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Rookies go from Xbox hockey foes to Marlins teammates in two months

        Back in spring training, Brad Hand and Steve Cishek -- two of the emerging young hurlers on the Marlins -- took part in nightly Xbox battles playing NHL 11. They put together a 3-on-3 tournament, with Hand, Tom Koehler and Jacob Smolinski teamed against Cishek, Brett Hayes and Kris Harvey.

     Belt    They crafted a "championship belt" out of cardboard, aluminum foil and bullet casings and instructed their girlfriends not to call during their intense, nightly matches. Hand, who was the leading scorer on his high school hockey team in Chaska, Minn., was fairly skilled at the games.

        "We (the teams) lived in two different apartments and we played over the internet," Cishek said. "We talked over the microphone -- talked trash -- and whoever won had to come get the title belt."

        None of them, save for catcher Hayes, figured to see the light of day with the Marlins anytime soon. The starting rotation was set, and Hand wasn't even in the top three on the minor-league depth chart. Alex Sanabia, Sean West, Elih Villanueva and even Tom Koehler would have projected ahead of Hand.

        Though Cishek had pitched in September for the Marlins, the bullpen was also standing room only in spring training -- so full, in fact, that Burke Badenhop had to start the season in the minors even though he was drawing a big-league salary.

         Their arrivals show just how quickly everything can change. Hand was promoted from Double A Jacksonville to take Josh Johnson's spot in the rotation, but only because Jay Buente failed his audition, the Marlins didn't want to repeat a "bullpen game" strategy that was employed in Los Angeles, Sanabia and West were injured, and Villanueva and Koehler were impressing at Triple A New Orleans. A series of roster moves prompted Cishek's promotion from Triple A.

          Both have dazzled during their brief stays so far. Hand gave up only one hit to the Braves -- a solo home run by Alex Gonzalez -- over six full innings in his major league debut on Tuesday. He returns to the mound Sunday to face the Diamondbacks. With Leo Nunez nursing a stiff back, Cishek notched his first major league save in Friday's win over Arizona. He has yet to allow a run in 12 2/3 innings with the Marlins, which includes his time with the team late last season.


          Nunez played catch on Saturday, could throw a bullpen session either Sunday or Monday, and might  be available to pitch on Tuesday when the Marlins open a four-game series in Philadelphia....Hanley Ramirez, who went 2-for-3 in a DH-only role on Friday in a rehab game at Single A Jupiter, will play the field for the Hammerheads tonight in Port St. Lucie. The Marlins are expecting him back on Tuesday, as well. 


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

      Diamondbacks: 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. Xavier Nady, 1b; 8. Gerardo Parra, lf; 9. Ian Kennedy, p.


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Hahahahahahah Good Stuff...


So we are back to the 2007-2008 form. It seems we can only score by hitting home runs. Which isn't bad unless of course you have a rookie pitcher and two other guys with ERAs over 5. Epic fail.

Flav C

I wish Javi Vazques were a pitcher in the X-Box games only.

Flav C

Glags, right on the spot. And the funny thing is that the FO said that this year the Marlins would move from "power-hitting" to "small ball" type of baseball.

Flav C

I'm going to keep "refreshing" this screen until Clark writes a new article, this time informing us that Javi was designated for assignment.


You can stop hitting the refresh. There is no roster news involving Vazquez.

-- Clark S.

Flav C

That's bad news, Clark. But thanks so much, anyway.

Lou Vales

Glags, Flav, Samson and even Matt(He has actually had the good sense to quit all involvement), Actually went to the Grand Ole Opry--enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Afterwards I actually spoke to some people who also believe Paul Revere advised King George's army about the resistance they would meet if they tried to disarm the militia. The future is actually with those who are under 30 and don't have their thumbs inserted up their butts. I'm almost hoping--if I wouldn't lose so much money--that we don't raise the debt ceiling. We can become a powerful version of Greece. It will be a train wreck to rival all train wrecks.

Sorry. Got distracted.

