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2 posts from March 13, 2014

March 13, 2014

Lucas leaves with tight left hamstring; Turner solid against old team; Redmond loses 1st challenge

LAKELAND -- Ed Lucas has had a smile on his face most of this spring. He didn't have one Thursday.

Considered a favorite to land the Marlins utility job over Donovan Solano, Lucas left Thursday's 4-2 win over the Tigers in the fourth inning with a tight left hamstring. Lucas singled and scored in the inning and said the hamstring stiffened as he was running to third on Adeiny Hechavarria's double to right field.

"I think it's okay," Lucas responded when asked how bad the injury was.

Lucas, 31, is supposed to go to Panama with the Marlins Friday night to face the Yankees in a special two-game weekend series. But it's obvious he won't be going anywhere now. 

"We'll have to make an adjustment, see what we do there," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said of the Marlins' travel roster.

REDMOND LOSES FIRST CHALLENGE

Redmond lost his first and only challenge thus far this spring when he asked umps to review a pickoff play of Derek Dietrich at first base in the ninth inning. Upon further review, first base umpire Joe West properly called Dietrich out.

"I just wanted to challenge it just to get one in," Redmond said. "It seemed like a perfect time. I probably had a feeling he was probably out. But it was worth it just to go through the process. For everyone, for the umpires, for us. The timing of it was good."

Redmond said the best part of Thursday's first experience with replay was how quickly he got an answer via walkie-talkie from video coordinator Cullen McCrae and newly hired administrative coach Pat Shine, who were watching the game on a laptop.

"There were a couple plays [we thought about challenging] but we had a quick enough answer on them where I didn't need to go out there," Redmond said. "I could have challenged it just to do it. But I already knew the calls were right. I actually got the information quicker than I anticipated. It was alright."

> Pitcher Jacob Turner -- expected to be the fourth starter in the Marlins' rotation -- turned in arguably his best start of the spring Thursday giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits over four innings against his former team.

"It felt like I had to battle a little bit more than I would have liked to," said Turner, who threw 37 of his 62 pitches for strikes. "In the first couple innings I was kind of getting my feet underneath me. My fastball command kind of got better as the game went on. But those last two innings felt really good. It's something to build upon."

Turner, who also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch, gave up a lead-off triple to Austin Jackson in the second. It turned into his only earned run moments later when catcher Bryan Holaday hit a sacrifice fly to left. The Tigers took advantage of an Hechavarria throwing error to open the fourth and later scored, but Turner evaded more trouble.

Turner also retired Triple Crown winner and former Marlin Miguel Cabrera both times he faced him. The first time on a grounder to first base, and the second on a hard line drive to right field.

"I was happy how I competed when they got runners in scoring position," said Turner, who retired two hitters with runners on the corners and one out in the fourth. "It was also good throwing to Salty for the first time in a game. I felt like I was able to mix in a lot more breaking balls today what I had the last two times out."

Traded to the Marlins by Detroit in 2012, the former first round pick said it was weird being in the visitor's dugout Thursday. Turner gave up seven hits and two earned runs over two innings of work against the Braves in his previous start.

"I think he looks 100 times better than last year," Redmond said of Turner before Thursday's game. "The ball is coming out of his hands better. He's much stronger. I've been pretty happy actually with the way he's pitched this spring. His last start he gave up a bunch of hits, but he was able to get through it.

"We like his stuff. We've seen his stuff when it's really good. Like any of our starters its a matter of consistency, throwing strikes and giving us a chance to win."

> Garrett Jones had a two-out RBI double in the third inning off Tigers starter Drew Smyly to tie the score at 1.

Lucas and Hechavarria then gave the Marlins a 3-1 lead the following inning on Jake Marisnick's double down the left field line. Marisnick, who had two hits, then scored on a Giancarlo Stanton sacrifice fly. 

Marlins to get first taste of new replay system -- albeit a little limited -- today vs. Tigers

LAKELAND -- The Marlins will play in their first instant replay game of the spring this afternoon against the Tigers. Just don't consider it a complete dress rehearsal.

