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44 posts from June 2013

June 23, 2013

Mike Redmond on his first ejection: "I could definitely be more animated"

EjectedSAN FRANCISCO -- One day after receiving his first ejection as a major league manager, Mike Redmond joked that he probably needs to work on his arguing "style." Redmond was tossed by first base umpire Mark Wegner after arguing a fan interference call even though he wasn't animated whatsoever while making his complaint. (Clearly, he uttered the magic word).

There was no arm waving. No finger pointing. No dirt kicking. No in-your-face, jaw-to-jaw screaming.

"I think we're all learning out here," Redmond said, prompting laughter with scribes during his daily pre-game session with media. "Probably some things I could have done differently. It could definitely be more animated. I know how to do that. I think the first one, maybe....I'll look at the video and pick it apart a little bit, and see if there's a better way to get my point across, that makes everybody happy."

Per protocol, Saturday's starting pitcher for the Marlins, Jacob Turner, was given the lineup card as a memento of his first major league hit. But Turner handed the card over to Redmond as a keepsake for his first ejection as manager (Redmond was ejected once as a player with the Minnesota Twins).

"I didn't realize guys would be that excited I got thrown out," Redmond said of Turner's gesture. "I mean, I would have done it 30 days ago if I would have known it was going to be so exciting for everybody."

Redmond continued: "I'm sure my ejections were better in the minor leagues, but nobody got to appreciate them because there were no fans in the stands. I think you've got to have your own style. I'm still working on it. I've got to find out what my style is."

(Photo: Getty Images)

June 22, 2013

Ozuna fills belly with In-N-Out Burgers, leads Marlins to victory

    SAN FRANCISCO -- The precise number is in dispute, but this much isn't: rookie outfielder Marcell Ozuna wolfed down In-N-Out Burgers before batting practice on Friday, then played a vital role in the Marlins' 6-3 victory over the Giants.

     Ozuna gunned down a base runner at third and drove in the tying and go-ahead runs for the Marlins in what was the team's ninth consecutive win at AT&T Park. Earlier in the game, he also missed a fly ball that allowed a run to cross for the Giants.

      Burger"I told him after the game, because I think he had about four or five In-N-Out Burgers, I said maybe that was the reason why you couldn't catch that ball," manager Mike Redmond said of Hunter Pence's RBI double to shallow center in the fifth, which Ozuna completely whiffed on. "But I said you got a big hit, so I forgot about it already."

      Ozuna came off the bench Thursday to drive in the deciding run with a pinch-hit single.

      On Friday, his infield hit in the sixth tied the game and two-out single in the eighth sparked a 3-run inning that gave the Marlins a cushion.

      Ozuna contended afterward that he didn't eat four or five hamburgers from the popular West Coast chain, as his manager and teammates claimed. But he did acknowledge he had three, along with three chocolate chip cookies and a glass of apple juice. No fries. No shake.

       "Just three," Ozuna said of his burger consumption. "My teammates say five. Today I eat three. Tomorrow I eat four, and the next day five, and (then) we leave for Miami."

June 21, 2013

Marlins take aim on ballpark win streak

    SAN FRANCISCO -- Now that the Heat have won another NBA title and are done celebrating, we can finally turn our attention to the biggest sports story going in MIami (wink wink), and that is the Marlins' long winning streak at AT&T Park.

    With last night's 2-1 victory over San Fran, the Marlins extended their run of wins at the Giants home park to eight in a row. That equals a Marlins franchise record for most consecutive wins in another team's ballpark. The Marlins also won eight straight at Nationals Park in Washington from 2010-11.

     If the Marlins win again tonight, they set a new record -- nine straight -- in an opposing ballpark. What makes it all the more remarkable is that the Giants aren't exactly slouches. They've won two of the past three World Series titles, including last season's.