Anyhow--it is really a lot worse than I predicted a while back. Edgar will be gone by July 10 and Josh Johnson has NOT a clue as to when or IF he returns this year. Does not matter how good you are--and he may be the best when pitching--when EVERY year you breakdown. You would have to be a MORON to take this job without a 5 year GUARANTEED deal. Hanley is a woofer, JJ a possible No Show, No pitching or position players close and an owner who demonstrates that even a boorish dweeb can become a multimillionaire.


I agree Lou. JJ has only had one 200+ season. I guess there is something to the Marlins logic of not giving pitchers long term contracts. Sure enough once they caved, BAM, they get burned.

It's good to hear that Hanley can hit minor league pitching. I wonder if he did his pose after every hit.

The darndest thing is that they can't be sellers come 7/31 because I don't think anyone is interested in buying what we are selling. Or worst yet, I don't know who they can give up to get a legitimate fourth or fifth starter.

Branch Rickey

Surprised that nobody has commented that Coghlan misplayed Johnsons long fly ball to center w/bases loaded,allowing 3 runs to score instead of it being the third out...Cogs got turned around and could'nt recover..Without JJ and having an ineffective Vasquez,shaky Volstad, and a weak bench Marlins will be competing for 3rd place and will be lucky to finish with 85 wins...just where they were predicted to be 100% healthy...Marlins fans have been drinking the Kool-aid that the front office has been serving up and should spit it out and wake up to what Loria is really selling..Mediocrity and Snake -Oil..

Stan M

Here are my 5 favorite, and 5 least favorite Marlins. If interested, would like to hear opinion of others. From one to 5 in that order:

LoMO, Anibel Sanchez, Gabby, Coghlan, Stanton

Least Favorite
Nunez, Hanley, Vazquez, Buck, Murphy

What I want to see done:
Trade Nunez, give Dobbs 2 year extension, (would say trade Hanley but they can't right now)

Player who has performed best in his role:
Randy Choate

Samson's Boyfriend

After tomorrow,Marlins play 16 of next 19 on road..Mr Edwin will be fired ,the question is when..Will he get the axe like Fredi,on the road???Probably..Interesting candidate for Edwins replacement is in visiting dugout..Don Baylor..What other applicants should Marlins consider,with the season swirling around the Bowl,waiting to be flushed...

Lou Vales

I'm usually more sane but I bought the crap as well. I thought JJ would stay healthy, Rickyb would have a big year with free agency nearing, Anibal would stay healthy(that's 1 out of about 10) Volstad would have a breakout and that Vas quez would provide innings, Coghlan would revert to rookie year, Infante would be Infante, Buck would approach last year, HanDoggieRam would be around .320, Dominguez would be ready around July and bench would be improved. I'm not Nostradamus. We do have Dopbbs hitting around 320 and Bonafacio having a pretty good year and Mujica, webb and Dunn showing promise. Hand may be okay but i don't see it with his marginal stuff. As I have suggested ANYONE can go to minor leagues.com and pull up affiliates and verify for yourselves that nearest talent is 3 years away.They have some power arms but they are ALL relievers. Only chanced is to stretch these guys out and hope 1 or 2 can become starters OR this new stadium will resemble a mausoleum by 2013.

Jeffrey, Brother-in Law(Samson is the only one with brains, marry the owner's wife} and Beinfest and the REST of the Scouting Department----You are MORONS who have the 29th ranked farm system in the Majors and that ranking is genorous---MORONS!!!

By the way, Paul Revere did not talk to the British about how we were willing to defend the country, a fascist CAN'T be a socialist and vice versa and before you start citing the Constitution make sure you canm kidentify it from the Declaration of Independence. We appear as idiots to the industrialized world, we were getting our respect back but now a cadre of Know Nothings have exposed us.

Lou Vales

FIRST!! I know you are all dying to know the whereabouts of Brett Carroll---another guy who obviously could not hit but who Marlins were determined to find a place for---well, he is in Nashville playing for the Sounds-a Brewers' affiliate. Hopefully someone has advised Brett that he is a career minor leaguer and he should get on with his life's work sometime soon.

