The Marlins‘ offensive improvement from 2013 to 2014 has been enormous, as Dave Cameron of Fangraphs points out in a piece for FOX Sports. They’ve gotten help from newcomers Casey McGehee, Garrett Jones and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. But the Marlins’ offensive resurgence has truly been a team effort — they’ve also gotten a big bounce-back season from Giancarlo Stanton, plus solid contributions from Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich (who’s now headed to the DL with a back injury) and Derek Dietrich. Their offense is the main reason they’re still above .500 despite the loss of Jose Fernandez to elbow trouble. Here are more notes from the National League.
- Top prospect Gregory Polanco just keeps hitting for the Pirates, with 12 hits in his first six games. SportsCenter points out (via Twitter) that Polanco is the first Pirate to have hits in each of his first six games since Roberto Clemente in 1955. The Pirates promoted Polanco on Tuesday, possibly delaying his arrival until after the likely Super Two threshold. Polanco had one hit in each of his first three games, then had five, including a decisive two-run homer, in the Pirates’ 13-inning game in Miami Friday.
- Kris Bryant has dominated so far this season at Double-A Tennessee, but the Cubs want to keep his performance so far in perspective, writes Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. “I think we try to keep in context that a year ago at this time he wasn’t even a signed player yet. We had just drafted him,” says Cubs executive Jason McLeod. “He has had two very good months at Double A, but still, only two months. … Obviously he has been really, really good and forcing us to take notice of his performance.” Bryant, the second overall pick in last year’s draft, has hit .357/.460/.709 in 291 plate appearances at Double-A.