Eovaldi gets first start for Marlins Saturday
Having already moved a couple of important pieces earlier this week, the Miami Marlins continued their rebuilding process by trading away what at one point was the face of the franchise.
They're surely hoping Nathan Eovaldi, the main player acquired in the Hanley Ramirez deal, can become a reliable mainstay in their starting rotation for years to come.
Eovaldi takes the mound Saturday night for the first time since getting dealt as the Marlins continue a three-game set with the San Diego Padres, winners of nine straight road matchups in this series.
After sending Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to Detroit on Monday, Miami (45-54) made its current focus all the more clear Wednesday by moving Ramirez and his sizable contract along with reliever Randy Choate to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Eovaldi and minor league pitcher Scott McGough.
Making $15 million this season, Ramirez is owed $15.5 million next year and $16 million in 2014.
"I don't know if people really know (owner Jeffrey) Loria (and the front office), but they're cocky, arrogant, and want to win," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "The manager is cocky and arrogant, he wants to win. I know they're going to put something together here, I know.
"We have to do the right thing, make the right moves, think about what we're going to do and build those guys up to have a winning attitude. We're doing that right now."
While his overall numbers leave much to be desired, Eovaldi (1-6, 4.15 ERA) allowed three runs or fewer in all but three of 16 career starts with Los Angeles. The 22-year-old right-hander gave up one run and struck out a career high-tying seven but lasted just 4 1-3 innings in an 8-3 road win over the New York Mets on Sunday.
"Hopefully with the people we brought here, we'll get better," Guillen told the team's official website.
Eovaldi will get his first look at the Padres (43-58), who continued their recent road prowess in this series Friday with a 7-2 victory. Miami natives Yasmani Grandal and Yonder Alonso provided much of the offense, going a combined 4 for 9 with five RBIs.
"Good for those guys, probably took a little weight off of their shoulders coming back to Miami," manager Bud Black said. "I'm sure they left a lot of tickets and to get a couple big hits, a couple RBIs, and have us win made a lot of people here happy."
Grandal is batting .350 with four homers and nine RBIs in 11 road games since getting called up June 30.
The Padres have outscored the Marlins 49-16 during their nine-game road winning streak thanks in large part to hitting .326 with runners in scoring position. They went 4 for 11 in such situations Friday.
Miami has dropped eight of nine overall by a 40-15 margin, going 9 for 60 (.150) with runners in scoring position.
The Marlins will try to bounce back against Ross Ohlendorf (3-0, 5.16), who's gone 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA over two starts since moving back into the rotation last week. The right-hander allowed two runs, five hits and two walks over a season-high 6 2-3 innings Sunday but didn't factor in the decision of a 3-2 victory over Colorado.
Ohlendorf has lost three consecutive starts to the Marlins while compiling an 8.40 ERA.