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3 posts from September 4, 2013

September 04, 2013

Jose Fernandez is NL Rookie of the Month for August

CHICAGO -- Jose Fernandez was named the National League Rookie of the Month for August, making it the second straight month he's won the award.

Fernandez went 3-1 with a 1.15 ERA in his six starts last month. He struck out 49 in 39 innings.

Fernandez is scheduled to make his next-to-last start of the season on Friday when the Marlins open a 3-game series against the Nationals at Marlins Park. Fernandez has yet to lose (7-0) in his home park. Both of his two remaining starts will be played at Marlins Park.

Braves pitcher Alex Wood was second to Fernandez for top N.L rookie in August.

Fernandez and the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig are considered the two frontrunners for N.L. Rookie of the Year honors, which will be announced after the postseason. 

Humble Pierre reflects on hits, stolen bases

CHICAGO -- With a pinch-hit single and pair of steals on Tuesday, Juan Pierre continued his march up the ladder on a couple of baseball's all-time lists. Pierre tied  Willie Randolph and Carlos Beltran with 2,210 hits -- one behind Willie McCovey and four in back of Joe DiMaggio -- while inching closer to Otis Nixon on on the stolen base leaderboard. Pierre, the majors' active leader with 613 steals, ranks 13th all-time, seven steals behind Nixon.

"The names that you start getting on the list to, it's hard for me to fathom," Pierre said. "I almost feel like I don't deserve to be on that list. It's still hard for me to grasp the names I'm associated with on the hits list. I just wanted to get to the big leagues, let alone think about hits. I never really played the game to set out to do this and do that. Just to be in the same company with these guys is crazy. I bet you could ask these big league players now and tell them how many hits I have, and they would be like, 'No way.' I always flew under the radar."

Pierre is quick to acknowlege that his high hits total is due primarily to a combination of longevity (he's in his 14th season) and low walk totals. Due to his lack of power, pitchers were ever afraid to go after Pierre and didn't nibble.

"Being a guy that didn't walk a lot, I had to get hits to get on," Pierre said.

But Pierre is proud of the fact he piled up stolen bases in an era when the home run was king.

"To have the running game during the steroids era -- because I was right in the bulk of it -- and most teams didn't want to run," Pierre answered when asked whether he was more in awe of his hits or stolen base totals. "I was fortunate to play here with Jack (McKeon). He was an old-school manager. He would be like, 'Go! What are you waiting on? Run!' So I think it helped in an era where it was 3-run home runs and 'Don't move. Don't run us out of an inning.'"

As a result, Pierre has been able to pass some of the greatest base stealers the game has known.

"When I passed Davey Lopes and Maury Wills on that list, I was like, man, those cats there, they were the best of their generation," Pierre said. "To pass them. That's crazy. Kenny Lofton (622 stolen bases) was one of the guys I really tried to pattern my game after, and I'm close to him."

Coghlan has "blast" at the hot corner

CHICAGO -- Chris Coghlan looked like a natural on Tuesday in what was his first major league game at third base, fielding a ball off the leg of pitcher Tom Koehler before making a diving stop to save a run on a hard one-hopper by the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo.

"I had a blast," Coghlan said. "I felt like I was in college again. It was fun."

The former Rookie of the Year not only returned to the starting lineup for the first time since early June when an injury landed him on the disabled list, but led off for the Marlins and made his first major league appearance at third base since his days in the minors, before the Marlins turned him into an outfielder.

"For me, it was an excited feeling to go out there," Coghlan said. "Not like a scared feeling. (It was) just like you make your debut. You're not scared to hit, but you're excited. Once you make that first at bat or first play, it's like, 'Ah, this is just like riding a bike.'"

Marlins manager Mike Redmond said he would continue to use Coghlan at third, as well as the outfield.

"Going into it, we didn't really know what to expect," Redmond said. "And I know it's only one game. But it's the time of year for us...we have a chance to get to see some guys at different positions and see what we have, and see what might work for next year. And to have him be able to be an option at third base, that's big. We'll keep plugging him in there and see how he does."

Coghlan said he appreciated the chance to return to the infield.

"I'm just grateful they gave me an opportunity to not only play, but play third," he said. "Hopefully they continue to have more trust and let me play there. This has been a long road for me. It was a lot of work to get to where I was."