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McGehee gets first crack at hitting cleanup behind Stanton; Furcal update

Placido Polanco, Marcell Ozuna, Logan Morrison, Justin Ruggiano, Joe Mahoney, Ed Lucas, Austin Kearns and Greg Dobbs all got a chance to hit cleanup behind Giancarlo Stanton last season.

Casey McGehee will be the first to have those honors this season. Skipper Mike Redmond tabbed the 31-year old third baseman as the team's Opening Night cleanup hitter because he said he wants a right-handed bat to follow Stanton when the team faces a left-handed starting pitcher.

Getting somebody to hit behind Stanton who other teams fear is vital to the Marlins success. According to Fangraphs.com, only the Giants Pablo Sandoval (33.9 percent) saw fewer strikes than Stanton (38.2 percent) among all big league hitters last season.

"I spent a lot of time hitting cleanup behind Prince [Fielder] in Milwaukee," McGehee said. "I've kind of used that as a frame of reference -- just to not get upset or let one at-bat be bigger than the next if they do decide to pitch around him, which I definitely understand. I just want to try to have good at-bats. Whether you get a hit or not, at least make the pitcher work."

The Rockies have another left-hander Brett Anderson scheduled for Tuesday's game, but will send right-hander Jordan Lyles to the mound Wednesday. Left-handed hitting first baseman Garrett Jones will probably slide in behind Stanton in the lineup that night. 

McGehee hit .292 with 28 homers and 93 RBI last season in 144 games for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Japan Pacific league. The last time McGehee hit cleanup in an MLB game was July 17, 2012 as a member of the Pirates. He's only started and hit cleanup 23 times in his career and is a .218 career hitter with three homers and eight RBI batting fourth.

"He has some experience. He's been through the battles," Redmond said. "The key is to get Giancarlo as many good pitches to hit as he can. You go back to last year when we had Polanco hitting in that spot. I think that's an upgrade for us for sure."

FURCAL AIMING FOR RETURN IN TWO WEEKS

Rafael Furcal appears to be targeting April 14th -- the day the Marlins return from their first road trip -- as the day he hopes to be off the disabled list and back in the Marlins lineup.

Furcal has been battling a tender hamstring since the middle of spring training and the Marlins are being cautious with the 36-year old second baseman, whom they paid $3.5 million to come in and serve as their leadoff hitter despite missing the entire 2013 season following Tommy John surgery. Furcal said he doesn't feel any discomfort when he fields or hits -- just when he tries to "push it" running.

"It's disappointing. I've had a whole year waiting for this moment," said Furcal, who said he will be playing in minor league games over the next couple of weeks. "But there are 100 more something games to go. I want to be healthy. I expect to play the whole year, not be hurt any more when I come back."

Furcal was the first hitter to step in the box in Marlins Park history. He grounded out to short against Josh Johnson in his first at-bat, but finished 3-for-5 that night.

> It will now be possible to know what day of the week it is by the color of the Marlins’ uniforms. Seriously.

Players will be wearing white jersey tops with black caps Monday throughThursday. On Fridays, they’ll be wearing white uniforms and red-orange caps. On Saturdays, it’ll be black uniform tops and black caps with red-orange bills. And on Sundays, they’ll wear red-orange jerseys with black caps.

Got that?

“There was an overwhelming amount of fan support for the red-orange caps last year and we didn’t wear them,” said Marlins president David Samson. “So this year we’re bringing them back.”

Samson said the red-orange caps are the team’s biggest sellers.

MONDAY'S LINEUPS

> Rockies: 1. Charlie Blackmon CF, 2. Michael Cuddyer RF, 3. Carlos Gonzalez LF, 4. Troy Tulowitzki SS, 5. Justin Morneau 1B, 6. Wilin Rosario C, 7. Nolan Arenado 3B, 8. DJ LeMahieu 2B, 9. Jorge De La Rosa LHP.

> Marlins: 1. Christian Yelich LF, 2. Jeff Baker 2B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Garrett Jones 1B, 6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 7. Marcell Ozuna CF, 8. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 9. Jose Fernandez RHP

Comments

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Ricky Ricardo

Hez egsited an spicccing az fast az e can

Russell

And of course Ozuna who is lucky to have a job has all the Offense thus far. Irony.

Lou Vales

YOUR 1st Place Miami Marlins atop the East Division if you go in alphabetical order.

Camera Mike

They are also in first if you go by run differential.

Today was a surprise. I was expecting Fernandez to look good and pitch a great game but the hitting was not on my list of expectations. I know full well it's only one game out of 162 and we will still have a line up that will be hard pressed to score more often then not, but this was an enjoyable game to watch.

Also I watched the ESPN broadcast and Eduardo Perez color commentates as well as he coaches. It was painful listening to him.

