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39 posts from August 2012

August 04, 2012

Negative X-rays a positive for Emilio Bonifacio

     WASHINGTON -- The Marlins and Emilio Bonifacio received some encouraging news on the second baseman's injured left thumb. X-rays were negative and Bonifacio might not miss the rest of the season, as manager Ozzie Guillen had feared in the immediate aftermath of last night's fielding mishap.

      Bonifacio was placed on the 15-day disabled list and returned home to Miami, where he'll be examined by the surgeon who repaired his thumb in May.

      "They're going to take a look at it and see if everything is what it was when he repaired it," Guillen said. "He's going to be out for 15 days, and hopefully no more than that. We've got to wait until Monday or Tuesday to see what the doctor says."

       But Guillen and Marlins general manager Michael Hill said the initial results are encouraging.

       "The X-rays were negative so that's a positive," Hill said.

       While Bonifacio's status remains uncertain, the Marlins were forced to make roster changes to compensate not only for his loss, but a mild hamstring injury to infielder Donnie Murphy. Murphy pulled up lame while running the bases in last night's win.

        As a result, the Marlins selelected the contract of infielder Nick Green, adding him to the 40-man roster and calling him up from Triple A New Orleans. Green, 33, last played in the majors in 2010 with the Blue Jays. The Marlins are his eighth major league team. Green has also played for the Braves, Rays, Yankees, Mariners, Red Sox and Dodgers.

        "I feel more rewarded this time than I have in the past, just because it's been a while, " Green said. "I've been through ups and downs since I was last in the big leagues. It's been two years since I was in the big leagues, but it feels like forever. So, at my age, it feels rewarding."

        Green was hitting .344 with 12 homers in 212 at bats for Triple A New Orleans.


        More injury updates:

        -- Murphy said his injured hamstring felt better Saturday and hopes to resume play within the next few days. "Hopefully it'll calm down in the next couple of days," he said.

        -- Outfielder Justin Ruggiano (back spasms) said he's also feeling much better and could be ready to return to the lineup on Sunday. "Today is really promising," Ruggiano said. "If I could be in the lineup today I would be ready to go. Right now it's more or less a tight back instead of a spasming back. Today's the best it's felt."

        -- Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton continues rehabbing with Single A Jupiter and remains on target to come off the DL on Tuesday and play in New York. Jose Reyes, who brings a 22-game hitting streak into tonight's game against the Nationals, has done so well hitting in the No. 3 position that Guillen said he is inclined to keep him there even after Stanton returns. Stanton could go into the No. 5 spot, behind Reyes and Carlos Lee, Guillen said.


        Reyes' 22-game hitting streak matches the fourth-longest in Marlins history. Here's the list:

        Player                              Games                        Year

        Luis Castillo                         35                           2002

        Emilio Bonifacio                   26                           2011

        Kevin Millar                          25                           2002

        Edgar Renteria                     22                            1996

        Luis Castillo                         22                            1999

        Jose Reyes                           22                            2012

        -- Reyes is the first reigning NL batting champion to have a hit streak of 22+ games since Stan Musial had a 24-game hit treak in 1952.

        -- Reyes' streak is the longest by a reigning batting champion from either league since Wade Boggs hit in 25 straight in 1987.


       Check out tonight's lineup for the Marlins. Is this not the worst starting outfield -- based purely on batting average -- in the history of major league baseball? Bryan Petersen (.169), Scott Cousins (.161) and Gorkys Hernandez (.061)....Add up all their averages, and they're still shy of .400. Incredible....


       Tonight's lineups:

       Marlins: 1. Bryan Petersen, lf; 2. Scott Cousins, rf; 3. Jose Reyes, ss; 4. Carlos Lee, 1b; 5. Greg Dobbs, 3b; 6. Donovan Solano, 2b; 7. Gorkys Hernandez, cf; 8. John Buck, c; 9. Mark Buehrle, p.

       Nationals: 1. Danny Espinosa, ss; 2. Bryce Harper, rf; 3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3b; 4. Michael Morse, lf; 5. Adam LaRoche, 1b; 6. Jayson Werth, cf; 7. Kurt Suzuki, c; 8. Steve Lombardozzi, 2b; 9. Jordan Zimmermann, p.

August 03, 2012

Emilio Bonifacio re-injures thumb, could be done for season

     WASHINGTON -- The Marlins were one out away from ending a long, long day at Nationals Park -- one out from winning the second game of Friday's doubleheader -- when second baseman Emilio Bonifacio re-injured his left thumb while making a diving spot on a ground ball.

      According to the Marlins, Bonifacio sprained his his left thumb, and manager Ozzie Guillen fears the injury is season-ending.

