Published on May 2nd, 2014 | by Jesse Haven2
Are the Miami Marlins Stealing Signs?
While listening to Fangraph’s “Sleeper and the Bust”, fantasy baseball podcast co-host Jason Collette presented a very interesting theory. Collette argued the Miami Marlins may be stealing signs at home this season. On consecutive nights this week, the Marlins hung nine runs on Aaron Harang and 7 runs on Alex Wood. These two pitchers had been lights out all season before getting crushed in Miami which is normally a pitcher’s haven.
Collette noted some very intriguing statistics. So far this season the Marlins have posted an .840 OPS at home and a dismal .621 OPS on the road. Miami batters have a 19% strikeout rate at Marlin’s Park and a league worst 29% K-rate in road games. In the words of Collette “These guys don’t become contact hitters at home and then stink on the road”. The fish have the best home record in baseball and an increased 10% contact rate at home. The home/road splits from Miami this year resemble splits you would see from a team like the Colorado Rockies, not from a team that plays in a cavernous pitcher’s park.
Collette also observed that Atlanta Braves’ catcher Evan Gattis was flashing multiple signs without any runners on base, so perhaps the Braves suspected something was awry. So is this some wild conspiracy theory, or do these claims actually have merit? I for one, will be watching very closely…