7/31/98 — In a last minute trade, the Marlins filled the open gap in third base by acquiring Kevin Orrie from the Chicago Cubs for reliever Felix Heredia. The Marlins also receive minor league pitchers Todd Noel and Justin Speier, while the Cubs receive minor league pitcher Steve Hoff. Orie was the Cubs’ starting third baseman last year, but has struggled so far this year. Speier joins the Marlins bullpen, taking Heredia’s spot.
Florida Marlins trade third baseman Todd Zeile to the Texas Rangers for to Class A ballplayers. The first prospect is Jose Santo, a 20-year-old third baseman, who hit .299 with 21 HR and 90 RBI at Class A Savannah, ranking third in the league in homers. The other is Dan DeYoung was 13-4, 4.02 at Class A Charlotte, leading the Florida State League in wins.
Brian Meadows joined fellow Marlins starters Rafael Medina, Joe Fontenot, and Eric Ludwick on the disabled list. Meadows strained his groin muscle during a horrible outing Monday in Houston. Meadows allowed 5 runs in the first inning and never seemed to settle in. Livan Hernandez is the only Marlins who was on the opening week rotation to still pitch. Jesus Sanchez, who joined the rotation two weeks into the season, along with Livan are the only starters who are not demoted or injured.
Following successful starts in Philadelphia, Jim Leyland has moved Kirt Ojala and recently promoted Andy Larkin, back into the starting rotation. Ryan Dempster moved into the bullpen and Eric Ludwick returned to the DL. The other pitchers in the rotation will move up one day. In Houston, Brian Meadows will pitch on Monday, Ojala on Tuesday, Larkin on Wednesday, and Livan Hernandez on Thursday.
Marlins end a 3-game losing streak by outpitching the Cubs in a 2-1 victory. Brian Meadows won his NL Rookie leading 9 game. The bullpen struck out all 6 men it faced. Todd Dunwoody scored the first Marlin run only to see a Henry Rodriguez home run tie the game. But a Todd Zeile solo home run over the scoreboard in left gave the Marlins the lead they needed. 32,000 watched and cheered as Matt Mantei struck out 4 to earn the save.
After a 2-hour rain delay, the Marlins and starter Eric Ludwick jumped to a 7-1 lead over the Expos only to allow the Expos to tie the game in the top of the ninth. But Edgar Renteria took a risk by trying to reach third on an infield ground ball. Brad Fulmer’s throw ended up in the dugout, allowing Renteria to score the game winning run. Marlins 8 – Expos 7.
Marlins trade the struggling Jay Powell and a minor leaguer Scott Makarewicz to the Houston Astros for minor league catcher Ramon Castro, the Astros’ top pick in the 1994 entry draft. The Marlins organization lacked any catching prospect forcing the acquisition. GM Dave Dombrowski considers Castro to be very close to the Major League level. He has been assigned to AA Portland. Rob Stainfer was recalled to take his spot on the roster.