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39 posts from August 2012

August 21, 2012

Marlins bullpen catcher assists with a "save"

     PHOENIX -- Umpire Jim Joyce administered CPR on a female concessions employee at Chase Field, helping to save her life, before Monday's game between the Marlins and Diamondbacks. But Marlins bullpen coordinator Jeff Urgelles, a trained paramedic, assisted in the rescue.

      "It was nerve wracking because I haven't been in that situation in a while," said Urgelles, who was a paramedic for a Miami-Dade ambulance company before quitting that job in 2009 to become the Marlins' bullpen catcher.

        UrgellesUrgelles said he was throwing batting practice to Marlins pitchers about 90 minutes before Monday's game when he heard the cry for help. The woman, Jayne Power, had gone into cardiac arrest in a tunnel near the umpire's room.

       "I dropped the balls I had in my hand and ran to the hallway, where she was down," Urgelles said.

       When Urgelles arrived, Joyce was already performing CPR.

       Urgelles said he called out instructions to Joyce, who told reporters on Tuesday that he learned CPR as a student in high school. At one point, Urgelles said that Joyce, thinking the woman was coming to when she began gasping for breath, stopped what he was doing. But Urgelles told him to continue with the chest compressions. When medics arrived, Urgelles said he helped them hook the woman up to monitors and place her on an ambulance stretcher.

       The word out of Phoenix on Tuesday was that the woman was expected to make a full recovery.

       Joyce, one of the most highly respected umpires in the majors, is probably best known for his missed call that cost Detroit's Armando Galarraga a perfect game in 2010.

        "Jim Joyce is a great man," said Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen. "He's a stronger man than me. I might run and ask for help. I'm pretty weak in those situations. But, what he did, it showed you what kind of person he is. I think God puts you there for a reason, and he put Jim Joyce there to save that woman's life." 

August 20, 2012

Marlins have monster inning in Arizona

     PHOENIX -- The Marlins messed up scorecards in tonight's fourth inning at Chase Field, sending a dozen men to the plate in a nine-run outburst that featured a three-run bomb by Giancarlo Stanton and a total of 10 hits to equal a club mark.

     Here's the brief rundown on the new marks:

     -- The 10 hits matched the team record for one inning. The Marlins also produced 10 hits -- as well as nine runs -- in the third inning at Pittsburgh on Sept. 9, 2011.

     -- The nine runs fell one run shy of the team's one-inning mark. The Marlins scored 10 runs here at Chase Field in the eighth inning on July 9, 2009.

     Diamondbacks starter Joe Saunders, who shut out Miami at Marlins Park in April, was on the hill during Monday's bloodbath.

     The inning went as follows:

     1. Donovan Solano singled.

     2. Jose Reyes singled.

     3. Carlos Lee singled, scoring Solano.

     4. Giancarlo Stanton homered to deep left, scoring Reyes and Lee.

     5. Justin Ruggiano homered.

     6. John Buck singled.

     7. Donnie Murphy flied out.

     8. Mark Buehrle popped out.

     9. Emilio Bonifacio singled.

    10. Donovan Solano singled, scoring Buck.

    11. Jose Reyes doubled, scoring Bonifacio and Solano.

    12. Carlos Lee singled, scoring Reyes. (Lee was thrown out at second while trying to advance).

    According to ESPN Stats, Stanton's home run into the second deck in left measured 442 feet. Ruggiano's blast to center was also measured at 442 feet.

Jacob Turner to make Marlins debut on Wednesday

    PHOENIX -- It's official. Ozzie Guillen said Jacob Turner will make his Marlins debut on Wednesday when he starts one of the two games in the day-night doubleheader. The 21-year-old right-hander has gone 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his five starts for Triple A New Orleans since joining the Marlins' organization in the the July 23 trade with Detroit. Wade LeBlanc will start the other game of the DH.

     Guillen said that, more than likely, Turner will start the first game of the DH. Beyond that, however, the plans for Turner the rest of the season are less certain. Guillen said he would prefer that Turner remain in the rotation so that the Marlins can get a read on him as they look ahead to 2013. But that would mean either going with a six-man rotation the rest of the way or taking someone out.

      "We've talked about different scenarios, about how we're going to keep the kid in the rotation," Guillen said. "We're still debating. The answer is not there yet. The report we have (on Turner) is a pretty nice one. But anytime you make a trade that big, all the reports are nice. That's why we have to wait and see how he can play. I think we should take a look at him."

       The Marlins acquired Turner and catcher Rob Brantly from Detroit in exchange for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante.