     Here's a breakdown of the Marlins' longest road winning streaks (by ballpark:

     8 -- AT&T Park, San Francisco (2010-present)

     8 -- Nationals Park, Washington  (2010-11)

     6 -- Shea Stadium, New York (2004)

     6 -- Citi Field, New York (2010-11)

     6 -- Petco Park, San Diego (2008-10)

     6 -- Nationals Park, Washington (2008)

     6 -- PNC Park, Pittsburgh (2010-11)

     6 -- Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia (2009)

June 19, 2013

Data shows Giancarlo Stanton is hardest hitter in MLB

    PHOENIX -- Ozzie Guillen manager once predicted Giancarlo Stanton would kill someone one day with a line drive. Nobody hits a ball harder, and now there's proof.

    According to SportsVision data, Stanton is the undisputed king of scorch. Of the 10 hardest hit balls in the majors this season (through June 16), four of them came off Stanton's bat. And, remember, Stanton missed five weeks with a hamstring injury.

    The hardest:

    -- On April 25, Stanton singled off the Cubs' Edwin Jackson. The ball left his bat at 114 miles per hour.

    -- On April 23, Stanton grounded into a double play at Minnesota. The ball was also clocked at 114.

    -- Only four struck balls all season have been timed at 112 mph or higher. Three of those belong to Stanton. The Angels' Mark Trumbo snuck into the picture with a 112 mph home run on May 3.

    According to Eric Esteban at Fox Sports Florida, the data is provided by SportsVision, "the same company that provides our FOX TRAX" and is "based on proven PITCHf/x tracking technology. HIT SPEED tracks the initial speed of the ball off the bat. The current league average hit speed is 77 mph.

    Here's the breakdown:

    10 Hardest Hit Safely

Batter

Pitcher

Date

Inning

Batted_Ball_Speed

Hit_Type

Hit_Desc

Giancarlo Stanton

Edwin Jackson

2013-04-25

1

114

Single

Giancarlo Stanton singles on a sharp ground ball to left fielder Alfonso Soriano, deflected by shortstop Starlin Castro. Placido Polanco to 2nd.

Giancarlo Stanton

Scott Feldman

2013-04-26

1

112

Single

Giancarlo Stanton singles on a sharp line drive to center fielder Dave Sappelt.

Mark Trumbo

Miguel Gonzalez

2013-05-03

2

112

Home Run

Mark Trumbo homers (7) on a line drive to left center field.

Nelson Cruz

Dallas Keuchel

2013-05-10

6

111

Home Run

Nelson Cruz homers (8) on a fly ball to left field.

Giancarlo Stanton

Alfredo Figaro

2013-06-12

7

111

Single

Giancarlo Stanton singles on a sharp ground ball to left fielder Logan Schafer. Ed Lucas to 2nd.

Michael Morse

Jason Vargas

2013-04-28

8

111

Home Run

Michael Morse homers (7) on a fly ball to left field.

Jose Bautista

Phil Hughes

2013-04-28

6

111

Double

Jose Bautista doubles (3) on a sharp line drive to left fielder Vernon Wells.

Giancarlo Stanton

Mike Pelfrey

2013-04-23

5

110

Double

Giancarlo Stanton doubles (3) on a sharp line drive to center fielder Aaron Hicks.

Justin Upton

Cole Hamels

2013-04-01

5

110

Home Run

Justin Upton homers (1) on a fly ball to left center field.

Chase Headley

Brandon Maurer

2013-05-28

1

110

Double

Chase Headley doubles (9) on a fly ball to center fielder Michael Saunders.

 

10 hardest hits in play.

Batter

Pitcher

Date

Inning

Batted_Ball_Speed

Hit_Type

Hit_Desc

Giancarlo Stanton

Kevin Correia

2013-04-23

1

114

Grounded Into DP

Giancarlo Stanton grounds into a double play, shortstop Pedro Florimon to second baseman Brian Dozier to first baseman Justin Morneau. Placido Polanco out at 2nd.