      "You could see a lot of long faces out there," Guillen said. "I don't think he'll come back this year. I hope so, but in my mind he's gone, because it's the same hand, the way he was acting, the pain....That's the way we roll."

      But a team source said that Bonifacio, while likely to go on the DL, might not necessarily miss the rest of the season because initial tests did not reveal a tear in the ligament. Bonifacio was on the DL from mid-May until after the All-Star break due to a ligament injury in the thumb that required surgery.

      In addition to Bonifacio, the Marlins are also without infielder Donnie Murphy, who strained his left hamstring while running the bases in the first game of the doubleheader. Murphy might not need to go on the DL, but he could be out for a few days.

      The Marlins could be calling up infielder Nick Green from Triple A New Orleans. Green was taken out of his game Friday night in New Orleans soon after the extent of Bonifacio's injury became known.


August 02, 2012

Jose Reyes has remained focused despite major changes around him

ATLANTA -- When Jose Reyes signed a six-year, $106 million deal with the Marlins this winter, the last thing he expected was to be the only remaining starting infielder from Opening Night still on the roster come August.

Jose ReyesBut the 29-year old four-time All-Star shortstop hasn't let the changes around him phase him. Despite a rough first half (.264, 3 HRs, 22 RBI), he's rebounded nicely since the All-Star Break (.347, 4 HRs, 8 RBI) and carried a 19-game hitting steak into Thursday's game.

"That’s how baseball is some times. Baseball is crazy," he said Tuesday. "It’s shocking because we went to spring training with high expectations. That team we had on opening day was a pretty good team. But we were not able to put everything together, stay in the hunt and compete. As a player, it is what it is, you need to continue to play, continue to go on the field, don’t worry about what happened, how many guys the team is trading. You just need to need to continue to stay focused on the field and continue to do our job."

Reyes believes despite the changes there is still enough talent on the team for the Marlins to remain competitive this season and win in the future.

"We still have some pieces," Reyes said. "[Giancarlo] Stanton is coming back. We still have JJ here. [Mark] Buehrle, he’s capable when he takes the ball. We need to put it together and be consistent on a daily basis. If we are able to do that we are going to win a lot of ball games."

With close friend Hanley Ramirez now with the Dodgers, Reyes was asked if he would assume what was once Ramirez's role as the face of the franchise.

"Yes," he said. "I notice a lot of young guys on this ballclub like to see me play. They can take me as an example, just the way I play the game. I want to give everything I have to help this organization to win a lot of ballgames."

Manager Ozzie Guillen said Reyes sets a good example for his teammates to follow.

"He goes about his business the way it should be," Guillen said. "I don't think he should care about what's around him. He's a guy who has hit .340 in the past. Even though he struggled, you look at every game he hits the ball hard. He plays the same way every time. Reyes can be 0 for 4, or 4 for 5, but you can't even see it because he always play the same way, the same attitude."

Marlins Facebook page hacked; MLB.com responds

ATLANTA -- The Facebook pages of several major league teams were hacked into on Thursday and the Marlins were among the victims.

MarlinsFor a brief moment, the Marlins Facebook page, which has 278,711 likes, promised "the first 10,000 fans ages 18 and under a free rescued fighting pitbull courtesy of the Dade County Animal Rescue League."

The announcement stayed up for a few minutes before being taken down. Pit bulls are banned in Miami-Dade County. Marlins pitcher Mark Buehrle earlier this season specifically moved his family to Broward County so he could keep his pitbulls.

The Marlins deferred comment to MLB Advanced Media, which runs the Facebook pages of all 30 teams.

Other team pages hacked included the Yankees, which announced that shortstop Derek Jeter would undergo "sex reassignment surgery"; the Padres, which strongly discouraged attendance by the handicapped; the Nationals, which announced the team was going back to Montreal; the Cubs, which proclaimed "[Expletive] Bill Murray"; the Giants, which made a derogatory Chick-Fil-A comment; and the White Sox, which read: "Everybody knows President Obama is a diehard ChiSox Fan. Unfortunately, we're voting for Mitt Romney. #Muslim President."

MLB Advanced Media released the following regarding the incident:

"For a brief moment today, a few MLB Club Facebook accounts were hacked and inappropriate material was briefly on display from those Clubs' pages on Facebook. MLB Advanced Media oversees these Facebook pages on behalf of the Clubs and regrets this occurrence. We are working with Facebook, Major League Baseball Security and, where appropriate, legal authorities to determine the circumstances surrounding this situation."

Ruggiano, Petersen ailing in Marlins outfield

ATLANTA -- Justin Ruggiano -- arguably the Marlins most consistent player next to Jose Reyes -- was held out of the lineup for the second day in a row because of back spasms.