       Guillen acknowledged that finding lineup protection for Giancarlo Stanton hasn't been easy.

        "Look around," Guillen said. "Like, who? I need the FBI to protect him. Nobody on this team can. No one here can protect him.

        Because of the situation on Sunday (i.e., runners aboard and first base open) the Rockies twice walked Stanton intentionally to bring up Donnie Murphy and John Buck. The Marlins failed to score both times. But Guillen said the Rockies would have walked Stanton in those situations whether it was Murphy or anyone else hitting behind him.

         Guillen said those who criticized his decision to bat Murphy behind Stanton didn't raise a beef previous nights in Colorado when Greg Dobbs (game one of the series), Donovan Solano (game two) and Brantly (game three) hit directly behind Stanton, who homered in each of those games.

         "You know who was hitting behind Stanton before? Solano and the kid (Brantly)," Guillen said. "But they ask why are you not protecting Stanton?"

         Guillen has Justin Ruggiano hitting behind Stanton tonight as the Marlins open a four-game series against Arizona. Murphy moves down to the No. 8 spot and Solano will bat second. But Guillen said the change wasn't motivated by Sunday's results.

         "I don't change because of what happened yesterday," Guillen said. "I changed because Solano has struggled, and I want to put Solano there (in front of Jose Reyes) so he can see more fastballs."

         Guillen said that, ideally, he would prefer to bat Stanton in the No. 3 spot. But, for now, he likes having Reyes there and Emilio Bonifacio in the leadoff spot. "I don't want to move Reyes anyplace else. I think Boni should be the leadoff guy and I think Reyes has more pop."


         Showtime will air its final episode of "The Franchise" on Wednesday, and Guillen said he can understand why.

          "The way we play, who wants to watch that (expletive)?" Guillen said. "I don't want to watch it. Everytime I watch an episode, I get depressed. With the voice of the (narrator) -- 'And the Marlins lost again. And they have a tough time....''"

          Guillen said he thinks the series might have changed the perception others have of him by humanizing him in a positive way.

          "I think people like me more now because of that show," Guillen said. "People used to hate me for no reason. Now that they see the show, they (think) 'This guy is not bad.' A lot of people (told Guillen) that 'I thought you were different.' They saw me with my family. They see the way I respect players. I think people now know a little bit more about me."


          Tonight's lineups:

          Marlins: 1. Emilio Bonifacio, cf; 2. Donovan Solano, 2b; 3. Jose Reyes, ss; 4. Carlos Lee, 1b; 5. Giancarlo Stanton, rf; 6. Justin Ruggiano, lf; 7. John Buck, c; 8. Donnie Murphy, 3b; 9. Mark Buehrle, p.

          Diamondbacks: 1. Chris Young, cf; 2. Aaron Hill, 2b; 3. Jason Kubel, lf; 4. Paul Goldschmidt, 1b; 5. Justin Upton, rf; 6. Miguel Montero, c; 7. Chris Johnson, 3b; 8. Jake Elmore, ss; 9. Joe Saunders, p.

          Umpires: HP -- Jim Joyce; 1B -- Lance Barrett; 2B -- Jim Reynolds; 3B -- James Hoye.

August 19, 2012

Bonifacio, Ruggiano return to lineup

    DENVER -- Emilio Bonifacio and Justin Ruggiano return to the lineup today as the Marlins shoot for their first three-game winning streak since the All-Star break. Bonifacio, as well as Donnie Murphy, were activated from the disabled list, as expected, and were immediately inserted into the lineup. To make room, outfielder Scott Cousins was optioned to Triple A New Orleans and infielder Gil Velazquez was designated for assignment.

    Here's how the lineup looks:

    1. Bonifacio, cf; 2. Ruggiano, lf; 3. Jose Reyes, ss; 4. Carlos Lee, 1b; 5. Giancarlo Stanton, rf; 6. Murphy, 3b; 7. John Buck, c; 8. Donovan Solano, 2b; 9. Josh Johnson, p.

   Stanton will be bidding to equal a major league record this afternoon when he tries to become the third player in history -- joining Roy Campanella and Willie Mays -- to homer in seven straight games at one park. Campanella hit in seven straight at Ebbets Field in 1955. Willie Mays equaled the feat in 1965 at Candlestick Park.

   Stanton has hit in six straight at Coors Field. The "true distance" of Stanton's home run last night was measured by ESPN Home Run Tracker at 465 feet, making it the 13th longest homer of the season in the majors. Stanton hit a 494-foot shot the night before that was the longest in three seasons. Stanton has hit seven home runs this season of 450 feet or longer. Miguel Cabrera is next on the list with three.     

