Q&A With Marlin Maniac’s Ehsan Kassim


The Padres will play the Marlins during the next four games. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Padres will begin the first game of their upcoming four-game series against the Miami Marlins at 4:10 PDT this afternoon.  Due to the fact that San Diego will be taking on Miami, I thought that it would be a good idea to learn some more information about San Diego’s upcoming opponent.

With more information in mind, I decided to ask the editor of Fansided’s Marlins-themed website (Marlin Maniac), Ehsan Kassim (@ehsank24), some questions about the team he covers.

So without further delay, here are Ehsan’s answers to the questions presented by yours truly:

1. What are your feelings regarding the Marlins’ most-recent payroll dump from this past winter?

In terms of a baseball move, I still maintain it was a good move to make. The Marlins did exactly what the Red Sox did with the Dodgers and are better off for it now. In the longterm, the Marlins will as well. But when you factor in the Marlins fire sale history and the fact the new stadium cost the fans so much, it is hard to come to terms with it. Loria promised the city a winning franchise that he would pour his money into, after just one season, he abandoned that.

I would have loved to see Jose Reyes and Josh Johnson in a Marlins uniform for at least one more season, but I am over that now. I love the prospects the Marlins currently have in their farm system and hope to see them flourish in the years to come.

2. Is Giancarlo Stanton as good as gone?  Or will he somehow suit up for the Marlins past this year?

Yes and no. Giancarlo Stanton won’t be traded anytime this season or this offseason for that matter. The Marlins will likely hold onto him until his second year of arbitration, try for a contract extension at that point, and move him if he declines. As of right now, there is zero reason for Stanton to accept a long term deal from the Fish. But until money is put on the table, it is also impossible to rule out Stanton signing. It would be difficult to turn down a fair offer with a ton of guaranteed money.

3. Has Marcell Ozuna been the team’s most pleasant surprise this year?  Is there a large amount of hope waiting in the minor leagues?  If so, who are some of the brightest young stars in Miami’s high (AA & AAA) levels of minor league ball?

Yes he has. I did not believe Ozuna would be ready until at least midway through 2014. He received a chance when Stanton went down with his hamstring injury and has made the Marlins brass looks like geniuses (that’s hard to do). After Wednesday’s game, his slash line for the season sat at .297/.332/.436. Although he has only two homers after being a touted power prospect, Ozuna has done everything else correctly since his callup.

The Marlins have a few prospects waiting in the wings, with a couple of them destined to join the big league club at some point in 2013. Christian Yelich is a top 20 prospect in baseball and would probably be up in the majors right now if it were not for injury issues. He is the Marlins best prospect right now and would take over left field for the foreseeable future once he is called up. Jake Marisnick is another top outfielder prospect that could see action in September.

Lefties Brian Flynn and Adam Conley should see their way to the majors soon as well. Flynn is currently in Triple-A and could join the Marlins rotation after the deadline, when a spot is open. Ricky Nolasco is on his way out sooner rather than later and Tom Koehler has been unimpressive as a starter.

4. Will the Marlins actually challenge the ‘62 Mets and the ‘03 Tigers for the single-season losses record?  Why or why not?

No and that is something I have stressed all season. The Marlins have too much talent to be as bad as those two teams. Giancarlo Stanton alone is a major factor why the team won’t be that bad. The Marlins have distanced themselves from that pace with an impressive month of June. With a 13-9 record so far this month, the Marlins would have to go 13-70 the rest of the way to catch the Mets. That’s something I just don’t see happening.

5. Do you have any predictions for the upcoming series?

The red hot Miami Marlins take three of four from the Padres, finishing the month of June with a 15-10 record and starting July 1-0. The Marlins starting pitching carries them past the Padres, as Giancarlo Stanton hits two more home runs. The Padres come close to acquiring Nolasco in series, but he ends up a Dodger.

There you have it, Friars fans.

I would like to take the opportunity to than Ehsan for his time and his responses.  I for one am intrigued to see how this series plays out, and also whether or not Nolasco is traded at some point before it is over.  Most of all though, I will try to make these “Editor Q&A’s” a regular part ofChicken Friars’ in-season coverage.

For now though, let’s hope that the Padres can weather the storm of their upcoming East Coast-road trip.