Giancarlo Stanton

Edwin Jackson

2013-04-25

1

114

Single

Giancarlo Stanton singles on a sharp ground ball to left fielder Alfonso Soriano, deflected by shortstop Starlin Castro. Placido Polanco to 2nd.

Giancarlo Stanton

Scott Feldman

2013-04-26

1

112

Single

Giancarlo Stanton singles on a sharp line drive to center fielder Dave Sappelt.

Mark Trumbo

Miguel Gonzalez

2013-05-03

2

112

Home Run

Mark Trumbo homers (7) on a line drive to left center field.

Hanley Ramirez

Jeff Locke

2013-06-14

4

111

Grounded Into DP

Hanley Ramirez grounds into a double play, shortstop Clint Barmes to second baseman Neil Walker to first baseman Garrett Jones. Adrian Gonzalez out at 2nd.

Nelson Cruz

Dallas Keuchel

2013-05-10

6

111

Home Run

Nelson Cruz homers (8) on a fly ball to left field.

Michael Morse

Zach McAllister

2013-05-18

2

111

Groundout

Michael Morse grounds out, second baseman Jason Kipnis to first baseman Carlos Santana.

Carlos Gonzalez

Jeff Samardzija

2013-05-15

4

111

Groundout

Carlos Gonzalez grounds out, second baseman Darwin Barney to first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

Giancarlo Stanton

Alfredo Figaro

2013-06-12

7

111

Single

Giancarlo Stanton singles on a sharp ground ball to left fielder Logan Schafer. Ed Lucas to 2nd.

Michael Morse

Jason Vargas

2013-04-28

8

111

Home Run

Michael Morse homers (7) on a fly ball to left field.

June 18, 2013

Another HR record for Giancarlo Stanton

PHOENIX -- Giancarlo Stanton is only the third player in major league history to begin his career before the age of 21 and hit at least 100 home runs in his first 400 games. The others: Eddie Mathews and Bob Horner. Stanton is also the 39th player to reach the century mark in homers before his 24th birthday.

Stanton also became the quickest Marlin to reach the mark in terms of games played. Dan Uggla held the distinction previously, connecting on his 100th home run in his 509th game. Historically speaking, Stanton is tied with Ryan Braun for reaching the plateau in the eighth-fewest games played. And in terms of age, he ranks as the 11th youngest.

Here is the list of the quickest players to 100 homers by games played:

1. Ryan Howard (325 games)

2. Ralph Kiner (376)

3. Bob Horner (390)

4. Chuck Klein (390)

5. Mark McGwire (393)

6. Joe DiMaggio (395)

7. Eddie Mathews (397)

8 (tied): Giancarlo Stanton (400)

    Ryan Braun (400)

__________________

Following last night's game, the Marlins activated RHP Nathan Eovaldi from the disabled list and optioned LHP Edgar Olmos to Double A Jacksonville.

June 17, 2013

Kevin Slowey to bullpen; Chris Coghlan improving

PHOENIX -- With Nathan Eovaldi set to make his season debut on Tuesday -- in the same place (Chase Field) where he made his major league debut, ironically -- Kevin Slowey becomes the odd man out in the Marlins' starting rotation.

Slowey slides to the bullpen, where he'll be used in long relief.

"Slowey's going to be kind of that swing man, that long guy, to come in and throw multiple innings," said manager Mike Redmond. "That'll be how it goes now for a while."

Asked why Slowey, and not Tom Koehler, was displaced, Redmond replied: "I just think, right now, Slowey has kind of pitched in that role before, and right now I think he's better equipped. It doesn't mean it's going to stay like that."

Redmond noted that Henderson Alvarez is scheduled to make his second rehab start on Tuesday for Single A Jupiter and may be no more than two outings away from coming off the DL and joining the rotation.

______________

Chris Coghlan saw a spine specialist in Dallas on Sunday and was instructed to continue resting his injured back. That was good news for the Marlins and Coghlan, who avoided the need for surgery.

