The Marlins could have taken Carlos Rodon, a Miami-born college southpaw, with the second overall pick of the 2014 amateur draft. Instead, they selected Texas high school phenom Tyler Kolek, who has yet to advance out of the low minors and is spending this season recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Rodon, the third overall pick in 2014, earned the win Friday night at Marlins Park in the Chicago White Sox’s 4-2 victory over the Marlins.
“Somebody’s going to get hot in this [playoff] race,” said manager Don Mattingly of the Marlins’ sluggish play of late. “And somebody’s going to win 10 out of 12, or 11 out of 14, or 14 out of 20, and put you in harm’s way. So we’re going to have to get going. The way we’ve been playing, we’ve been lucky to be where we’re at.”
Rodon not only took care of the Marlins but also outpitched recent trade acquisition Andrew Cashner, who barely made it through the first inning.
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“He didn’t seem to have finish tonight,” Mattingly said. “I think he had a little thing going on with his neck. He said he woke up in Colorado and just slept funny, or something like that. It’s been a little bit of an issue, I guess.”
It was the kind of night that probably left the Marlins’ front office groaning.
The Marlins already returned one piece of their July 29 trade with the Padres, pitcher Colin Rea. It’s probably too late to ask the Padres to just forget the whole thing, Cashner and all.
Cashner has not yet provided the Marlins with the late-season starting help they were seeking when they pulled off the deal.
Cashner was on the ropes early on Friday, giving up hits to the first four batters he faced and having the Marlins dugout ring the bullpen to begin warming Chris Narveson with one out in the second.
Somehow, Cashner managed to make it through five innings.
But in his three starts for the Marlins since the trade, he has gone 0-2 with a 6.61 ERA. Cashner, appearing in emergency relief, also gave up the game-winning hit in the Marlins’ 14-inning loss to the Giants on Monday night.
It certainly hasn’t turned out as the Marlins had hoped. At least so far.
The Marlins effectively gave up injured reliever Carter Capps, 2015 first-round pick Josh Naylor and starting pitcher Jarred Cosart to acquire a late-season rental in Cashner, who becomes a free agent after the season.
Something obviously wasn’t working for Cashner out of the gate.
Four batters in, he had given up two runs, and the White Sox tacked on another run in the second.
Rodon, meanwhile, looked much better than his 2-8 (now 3-8) record would indicate.
After giving up a leadoff single in the first to Dee Gordon, Rodon retired nine in a row before Martin Prado ended the Marlins’ hitting drought with a single to lead off the fourth. Prado ended up scoring on a two-out single by J.T. Realmuto.
The Marlins didn’t get on the board again until the seventh, after Rodon was out of the game. Ichiro Suzuki doubled for his 3,003rd hit before Gordon’s sacrifice fly off former Marlins pitcher Dan Jennings reduced the deficit to two runs.
Otherwise, it was a lackluster night for the Marlins’ hitters. Christian Yelich struck out in each of his four at-bats. It was only the second time in his career that Yelich struck out that many times in one game.
And All-Star outfielder Marcell Ozuna continued to struggle at the plate. He was 0 for 3 and now has just one hit in his past 24 at-bats.
“Offensively, we’ve got to be collectively better,” Mattingly said. “Just don’t give away any at-bats. We don’t seem to have that collective battle. Too many easy outs for guys.”
Marlins reliever Austin Brice made his big-league debut and looked good doing it. He struck out Adam Eaton, the only pitcher all night to retire the White Sox leadoff man. Eaton went 4 for 5.
Brice ended his 1-2-3 inning by striking out Melky Cabrera.