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Logan Morrison excited to return to play, Valdez and Hernandez out

JUPITER -- It's been a long spring for Logan Morrison. An extension of the off-season, really. He's sat in the dugout, he's talked baseball with the guys, and he's worked out.

"For sure, it’s frustrating because it’s the same old story," Morrison said. "Hopefully once this is behind me, it’s behind me for good and I'll laugh about it in ten years."

The Marlins charismatic first baseman has been out as he recovers from knee surgery, and any progress is reason for him to be happy.

He'll start running the field next week, and he's up to 90 percent on the anti-gravity treadmill. Morrison is yet to take a batting practice, but is expected to start throwing and fielding ground balls sometime next week. 

"I just hope to be in big league games by early [to] middle of May...I have to go through the whole production of play today, play three inings, don’t play the next day, play two days in a row, don’t play that day," he said. "You only get 20 rehab days so I’ve got to do all that progression down in extended [spring training], then go to Jupiter or Double A or whatever. I don’t know what they want me to do."

All of the uncertainty of a recovery process is the only certainty and it's visibly frustrating to Morrison as he takes it one step at a time.

"I don’t know when it starts to turn into anticipation. Right now, it’s more frustration," he said. "I took swings off a tee for the first time in eight months and I got really excited. When they told me I could start running in the bubble on the Alt-G treadmill, I got really excited.

"I think when I start playing, even if it’s in extended, i’ll be excited and that’ll go away. Then I’ll be like, 'let’s go to Double A', then I’ll be excited, then that’ll go away. Then I’ll be excited to be in the big leagues and that doesn’t ever go away."

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In the final game of the Grapefruit League season, prospect Justin Nicolino will get the nod on the mound. Redmond has seen the 21-year-old progress in his time with the Blue Jays A-affiliate in Lansing, MI.

"Bring the young kid up, so it's exciting," Redmond said. "It's great for a young kid to come over and pitch on the big field. I'm excited for him."

Donovan Solano is in the lineup for the Marlins for the first time in over a week.

Marlins' president of baseball operations, Larry Beinfest, addressed the media on Thursday before Miami took the field.

Wilson Valdez and Gorkys Hernandez were told they wouldn't be breaking camp with the big club. 

"When we talk to these guys at this point in spring training, it's all with the disclaimer that things can change," Beinfest said. "There's still a few days to go, but out of courtesy we're breaking camp today and letting guys know where they're at."

Valdez will begin the season with Triple A New Orleans, but there are no remaining options on Hernandez. The club will have to re-evaluate the roster to see if they can work a trade for Hernandez, or risk losing him to waivers.

Outfielder Chris Coghlan and reserve infielder Chris Valaika, who both homered in Wednesday's game, will be on the roster.

"[Valaika] plays with a lot of outward energy; he's spunky and a grinder," Beinfest said."...We always kind of had an eye on him early because of the way he played the game, but we were waiting for the performance to catch up."

Valaika, 27, has only played in 33 Major League games, both for Cinncinnati. He's hitting .240 in Grapefruit League play, with two home runs in 50 at bats.

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Beinfest also said that pitchers John Maine and Kevin Slowey were still a decision to make, only two days after Redmond announced that Slowey would fill the fifth spot in the starting rotation.

In addition to the two pitchers in question, Valaika is also a non-roster invitee. 

"We have some roster stuff to do with the number of guys we're potentially adding," Beinfest said. "When we leave New Orleans [on] Saturday, the club will be together and that stuff will be clear."

There hasn't been a decision made on the back-up catcher.

Starting lineup:

MARLINS: Pierre 7, Solano 4, Stanton 9, Polanco 5, Dobbs 3, Ruggiano 8, Brantly 2, Hechavarria 6, Nicolino 1

CARDINALS: Jay 8, Carpenter 4, Holliday 7, Beltran 9, Molina 2, Adams 3, Wigginton 5, Jackson 6, Lynn 1

--Steph Rogers (twitter)



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Stan M

Is Gorkys gone?

I put this on an older blog so am reposting it here in case some of you find it interesting.

