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56 posts from June 2009

June 10, 2009

Cantu: 'Dizziness should end soon'

Marlins first baseman Jorge Cantu left Wednesday's game after another bout with dizziness a result of the medication he's been taking to battle high cholesterol. The good news for the Marlins? The bouts with the dizzy spells, aches and fatigue should be coming to an end soon.

After Wednesday's 13-4 loss to St. Louis, Cantu (who was 2 for 3 with an RBI before leaving in the sixth inning) said he's no longer taking the medication and must simply now wait for it to clear his system. He said it could take between eight to 10 days for the toxins to clear out. Monday was the final time he took the pills.

"It’s just a bad idea to take it during the season," Cantu said. "Hopefully, in a week or so it will clear out. That’s how it cleared out in the past. I was just very dizzy out there. I didn’t want to hurt myself or hurt my team.

Cantu has been feeling the symptons of aching, soreness and fatigure since he first began taking the medication three weeks ago. Before Wednesday's game, he was nearly slumped over in his locker.

"I’ve tried different pills. Not of it helps avoid this," Cantu said. "We have a plan not to do it during the season. That's what we'll use now."

Baker recovering, will likely rest two days

Hey may still look like he got decked by Mike Tyson, but Marlins catcher John Baker is feeling at least a little better a day after Albert Pujols' backswing cut him near his left temple.

Baker, who received six stitches after leaving Tuesday's game in the sixth inning, said the swelling has gone down considerably and he no longer has a headache.

John Baker Just don't expect to see him Wednesday -- or Thursday (the Marlins would prefer to rest him twice) -- against the Cardinals. While manager Fredi Gonzalez said Baker could be available in an emergency situation, look for Wes Helms to catch if something happens to Ronny Paulino. Normally, Alfredo Amezaga would also be available. But Amezaga, who has been out with a knee injury since May 17, is on a rehab assignment in Jupiter.

As for Baker, he said he asked Gonzalez if he could stay in the game Tuesday. But trainers couldn't stop the bleeding. Baker also refused medication afterward.

"I don't like to take medicine, never have," Baker said. "My mom used to give me ice chips and I'd suck on them and sit in bed until the pain went away. I did that last night."

Baker could end up using more of a hockey style mask as the injury heals. He prefers a regular catcher's mask.

> Speaking of Amezaga, he still has yet to fully participate in baseball drills. According to Gonzalez "he's just swinging a bat right now." Amezaga and reliever Renyel Pinto will not be going on the road with the Marlins when their 11-game homestand ends Thursday afternoon.

Gonzalez said Pinto, who has been out with elbow inflammation since May 25, will pitch in rehab stints in Single A Jupiter Friday and Sunday before pitching in Triple A New Orleans. "He could end up meeting us in Boston or when we come back for the next homestand," Gonzalez said.

> Instead of just using Wes Helms or Ross Gload during the Marlins' trips to Toronto and Boston this coming weekend, Gonzalez said he plans to use the designated hitter slot to give several regulars days off from fielding. Helms, Gload and Alejandro De Aza will then play the field.

"We’d like to give [Jorge] Cantu a breather from the field and let him just DH," Gonzalez said. "Hanley [Ramirez] still has his [groin] issue, so we'll probably give him one of those days. [Dan] Uggla will probably get another day and we'll run [Emilio] Bonifacio out there [at second]. I know when Amezaga was here last year, he played six different positions the last time we went on the road [in the AL]. Not having him here might make it a little more difficult."

> Dolphins Executive Vice President of football operantions Bill Parcells, a big fan and friend of Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, visited with Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez and several Marlins during batting practice before Wednesday's game.

June 09, 2009

Marlins Select RHP Bryan Berglund with 2nd-Round Pick

              After going with prep left-hander Chad James with their first-round pick in the draft, the Marlins went with a high-school right-hander, Bryan Berglund, with their second-round selection.

              Here's video of Berglund in action.

