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3 posts from February 23, 2013

February 23, 2013

Foul tip breaks catcher Jeff Mathis' collarbone

    JUPITER -- The Marlins won their first Grapefruit League game on Saturday but suffered a signifcant loss in the process when a foul tip broke the right collarbone of catcher Jeff Mathis.

     Mathis was not only expected to serve as the principle backup for Rob Brantly, but is the only catcher in camp with any major league experience.

     "Obviously a big blow for us," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond. "Just a freak deal. We don't have a ton of depth behind the plate. We're pretty young back there."

     Redmond said Mathis could be out for six weeks.

     Mathis was injured in the fourth inning when the Cardinals' Matt Holliday fouled a ball off the catcher's padded chest protector. Mathis said he could tell he was seriously hurt when he tried to throw the ball back to the mound.

     "It just got me square," Mathis said. "It hit me in the pad. It's just one of those things, catches you just right. Been hit there a lot of times. It felt like any other foul tip I've taken off the mask, off the shoulder, off the hand. But when I went to throw, I knew something was wrong."

     Mathis said the only good news is that the the fracture is not displaced.

     Mathis left the game immediately and was replaced by Kyle Skipworth.


     Given the lack of catching experience in the organization, the Marlins will almost certainly look around the league for backup help. 



John Maine pleased with first outing (w/video)

    JUPITER -- First spring outings were never John Maine's cup of tea, according to the right-hander. But Maine, who is trying to revive his major league career with the Marlins, passed his first test Saturday with a solid debut against the Cardinals.

     Maine completed his allotted two innings, giving up a wind-aided solo shot to David Freese but little else.

     "I was really really antsy, really excited," Maine said. "It's the first time I think I've ever gotten through two innings in my first start. I got six outs this time. I'm happy about that."

     Here's what Maine had to say:

Will Marlins win Grapefruit League title? Don't laugh.

     JUPITER -- Not that it matters, but don't be surprised if the Marlins look like champions this spring. Teams earmarked for mediocrity often do. With so many roster spots up for grabs, the Grapefruit League games actually matter for many.

      "We don't have a lot of guys who can just breeze through spring training and prepare themselves," said Mike Redmond, who is making his unofficial big-league managing debut this afternoon when the Marlins take on the Cardinals. "Guys are battling for spots. There's a lot at stake for a lot of guys. So, yeah, I'm looking for guys to come out playing with a sense of urgency."

      Remember the 2006 Marlins, the team with a eight million rookies? That team went 19-9-3 to finish with the best record of any Grapefruit League team. Owner Jeffrey Loria rewarded first-year manager Joe Girardi with a bag of grapefruit. The '06 Marlins promptly went 11-31 to start the season before recovering and making a race of it.

      On the other hand, the 2003 Marlins, eventual World Series champs, went 14-16 in the spring.

      "I'm not shooting for the Grapefruit League title," Redmond said. "But I want to win. I just want to win some ballgames and get a good feeling going into the season."


      Due to his participation in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, look for Giancarlo Stanton to receive more playing time than usual this spring.

      "We're going to have to speed up the process with him getting in shape because he's got to be ready to play when he leaves here on (March) 3rd," Redmond said. "We're going to have to ramp it up a big quicker with him. He's going to have to play more. He's got to be at least comfortable enough to go to the WBC and play nine innings. They're not going to yank him out of there after two at bats."

       As such, Redmond said Stanton will often play on back-to-back days, but as DH in one of those games to prevent him from "not having to stand out in the outfield for nine innings." Redmond said Stanton, who is in today's lineup, will get the day off on Sunday but play Monday in Orlando and Tuesday in Jupiter.


       Here's today's lineup for the Marlins:

       1. Juan Pierre, lf; 2. Polacido Polanco, 3b; 3. Giancarlo Stanton, rf; 4. Joe Mahoney, 1b; 5. Donovan Solano, 2b; 6. Alfredo Silverio dh; 7. Jeff Mathis, c; 8. Adeiny Hechavarria, ss; 9. Gorkys Hernandez, cf. Starting: John Maine.


on stanton: i think it's important for everybody to stay healthy. but we're oging to hae to speed up the process with him getitng in shape because he's got to be ready to play when he leaves here on the 3rd. it's not like 3 innings and out. we're going to have to ramp it up a little bit quicker with him. he's going to have to play more. he doesn't have to play the outfield every day. the plan is to for him not....play in orlando and maybe dh the next day to get him back-to-back days where he's not having to stand out in the outfield for nine innings. we'll try to get him as close to 9 inning games as we can....before....he's got to be at least feel comforable enough to go to wbc and be able to play 9 innings. they're not going to yank him out of there after 2 at bats.