The unfortunate passing of Virgil Trucks reminded me of another pitcher who pitched 2 no hitters in the same year. It was Allie Reynolds of the Yankees and I believe he turned the trick the year immediately before Trucks. What is memorable to me about Reynolds no hitters was the second one against the mighty Red Sox. With 2 outs in the last of the ninth, up came Ted Williams. He popped the ball up behind home plate and Yogi Berra went back near the screen...and dropped the damn ball! I don't remember if it was on the very next pitch, but damned if Williams didn't pop the ball back to just about the exact same place again. Yes, Yogi caught this one and the second no hitter was history. I saw the game on TV and it seems like yesterday. Berra must have had some lump in his throat after almost blowing the no hitter, and against Ted Williams no less.
Posted by: Stan M | March 28, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Sunny Dee

Everyone knew Gorkys would be a complete failure. The Marlins got nothing for Gaby Sanchez.

answer man

Marlins are getting the 35th overall pick in the 13' MLB draft for the Gorky's trade with Pitt.

Camera Mike

I don't think anybody is surprised on Gorkys. Discounting his performance in the Venezuelan winter league he has been almost completely ineffective at the plate and the last thing the Marlins need, other then no chance at a new owner, is a poor batter. My only surprise is the team thinking there is a chance they could lose him on waivers. I say put him on waivers and after he clears keep him in the minors in case there are injuries and he needs to be brought up as defensive bench player.

Stan, I think you posted a little while ago about the lack of quality of the Cardinals announcers and watching the game today I have to agree with you. In one inning they spent more time talking about a harmonica give away and stories about a former player then they did on what was actually happening in the game. I almost felt as if the game was distracting them from their story telling. They also called the team the Florida Marlins multiple times. Now I know that was the name for almost 20 years but here in the second year in Miami those mistakes should be in the past. Like you I expect better from an organization as well run as St. Louis.

Stan M

Camera Mike, I too watched the game. Those Cadinal announcers didn't even identify several of the Marlin batters. Most depressing was their constant banter. They never stopped talking and they did that without saying a damn thing about the game in progress. I had to look at the box score to find that Hill had pinch hit for Nicolino. And did that kid ever look impressive. His poise was remarkable for one who has never pitched above low A ball. I read that they would start him in high A. From what I saw today, he won't stay there very long. So far Valaika is still around. We don't need a 35 YO Valdez on a team that isn't going anywhere this year. Keep the younger player. Laurel Bowie is one of the most respected posters on this blog and he loved Gorkys, so I teased him about it a couple of months ago. Never mind his swing is too long and he tries to be a power hitter with a speedster's body. I absolutely hate players who don't understand the basic fundamentals of baseball. And that is especially true of outfielders who ignore the cutoff man...and that's Gorkys to a tee.

Sunny Dee

Answer Man - Thanks. I knew they got a "competitive balance pick" but I didn't realize it was that high. I guess they got something decent then, but I'd still prefer they kept Gaby. Hopefully they will make good use of the pick this time.

Stan M

Just read that Valaika (Valdez to AAA)and Coghlan have made the team and that Gorkys will either be traded or released.


Heard on a radio station today that SI is doing a full investigative spread on Mr Loria & the Marlins. Cain't wait to see this!

Stan M

Terricic news, Spitballer.

Camera Mike

That is great news Spitballer. I also saw this article by Jay Jaffe on SI's website today about 20 ways to improve baseball. http://mlb.si.com/2013/03/28/20-ways-to-improve-baseball-right-now/?xid=nl_siextra

Number 8 is on everybody's favorite owner.

answer man

S.L Price has written an excellant piece on Loria. Best part about it is that Samson wants Loria to sell,even though Loria isnt ready yet.

answer man

S.I Vault...Art of the Deal Gone Wrong by S.L.Price

Carlos Fernandez Blanco

...Wake us up, if we're asleep, but the only charge we can pin on Mr. Loria is that of being a thorough " Capitalist ". Who among us can muster one half trillion dollars, to wrest the Marlins' franchise from Mr. Loria. Would we like to have someone come-in with a half trillion dollars to buy a MLB baseball club franchise? What kind of businessmen spend one-half trillion dollars to sell seats to a MLB baseball game, in Florida?

answer man

Marlins bring back Miguel Olivo

Camera Mike

Carlos, do you mean half a billion dollar? Forbes just rated the Marlins worth $520 million.