                                                                                                                                                                                       Here's what Baseball America has to say about Berglund, who is out of Royal High School in Simi Valley, Calif.: Berglund

               "Berglund was little known until a local all-star game last December when he enjoyed a breakout performance and rocketed up draft boards....Berglund is a Swedish citizen who has picked up the American national pastime....His fastball sits in the 90-92 mph range, and his secondary pitches are well-developed for a prep pitcher. His slider has the makings of a plus pitch, but his best current offering is his changeup, which shows both deception and late drop."


Marlins Select LHP Chad James with 1st-Round Pick

           No huge surprise here. Draft experts had Chad James high on the Marlins list and it turned out they were right. James, a left-handed pitcher out of Yukon (Okla.) High School, was chosen with the 18th overall pick in Monday's amateur draft.

           Here's what Baseball America has to say about James, a 6-foot-4-inch, 205-pounder:Chadjames

           "James spent the offseason on a stringent conditioning program....After pitching in the high 80s and showing a mediocre curveball last year, has gotten noticeably stronger. (James) now routinely sits at 90-92 mph and touches 95 with his fastball. While his curveball needs more consistency, it's close to a plus pitch at times. He continues to have success with a changeup that ranks as one of the best among this draft's high schoolers. James has some minor delivery issues, but he's so athletic that he should be able to make those tweaks with ease."

           Take a look at James in action.

           Also found this article on James in the hometown newspaper. James was quoted as saying he expects to sign quickly ("I plan on signing as soon as possible as long as things go well," he said. "I think within a week I'll be off getting ready to play somewhere.")

           James hails from Yukon, which is the hometown for country singer Garth Brooks and actor Dale Robertson.

Go West Young Man -- Day After Reflections by Marlins Rookie

              Sean West said not one word to Randy Johnson the whole time the pitching legend was in town. He struck him out. He beat him head to head. West even said he worked out alongside Johnson in the weight room, which is shared by members of the visiting and home clubs.

              And yet, not one single word was spoken between the two. The reason?Sean west

               "I was too chicken to say, 'Hey,'" said West, one day after he flirted with a no-hitter and defeated Johnson and the San Francisco Giants for his first major league win. "He's pretty intimidating. I had plenty of opportunities, but I never said anything. I got a little stage fright."

              West grew up idolizing Johnson. He worshiped him. He watched him on television, never figuring that someday he would face him on the mound. After all, Johnson began his big-league career in 1988 -- two years after West was born.

             But West was never able to gather the nerve simply to say hello to the 300-game winner.

             Here are tonight's lineups as the Cardinals arrive for a three-game set:

             Marlins: 1. Chris Coghlan, lf; 2. Emilio Bonifacio, 3b; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Jorge Cantu, 1b; 5. Jeremy Hermida, rf; 6. Dan Uggla, 2b; 7. John Baker, c; 8. Cody Ross, cf; 9. Josh Johnson, rhp.

             Cardinals: 1. Skip Schumaker, 2b; 2. Chris Duncan, lf; 3. Albert Pujols, 1b; 4. Colby Rasmus, cf; 5. Rick Ankiel, rf; 6. Yadier Molina, c; 7. Tyler Greene, 3b; 8. Chris Carpenter, rhp; 9. Brandan Ryan, ss.

              -- The Marlins are in the midst of a rugged stretch in which they seem to be facing a former Cy Young Award winner just about every night. Tonight it's unbeaten Cardinals hurler Chris Carpenter, who won the NL Cy Young in 2005. In their previous four games, the Marlins took on Barry Zito (AL, 2002), Tim Lincecum (NL, 2008) and Johnson (1995, AL, and 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 NL). Coming up soon: Toronto's Roy Halladay (2003, AL), who they're scheduled to face on Friday. And there are rumblings that John Smoltz (1996, NL) could make his Red Sox debut when the Marlins are in Boston next week.

              For those keeping score, that's five former Cy Young Award winners (not including Smoltz) in an 8-game span.

              -- Brett Carroll didn't get his cycle on Monday. But he gained the distinction of becoming the first player ever to hit a home run and triple off Johnson in the same game.

              -- Don't forget the amateur draft tonight. All the fun begins at 6 p.m. The Marlins have the 18th pick.