Unlike during the regular season when umpires in New York's Replay Command Center will watch video of the play in question using the "indisputable video evidence" standard when deciding whether to overturn a call, somebody inside of a TV van parked outside Joker Marchant Stadium will be doing the reviewing this afternoon.

The camera angles used also won't be as good as during the regular season, Marlins manager Mike Redmond cautioned.

"We'll see how it goes," Redmond said. "It would be nice to have a play -- at least one play that we could review, get used to how we're going to do it during the season.

"I know this system is totally different than what we're going to have during the season. I can't really say it's a tune-up. It's basically exactly what we've been doing for the last two weeks just with the mechanics of being able to review a play. We still have limited camera angles. So we're kind of at the mercy of the trucks and whatever angle they get of the play. I think there's [been] a lot of inconclusive pictures so far [in other spring training games]. At least that's the way I've seen it."

Baseball's new adopted replay rules allow managers to make one challenge per game (two if the first challenge results in an overturned call) and allows umpires to initiate a review from the seventh inning on.

The Marlins will have video coordinator Cullen McCrae and newly hired administrative coach Pat Shine watching the game on a laptop this afternoon. When they feel the need to appeal a play they will use a walkie-talkie system to contact bench coach Rob Leary and tell him the team should challenge the play.

Here what is reviewable under the new rules: Ground-rule doubles; fan interference calls; boundary calls; force plays at all bases (except whether a middle infielder touched second base during the attempt to "turn" a double play); tag plays on the base paths (whether a runner was tagged or whether the runner touched a base); fair/foul calls on balls hit into the outfield; catch/trap calls on balls hit into the outfield; time plays (whether or not a run scored prior to the third out); whether a runner passed a preceding runner; scorekeeping issues (including the count, number of outs, score or substitutions).

Redmond said the Marlins plan on challenging anything they think they should and won't be saving their challenges for later innings.

"We've talked about it. My philosophy is going to be to use it," Redmond said. "If we can get a guy on base or get an out [we'll use it]. We talk about 27 outs. If we can get one of those outs using replay -- it doesn't matter if it's early in the game or mid game -- we're going to do it.

"I know they talked about saving challenges for the big plays. But you never know when the big plays are going to come. It could be in the first inning. It could be the first hitter of the game. You never know. But that's kind of going to be our philosophy. I'm sure they'll be some trial and error with this system. But it will be like that for everybody. I think we all hope it doesn't slow down the game and there's not games where there are four or five or six tough calls. Hopefully, like they say, we're only using this thing every four or five games."

There are four other games in which the team will have the expanded replay system available for us: Sunday at the Twins (Fort Myers), next Wednesday versus the Cardinals (Jupiter), March 23 at Detroit (Lakeland), and March 29 at Yankees (Tampa).

> Redmond said he expects infielder Jeff Baker, who strained his quad getting out of the batter's box on Monday, to play Friday night against the Mets in Jupiter. Second baseman Rafael Furcal (hamstring) will likely play Saturday in Jupiter if he doesn't have any setbacks, Redmond said. Both players were expected to go through full baseball activities for the first time Thursday. They hit in the batting cages and played catch in Jupiter on Wednesday. 

> Redmond said Reed Johnson, Brian Bogusevic, Donavan Solano and Greg Dobbs -- all bench players for the Marlins -- were participating in Triple A game Thursday in Jupiter to get extra at-bats. 

"It's a good way to get to get guys in there, get six, seven, eight, nine at-bats quickly without having to play defense," Redmodn said. "They can just go work on the offensive part of it."

THURSDAY'S LINEUPS

> Marlins (8-4-2): 1. Jake Marisnick DH, 2. Christian Yelich LF, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Garrett Jones 1B, 5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 6. Casey McGehee 3B, 7. Marcell Ozuna CF, 8. Ed Lucas 2B, 9. Adeiny Hechavarria SS. RHP Jacob Turner.

> Tigers (7-6-2): 1. Rajai Davis LF, 2. Steve Lombardozzi 2B, 3. Miguel Cabrera 1B, 4. Torii Hunter DH, 5. Austin Jackson CF, 6. Steven Moya RF, 7. Danny Worth 3B, 8. Bryan Holaday C, 9. Eugenio Suarez SS. LHP Drew Smyly.