Ruggiano said he tweaked his back throwing a ball back into the infield following Tuesday night's 1 hour, 53 minute rain delay in a 7-1 loss to the Braves. He hasn't swung a bat since.

"I may be ready [Friday]," Ruggiano said. 

Bryan Petersen, who tweaked the AC joint in his right shoulder attempting to make a diving catch in Wednesday's 4-2 win over Atlanta, could be out a little longer.

Petersen, who dropped a fly ball that allowed the Braves' to score their first run, said he had trouble picking the ball up in the lights at Turner Field during the twilight hours.

"It was definitely a catchable ball," Petersen said. "It's just really hard to see here."

Former Marlins not exactly shining since being traded

ATLANTA -- It's been a little more than a week now since the Marlins began "restructuring" their lineup. And so far, the guys who were shipped off haven't exactly shined for their new clubs.

Here's a quick update on what the former Marlins have done so far since being traded:

> Although former third baseman Hanley Ramirez got off to a quick start for the Dodgers tripling in his first at-bat, he's hitting just .226 in 31 at-bats for L.A. He's hit one home run with eight RBI, four walks and six strikeouts and is hitless in his last 14 at-bats.

> Second baseman Omar Infante is hitting .192 since being traded to the Tigers. He's scored three runs, but has no RBI in 26 at-bats. 

> Pitcher Anibal Sanchez lost his first start for the Tigers in a 5-1 defeat to the Blue Jays. He went 6 innings, but gave up eight hits and five earned runs along with three walks. 

> Reliever Randy Choate has made five appearances for the Dodgers and has a 2.45 ERA. He gave up a home run in the Dodgers' 4-0 loss to the Diamondbacks Wednesday.

> Former first baseman Gaby Sanchez made his Pirates debut Wednesday in the cleanup spot and went hitless in his first two at-bats with a strikeout and a walk before being pulled for Garrett Jones. Sanchez is expected to platoon at first.

> Reliever Edward Mujica pitched a scoreless of inning of relief for the Cardinals Wednesday.

Eovaldi hopes to get on a winning streak when he makes his second start for Fish tonight vs. Braves

ATLANTA -- Nathan Eovaldi knows it's not easy to win games as a starting pitcher in the big leagues. He won just two of his first 16 starts in a Dodger uniform despite posting a combined 3.96 ERA.

He's hoping his luck changes with the Marlins. After winning his Miami debut against the Padres last weekend at home, Eovaldi will try to kickoff his Marlins career by doing something he's never done before -- win two in a row -- when he faces the Braves at Turner Field Thursday night.

"Just go through the same game plan -- which is throw strikes and get ahead," Eovaldi said Wednesday. "It's a different team, different batters, different threats, but I'm just going to go through it the same way. If you can get ahead of guys -- get strike one out of the way, you have a tendency to do a lot better. It's really just about not falling behind and trying to get those quick outs."

Eovaldi threw 86 pitches -- 56 for strikes -- in his Marlins debut and gave up just five hits, two walks and one earned runs over 5 1/3 innings against San Diego. He said he felt like he had good chemistry with catcher John Buck, who has will catch Eovaldi again tonight.

> As expected, the Marlins announced left-hander Brad Hand will start the first game of a double-header Friday against the Nationals. Josh Johnson will start game 2.

> Outfielder Justin Ruggiano is out again tonight with back spasms. 


> Marlins: 1. Emilio Bonifacio 2B, 2. Gorkys Hernandez CF, 3. Jose Reyes SS, 4. Carlos Lee 1B, 5. Austin Kearns RF, 6. Donovan Solano LF, 7. Donnie Murphy 3B, 8. John Buck C, 9. Nathan Eovaldi P.

August 01, 2012

Brad Hand, not Jacob Turner most likely to start in double-header Friday

ATLANTA -- It's still not official yet, but it looks like the Marlins will call on 22-year old left-hander Brad Hand -- and not newly acquired Jacob Turner -- from Triple A New Orleans to pitch one of the games in Friday's double-header against the Nationals.

Turner, the main piece acquired from the Tigers a little more than a week ago in the Anibal Sanchez-Omar Infante trade, pitched five innings last Saturday in a victory for the Zephyrs, giving up just two hits and one earned run with three walks and two strikeouts.

The Marlins are expected to call the 6-5, 210-pounder right-hander up at some point, but apparently not this quickly. He was 1-1 with 8.03 ERA in three big league starts for the Tigers.  

Hand, who went 1-8 with a 4.20 ERA in 11 starts for the Marlins last season, is 8-5 with 3.66 ERA this season in New Orleans with 116 strikeouts and 54 walks.