June 08, 2009

No-Hit, Cycle Bids Fall Just Short for Marlins Rookies

            Didn't have a chance to look this up, but pretty sure a hitting cycle and no-hitter have occurred in the same game. The Marlins came relatively close Monday when Sean West took a no-hitter into the seventh and Brett Carroll went into his final at bat needing a double to complete the cycle. Alas, neither happened.

            Edgar Renteria broke up the no-hitter with his leadoff single to left in the seventh and Carroll bounced into a fielder's choice in his fourth and final at bat, also in the seventh. Not that either West or Carroll were too disappointed. West collected his first big-league win while Carroll belted his first major league home run -- with pitching icon Randy Johnson acting as the punching bag for both.

           There have been 256 no-hitters thrown in major league history and 287 cycles.

           "He'll never forget that one," manager Fredi Gonzalez said of West's performance.

           On Carroll's big night, Gonzalez said: "For the most part, it was the Brett Carroll show against (Randy Johnson). Everybody else didn't do much."

Marlins Quick Hits -- Maybin, Morrison and Samson

                The Giants are STILL in town and are sending out the Big Unit -- Randy Johnson -- to finish this 4-game wraparound series. Assuming it doesn't rain. The sky is dark (what's new?) but the Marlins are on the field taking batting practice.

                Trying to keep an eye on Jorge Cantu. He's back in the lineup. But, speaking with hiim in the clubhouse earlier, he said playing would depend on how he feels during B.P. He's still feeling a bit light-headed, which kept him out of Sunday's lineup. According to manager Fredi Gonzalez, it's believed that Cantu's dizzy spells are being caused by new cholesterol medicine he's been taking.

               Marlins: 1. Chris Coghlan, lf; 2. Wes Helms, 3b; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Jorge Cantu, 1b; 5. Dan Uggla, 2b; 6. Cody Ross, cf; 7. Ronny Paulino, c; 8. Brett Carroll, rf; 9. Sean West, lhp.

               Giants: 1. Aaron Rowand, cf; 2. Edgar Renteria, ss; 3. Randy Winn, rf; 4. Bengie Molina, c; 5. Pablo Sandoval, 1b; 6. Juan Uribe, 3b; 7. Andres Torres, lf; 8. Emmanuel Burriss; 2b; 9. Randy Johnson, lhp.


               Marlins president David Samson just held court in the Marlins dugout, where he announced that groundbreaking on the new ballpark would be held July 18. Samson said the beauty of the new, retractable-roof stadium: no more rain delays like those that have plagued the club this homestand. He said that rain -- and the threat of rain -- have cost the club about 100,000 in attendance this homestand.


               Logan Morrison, who has been sidelined with a broken wrist, returned to action Monday at Single A Jupiter. Jim Fleming, the Marlins' vice president of player personnel, said Morrison -- one of the organization's top prospects -- was scheduled to play both games of a doubleheader and would be promoted back to Double A Jacksonville within the next three to four days.

             Fleming also confirmed that the injury (dislocated pinky) to Cameron Maybin is not serious and the outfielder could see action for Triple A New Orleans within the next few days. Maybin injured the finger on Sunday when he slid into the bag on a steal attempt.

Marlins To Break Ground on New Ballpark on July 18

             The Marlins have announced on their website that ceremonial groundbreaking for the team's new ballpark will be July 18.

             The 37,000-seat, retractable roof ballpark, which will be located on the former site of the Orange Bowl, is scheduled to open in 2012.

             The groundbreaking ceremony will occur from 10 a.m. to noon on July 18 and will be open to the public.


June 07, 2009

Cameron Maybin Dislocates Pinky

                 This just out of Memphis, where Triple A New Orleans is playing this afternoon. Outfielder Cameron Maybin dislocated a pinky finger while stealing second base and has been taken to the hospital for treatment.

               Maybin was hitting .268 with a .341 on-base percentage for the Zephyrs since being sent down May 10.

Mr. 300: Randy Johnson Starting Monday Against Marlins

              There won't be nearly the drama as there might have been had Randy Johnson not recorded his 300th career victory in Washington a few days ago. In fact, there probably won't be much of any now that he has reached the magical pitching milestone. But the newest member of the 300-win club will be taking the mound Monday at LandShark Stadium on short rest against the Marlins

              Going for the Marlins: Sean West..