Marlins manager Mike Redmond had good news to share before Tuesday's game: pitcher Kevin Slowey (right forearm tightness) and outfielder Marcell Ozuna (ligament tear and fracture in his left thumb) resumed baseball activities this week and will head into the off-season healthy.
"Slowey threw a bullpen today and said things went well," Redmond said. "He threw 25 pitches. So that's good news for him. Obviously he's not going to pitch this season, but for him personally his frame of mind going into the off-season knowing he's going to be healthy that's good for him.
"I didn't mention [Ozuna] yesterday, but he's been swinging the bat the last couple of days. He looks great, has himself in good shape. It looks like his hand is feeling good. He swung the bat good. It's just a timing thing. I think for him too going into the off-season knowing he's feeling good is definitely a good sign. Now he can prepare himself for spring training and get himself ready to compete and win a job."
Slowey, who turns 30 next May, is arbitration eligible this off-season. He went 3-6 with a 4.11 ERA and could be a solid option at long reliever. Ozuna, who turns 23 in November, will likely end up competing with Jake Marisnick to be Miami's third outfielder alongside Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton.
"Every time I show him the lineup card he reminds me he's not on that card," Redmond said of Ozuna. "I tell him 'You will be, don't worry.' He's a good kid, one of those that makes you smile. I know how hungry he is and I'm excited for spring training to see these guys come in and compete. I know there is going to be some great battles for positions and it should make for an interesting spring."
President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest, who reportedly could be on his way out after the season along with team President David Samson, told TheTicketMiami Tuesday morning the rumors about losing his job are getting to him.
"I think when you sign up for the job and your team doesn't play well you're open to scrutiny and your job status is in jeopardy," Beinfest said during his weekly appearance on the Hochman and Zaslow Show. "I think the tumultuous part and unsettling part is reading about it and living it everyday. You know I'm a person just like anybody else. I have a wife and kids and all that good stuff. It can definitely grate on you.
"But you have to try to take a step back and go with the old 'Worry about things you can control.' Do the best job you possibly can and continue to do so until the card reader doesn't let you in the building anymore. And that's exactly what's going on. In a perfect world would I want this to happen two years in a row? Absolutely not. Has it been fun for me? Nope. You just deal with it."
Beinfest, who has served under owner Jeffrey Loria for 13 years dating back to their days with the Montreal Expos, is under contract through the 2015 season. He was rumored to be on the hot seat last season, too, but ended up keeping his job. It was reported Beinfest went to Loria weeks ago to discuss his future with the organization, but was given no guarantees.
Multiple sources said that in making his decisions, Loria often heeds the advice and suggestions of others, everyone from player agents to assistant general manager Dan Jennings, without receiving any input from Beinfest and general manager Michael Hill. Jennings has long been one of Loria’s favorites, and there is rampant speculation he will take over in the front office in the event of a change in leadership. It was reported this week Jennings has already begun the process of looking for a staff to replace Beinfest and Hill.
"Boy if I listen to everybody and read the papers it sounds like I'm a goner," Beinfest said. "But that's what it sounded like a year ago. Again, it would be unfair for me to say I haven't given it a thought. But my expectation is that I've done a good job, there's a bright future here and that I'm going to be a part of it. If that's not the case then that's out of my hands.
Asked if he had gone to Loria for an assurance about his future, Beinfest said: "I'd like to keep everything internal. That's probably the most professional thing given the number of things that are out there externally. So I'll leave it at that. But it does grate on you everyday and you have to deal with it. But at the same time you have to do your job. I know I didn't answer the question but that's the way it goes.
"Am I disappointed? Absolutely. Nobody wants to read about their job status and possibly losing their livelihood. But that's the way it goes in a public business."
Asked if Loria has been involved in the process of running the team more lately than in the past, Beinfest answered: " I don't know that that's necessarily the case. I'll just say Jeffrey has always been involved. He made that very clear when he hired me 14 years ago when I was an assistant GM in Montreal. That he wanted to know what was going on and that he was going to be involved in the baseball operations.
"He has the keys to the car and if he wants to help drive it, that's just the way it goes. For me, he's always been involved. Again, a lot of things are out there. I'm not going to respond to them. And it's all sensitive stuff. Let's face it. I don't think has been pleasant for Jeffrey or for the organization the last couple of weeks, reading all these things. We have an attendance challenge building and a hundred loss team and there's a lot of things to worry about here and I'm not sure I'm necessarily at the top of the list."
For the complete interview visit TheTicketMiami.