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Marcell Ozuna credits ex-Marlins reliever Jon Rauch for throwing accuracy

       Jon Rauch didn't make much of a lasting impression as a reliever during his brief and largely forgettable stay with the Marlins. But he might have made a significant contribution in a way that went unnoticed.

       Marcell Ozuna said Rauch improved his throwing accuracy by changing the way the outfielder grips the baseball. Rauch told Ozuna he would receive better results if he threw a two-seamer with the palm of his hand "behind the seams." That slight adjustment flattened Ozuna's throws.

       "The ball was diving before," Ozuna said. "Jon Rauch told me to grab the ball with the seams behind. I saw the difference right away. The ball went straight, straight, straight -- no movement."

       Ozuna recorded his eighth outfield assist on Tuesday when he threw out the Braves' Chris Johnson at the plate. Only Arizona's Gerardo Parra and Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez -- with nine assists each -- have more. The Marlins team record of 20 outfield assists was set in 1998 by Mark Kotsay.

       Rauch isn't the only person Ozuna credits with helping him defensively, and with his throwing, in particular. He said Marlins minor league outfield coordinator Tarrik Brock  instilled in him the need to always hit the cutoff man and Marlins front office assistant and Hall of Fame outfielder Andre Dawson improved his footwork.

       "Before I made a lot of mistakes when I threw because I threw high and the ball had a lot of movement," Ozuna said. "I worked on that during the offseason in winter ball, and then Rauch told me how to grip the ball to make it flat."

Comments

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Lou

Good to know we are instructing people to hit the cutoff man. What could be next, running hard through the bag at first?

Lou

IF Andre really wanted to improve his own footwork, he would make tracks away from any connection to this club. Any association with the Marlins can only sully your name throughout baseball.

Andre, you, Tony and Jeff must have saved enough money to not need this level of crap. Cut the strings that bind and disassociate yourselves. Wilson I can understand, but you older guys should have your long established good reputations to worry about.

FJ

I will be in town on Monday, July 29th, can I purchase a ticket on the street and do the street scalpers have decent seats?

Lou

You can probably sit in the dugout for $10.00 and have some massage therapy after the game.I don't know the deal as far as sitting in the Clevelander. You will be close enough to Juan Pierre--if he plays---to ask him if he realizes that according to the existing spray charts that all balls he puts in the air land in about a 30 square foot area down the 3rd base line. It's actually quite pitiful, but will not deter Juan from getting to the ball park 10 hours early to work on his game. His arm is still the worst in the Majors, his range has diminished, no longer a threat as a basestealer, never could hit for power and now does not hit for average. What the Hell is he working on? He may as well swim laps in the Clevelander Pool.

FJ

Lou, thanks. Will guys be selling the behind the dugout seats on the street, and really $ 10.00?

Thanks

Lou

Dear FJ, Sitting in the dugout is a little exaggeration but you will be able to get seats like you have never seen before. Of course that is a tragedy when it comes to Major League Baseball in South Florida. Try to sit close to Loria and give him a big hug and kiss. The Marlins main security guy is a nice fella. His former fiancee was my wife's hair stylist in Boynton Beach and he had a very meteoric rise from that of a JC trainer to being a security bigwig.

FJ

Thanks

Flav C.

The other day I was watching a program about science in sports, and they were showing how miniscule the strike zone is for outfielders throwing out runners at home plate, and how ridiculously hard it is for any player to have a strong and accurate throw.

After seeing that made me appreciate even more the accuracy of Ozuna's throws.

Lou

After seeing Loria I'm amazed by the power of money to earn you the trappings of the good life.

