MIAMI ( – Don’t look now, but the Florida Marlins are rebounding from one of the worst months in the history of baseball to a 7-3 record in the month of July as the team hits the All-Star break.

The Marlins just completed a sweep of the Houston Astros and have won five in a row. Just for comparison sake, the Marlins won exactly five games in the month of June.

The Fish are even threatening to claw their way out of last place in the NL East. The Marlins are currently two-and-a-half games behind the fourth place Washington Nationals, and just three games behind the New York Mets.

That may be as high as the Marlins can climb after digging themselves such a hole in the month of June. The NL East has essentially become a two-team race between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves. Coincidentally, the Braves are managed by former Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez.

First baseman Gaby Sanchez remains the Marlins’ best hitter with a .293 average. Right behind Sanchez in hitting is Emilio Bonifacio at .285 and Logan Morrison at .267. Sanchez is also second on the team in homers at 13; and second on the team for RBI’s with 50.

As for the starting pitching, it starts and ends with right-hander Anibal Sanchez. Anibal is 6-2 on the season with a 3.58 ERA. He’s thrown two complete games and has 117 strikeouts on the season. He also has a WHIP of 1.23 for the season.

Past Sanchez, the next best starting pitcher is Ricky Nolasco, who has a 6-5 record with a 3.70 ERA.

But the Marlins could get a big shot-in-the-arm if Marlins ace Josh Johnson can come back from shoulder inflammation problems. Johnson was cleared by Dr. James Andrews to begin throwing from the mound again, but the Marlins are taking Johnson’s return very slowly.

Johnson will likely not be back in the month of July, but could possibly return in August for the stretch-run to the end of September.


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