8/1/2013 12:37 P.M. ET
Marlins' brass likes the look, future of club
By Joe Frisaro and Joe Morgan / MLB.com
MIAMI -- If not for the dramatic improvement over the past two months, there's no telling what the Marlins' clubhouse would look like right now.
A big reason Miami stood pat at Wednesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline is because of how the team has trended in recent months.
In June and July, the Marlins went 27-24, and their 3.38 team ERA ranked seventh-best in the Majors during that span.
Since the youthful squad is starting to gain maturity, the front office decided to not tamper with what it hopes is continued success.
But what if the team had slumped the past two months?
Based on the first two months, chances were the Marlins would have been in a seller mode at the Deadline. After all, the team was 14-41 in April and May, and if that trend held steady, moves almost certainly would have been made.
"If April and May continues, yeah, I think you do feel differently about things," president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. "Maybe have to rethink your whole program in total."
The club began to play better after Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez returned from the disabled list in June.
"Guys are getting experience," Beinfest said. "We've got our pitching back. Guys got healthy, and we started to look the way we were hopeful we would look right from the start. But it didn't work out that way. No doubt. The way we've played the last two months definitely mattered."
In the final two months, the Marlins are aiming to win as many games as possible. That is a reason they opted to keep veterans like reliever Chad Qualls, who drew interest.
Qualls is a free agent after the season, but the Marlins see his value down the stretch. He's serving in a valuable setup role. If he were traded, young relievers would have slid into roles they may not necessarily be ready to handle.
With a talented young rotation, the organization didn't want to chance having quality starts turn into blown saves.
"I think some of our more experienced players are filling vital roles here," Beinfest said. "We looked at it in total and said, 'OK, what is their production? What is their contribution to the team both in the clubhouse and on the field, etc.?' And if they fit that role and we think they're helping, then absolutely we would want them to stay."
Yelich finding a comfort zone
MIAMI -- It will take more than three straight hitless games to shake the confidence of Marlins rookie Christian Yelich.
In his 10th big league game since being promoted from Double-A Jacksonville, the 21-year-old responded with a two-hit effort and scored a run in the Marlins' 3-2 win over the Mets on Wednesday night at Marlins Park.
Prior to Wednesday, the left-handed-hitting left fielder recorded three straight 0-for-4 games.
The Marlins' top prospect, according to MLB.com, has always been a highly productive hitter, so he wasn't about to get rattled.
"I think there have been some good at-bats," Yelich said. "It's a short sample, nothing to worry about. I've struck out a couple of times, too, but that's going to happen."
What's significant about Yelich's development is that he feels he belongs.
"It's not like I feel overmatched at all up there or anything like that," Yelich said. "I've hit the ball hard sometimes, and they haven't found the holes. And there are some pretty good pitchers, too."
Before manager Mike Redmond moved Yelich to the leadoff spot three games ago, Yelich started off hitting second behind Adeiny Hechavarria.
But Hechavarria is a more aggressive hitter, and Yelich has better plate discipline and he draws more walks, so he was moved to the top.
"There is no pressure," Yelich said. "Obviously, everybody wants to get on base and help the team and get something started right away. It doesn't always work out that way.
"The more quality at-bats you put together over the course of time, it's going to play out in your favor. You'll be on base more times and be in position for the big guys to drive you in."
Offseason deal with Jays paying off for Marlins
MIAMI -- As the non-waiver Trade Deadline came and passed on Wednesday afternoon, the ripples of a previous Marlins trade were in full effect in Miami.
Starter Henderson Alvarez and outfielder Jake Marisnick -- two pieces involved in the 12-player trade with the Blue Jays last November -- led the Marlins to a 3-2 victory against the Mets on Wednesday.
Marisnick hit his first career homer, and Alvarez tossed yet another stellar outing, recording his fourth straight quality start despite seeing his streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings come to an end.
Adeiny Hechavarria is one of the best defensive shortstops in the Majors, and he batted .324 (33-for-102) during July. Jeff Mathis has thrown out 15 out of 35 would-be basestealers while also mentoring Miami's young rotation.
"Those guys are going to be a big part of not only this team this year, but the future," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "These guys can play, and it's good seeing them get up here and get some experience."
Redmond has been especially impressed with Alvarez, who after taking a couple of starts to adjust since his return from the 60-day disabled list on July 4 enjoyed a stellar month, compiling a 2.61 ERA in six starts.
"He missed a couple of months, so it's nice to just see what we have in him, what he's capable of doing," Redmond said. "We're still learning his capabilities as far as stamina and all that stuff, because we've only really seen him a few times. But obviously, we like what we've seen so far."
In addition to Alvarez, Miami netted two more arms in the deal in pitching prospects Justin Nicolino and Anthony DeSclafani, who have each split time between Class A Jupiter and Double-A Jacksonville this season.
Nicolino, the Marlins' No. 4 prospect, according to MLB.com, is 6-4 with a 2.77 ERA in 21 starts, and DeSclafani, Miami's No. 15 prospect, is also 6-4 with a 3.09 ERA in 19 starts.
The Marlins and the Blue Jays both sit in last place in their respective divisions nine months since reaching the blockbuster deal, but at least for Miami, the good has outweighed the bad in recent months.
"It's fun to see these guys all come together," Redmond said. "I don't you think you realize how good of players we got in that trade and how much those guys are going to be a big part of not only this team this year but the future."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro, and Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.