Redmond said he spoke with Coghlan, who told him he is already feeling much better.

______________

Logan Morrison returns to the lineup tonight. Morrison had missed the Marlins' previous four games with lower back pain.

______________

Tonight's lineup:

Marlins: 1. Pierre, lf; 2. Lucas, 2b; 3. Stanton, rf; 4. Ozuna, cf; 5. Morrison, 1b; 6. Hechavarria, ss; 7. Polanco, 3b; 8. Mathis, c; 9. Turner, p.

 

 

June 15, 2013

AWOL catcher Miguel Olivo begs Marlins: "Let me go"

        The Marlins placed Miguel Olivo on the restricted list after the team refused his request to be released and he walked out on the club at the start of Friday's game.

         "I told them I wanted to be released and they wouldn't give it to me," Olivo, upset with his lack of playing time, said in a phone interview with the Miami Herald. "I don't understand why they don't release me. I told them I wanted to be released because I have 30 days of not playing. I need to play."

         Marlins manager Mike Redmond said on Saturday that if Olivo had waited until after the game, perhaps the team's reaction would have been different. As it was, it made a team already dealing with back injuries to Logan Morrison and Placido Polanco even more shorthanded. Olivo

         "I've never been involved in something like that -- to have somebody just leave after batting practice," Redmond told reporters. "I think everyone was kind of in shock. I know it wasn't an ideal situation for him, not getting to play a lot, but at the same time the team relies on you."

         Olivo's playing time dried up after Jeff Mathis returned from the disabled list on May 14, leaving the Marlins with three catchers on the roster. With Mathis and Rob Brantly sharing the catching duties, Olivo had started just once -- as a designated hitter -- since May 12.

         Olivo said he has asked to be released three separate times, but his requests were always refused.

         "They say we need you for pinch-hitting," Olivo said. "I said I've never been a pinch-hitter in my life. That's not my game."

          Olivo said he once again pleaded for his release with Marlins general manager Michael Hill before Friday's game, but to no avail. Olivo said he then watched the first inning from inside the clubhouse before showering, dressing and leaving.

          "I don't understand," Olivo said. "If I'm not doing nothing, I don't understand why they keep me doing nothing. Let me go. Right now they're going to make me look bad, and I'm not. I hope people understand. I just want to play baseball. They have three catchers."

          Olivo can't sign with another team while on the restricted list, nor will he continue to be paid the remainder of his $800,000 salary.

          "I'm just praying to God they release me and don't be selfish," he said. "I've been very professional. I've done everything I could to help the team. They're only hurting one person, and that's me. I'm a nice person. I don't want to hurt nobody."

           Olivo, who was signed by the Marlins at the end of spring training, hit .203 with four home runs in mostly part-time duty with the Marlins. The Marlins called up outfielder Jordan Brown from Triple A New Orleans to fill Olivo's spot on the 25-man roster.

June 14, 2013

MARLINS NOTES V. CARDINALS: LoMo Out, Eovaldi Returns in Arizona

TWITTER: @GeorgeRichards

Marlins manager Mike Redmond said first baseman Logan Morrison has some sort of back issue and won't play Friday night against the Cardinals.

Redmond said LoMo was taking some swings in the cage and came in and said he couldn't go.

Redmond didn't have a timetable for Morrison's return -- although he said he thinks things like this take longer than just one night. So we'll see.

-- Nathan Eovaldi, sidelined all season with a shoulder injury, will make his 2013 debut Tuesday in Arizona.

Eovaldi pitched for Double-A Jacksonville yesterday and is back with the Marlins on Friday.

He said the shoulder feels good and he's ready to get things going again.

Redmond said he liked what he saw out of Eovaldi during spring training -- before he got hurt.

-- Someone asked Redmond if he spoke to the team about the challenges in playing the Cardinals -- a squad with the best record in baseball.

