he's improved in every area of his game. We're very proud of his game. But it's not just him."

Dean, ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 27 prospect, combined to hit .345 with 12 home runs and 68 RBIs at Double-A and Triple-A New Orleans.

Neidert, the organization's No. 3 prospect, was 12-7 with a 3.24 ERA at Double-A Jacksonville. Neidert was acquired from the Mariners in the Dee Gordon trade, and he played at Double-A at age 21.

Denbo noted the organization didn't hesitate in promoting young players to higher levels.

"That's a goal of ours," Denbo said. "It's to get our players at a younger age competing against tougher competition. Even sometimes when they struggle, we think it's the right thing to do, to put them in a position to learn, to make adjustments. We feel a lot of our guys did that."

A player who didn't move all season was outfielder Monte Harrison, Miami's top prospect, who spent the season at Jacksonville.

Harrison had a slash line of .240/.316/.399 with 19 home runs and 48 RBIs. The concern was strikeouts, as he fanned 215 times, and he had a strikeout percentage of 36.9 percent on the season.

"Monte Harrison, a tremendous athlete in Double-A this year," Denbo said. "We didn't move him because he was striking out way too often. But what he did over the course of the season was go from a very high strikeout total, an almost unacceptable strikeout total, to down near 25-26 percent over the last six weeks of the season."

If Harrison can make consistent contact, he has the ability to be impactful. According to Marlins advanced data, 20 percent of the balls he put in play were at 105 mph or higher. That was the seventh-highest rate of more than 400 hitters in Double-A.

Also on Friday, the Marlins invited their entire instructional league team to Marlins Park. Among the 40 players on the team, first-round pick Connor Scott, second-rounder Osiris Johnson and Competitive Balance Round B pick Will Banfield were on hand.

The Marlins are changing one of their Minor League affiliations in 2019. It was announced Friday that the new Class A affiliate will be the Clinton (Iowa) LumberKings in the Midwest League. Miami is leaving Class A Greensboro in the South Atlantic League.

"We're moving into the Midwest League," Denbo said. "I had an opportunity to play and coach in the Midwest League in my career. It's a good league. It's a good developmental league. We feel like it's on par with the other lower-level A leagues. We feel like it's an opportunity to put some of our younger players there."

Scott, Banfield and Johnson are projected to open next year at Clinton.

The Marlins also have hired Marti Wolever, longtime scouting director with the Phillies, who will be working on the amateur side.

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

Miami Marlins