While all eyes will be on the Marlins when they offer a contract extension to Giancarlo Stanton after the season, the slugger isn’t the only roster concern with major payroll ramifications.
Closer Steve Cishek could see his salary jump from this year’s $3.4 million figure to as much as $6 million in 2015 through arbitration, and the Marlins — like most teams with lower payrolls — have scrimped when it comes to their bullpen.
At the moment, the thinking within the organization is that they’ll tender Cishek with intentions of bringing him to spring training. But if another reliever proves capable of handling the closer’s role, he also could be dangled in a trade to address needs at other positions.
“Obviously I’d like to stay here because I think what we’re doing here is phenomenal,” said Cishek, who has 34 saves, matching last season’s total. “I like the direction it’s going. I’ve been given every opportunity here and thankful for it, so hopefully I can continue that next year.”
GOING BY ‘FEEL’
Marlins hitting coach Frank Menechino said about 90 percent of major-league hitters study video of their at bats. Christian Yelich falls within the other 10 percent who don’t.
“I’ll watch [video of] pitchers I’ve never seen before,” Yelich said. “But I really don’t watch my swing. I just go off feel. I can feel if something’s wrong. I can just kind of tell by taking a few swings.”
Yelich took a 13-game hitting streak into Thursday and leads all big-league leadoff hitters with a .380 on-base percentage.
“His swing his simple,” Menechino said. “I would love everyone to be a feel guy and not a video guy, so for me it’s a great thing he doesn’t focus on that stuff.”
Yelich said the batting cage is where he does most of his homework.
“The cage is the most important part for me,” he said. “That’s kind of where I make my adjustments.”
Yelich also doesn’t look at his statistics.
“Never have. Never will,” he said. “Statistics aren’t important. Helping the team win is important.”
If manager Mike Redmond goes to the mound to take out Henderson Alvarez on Friday when the pitcher makes his first start since Sept.1, don’t expect Alvarez to slam the ball in Redmond’s palm and stomp off to the dugout in a huff the way he did the last time he was lifted.
Redmond has spoken to Alvarez about it.
“We worked that out,” Redmond said, smiling. “We’ve talked about it. We’re all good.”
Alvarez will be pitching for the first time since an oblique injury caused him to miss a start. Redmond said he’s confident Alvarez is healthy.
“I feel good that he’s ready to go,” Redmond said. “I think we’ve given him the proper amount of time to feel good and throw his bullpens. So I’m expecting him to go out there and have a great outing.”
▪ Friday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (10-6, 2.88 ERA) at Philadelphia Phillies LHP Cole Hamels (8-7, 2.56), 7:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park.
▪ Saturday: Marlins LHP Brad Hand (3-6, 4.45) at Phillies RHP Kyle Kendrick (8-12, 4.83), 7:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park.