As expected, the answer was no.

"We just worry about what we do,'' Redmond said.

The Marlins, it may be noted, have the worst record in baseball. Like the Cardinals and the second-place Red Sox, there's about a three-game difference between Miami and Houston for last in the MLB.

June 13, 2013

Chris Coghlan to see Texas back specialist

      Chris Coghlan said he will be examined on Sunday in Texas by spine and back specialist Dr. Drew Dossett, who has treated other athletes, including MLB and NFL players. Coghlan was placed on the 15-day disabled list earlier in the week, but manager Mike Redmond said he would likely be out longer than that after a MRI revealed an unspecified back injury.

       There is never a good time for an injury, but Coghlan's comes at a particularly bad time for him and the team. After hitting just .180 with one RBI in April, Coghlan hit .337 with nine RBI in May and June and appeared to be on the comeback trail. Furthermore, with the crowding outfield situation, the Marlins were planning to start working him out at third base this week. Now all that has been put on hold as the Marlins and Coghlan wait to learn more about his lower back problem.

        _______________

        It's an off day today for the Marlins, but not for a couple of injured starting pitchers trying to work their way back to the rotation. Nathan Eovaldi (shoulder) will be making what could be his final rehab start tonight for Double A Jacksonville while Henderson Alvarez (shoulder) is scheduled to take the mound for his first rehab outing with Single A Jupiter.

June 12, 2013

Kevin Slowey to join list of Marlins pitching on three days' rest

     By now, everyone is familiar with Josh Beckett's winning performance in Game 6 of the 2003 World Series, one in which he went the distance on three days' rest. Jack McKeon hasn't stopped talking about it given that his decision proved many doubters wrong. Beckett was spectacular that night at Yankee Stadium, and the Marlins celebrated a Series title because of him.

     While that was the most celebrated of all Marlins' pitching performances on three days' rest by far, it wasn't the only one. With Kevin Slowey set to take the mound tonight on only three days' rest, it's worth a look at how other Marlins' pitchers have fared under identical (or nearly identical) short-rest circumstances. Slowey will become the 10th Marlin to return on three days' rest in a regular season game after appearing in at least five innings in his previous outing. Slowey worked seven innings out of the bullpen in New York on Saturday. He is also the fist starting pitcher since Bryan Rekar of the Devil Rays in 2000 to have a turn in the rotation interrupted by a relief outing lasting at least 5 innings.

     This will be the first time a pitcher for the Marlins has thrown that many innings in relief, then been handed the ball for the start four days later. The cumulative record of the nine Marlins pitchers who made consecutive starts on short rest is 6-3 with a 4.00 ERA. Those who did it (in chronological order): Charlie Hough (1993), Brian Meadows (1998), Kirt Ojala (1998), Livan Hernandez (1998), Dennis Springer (1999), Josh Beckett (2004), Carl Pavano (2004), Dontrelle Willis (2004) and Wes Obermueller (2007).

______________

Logan Morrison is not in tonight's lineup because, counting his minor-league rehab assignment, he had played the previous four days. Manager Mike Redmond said he is trying to ease Morrison back in gradually and no risk further injury.

______________

Giancarlo Stanton's home run in last night's eighth inning was the 97th of his career, but the first one that turned a defciti into a lead in the eighth inning or later.

_____________

Lineups:

Marlins: 1. Pierre, lf; 2. Lucas, 3b; 3. Stanton, rf; 4. Ozuna, cf; 5. Dietrich, 2b; 6. Dobbs, 1b; 7. Hechavarria, ss; 8. Brantly, c; 9. Slowey, p.

Brewers: 1. Aoki, rf; 2. Segura, ss; 3. Gomez, cf; 4. Ramirez, 3b; 5. Lucroy, c; 6. Schafer, lf; 7. Francisco, 1b; 8. Gennett, 2b; 9. Figaro, p.