Stan M

Flav,
Something that I miss is the different "contests" the players would sometimes have years ago. One was for catchers to see how many balls they could throw in a barrel at 2B from the catcher's position. Others were outfield throws, egg throwing contests, and foot races. These things really showed off skill levels. Maybe they still do some of it in the minors. As a boy I grew up watching Carl Furillo, "the Reading Rifle" and Ozuna is equally accurate and I honestly think a little more powerful. He seems to be one of those rare players who can help the team even if he doesn't get a hit. Hech is the same. If that guy can hit .250 or so he'll be some kind of ballplayer. I've seen them all and this guy is as good as any. And smooth, so smooth.
ESPN picked the 10 top starting pitchers based solely on their "stuff". Fernandez was rated #2 ahead of everyone but that kid Met pitcher. Wow!

Stan M

Here is an interesting conundrum. You are Marlin GM and Loria tells you that you can only keep either Ozuna or Stanton. Discount salary and what either would bring in a trade. Who would you keep? I guess the obvious answer is Stanton, but even thinking about it shows how far this 22 YO, only rated our 6th or 7th best prospect has come. The league will probably catch up with him, but if he continued to play at the level he has displayed so far, it would be a tough call. At least when the pitch is a strike, he usually swings at it. I wish I could say the same about Stanton. What's your opinion, anyone?

Flav C.

To me it is a no-brainer: I would keep Stanton.

If we compare both, the only area where Ozuna has the advantage is as a good defensive outfielder.

Stanton's minor league numbers are better than Ozuna's.

Ozuna has 63 games as a major leaguer, and when you look at Stanton's performance after 63 games in his first season, he had 11 more HRs than Ozuna, 3 times more BBs, 10 more RBIs, 20 more OBP points, and 120 more SLG points. And he was only 20.

Camera Mike

Just a note on a former Marlin. Heath Bell blew his fifth save of the season tonight. If memory serves he had 6 blown saves by the all star break last year so he still has some work to do this weekend to keep his crappy streak alive.

Sunny Dee

Heath Bell must have major dirt on the manager of the D-Backs or someone within the organization. Otherwise, it makes no sense to keep trotting him out there as the closer. His ERA is 4.72. That is unacceptable for a closer. That means he is going to give up a run every other game he is asked to get three outs. Even when he is not blowing saves, he gets hit hard. It seems like most of his saves are just pure luck.

Here's the quote from Bell after the game (how many times have we heard this before?):

"I feel really bad because I left everybody down," Bell said. "We definitely should have won that game."

Flav C.

Looking from a different point of view, the Dodgers are really happy with the trades they've made with the Marlins: Marlins has sent Hanley, who is playing like 2009 Hanley...and has sent Bell to their Division rival, who blew a save against them last night.

Stan M

Sunny Dee,
Along those lines, I read an article on the Diamondback's website where Bell was quoted as saying that he just watched a clip of himself and he saw what he was doing wrong. He's fixed it, he said and all would now be fine. We Marlin fans heard different variations of that song and dance a few too many times as well. We know his Marlin teammates violently disliked him. I wonder how his new teammates are feeling. After all, they are fighting for first place and he could cost them the division title.

Lou

I can't really comment on this anymore without becoming extremely surly. Therefore I'm going to sit back and read the fine baseball commentary by so many of you. It is depressing for me to complain about the obvious when I see no correction in the future. The man is here to stay and as I said, he might not sign any of Top 3 picks by the Friday deadline. I don't want to revert to the nasty things I said in the past and I see the inevitability of that happening. I'm going to withdraw and just read your stuff. Keep up the good work. Some of you are exceptional--and most are very good. Good Luck!!

not a cranky old fart

FYI...Jon Heyman CBS.com reported earlier today that the Marlins are close to a deal with Moran.

Sunny Dee

To say something positive, for a change, Turner, Evoldi, and Fernandez all have the potential to be outstanding pitchers for a long time. Henderson Alvarez also has potential. We'll see how he develops. If the Marlins just spent a bit more to get some hitters while its prospects develop the team would actually be pretty decent.

