The Marlins are a team talented enough to compete for an NL East title, but without a ton of depth on their roster, health will be a huge factor. Unfortunately for them, they have suffered the first significant injury of any team in the division.
Reliever Carter Capps - who was expected to be Miami's setup man this season - is now out for the year after having Tommy John surgery. Capps had the procedure done by Dr. James Andrews on Monday.
Capps was one of the best relievers in baseball last season and looked primed for a breakout year with a late innings role. The 25-year-old held a 1.16 ERA in 30 appearances in 2015, striking out 58 batters in 31 innings.
The Marlins still have closer A.J. Ramos, who has been one of baseball's most consistent relievers in recent years. He has a 2.62 ERA in four MLB seasons and saved 32 games with a 2.30 ERA last season.
Ramos is solid, but removing Capps makes their bullpen look less imposing overall. It would not be surprising if his loss convinces the Marlins to seek a trade for bullpen help.
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It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.
It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.
They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training.
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Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.
Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.
Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.
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We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.
Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:
It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.
Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.