All that time behind the plate without a break has finally caught up to catcher Ronny Paulino, who ceded Saturday's start to Brett Hayes and might do so again on Sunday. Manager Edwin Rodriguez said Paulino, more than any Marlin, needs the upcoming All-Star break to recharge his batteries for the second half.
"For pretty much one entire month, he was catching every day, and it's showing now," Rodriguez said. "Everything is slowing down. Whenever I see him on the field, he's not the same, not only offensively, but defensively. I think his action is not there. I think he needs to recharge. He needs more rest than anybody, because when we come back, we're going to go 17 games in a row, so we're going to need him fresh."
Paulino has gone 2 for 24 at the plate over his past six games and 5 for 38 over his past 10.
Depending on how much Josh Johnson is used in Tuesday's All-Star Game, he'll receive the start for the Marlins in either their first or second game coming out of the break. Rodriguez said that if Johnson throws 30 pitches or fewer, he'll likely start Friday when the Marlins go against the Nationals and rookie Stephen Strasburg. If he throws more than that, he'll probably start the second game of the series on Saturday, with Ricky Nolasco going Friday.
It remains uncertain who the Marlins will turn to as their fifth starter. Alex Sanabia, who makes his first big-league start on Sunday, is one candidate. Another is Chris Volstad, who was sent down to Triple A New Orleans following his outing in Los Angeles. Sean West, who is also at Triple A, is yet another candidate.
Rodriguez has now managed more games (16) in the majors than he played in the big leagues (11). In the small world of baseball, former Marlins manager Jack McKeon traded for Rodriguez when he was with the San Diego Padres. Trader Jack obtained Rodriguez and Dennis Rasmussen as players to be named later from the Yankees for John "The Count" Montefusco.
.There's "absolutely" no truth to the rumor that the Marlins will open the 2011 season in San Juan against the Mets, according to Marlins president David Samson. The Marlins are expected to return to Puerto Rico for a series at some point during the '11 season, but have no intention of giving up one of their biggest gates of the season -- Opening Day -- to make another trip to the island commonwealth. Samson said the Marlins will open the season in South Florida next season for what will mark the final baseball Opening Day ever at Sun Life Stadium.