NL East Notes: Santana, Marlins, Rollins, Phils

It was on this day in 1961 that Braves legend Warren Spahn threw a no-hitter at age 40, holding the Giants to just two walks in the 1-0 result.  It was the second no-hitter of Spahn’s long career, yet his first came just eight months earlier when he no-hit the Phillies on September 16, 1960.

Here’s some news of note from around the NL East…

  • Ervin Santana‘s newly-developed changeup has been a big new weapon in his pitching arsenal, Fangraphs’ Jeff Sullivan writes.  It’s still early in the season and the changeup’s effectiveness could drop as scouting reports get around the league, Sullivan warns, yet the results have thus far been very impressive for Santana and the Braves.
  • The Marlins could’ve added more veteran depth to their young rotation over the offseason, yet manager Mike Redmond, pitching coach Chuck Hernandez and the front office all decided that the young arms were the way to go, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes.  “As we entered the offseason and started our planning, there were tough decisions and frank discussions. If there was not a belief from the dugout to the front office that these weren’t the right guys, then we would have gone out to try to find whatever we needed,” Miami president of baseball ops Michael Hill said.
  • Jimmy Rollins has been “an ideal citizen” within the Phillies clubhouse and has taken on a leadership role with young players, a source tells FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.  This could be Rollins’ way of moving past the tension that existed between he and manager Ryne Sandberg during Spring Training, Rosenthal notes, or Rollins could be attempting to ensure that he receives the 434 PA he needs for his 2015 option to vest.
  • Also from Rosenthal’s column, the Phillies‘ bullpen “remains alarmingly thin” and “an outside addition would be helpful.”  Phillies relievers have posted a 5.14 ERA this season, the third-worst bullpen ERA in the majors.  Right-handed relief is a particular need given that Justin De Fratus, Brad Lincoln and B.J. Rosenberg have all been hit hard and none are even currently on the Major League roster.

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