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Manager Edwin Rodriguez counting on Hanley Ramirez to snap Marlins out of hitting funk

For the first time in two weeks Hanley Ramirez took batting practice with his teammates on Monday.

Hanley_ramirez Nobody might have been happier to see that than manager Edwin Rodriguez. The Marlins, in the midst of a 3-13 swoon that's dropped them from being just two games back of the Phillies to 32-32 and a half game out of falling into fourth place, will get Ramirez back from the disabled list on Tuesday.

Although Ramirez is hitting just .210 with four homers and 17 RBI, Rodriguez believes having the former batting champion back in the lineup could do wonders for the Marlins, who have had epic struggles during their current 1-9 homestand delivering hits with runners in scoring position (12 for 91, 92 runners left on base).

"Getting Hanley back tomorrow will give the young guys a little bit of an opportunity to relax at the plate and don't feel the pressure they have to be the guys to bring those guys home," Rodriguez said.

"That's what it is. The talent is there. We saw the first two months of the season. Eventually those guys, the same guys, they're going to be relaxed at the plate and their performance is going to be way better. But now because Hanley is not in the lineup and [Josh Johnson] is down and we were struggling, those young guys are feeling the pressure. So with experience and with the help of Hanley in the lineup, those guys are going to be better."

Rodriguez said Sunday Ramirez, who won a batting title in 2009 and has hit primarily third in the lineup over the past three seasons, would bat leadoff against the Phillies upon his return. It could be a role Ramirez remains in for awhile.

With Chris Coghlan struggling against left-handed pitchers (.118 batting average, .176 OBP) and Emilio Bonifacio doing well against southpaws (.311 batting average, .426 OBP), Rodriguez dropped Coghlan down into the eighth spot in the Marlins order Monday and moved Bonifacio up to the top spot.

Rodriguez said in the long run he believes Coghlan should be the team's lead off hitter and Ramirez should hit third. "But right now that's wishful thinking," Rodriguez said. "That's the not reality and they're struggling so we have to make a move."

In the meantime, Rodriguez said Coghlan, who has made just one other start hitting eighth this season, will likely alternate with Omar Infante in the No. 2 spot in the lineup.

"When you're losing and you're the leadoff guy and you're not getting on base, the manager wants to switch something up and hopefully it changes something. I'm sure this one of those times," Coghlan said.

"I'm sure he's trying to get Hanley going too. In order to win and do what we have to do we, both of us have to produce more than what we've done. I think he would say the same thing as I'm saying. I think it's just part of Edwin's strategy and what we need to do to help the team. Regardless of where we hit, we still got to hit. Do we both prefer different spots in the lineup? For sure. I'm sure he may say a different spot than me. The bottomline is we're not doing what we're capable of doing and we really don't have a say. We just have to go out there and hit our way out of wherever we're at and hopefully eventually he'll go back to where it's always been."

> Asked to explain why the Marlins have had so much trouble driving in runs lately, Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison both said they think the team is pressing at the plate with runners in scoring position.

"I think once we get guys in scoring position, knowing our staff is pitching so well, we start chasing pitches we normally take and we don't let the pitcher make the mistake, which is what we do when there are no guys on," Sanchez said.

"I think we need to step back as ourselves and as a team and say relax, don't think about it, go up there and hit. We're all in the big leagues for a reason. We can play this game. It's all about trusting ourselves."

> The Marlins still haven't announced a starter for the first game of Wednesday's double-header against the Phillies, but Rodriguez said Sunday it would either be Elih Villanueva (4-5, 5.23 ERA), Chris Sampson (3-0, 3.91 ERA) or Tom Koehler (5-3, 5.14 ERA). All three right-handers are in Triple A New Orleans.

Left-hander Sean West, who is 1-3 with a 9.33 ERA in New Orleans, won his first decision in six minor league starts Sunday. But the story wasn't his pitching. West went 3-for-3 and hit the first home runs of his pro career in the 7-4 win over the Memphis Redbirds. On the mound West gave up four runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings.

> Rodriguez said he expects closer Leo Nunez, who has been battling a stiff back and hasn't pitched since June 5th, to be available to pitch Tuesday against the Phillies.

"He said yesterday after he played catch he would be alright for today," Rodriguez said. "We still don't know how he feels today after he played catch. I would want to see him throw in the bullpen and see how he goes. If he throws a light bullpen today, he'll be available."

> Rodriguez said Monday the most optimistic timeline for Josh Johnson to make his return to the rotation at this point is early July. Johnson has been out since May 21st with right shoulder inflammation and the Marlins want him to throw two to three bullpen sessions before making a couple rehab starts in the minors.

> Setup man Clay Hensley, out with a right shoulder sprain since June 3rd, said he will play catch on Tuesday for the first time since going on the disabled list. He targeting his return as "the end of June or the beginning of July."

> Catcher John Buck might break out his new silver catcher's mask this week against the Phillies. Buck, who wears a mask similar to those worn by hockey goalies, said he's been a little apprehensive about wearing the mask because it might be a little too flashy for him.

"We're to the point where I might have to go outside of the realm of comfort to get things going. Maybe if we concentrate on that we'll start getting hits," Buck said. " It's a little bright. But we'll see. I'm going to take it. If you see me wearing it, we're in desperation mode."

MONDAY'S LINEUPS

> Marlins (32-32): 1. Emilio Bonifacio SS, 2. Omar Infante 2B, 3. Logan Morrison LF, 4. Gaby Sanchez 1B, Mike Stanton RF, 6. John Buck C, 7. Wes Helms 3B, 8. Chris Coghlan, 9. Ricky Nolasco RHP.

> Diamondbacks (36-30): 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. Zach Duke LHP.