Samson, This starter for Tuesday should really be interesting. maybe they call up James and his 0-9 record from Jupiter. actually James has been pitching well and record is skewed. Who could it possibly be. Will it be that Sampson or Simpson guy against Doc? how would Las Vegas even set a line for that game. It would be like Furman playing Auburn last year in a regular season game and it was mandatewd that a line must be set.

Clark, Why aren't these guys being raked over the coals for this crap? You can't have a Triple A team with a bunch of 30 year old culls and a Double A team with literally no prospects and even more "elderly players", what the Hell is going on??

Lou Vales

Sorry!! I really feel a need to do this. AND this is NOT politics. The Constitution is the one that starts off "We, the people" and then contains those 10 Amendments called the Bill of Rights and additional Amendments 11-27. Declaration of Independence starts off "When in the course of human events", it's difficult when you don't grasp this stuff and then try to portray yourself as a viable leader of the most powerful country that has ever existed. The rest of the world is sophisticated--although not as powerful--to know a fool when it sees one or a few. I was actually enjoying travel with new found respect in England, Italy and Germany but now I sense a backward movement and that is sad.

Now, this is politics. The Great majority of people since the early 50's viewed Joe McCarthy as a BAD MAN and not a hero. Also read Ayn Rand before you make her an idol and before and if you are a strict Fundamentalist it might be good to know she was an atheist--no ifs ands or buts. And trust me the vast majority of people who are quoting her now, she would not have a cup of coffee with.

READ!! It's a GOOD thing. Be proud of having read books. It's good to have an education and be well versed in many things. If someone asks you the last book you read, don't view it as a "TRICK QUESTION."


I think Samson is Loria's son-in-law and not brother in law, right? How could he marry Loria's wife, unless there is really something fishy happening in the bowels of this franchise? Not sure why people are freaking out. Is it because of the good start only to see the product taht we've all grown to expect under this regime? Not that I'm a Ms. Cleo type, but I thought a good season this year would end up in the neighborhood of maybe 81 wins or so. .500 baseball, which I think would be good considering how young this team is. It could just be an off-year for guys like Hanley. There are some definite holes on this club, no doubt, but the core is there. More revenue is coming in next year, right? So, you use that money to plug some of the holes. Bullpen is ok, OF is secure (Coghlan still ? with the bat), Dominguez hopefully at 3B, 2B an issue. Starting pitching needs help, but that is where you can spend some cash. I don't really think it's all that bad, considering what we've all known over the years regarding how this front office operates.

Samson's Boyfriend

Lou..starter for Tues is Volstad..starters for Wed doubleheader will be Anibal Sanchez, with Elih Villanueva getting his first Big League start,dont know who starts day game yet probably Villanueva..just my educated guess...

Samson's Boyfriend

Unless Marlins dont want to bring up Villanueva they'll probably callup 31yr old Chris Samson and let him take a whupping...

Stan M

A bit of history because I love history almost as much as baseball. Palin reportedly said that Revere warned the regular soldiers not to attack. There is truth to that. As to Revere, neither he nor anyone else would have made sense shouting, "The British as coming." That's because the colonists at that time were still British citizens themselves. More likely the shout wwould have been something like, "The soldiers (or regulars) are coming." As to Revere himself, he was much discredited during his lifetime and history ( or Longfellow) has been much far too generous in praise for him. During a patriot attack on a British stronghold (that really wasn't that stong), Revere, as the artillery officer in charge, much discredited himself and contributed mightedly to an embarressing defeat.

Stan M

Sorry for many typos. Am full of meds that make me dizzy, etc...have bad back.
Just saw your last post. I'm more discouraged that ever and sounds like you are, too. Something must be done. Players are frequently sat down for a period to get themselves back on track. Too bad we can't do that with our manager just to shake things up. Big mistake to fire a popular coach when team was already down in the dumps with their one run losses.

Did any of you see that very complimentay article on Loria and the new ballpark? Talk about rose colored glasses, Loria must have paid him to write it.

Lou Vales


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