August 18, 2012

Stanton's 494-ft. blast longest this season in MLB

     DENVER -- After further review, Giancarlo Stanton's mammoth blast at Coors Field last night was measured by ESPN's Home Run Tracker at 494 feet, making it the longest and mightiest of the season by any player in the majors. The original estimate by the stats staff at Coors was 474 feet.

      ESPN calculates "true distance," or the distance the ball would have gone had it traveled uninterrupted to field level. Stanton's bomb landed a few rows from the top of the lower-deck bleachers in center.

      Afterward, Stanton -- who has homered in five straight games at Coors to equal Jeff Kent's (2003) mark for most consecutive games with a HR by visiting player -- was asked if he had thought what it would be like if he played at Coors more than a few games a year. Stanton said he had.

      Then, when asked what he thought those numbers might look like, he hesitated for a moment, smiled and replied: "Use your imagination."

      Let's just say his stats would look a whole lot healthier play at Coors than they will over the course of his career at Marlins Park, however long that turns out to be.

      By the way, the second-longest HR of the season now belongs to the Padres' Cameron Maybin -- 485 ft.

      If you haven't seen it, it's worth checking out:

August 17, 2012

Showboating by Hanley Ramirez after home run doesn't surprise Ozzie Guillen

     DENVER -- It came as no surprise to Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen that Hanley Ramirez showboated a home run on Thursday, drawing the ire of Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett.

    “That’s Hanley,” Guillen said of the former Marlin, now with the Dodgers. “(If) Hanley hit a home run down by 30 runs, he would pimp it. That’s the way he is.” Hanley

    Ramirez angered Burnett when he homered off the pitcher in the fourth inning and gestured by using his fingers to make circles around his eyes, similar to the “lo viste” gesture popularized this season by the Marlins.

    When Burnett struck out Ramirez in his next at bat, he yelled “Sit the (expletive) down.” Afterward, Burnett told reporters he thought Ramirez went overboard.

    “If you’re going to hit a homer, act like like you’ve hit one before,” Burnett said.

     Guillen said he doesn’t care for such antics.

     “There’s so much (garbage),” Guillen said. “Somebody hits a home run, they put on a show. Somebody strikes out, they put on a show. That’s the way the game is right now.”

     But Guillen said it would be hypocritical of him to object since his own players are guilty of gyrations.

     “I cannot say (anything) because my players do a stupid show,” Guillen said. “They’re a last-place team. They score one run and they (act) like we score 100.”



     Justin Ruggiano is aiming for a Sunday return to the lineup, but said it all depends on how his back and oblique respond between now and then.

      “As soon as I can get to where I can swing and not feel it, I’m ready,” said Ruggiano, who took some practice swings off the tee on Friday. “The more swings, the less I feel it. It seems like when it’s good and warmed up, it’s good.”

      Ruggiano started Wednesday but left the game after two at bats because of soreness in his side and back. Because the Marlins were mired in a long scoreless innings slump at the time, hitting coach Eduardo Perez tried to change the team’s luck by locking the doors to the indoor batting cage before that game.

     Ruggiano said that might have contributed to his injury acting up during the game.

     “I think what basically happened was I hadn’t taken a swing the day that I did it, probably due to the fact the cage was closed,” Ruggiano said.


     Carlos Lee has a vested interest in the Little League World Series. His hometown team from Aguadulce, Panama, is representing Latin America, and Lee was cheering from a couch from inside the Marlins clubhouse on Friday while watching them play Uganda.

    Lee sent the team a video of himself offering encouragement several days before the start of the tournament. During Friday’s pre-game introductions, many of the Panamanian Little Leaguers said Lee was their favorite player.

    “I’m proud of them,” he said.


August 16, 2012

Jacob Turner being considered for Arizona doubleheader

    DENVER -- With injuries, trades and so forth, there are so many unfamiliar faces inside the Marlins clubhouse and dugout these days that manager Ozzie Guillen says he doesn't dare try to call them by name. He refers to each player simply as "big leaguer."

     Here's one Guillen might want to memorize: Jacob Turner [stats].

     Guillen said that Turner, the right-hander the Marlins obtained from the Tigers in the Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante deal, is under consideration to make his Marlins debut in next Wednesday's day-night doubleheader at Arizona.

      Since the July 23 trade that also brought catcher Rob Brantly to the Marlins, Turner has gone 1-1 with a 2.42 ERA in his four starts at Triple A New Orleans, striking out 13 while walking 10 in 22 1/3 innings.