> Giancarlo Stanton, coming off arthroscopic knee surgery, is expected to play in his first rehab game for the Jupiter Hammerheads Thursday in Brevard County.

"Hopefully he'll be ready to play in New York [next Tuesday]," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "That's what he's shooting for."

> Guillen said newly acquired outfielder Gorkys Hernandez will likely be in the Marlins starting lineup Thursday when they face left-hander Mike Minor. "After tomorrow, I'll have a better idea or what role he's going to be for the rest of the season," Guillen said.

> Newly acquired third baseman Zack Cox, obtained from the Cardinals as part of the Edward Mujica trade on Tuesday, is being kept on the seven-day disabled list at Double A Jacksonville with a mild hamstring strain. He was injured and first placed on the disabled list July 22.

Cox struggled early in the season for Triple A Memphis, batting .195 in April and .221 in May, but he rebounded for a .377 average in June and .258 average in July.

New arrival Gorkys Hernandez happy to be wearing Hanley's old number, eager to chase down balls at Marlins Park

ATLANTA -- Gorkys Hernandez had just walked into the Indianapolis Indians clubhouse Tuesday afternoon when his manager Dean Treanor told him he was probably going to be traded to the Marlins. An hour later, it happened.

Gorkys Hernandez"It was great news for me," said Hernandez, a 24-year old Venezuelan outfielder who has now been traded three times in his career -- by the Tigers to the Braves for Edgar Renteria, by the Braves to the Pirates for Nate McLouth and finally at the trade deadline by Pittsburgh to the Marlins for Gaby Sanchez.

"I was surprised a little bit. But after that I was happy. It's a new team. There's a lot of opportunity for me to get a job here."

Hernandez, known for his speed (he said he's been clocked at 3.9, 4.0 on his way to first base) and above average defense, was given a familiar number upon arriving in the Marlins clubhouse -- 2, the number Hanley Ramirez used to wear. Hernandez didn't know it was Ramirez's number until some of his new teammates told him.

"The guys said, 'Hey that's Hanley Ramirez's number,'" Hernandez said. "I said, 'I'll try to do the same thing as Hanley Ramirez.'"

For now, the Marlins want to see if Hernandez, who turns 25 on Sept. 7, can help fill a hole in the outfield. Although he's not in the starting lineup Wednesday against the Braves, Ozzie Guillen and Larry Beinfest both said Hernandez will get a long look in center.

In 21 games with the Pirates this season primarily as a defensive replacement, Hernandez played in left 13 times, right field six times and center field twice. He made 23 putouts without an error for the Pirates. In seven minor league seasons, Hernandez played 630 of his 684 games in center field with a career fielding percentage of .982. He has 58 career assists. Playing at spacious Marlins Park is a challenge Hernandez said he's looking forward to.

"I see on the TV the stadium has a lot of room for the outfield. That's what I like," Hernandez said. "That's good for me. I like running to the ball."

Hitting is where Hernandez is a question mark. He was just 2 for 24 (.083) for the Pirates this season. But in Triple A over the past two seasons, he hit .274 with three homers, 65 RBI and 34 stolen bases (50 attempts) in 193 games. Bunting is a big part of his game.

"I'm comfortable with my speed, very comfortable when I bunt. I can run to first base fast," Hernandez said. "I'm just trying to be consistent at the plate [in the big leagues], use my hands and use the whole field. The field in Miami is a big one. If I use the field middle away I can have a lot room for running for doubles, triples, I don't know even maybe a couple inside the park [home runs]."

Asked if he's as fast or faster than Emilio Bonifacio and Jose Reyes, two of baseball's leaders in stolen bases, Hernandez smiled.

"They're pretty fast. I'm kind of the same thing," he said. "When a team has speed guys you have a good chance to make a lot of runs."

Hernandez, who played winter ball in Venezuela with Carlos Zambrano, said his wife is expecting the family's second child in September. He already has a daughter.


> Marlins (47-56): 1. Emilio Bonifacio 2B, 2. Donnie Murphy 3B, 3. Jose Reyes SS, 4. Carlos Lee 1B, 5. Greg Dobbs LF, 6. Bryan Petersen CF, 7. John Buck C, 8. Scott Cousins RF, 9. Wade LeBlanc P.

> Braves (59-44): 1. Reed Johnson RF, 2. Martin Prado LF, 3. Jason Heyward CF, 4. Chipper Jones 3B, 5. Freddie Freeman 1B, 6. David Ross C, 7. Dan Uggla 2B, 8. Paul Janish SS, 9. Ben Sheets P.