Comments

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Glags

This is borderline ridiculous!!!

rbleigh

Wow, dropping below .500 tonight. How quickly this season has tanked, anyone think Edwin makes it to the All Star Break?

Lou Vales

JJ, You better quit passing out the BS or you will start to resemble your employers. you have no idea in Hell when you will be back and once you are back, your issues are so tenuous that NOBODY knows how long you stay healthy. Let's have a modicum of truth here. PLEASE!!!!

Edwin, There is NO WAY that you are managing this team by July 15. Hanley is no longer your concern. He is someone else's problem.

What waqs done to Ricky tonight was GARBAGE!! Serving him up as fodder because Beinfest, Hill and the other CLOWNS have desecrated a once proud farm system is despicable!! I was hoping that Ricky would tear that worthless cap off his head and fling it at Loria as he walked off.

For the first time I've followed this team I hope they tank just so some major moves can be made. IF Johnson was healthy to the Yankees for Gardner, that great young catcher and one more prospect. hanley back to the Red Sox for best deal they can splice together and Samson to Hollywood for Gilbert Gottfried.

Lenny Dykstra

Lighten up Francis....

Lou Vales

It took a brief time to figure out who Edwin resembled while pacing in the dugout. I finally realized he has the same expression as the 54th person in line to use a Porta Potty on the 4th of July at a Pahokee barbecue hosted by the local Glades Correctional Institution Parolees Association.

Lenny, Put those chips down before you get so deeply in the hole that you will need to up that loan shark advance to protect the family.

FlagstaffBri

Edwin must go!! This guy is in WAY over his head. Now our best pitching option in Ricky is losing it. Here's a question what do you do with Coughlan? Do you put Bonifacio in center when Hanley gets back? This season has turned so disappointing this team doesn't seem to have any balls.

Lou Vales

As Emilio struck out to end it I contemplated if there was any doubt that Loria is far more of a Putz than the Putz that struck out Bonafacio.

I NEVER thought I would say this but if I still lived in the Foreclosure Capitol of the Western Hemisphere i would NOT buy season tickets for this joke nof a franchise in that new stadium. watching this losing streak and witnessing the patent disregard or total inability to make ANY move whatsoever demonstrates an organization with no clue whatsoever besides the ability to fleece taxpayer money and to take advantage of a league's provisions that encourages the epitome of what South Florida is all about---Getting Something For Nothing!!

Glags

That's the problem with this team. You have so many players out of position that you can't really do anything with them. Assume you do put Boni out there, then what do you do when he starts to struggle? Do you really want Coghlan on the bench? Ideally you would like to have a legitimate third baseman and centerfielder and keep Boni, Dobbs and Helms on the bench as planned. Of course none of this matters since we probably don't have any pieces to get an impact player plus there really isn't anyone out there.

Not Even Levitra Would Work For Those Guys

Lou, Tee those sorry pieces of crap up like they deserve. Refuse!! Trash!!

Lou Vales

Glags, You're a good person. Relax. It's over. These guys--not the players or manager---make pond scum look like chateaubriand. I'm not even making my annual trips down there. i would only get kicked out and Loria probably has a special penal institution for those who criticize him at games.

J. Anderson is really a very GOOD!!!! man who has had a meteoric rise from very humble beginnings when he worked with Joe Ceravolo.

Eliot

I believe that Vegas is the current capital of foreclosures and not S.Fla. Probably pretty close though. I still don't understand why people get so excited about this club. They are who we thought they were, me at least. Bottom barrel payroll, lots of young players, struggling veterans, consistent injuries, clueless front office. That's a dish that keeps on getting served on my plate. It tastes horrendous, but what can you do? The owner of the restaurant won't change his menu, yet he wants you to continue buying his bad food. Story of the present day Marlins. They're an average club. Anyone else who thought otherwise was drinking some strong potion.

Samsons Boyfriend

Villanueva should get start in 1st game Wed aginst Kendrick in Philly...Despite Nolascos' piss-poor performance,Marlins still in the game until Cogs hit into DP with no out and Bases loaded..With short bench,Edwin let Helms hit against righty with Dobbs on the bench only tto have Dobbs hit against lefty later on in game...This season has blown up in the FOs' face and they have nobody to blame but themselves..1-10 homestand ,worst in Marlins history..havent seen this much Marlins Futility since 1999..Wonder how long Loria will go without blowing a head-gasket and making drastic changes.Probably not to Long

Samsons Boyfriend

Lou...security had the cops eject 4 young guys in the 8th inning, sitting rite above and to the left of where Loria usually sits...They werent drunk and the cops escorted them from the stadium at Gate H...must have been fouling up the air between home plate and the Marlins dugout.. they were yelling crap all the way out..

Lou Vales

I wonder if Loria controls security when he is attending games on the road. I don't believe in EVER saying anything against a family member of anyone I'm hurling invective at. All i would say about Loria is:

He demonstrates that ANYONE can make it big.
He is cheaper than an Early Bird diner at Toojay's in Delray Beach.
He is a blowhard who will cast blame on others.

Now as far as Samson, there is so much to be said that you would need 18 innings to get it all in.

Beinfest's record speaks for itself. Go back and look at the drafting record in the last 10 years. it will take a huge amount of time to recover from the failed Number 1's that are your life blood. That draft where he chose Volstad, West, Marceaux and a couple of other poodles in the first 100 choices was really a thing of beauty.

Anyone planning to blast loria would be well advised to have a couple of people there to document what the result will be. Now if they try to confiscate the cameras that would really be 3rd Worldish.

This 4 games against the Phillies has the potential to totally break the season by June 17. Not even factoring in 3 games against Tampa Bay. It's really probable that some relievers end up being injured due to overwork.

watch and enjoy with entertainment in mind. The looks on Edwin's and StClaire's faces should be memorable.

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