With his team owning the worst record in the majors at 5-18, the worst team batting average in the game (.222) and the fewest homers (7) in the game, Marlins manager Mike Redmond was asked by a reporter before Saturday's game against the Cubs if any motivational speakers have been brought in to help shake things up.
"I consider myself a motivational speaker because I’ve watched Saturday Night Live a couple of times," Redmond said straight-faced. "I was actually going to talk to the guys tonight. I was writing some stuff down."
Redmond was of course joking. But he says deep down inside he really isn't laughing about the team's struggles. Saturday he put out his 22nd different lineup hoping to find a spark on offense.
"We've been mixing and matching all year, trying to find a lineup that produces more than two runs. I'm laughing, but I'm crying inside," Redmond said. "We've talked about it. It seems like whatever combination we use it seems to be producing the same thing. It's kind of where we're at. [Austin] Kearns has had some great at-bats. He's had some walks and some big hits. Maybe he's the spark that gets us going. Like I've been saying the whole year We're looking for a spark. It doesn't have to be a hit. Maybe it's a walk. It could be a jam shot with a couple guys on. I'll take anything right now."
Maybe the ghost of Chris Farley could help the Marlins snap out of their funk. After all, he did a pretty good job as the character Matt Foley cracking people up.
> Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria continues to show signs of progress in his return from a bruised right elbow and will play in rehab games in Single A Jupiter Monday and Tuesday before hitting the road with the Marlins as long as he doesn't have any setbacks, Redmond said. Hechavarria is scheduled to come off the disabled list Thursday when the Marlins open up a four-game series in Philadelphia.
> Right-hander Henderson Alvarez (shoulder) threw 45 pitches in a simulated game Saturday and will throw 60 pitches in his first rehab game Thursday in Jupiter, Redmond said.
> Marlins (5-18): 1. Donovan Solano 2B, 2. Placido Polanco 3B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Austin Kearns LF, 5. Justin Ruggiano CF, 6. Joe Mahoney 1B, 7. Miguel Olivo C, 8. Chris Valaika SS, 9. Alex Sanabia RHP.
> Cubs (8-14): 1. David DeJesus CF, 2. Starlin Castro SS, 3. Anthony Rizzo 1B, 4. Alfonso Soriano LF, 5. Nate Schierholtz RF, 6. Wellington Castillo C, 7. Luis Valbuena 3B, 8. Darwin Barney 2B, 9. LHP Travis Wood.