SAN DIEGO (CBSMiami/AP) – Distractions are just a part of baseball that players have to deal with on a daily basis.
Mat Latos won’t dodge the fact there’s a good chance the Miami Marlins will deal him prior to next week’s trade deadline.
The right-hander can further increase his value by continuing to be tough on one of his former teams, the San Diego Padres, on Sunday.
While some players deny paying attention to trade rumors or don’t want to be informed of their status, Latos (4-6, 4.48 ERA) is the opposite.
“I want to know what’s going on because I’ve got a 10-month-old and I’ve got a family to worry about,” he said. “I told (manager Dan Jennings) I do want to be in the loop because I don’t want any surprises.”
Saddled with lofty expectations, the underachieving Marlins (41-57) already dealt reliever Steve Cishek to St. Louis and continue to receive interest for Latos, Dan Haren and struggling slugger Michael Morse.
Though Latos is prepared for his Miami experience to last less than a season, his immediate focus is to help the club salvage a series split.
“Right now I wear a Marlins uniform so I have to take care of business as a Marlin,” he said. “This isn’t a one-man game so right now I owe it to the 24 other guys in the clubhouse (to give) 110 percent all day, every day, until they kick me out of the clubhouse. That’s just the way it goes.”
Latos hasn’t let many of his teammates down while going 3-2 with a 2.72 ERA in his last six starts, which includes yielding three runs over 20 innings to win two of the last three. He gave up four hits and struck out seven with one walk in seven innings of a 3-0 win at Arizona on Tuesday.
“You know in his last six starts he’s really thrown the ball excellent,” Jennings said. “(On Tuesday), he just pounded the strike zone.”
Though Latos is 0-1 in three starts against the Padres (46-52) since they traded him to Cincinnati in December 2011, he’s posted a 1.35 ERA in those games.
Pitching hasn’t been a problem for Miami while dropping two straight 3-1 decisions after opening this four-game set with a 4-0 victory.
After Andrew Cashner and Ian Kennedy both delivered strong outings, San Diego’s Odrisamer Despaigne (3-7, 4.98) hopes for some good fortune to continue that trend.
The right-hander is 0-4 with a 5.77 ERA in his last seven starts, but he has received five runs of support during those outings. He was tagged for six and seven hits, including two homers, in five-plus innings of Tuesday’s 9-3 loss to San Francisco.
Though Despaigne claimed he wasn’t trying to make an excuse, he noted that he might have felt the effects of not pitching since July 10 or starting since July 4.
“I think that is one of the differences,” he said. “I think it kind of takes you out of your rhythm a little bit.”
This will be his first appearance against the Marlins.
With a pair of hits Saturday, Miami’s Martin Prado is batting .355 in the last eight games.
Two shy of 2,900 hits, teammate Ichiro Suzuki is hitless in the series and 1 for his last 20.
Justin Upton is 6 for 56 (.107) in his last 16 games but is batting .471 (8 for 17) against Latos.
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