Jose Fernandez just completed one of the best months by a pitcher in 40 years and appears to be on track to earning the second All-Star nod of his career.
But judging from the first National League fan voting numbers released Wednesday, the chances of any other Marlins earning a trip to San Diego aren’t looking good.
Despite his hitting struggles this season, Giancarlo Stanton was the only Marlin listed among top players at any position, coming in 12th among National League outfielders with 208,607 votes.
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And unless something drastic changes in June, the gap is pretty wide for Stanton, a three-time All-Star, to earn a starting spot.
The three would-be starting outfielders were – Bryce Harper (838,599 votes), Dexter Fowler (797,160) and Yoenis Cespedes (792,395).
“I don’t pay attention to that stuff as far as how good our players are,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “I think it’s more about who people know and they get publicity.”
Fernandez’s All-Star fate will not be decided by the fans, but by Mets’ manager Terry Collins, this year’s National League skipper, as pitchers are chosen by the designated league manager.
Fernandez (8-2, 2.53 ERA) just went 6-0 in May with 56 strikeouts and a 1.38 ERA.
According to Elias, only Hideo Nomo (June 1995), Randy Johnson twice (April 2000 and April 2002) and Clayton Kershaw (June 2014) pitched as well or better than Fernandez in all three categories in a month over the past four decades.
But for the Marlins’ other players having solid seasons such as Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, Martin Prado and J.T. Realmuto – all hitting .300 or better and having solid seasons – likely their only chance to make the team will hinge on support from their peers since reserves are voted on by the manager and fellow players.
Yelich, a Gold Glove winner in 2014, is hitting .314 with five home runs and 21 RBI. Ozuna is in the midst of a bounce-back season, hitting a career-best .333 with a league-best four triples, 10 home runs and 27 RBI. He just hit .411 for the month of May and put together an 11-game hitting streak and a run of 36 games reaching base safely that ended Monday.
“A lot of times it’s who promotes their guys better,” Mattingly said. “Our attendance is not as good as a lot of places so that doesn’t help our guys either. Our guys will get known as they continue to play well and get more time in there.”
The Marlins optioned reliever Jose Urena to Triple-A New Orleans and recalled recently acquired right-handed reliever Cody Hall.
Urena struggled his past two appearances, blowing save and surrendering a combined seven runs on six hits in two innings. Urena is 1-1 with a 7.52 ERA in 16 appearances (20 1/3 innings pitched) this season.
“Jose just has to work on keeping the ball down, when he’s done that he’s had success,” Mattingly said. “When it gets up at a high range, he starts giving up more and more hits. By the numbers we were able to show him where he’s had success. And he just has to keep his front side strong and keep working on his breaking ball.”
The Marlins claimed Hall off waivers on May 18 from the Diamondbacks.
Hall, a native of Savannah, Georgia, pitched in seven games for the Giants last season and compiled a 6.48 ERA in 8 1/3 innings.
Hall posted a 7.98 ERA in 12 appearances in the minors for Arizona’s Triple-A team, but since joining the Marlins’ organization he pitched in four games for Triple-A New Orleans and compiled a 2.70 ERA in 3 1/3 innings.
“For the most part our back end is pretty solid so with Dunn and Hall you have guys that can pitch those later innings,” Mattingly said. “He’s pitched long and shorter roles so he’s a guy that can help us bridge the gap from starter to the pen.”
Thursday: Marlins LHP Wei-Yin Chen (3-2, 4.37 ERA) vs. RHP Juan Nicasio (4-4, 4.79 ERA), 7:10 p.m.
Friday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (3-5, 4.50 ERA) vs. RHP Noah Syndergaard (5-2, 1.84 ERA), 7:10 p.m.