While the Marlins are facing a steep uphill climb in both the division and wild-card races in order to make the playoffs, Larry Beinfest isn't waving a white flag.
"I think we learned about four months ago not to write this team off," Beinfest said reporters after posing for the annual team photo. "I think that continues today. They have great heart, this team. I don't think we've counted ourselves out of the division, but we've made it a lot tougher on ourselves."
The Marlins began the day seven games behind the Phils in the NL East and 5 1/2 games in back of the streaking Colorado Rockies in the wild card.
Beinfest, the Marlins president of baseball operations, also touched on a couple of other topics. Among them:
1) Asked if he was exploring any possible trades before Monday's midnight deadline in order for acquired players to be on a postseason roster, Beinfest replied:
"It's tight out there. The waivers are winding down. If you're going to get somebody, you're going to need to do it this weekend, basically. We're always looking. If there's something out there interesting in terms of adding depth, or adding experience, or an upgrade, then of course we'll look at it. But it's pretty tight out there this time of year, just in terms of maneuverability -- players that are eligible, willingness of other teams to give up their players, and also whether the player fits financially. It's not as easy as it was a month ago when you didn't need waivers.
2) On the organization's position on offering long-term contracts to pitchers, with Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco looming as logical candidates for multi-year deals:
"I don't think anything has really changed as far as long term (contracts to pitchers)," Beinfest said. "We've always been open. It's not something we've ever ruled out, and we'll go case by case. I think there is some recongition by the organization that pitchers can be risky because they do get hurt, maybe at a higher rate than a position player. But that doesn't mean necessarily we would rule out."
-- Catcher John Baker is out of tonight's lineup with a sore lower back but said it's nothing serious and said he could probably play Wednesday...
Tonight's Marlins Lineup: 1. Chris Coghlan, lf; 2. Ross Gload, 1b; 3: Hanley Ramirez; ss; 4. Jorge Cantu, 3b; 5. Dan Uggla, 2b; 6. Cody Ross, cf; 7. Jeremy Hermida, rf; 8. Ronny Paulino, c; 9. Josh Johnson, rhp.