      Guillen emphasized that a Turner call-up and start in the Arizona twinbill is not set in stone. But Turner is expected to make his way up when rosters expand after Sept. 1, if not before.


       The latest newcomer to the Marlins: infielder Gil Velazquez, who has amassed nearly 5,000 plate appearances in the minors but has only 16 at bats in (very) brief stays with the Red Sox and Angels. He fills the roster spot vacated by Nick Green, who was placed on the DL with a thumb injury.

       "I would love to have an opportunity to be up here and play consistently," said Velazquez, 32, who began his professional baseball odyssey in 1998 in the Mets farm system. "But it is what it is and every opportunity I get I'll try to take advantage of."

        Velezquez's stay with the Marlins may be just as brief as those with Boston and Los Angeles. Emilio Bonifacio and Donnie Murphy are eligible to come off the DL on Sunday.


        Even though he is playing in considerable pain with a strained oblique, Greg Dobbs said he has given no thought to going on the DL and allowing the injury the time it needs to heal.

        "Until I physically can't play or physically feel I can't help this team, I'll cross that bridge," Dobbs said. "But I haven't got to that point yet, nor do I envision that happening. I envision this as something I will get through and play through, and it will slowly get better. The DL is not a thought at all. If I don't have to (go on the DL), I don't want to."

        Dobbs said that throwing, more so than hitting, causes him the greatest pain.

        "Throwing is the worst," Dobbs said. "Hitting I don't feel it too much. You just try to grit your teeth and get through it."

        Guillen said he admires Dobbs for sticking it out.

        "Having Dobbs on the field is a plus, and I appreciate it," Guillen said. "This guy is grinding right now because he knows we need him."


        The rapidly expanding "Perfect Game" club added yet another member Wednesday when Seattle's Felix Hernandez accomplished the feat. His was the 23rd perfect game in major league history but the third this season sixth since Mark Buehrle tossed his with the White Sox in 2009.

        "I don't know what's going on with why there's more now than previous years," Buehrle said. "I have no idea. I can't figure it out. The game hasn't changed."


        Tonight's lineup (No. 92 this season for the Marlins):

        Marlins: 1. Bryan Petersen, lf; 2. Gorkys Hernandez, cf; 3. Jose Reyes, ss; 4. Carlos Lee, 1b; 5. Giancarlo Stanton, rf; 6. Greg Dobbs, 3b; 7. Donovan Solano, 2b; 8. Rob Brantly, c; 9. Ricky Nolasco, p.

        Rockies: 1. Eric Young Jr., cf; 2. Tyler Colvin, rf; 3. Carlos Gonzalez, lf; 4. Michael Cuddyer, 1b; 5. Wilin Rosario, c;  6. Jordan Pacheco, 3b; 7. DJ LeMahieu, 2b; 8. Jonathan Herrera, ss; 9. Alex White, p.

        Umpires: HP -- Larry Vanover; 1B -- Dan Bellino; 2B -- Jerry Layne, 3B -- Mike Estabrook.

Should the Marlins consider Melky Cabrera?

    DENVER -- Though his reputation is stained and his robust stats over the past few seasons are now subject to question, Melky Cabrera [stats] could be just the ticket for the Marlins when they go looking for lineup help in the offseason.

     The Marlins probably won't be throwing wads of cash around like they did last December, and Cabrera -- a pending free agent -- could come at a bargain for, say, a one- or two-year deal. The Giants outfielder all but shot himself in the wallet (and the foot) when he received a 50-game suspension for PEDs, and instead of a four- or five-year deal that might have been worth more than $50 million when he hits the free agent market after the season, he'll likely be looking at much less than that.

     Cabrera has played all three outfield positions, but his suddenly majestic offensive numbers over the past two seasons in Kansas City and San Francisco must now be judged with a a high amount of skepticism. Were they inflated artificially? Or, is it also possible that his improvement resulted from his maturation as a hitter? Or, could it be some combination of both? He's only 28, swings from both sides, and put up solid numbers in a pitcher's park. Did I also mention his .314 average with runners in scoring position this season?

     The Marlins had interest in Cabrera during his Yankees years. Given the weak market for looming free agent hitters, should the Marlins give Cabrera another look when he hits the market?


     The Marlins placed infielder Nick Green on the 15-day disablied list (retroactive to Aug. 13) for a sprained left thumb, transferred outfielder Logan Morrison (knee) to the 60-day DL, and selected the contract of infielder Gil Velazquez [stats] from Triple A New Orleans.  


August 15, 2012

Marlins avoid becoming ninth team in MLB history to get shutout in four straight games; end draught after 30 innings

The scoreless streak is over.

