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Could DL be next for Hanley Ramirez?

     PHOENIX -- Manager Edwin Rodriguez said that, one way or the other, a decision will be made Friday whether to place Hanley Ramirez on the disabled list. If he's able to play, he'll play. If not, Rodriguez made it sound as though Ramirez might have to go on the DL for the first time in his major league career.

      "If he feels better, he can definitely go (play) Friday with the off day tomorrow, but we don't have the answer," Rodriguez said. "We have to make a decision by Friday because we can't keep going with only one shortstop out there. Pretty soon, we have to make a decision. He says he felt better, but still he's not able to play, not able to pinch-hit or run."

      Just spoke with Ramirez, who said his sore back is feeling better but remains unsure as to when he'll be ready to play. He also said that, except for the takeoff and landing, he'll be standing throughout the 4 1/2-hour flght home to South Florida following tonight's game.

      "It's starting to get loose and I don't want to take a chance and make it worse (by sitting the entire way)," Ramirez said.

    -- Also just walked past pitcher Josh Johnson, who is becoming agitated that we continue to ask about his timetable. But, he replied "don't know" -- without further elaboration -- when I asked when he expects to throw a bullpen session. Johnson has been throwing off flat ground only. Though they haven't ruled it out entirely, the Marlins are all but certain he won't be making the start on June 7 when the Marlins need a fifth guy.

    BEINFEST RESPONSES

    Okay, as promised, a took a couple of your questions and posed them to Larry Beinfest, the Marlins president of baseball operations. It was a group Q&A session in the dugout with other reporters, so I didn't have time to ask all of them. But I chose a select couple, including one received in an email from Matt. StanM. I think your very good ballpark-related questions are more appropriate for David Samson and Claude Delorme, so I'll save those for one of them, if you don't mind. (By the way, Lou, I was a little disappointed -- being from Kentucky -- that you didn't include Henry Clay on your list with Brandeis, Jefferson and Darrow.)

    1) In response to Lou's question about the lack of anyone in the minors to make a spot start in J.J.'s absence, here's how Beinfest responded: "We have people. It's just our comfort level in bringing them up in this situation. We lost Alex Sanabia, which hurt, and (Sean) West was slow geting out of the box, and he's back pitching. But he needs to pitch. (Tom) Koehler and (Elih) Villanueva are just getting their feet wet in Triple A, and Brad Hand has been good in Double A. All those guys can pitch in the big leagues. it's just a matter of do we want to bring them here? Is it the most productive for them, for this team right now, etc? So i think it's a reach to say we don't have people, or it's a major concern. But losing Sanabia and West, who were probably the two closest and have already pitched in the big leagues, has hurt us, yes, in terms of options. You lose two of your closest two pitchers, makes it a little bit tougher. We have options. It's just a matter of how we want to go."

    2) As for Matt's and Lou's question about catcher Kyle Skipworth, here's what Beinfest had to say: "He can hit. It's going to be a little bit slower process with him. We kind of pushed him along (skipping Jupiter) He's shown flashes. You go watch his B.P., it's exciting to watch. I think it's just going to take a little bit longer with him. But the catching has been good. Physically, he looks good. He's big and strong. We're just going to have to be patient with him."

    Thanks for participating. We'll do it again sometime, and I'll put the call out for questions a little sooner than I did today.

     They've closed the roof here at Chase Field, and will keep it closed I have just been informed. Yesterday, they closed it during batting practice before opening it for the game. The ball carries quite a bit more when it's open. We've seen 10 home runs hit in the first two games with it open. Not saying those balls would not have gone out if it had been closed. A few (Upton, Gaby Sanchez) were absolutely crushed. But, 10's a lot.

     LINEUPS:

     Marlins: 1. Chris Coghlan, cf; 2. Omar Infante, 2b; 3. Logan Morrison, lf; 4. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 5. Greg Dobbs, 3b; 6. Mike Stanton, rf; 7. John Buck, c; 8. Emilio Bonifacio, ss; 9. Javier Vazquez, p.

     D-Backs: 1. Ryan Roberts, 3b; 2. Kelly Johnson, 2b; 3. Justin Upton, rf; 4. Stephen Drew, ss; 5. Chris Young, cf; 6. Miguel Montero, c; 7. Juan Miranda, 1b; 8. Gerardo Parra, lf; 9. Daniel Hudson, p.

     Umpires: HP -- Sam Holbrook; 1B -- Gerry Davis; 2B -- Greg Gibson; 3B -- Todd Tichenor.

  

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