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2 posts from March 28, 2014

March 28, 2014

Marlins nearly no-hit Yankees -- again; Tanaka impresses

TAMPA -- Two weeks after the Marlins no-hit the New York Yankees in Panama, they flirted with the feat a second time.

Five Marlins pitchers combined to hold the Bronx Bombers hitless through seven innings before Kelly Johnson spoiled the bid with a leadoff double in the eighth off Steve Cishek. The Yankees ended up prevailing, 3-0.

It hasn't been the crispest of springs for Cishek, who has given up eight runs (six earned) on 13 hits in only 10 innings. He's also walked four while striking out seven. Cishek gave up two runs in Friday's loss.

"Cishek, it's kind of been a little bit of a struggle for him all spring," said manager Mike Redmond. "But, I'm sure when the lights come on and he's in a save situation, everything will be fine."


The Marlins got their first taste of Masahiro Tanaka, the latest Japanese pitching import, and left impressed. Tanaka went six innings after entering in relief of Hiroki Kuroda, limiting the Marlins to only three hits while striking out 10.

"He's the same guy I remember," said Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee, who was Tanaka's teammate in Japan last year.




Last-minute reprieve spares Solano; Bogusevic in limbo

TAMPA -- Donovan Solano was feeling dejected Thursday morning after being summoned into the manager's office and told he hadn't made the team, that the backup infielder's job was going to Ed Lucas. Seven hours later, after spending the day in his hotel room and working out living arrangements for Triple A New Orleans, Solano received a phone call telling him all plans were off.

Lucas' left hand was broken in the eighth inning of the final spring training game played in Jupiter and, just like that, Solano was back on the roster.

"That was crazy for me, that day," Solano said.

Solano was not euphoric by any means. He said he felt terrible for Lucas who had just won his first-ever Opening Day roster spot, only to have the rug pulled out from beneath him with a poorly-timed injury. It was reminiscent, in a way, of the 2008 injury to Marlins outfielder Alejandro de Aza, who injured his ankle in the final game of spring training when he collided with another outfielder, John Raynor.

"I feel bad for him because it's a bad situation for a teammate," Solano said.

On the other hand, Solano said he was disappointed in not making the team the first time after enjoying a solid spring, one in which he hit .313.

"That's why I felt bad, because I had a good spring, a good approach, Solano said. "I played my best baseball this spring. That's why I felt bad. I didn't expect that (the demotion)."

Manager Mike Redmond said Lucas would likely be out four to six weeks so Solano, who was the team's Opening Day second baseman, could be around for a while.

"I feel terrible for Eddie," Redmond said. "He makes his first Opening Day roster and breaks his hand. These last few games are always a little dicey."

Redmond said Lucas was still in Thursday's game when he ws struck by a Scott McGregor pitch because he had already missed time earlier in spring with a hamstring injury and he was trying to get him more at bats before the season-opener.

"It's unfortunate," Redmond said. "But guys just can't take three or four days off before Opening Day. They've got to keep getting their at bats."


Perhaps no player is feeling odder about his situation than outfielder Brian Bogusevic, who was informed on Thursday that he would not be on the team. But Bogusevic was in uniform Friday when the Marlins faced the New York Yankees, as his status remained in limbo.

Since Bogusevic is out of options, the Marlins will be forced to designate him for assignment and expose him to a waiver claim. That is, unless another another outfielder sustains an injury over the next couple of days and the Marlins decide to keep him after all.

Bogusevic, who was acquired from the Cubs in the Justin Ruggiano trade, said he hopes he is either claimed by another team or traded.

"I guess there are still things that can happen in the next day or two," Bogusevic said. "Shoot, you saw what happened to Ed Lucas yesterday. No one wants that to happen. But, yeah, I am in limbo."

Bogusevic said the Marlins' decision not to keep him was "somewhat surprising," but acknowledged that he didn't have the best of springs. He hit just .174 with an on-base percentage of just .188.

The longer the Marlins wait to designate Bogusevic, the more it hurts his chances of landing on some other team, he said.

"It's not helping me out," he said.


With Rafael Furcal (hamstring) joining Lucas on the disabled list, Derek Dietrich will likely see most of the playing time at second base, Redmond said.

However, with the Colorado Rockies sending out left-handers Jorge De La Rosa and Brett Anderson the first two games of the season-opening series, Redmond said right-handed hitter Jeff Baker would receive the starting nod at second the first two games.