The New York Mets (22-29) will look to extend their five-game winning streak this weekend against the Miami Marlins (13-41) as they continue their eight-game road trip.
This weekend, the Mets will send Shaun Marcum, Collin McHugh, and Matt Harvey to the mound to do battle against the worst team in the league. So should Mets fans expect an easy ride this weekend? To an extent, yes, but there’s a lot to watch with the young Marlins club.
RHP Jacob Turner was activated after Miami’s game against Tampa Bay yesterday to start against the Mets tonight. Turner, who was ranked the #15 prospect in baseball prior to 2012, was sent to Miami by the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Omar Infante. Turner’s stock has significantly fallen, but at 22-years-old there’s still a very high ceiling for the youngster. In 10 starts for AAA-New Orleans this year he has posted a 4.47 ERA with peripherals of 5.9 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9. Turner made two starts against the Mets in 2012, limiting the club to four runs in 14 2/3 innings.
The 22-year-old Marcell Ozuna has burst onto the Marlins as a dynamic offensive force, posting a .314/.357/.438 clip in his first 112 plate appearances. Although his home run power hasn’t translated to the major leagues yet, he has posted three consecutive 20-home run seasons in minor league action. Not many have been able to get Ozuna out, but he has been particularly spectacular against lefties, slugging at a .606 clip.
Jose Fernandez showed what he was capable of at the major league level when he made his debut against the New York Mets on April 7th this year when he struck out eight batters in five innings pitched. The 19-year-old Cuban defector has since been fairly consistent, but is coming off of his worst major league outing in which he allowed seven runs, four earned, in three-and-one-third innings pitched.
Kevin Slowey has quietly been a very good pitcher for the Marlins this year. After missing the 2012, season, Slowey has posted a 3.89 FIP and an excellent 1.72 BB/9 rate as well. He’ll likely be a trade chip next month, but for now he’ll be opposing Matt Harvey this Sunday.
The Marlins may boast the worst record in baseball, but there’s a lot of young talent on this club that can prove to be pesky. The most interesting game of the series should be tomorrow afternoon’s contest when Collin McHugh will be tested for the first time in 2013 against the phenom Jose Fernandez.
Photo Credit: Michael Baron