Stan M

Sonny Dee,
I don't think they have to spend. Marisnick seems to be ready and Coghlan will be back soon. Yelich isn't hitting well and probably needs a couple more weeks. If 2 of those 3 pan out, Loris had spent very little. Just a minimum salary and 2 changes on the 25 man roster. Pierre and Polanco for instance.

Camera Mike

Sunny, my wife and I had a similar conversation the other night. The Marlins pitching have been a happy surprise this year as well as the defensive talents Hechavarria and Ozuna have shown. We all know ability at the plate is what this team lacks the most and I couldn't agree more that if they would either go get some hitters or develop some of our own this could be a good team in a couple seasons. However we are still stuck with Loria which means as soon as our players do develop into full makor league capable players they will become too expensive and thus will use their talents to help another team.

There is a lot of young talent on this team and I would be optimistic about the future if only we had a different owner. My only hope is Loria is some how forced out of the game before he trades away too many of our players.

smith&wessonoil

Reports are that the Marlins have offered Moran the recommended $3.5 million "slot money" to sign but that Moran is holding out for extra "perks." Most teams who have signed their #1 picks have signed them for less than the slot money, but it's clear that Moran wants everything he can get if he's going to be stuck here in baseball hell for the next five or six years.

Camera Mike

Stan, to go back to your last post on Bell. I haven't seen anything on how his teammates feel about him but I do remember seeing a clip a couple weeks back after he gave up a home run in his fifth consecutive game where they cut to a shot of the dugout and the Diamondbacks faces looked eerily similar in anger, frustration, and disgust that we all saw on Marlins faces last season. I also saw Kirk Gibson speaking after last night's game (I live in L.A. and was watching the post game show) and he looked visibly angry when discussing Bell. It's just my opinion but I cannot imagine Bell is well liked in Arizona, but given my feelings towards him that could just be wishful thinking.

Sunny Dee

Camera Mike,

I think we've discussed this before, but as soon as Loria no longer has to split the profits with Miami (which is after 2014) I believe he will sell the team. These prospects will still be under contract at that point and the team will be ripe for new ownership to come in. I think new owners would prefer to have the payroll low when they come in so they can make the decisions on how to spend. Jeb Bush, Mark Cuban, and a host of others will be lining up at the door to buy the team. Loria will make a lot of money at that point and he can retire and go away (finally).

smith&wessonoil

Sunny Dee...Sorry, but as I understand it, the payout provision runs for seven years from the date the contract was signed, which I believe keeps Loria, and us, on the hook through 2016.

Sunny Dee

I have not seen the actual documents, so you may be right, but this is from the Miami Herald:

"If Loria was to sell the team in 2013, the city and county would split 7.5 percent of any profits. In 2014 that number lowers to 5 percent, and starting in 2015, all profits go only to the Marlins."

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/15/3097655/doubters-debate-miami-marlins.html#storylink=cpy

Sunny Dee
Sunny Dee

I guess the Herald wouldn't like me post the link, but I found the actual document and you are correct. It is on the miami dade government website.

Sunny Dee

It actually runs from the date of "substantial completion" of the stadium, as opposed to the date the contract was signed. So if the team sells more than a 50% controlling interest in the team within 72 months of substantial completion of the stadium, it must give 5% of the net proceeds of the sale to the City/County.

Camera Mike

Sunny and Smith, thanks for the research and knowledge. I also though we'd be free in 2015 and knowing we're stuck for another year is a disappointment.

Eddie S

i am really sorry Tom Koehler was sent down. One more poor perfromance from Alverez ,please bring back Koehler.Otherwise the Marlins have a wonderful starting rotation with Fernanadez, Eovaldi, Turner and Slowey.

ish kabibble

Re Heath Bell ERA at 4.72...that would be only for the runs charged to him. Imagine how many runs he must have allowed that were charged to the prior pitchers. The Marlins have Webb and Dunn who are also pretty good at giving up runs that get charged to others

Elsie

Meanwhile , Bell is mooing all the way to the bank.

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