SameOldBS

Wow !!! largest crowd in Marlins Park history. How come alot of them came dressed the same.They all looked like empty blue seats,especially the first few innings.

Lou Vales

The MUTE button is there for 3!!!! Major reasons--Dick Vitale, Chip Caray and now Eduardo. Tony, call the kid home.

Camera Mike

After a 9 run win but with the game lasting just over 3 hours do you think David Samson considers this a net gain or loss?

clevelander

After 3 hours Samson was somewhere on his knees.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

I point out The Sweatshirt's writing gaffes in this column, he makes corrections, then deletes my comment, hoping no one would notice.

Stay classy, Manuel.

the Truth

Marlins Park a Sell Out? it should've be called a Desperate Give-Away Out

Susan Cohen

Was dragged to the game by co-workers who were given free tickets and begging eveyone in the office to go. What a rip=off that place is. 12dollar beers,4dollar waters,long lines for way over-priced food,crappy service,will never go again,nor will any of the 10 people I went with.

Stan M

Absolutely great viewing experience. The front office was in evidence with the microphone failure. The new hitting coach's effect was seen with added contact and hits to right field. And the umpire's unreliability was present with Jones, McGehee and Yelich all being called out on pitches out of the strike zone. But, damn, that kid can pitch! Now if Eovaldi can go out and have a positive effect, we'll really be in business.

Lou Vales

In the last 30 years I don't think I have ever gone to a sporting event without having eaten at a good restaurant beforehand. I arrive at a game(even a 1:00 o'clock game--Brunch-- with no hunger. I realize the ballpark food will be mediocre and overpriced so I put myself into a state of mind and body of having no desire to eat or drink for 3 hours. I then enjoy the event. Why doesn't everyone do this in areas where options are readily available. If you can't go 3 hours without eating a hot dog or Cuban Sandwich you may be in need of a dietary intervention.

Stan, This team COULD be very respectable before people, besides us, deem it possible. Was that more RBI's from 3B than we received all last year?

Lou Vales

DT, Have just recently returned to Forumville. Is Manny really as bad as you imply? I infer from your comments that he can be less than stellar.

Lou Vales

My comment about just not eating at the game was pulled?? Are you kidding? Guys, have some respect for your craft. This is not Crimea.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Lou, Manny the Sweatshirt and Barry Beaver Face Jackson are the worst.

Jackson is just a sycophant with no journalistic integrity, publishing anything that comes out of Loria's/Sampson's pieholes, with no thought given to its truth or validity.

And all I can say about The Sweatshirt is, to paraphrase Samuel L., there must have been a short line for his job.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

I just read Susan Cohen's comment above. So THAT'S Loria/Sampson's new marketing strategy! GIVE away the tickets and hold 'em hostage for 2 1/2 hours. "Hungry? Thirsty? Ok, that'll 40 bucks for you and your date's hot dog and beer."

Lou Vales

I'll try again with my comment. Eat before the game at a GOOD restaurant and sate yourself on food and drink so you can avoid the craving for a bad hot dog, marginal ethnic food and NON-craft beers for the next 3 hours or so. I have not eaten the crap at any stadium or arena in last 30 years. If you are hungry within 4 hours of having a good meal, you should consult a nutritionist.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

The thing is, Lou, it's a part of the experience, the whole sitting at the ballpark, taking in the game, having a hot dog and a beer. And just like going to the movies, you KNOW it's overpriced, but you go along with it for the sake of the experience. But the part that I just can't stomach is that the $12 for a beer goes straight into the pockets of the sleazebag Loria.

Stan M

My son and I are planning to drive down from NC to take in a couple of games. Thank God, I have a perfectly serviceable flask and intend to utilize it. Screw the "experience", DT, I'm not paying those prices. I say that despite the fact that you are right about the whole ball game experience. But not now, and not for Loria...never!

Dionysus Thelxinoe

I'm with you all the way, Stan. Make sure the flask is well hidden when you enter, though.

Go gogo

Joseito is the best pitcherin baseball

Marcos Rodriguez

No, the Marlins will not win the division and most likely will not make the playoffs....but this team is not as bad as everyone thinks. The pitching staff should be the envy of every team in baseball with the exception of one or two....and if they push some runs across the plate you may be looking at a third place team, behind the Nats and the Braves. The future is bright....now only if we could do something about the ownership because I would hate for this team to start winning for Loria and Sampson.

Go gogo

Go No. 16

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Marcos, who's saying the team's bad? Considering the chinzty owner they have, I think they're pretty good. The hitting needs to improve, by a lot (it was one game, ok?), and they can use a legit manager, but the pitching has great potential, and as Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy (aka Connie Mack) once said, pitching is 75% of the game.

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