The Marlins plated two runs in the fourth inning off Phillies starter Roy Halladay Wednesday to avoid something that's happened only eight times before in baseball: being shutout four straight games.

The 1992 Cubs (78-84) were the last team to do it according to BaseballReference.com.

Greg Dobbs ended the misery with an RBI single to right following a walk to Carlos Lee and a double by Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton then scored on Donavan Solano's sac fly to left to make it 2-0.

The last-place Fish (52-65) were shut out for the third game in a row Tuesday night -- a new franchise record. They've been shutout 13th times in all this season, one shy of the club mark set in 1993 and 1996.

Scoring figured to be a tall order against Halladay. He held the Marlins to one earned run over seven innings the previous time he faced them on April 11. Halladay also tossed a perfect game against the Fish in 2010.

The 30-inning drought without a run is eclipsed the longest in Marlins' history (previously set Sept. 11-15, 1993). It's also the second longest in the majors this season behind a 33-inning skid by the Dodgers.

The Marlins came into Wednesday's game having scored the second-fewest runs in baseball.

August 14, 2012

You decide: Which catch is Giancarlo Stanton's best?

Giancarlo Stanton said he isn't sure if his diving catch in right field Monday to rob Eric Kratz of an RBI is the best grab he's ever made, "but it's up there."

"It's either that one or the one in May [versus Atlanta] to rob [Jason] Heyward," Stanton said Tuesday.

But the best part of the catch -- no question -- is the fact Stanton didn't feel any discomfort or limitations from his recently surgically repaired right knee.

"To save a potential run and to get a ball I didn't think I could get to right off the bat is a good feeling," Stanton said.

Since Stanton can't make up his mind about which catch is his best, can you?


Emilio Bonifacio, who will play three consecutive rehab assignment games in the outfield in Jupiter starting Wednesday, said he expects to play in the outfield for the rest of this season when he returns from the disabled list Sunday in Colorado.

Manager Ozzie Guillen said over the weekend moving Bonifacio, who reinjured his thumb diving for a ground ball Aug. 3, is probably the safest move to keep him healthy and in the lineup. 

"Right now, that's what's in the plans, but I don't know beyond this season if that's where I will be," Bonifacio said Tuesday. "I told Ozzie wherever he wants to play me or thinks it's the best for me and the time, I have no problem with it."

> The swelling in the injured left thumb of infielder Nick Green still hasn't gone down enough for the Marlins to decide whether or not he'll go on the disabled list. Green said he took some swings Tuesday "at 30 percent" and still felt discomfort. Guillen reiterated the team is waiting to see how he responds to treatment.

The Marlins are shorthanded at third base with all their injuries. Greg Dobbs is playing there with an oblique strain. "Things are so bad, I almost activated myself a couple days ago," Guillen joked. "I know I can catch it and throw it, I don't know if I can hit it."

> Although he's 2-2, right-hander Nathan Eovaldi isn't particularly happy with how he's done in his four starts with the Marlins.

"I'd just like to get past the fifth inning," said Eovaldi, who has given up nine earned runs in 17 1/3 innings and has few strikeouts (10) than walks (12).

Even though he got himself in trouble a few times in Monday's 4-0 loss to the Phillies, Buck said he was encouraged by Eovaldi's adjustments.

"He's just been a little erratic with stuff," Buck said. "He's rushing at times and kind of got out of whack [Monday]. But I liked how he was able to slow himself down in those innings when he struggled. It probably could have gotten ugly if he kept doing the same thing. But he made some good pitches and got himself out of the mess he got himself in. The games he's thrown well for us are the games are the games he's getting ahead. When he falls behind, it doesn't matter how good your stuff is, it makes it easier on the hitters. He made some adjustments."

What has hurt Eovaldi the most is when he can't locate his off speed pitches.

"He's got great stuff," Buck said. "But when you can't locate your off speed stuff they can just sit on your heater. When they it spinning they can just shut down and wait."


> Phillies (53-62): 1. Jimmy Rollins SS, 2. Juan Pierre LF, 3. Chase Utley 2B, 4. Ryan Howard 1B, 5. Domonic Brown RF, 6. John Mayberry CF, 7. Kevin Frandsen SS, 8. Brian Schneider C, 9. Kyle Kendrick RHP.

> Marlins (52-64): 1. Bryan Petersen LF, 2. Justin Ruggiano CF, 3. Jose Reyes SS, 4. Carlos Lee 1B, 5. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 6. Greg Dobbs 3B, 7. Donovan Solano 2B, 8. John Brantly C, 9. Josh Johnson RHP.