Also while that $520 million is still a hefty number the Marlins would still be a good deal for someone looking to buy a baseball team. Remember the Dodgers sold for $2 billion last year, and while they are a much better franchise in a much bigger market and have a much larger local tv contract, I doubt the type of people who could afford baseball teams would look at a team for a quater of that price as a bad deal. Especially when that team would come with a brand new stadium already paid for,

Recently Jeb Bush said he would buy the team if Loria would sell and I would bet with his connections in Florida Jeb would have little trouble putting together a group to raise that much. Then there is Mark Cuban who has wanted to buy a baseball team for years now and might be interested. Plus if the new perspective owner believes he or she could persuade Stanton to stay they would have a new ballpark and a star player.

Carlos, I agree that is a huge sum of money for a bad franchise but I still think Loria would have little trouble finding a buyer if he decided to sell.

Carlos Fernandez Blanco

...What we didn't include in the last paragraph, is that a large segment of the professional baseball fans in Florida, aren't in the top wage earning brackets. We'll make a sacrifice to watch a competitive team's spectacle. Florida's autoctonous population are a priori football fans. They will spare no expense to boost their alma maters' clubs, and there are also fans for a quality professional club. In privacy we'll confide that the waste of money that we witnessed from the Dodgers at the end of last season, does not make us believers in the
wise use of money by those capitalist investors. You may be able to explain to us whose money they're using to put on this show. We understand that it's working stiffs money that's invested in mutual funds seeking to guarantee their retirements' income. In short, who has one-half billion dollars to place at the service of a boys' game, when there are so many national pressing needs?

Camera Mike

To answer your final question I can name four people in South Florida off the top of my head Mickey Arison, Stephen Ross, Cliff Viner, and last and certainly least Jeffrey Loria. It is true that investing in a sports team can look greedy when compared to the financial problems our nation is facing as well as all the worthy charities and their worthwhile causes, but that has not stopped literally every singe sports owner in America.

Half a billion dollars is a huge sum of money and as much as I would love to see I new owner I also believe we would all be better off if that amount was spent on helping out on our pressing national needs then purchasing a baseball team. Though I also have to be honest in stating I know that would not stop either an incredibly wealthy individual or more likely group of people who can afford such a cost.

Camera Mike

I just wanted to clarify one point in my last post as it could make all sports owners look greedy. There are some owners who can afford both helping out worthwhile causes and owning a sports franchise. One of those would be Heat owner Mickey Arison. He has shown he is willing to spend on a winner throughout his tenure with the Heat and the Heat do more for charities then most other sports franchises in all four major north american leagues. If the Marlins do get a new owner soon they would be lucky to get one even half as committed to winning and classy as Mr. Arison.

Finally I also have no reason at all to believe either Stephen Ross or Cliff Viner is greedy simply because they choose to own a football team and hockey team respectively.

That's it and sorry for posting on a non-Marlins topic on a Marlins blog.

Carlos Fernandez Blanco

..." Cam-Mike ", we apologize for getting you into a political discourse, it stems from my social-science instructor background and it's unjust to drag you in. I'm coming clean, I disdained the house-cleaning of last season, but the managers have proved themselves managers, and the bread is in the oven. In our opinion, if Mr. Loria could find a half-billion dollars to turn-over his baseball franchise and retire to Honolulu, he would turn cart-wheels!
The Club owner and Marlins fans are wedded, and the fans are expecting a fresh start, and the managers have baked a fresh batch, and it's time to seat at the table.

Camera Mike

Carlos, don't worry about it. I am not a social science imstructer but I am fairly opinionated and in all honesty it isn't tough to get me to go off on politics. Hope I didn't offend you.

Just about everyone in here disdains last years house cleaning. Hopefully the team surprises us all this year and the young players turn into major leaguers earlier then expected.

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