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4 posts from May 28, 2014

May 28, 2014

Alvarez, Marlins don't believe his arm stiffness is serious

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Henderson Alvarez and the Marlins seem to think his stiff throwing arm, which caused him to exit Wednesday's 8-5 10-inning win over the Nationals after just five innings, isn't a serious injury.

“My arm was tight, a little tight,” Alvarez explained after the game as he and teammates were huddled by TVs watching the end of the Heat-Pacers playoff game. “From the time I went out to the mound, from the beginning I felt it… [but] I’ll be fine for the next start.”

Alvarez didn’t refer to his discomfort as an elbow injury. He said he felt tightness all over his arm, something he’s felt in previous starts including before this when the team was on its 11-game West Coast trip. He said he felt it when he pitched in San Diego.

Elbow injuries have hurt the Marlins plenty already.

Jose Fernandez, the staff ace, was lost to season-ending Tommy John surgery two weeks ago after going on the disabled list with a right elbow sprain.

Reliever Carter Capps followed Fernandez to the disabled list on Tuesday with the same right elbow sprain injury. The Marlins said they're going to give Capps at least a month off hoping his elbow injury heals with rest.

Alvarez's prognosis remains to be seen. But if there’s a positive sign for Miami aside from what Alvarez said after the game it’s that his velocity didn't seem to take a hit Wednesday. He was still registering fastballs between 93 and 94 miles per hour in the fifth inning and throwing curveballs for strikes.

“I think he’s fine,” manager Mike Redmond said. “But we’ll see over the next couple days.  He wanted to keep pitching. But we wanted to make sure it didn’t become anything serious. He just had mentioned that it had tightened up on him. We just took him out to make sure it didn’t turn into anything.”

DIETRICH CATCH PLAY OF THE GAME IN REDMOND'S EYES

There were a lot of big plays and moment's in Wednesday's win, but Derek Dietrich's catch, backing up an errant throw by pitcher Mike Dunn in the eighth inning to keep the bases loaded is a play both Redmond and a few other Marlins mentioned.

"There was a lot of stuff. I don’t even inow where to start in that game," Redmond said. "Really the play of the game for me was Dietrich backing up the play with the bases loaded. That ended up being a huge play. If that ball gets down that right field line its game over for us.

Said Dunn: "Right as I let it go, I went, 'Oh, no,' Then I was like, 'It's going right to him.' Yes!"

Dunn of course worked out of a bases-loaded, nobody out jam in the eighth to keep the score tied at 4.

"Bear down, that's pretty much the extent of it," Dunn said. "I had nowhere to put anybody. You've got to get them out. [Anthony] Rendon was a big out, to be able to punch him out. It took 10 pitches to get there, and he made some good swings on some pitches, just foul. I was able to finally get a good slider to him to get him out.

"[Jayson] Werth is the one guy who has had really good success against me. Nowhere to put him, you've got to go right at him, and locate your pitches. I got him to pop up to the infield. I was like, 'Ok, breath.' But at the same time, there were two outs. You've got to make the third out.

"The pitch I threw I threw to get [Adam LaRoche] to ground out wasn't a very good pitch, it was a pitch right down the middle, but I was able to get the job done."

Henderson Alvarez leaves Wednesday's game with elbow stiffness

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Marlins could be down another starting pitcher.

Henderson Alvarez, who tossed a no-hitter to end the 2013 season and was slotted as the team's No. 3 starter behind Jose Fernandez and Nathan Eovaldi, was taken out after five shutout innings Wednesday because of stiffness in his right elbow. The Marlins say Alvarez was removed for precautionary reasons.

Alvarez had been pitching well, allowing only five hits and striking out two. He made three good defensive plays on hard come backers to the mound and didn't show any symptoms of discomfort while he was pitching. He threw 62 pitches and 43 went for strikes.

Considering Fernandez is already lost for the season this could potentially be another crushing blow for the Marlins if Alvarez's injury is serious. 

Marlins not happy Nationals were quick to pull the plug on Tuesday's rainout

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Tuesday's rainout at Nationals Park – called off by the home team about 10 minutes after the scheduled first pitch – isn’t sitting well with the Marlins, especially since the storm rolled out of town and skies were clear less than an hour later.

By 8:15 p.m., the grounds crew was taking the tarp off the field. Late last season, the Nationals made the Marlins wait more than three hours before the game was finally called.

"I think it seemed early to call it," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said Wednesday. "But that’s their call and there's not a whole lot we can do about it, just be ready to play [Wednesday].”

According to MLB rules, the home team has the power to delay the start of the game and postpone or reschedule it due to inclement weather. Once the game starts, the umpires have the power to delay it or postpone the game.

In this case, with Nationals rookie Blake Treinen (0-2, 1.56) scheduled to start and three Nats All-Stars on the disabled list in Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper and Gio Gonzalez, the home team came out with an obvious advantage by postponing the game until the end of the regular season when the Marlins visit again.

The make-up game has been scheduled as part of a day-night double-header on either Sept. 26 or 27. Redmond said Tuesday night he thought the double-header would take place on the 26th.

Asked if he went out for an evening stroll through D.C. Tuesday night Redmond said with a smile: "I did. And I didn’t even need an umbrella."

Stanton fourth among outfielders in first All-Star voting results; Heaney shines again

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- It's almost certain Giancarlo Stanton is going to get selected to the All-Star Game in Minneapolis in July. The only question now is if he'll be selected as a starter by the fans or picked as a reserve.

Wednesday, the first All-Star voting results were released by Major League Baseball and Stanton was ranked fourth among all National League outfielders with 426,228 votes. The Rockies' Charlie Blackmon (549,394 votes), the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen (467,378) and Brewers' Ryan Braun (446,780) are ahead of Stanton for the three starting spots selected by the fans.

Stanton, who leads the National League in homers (15) and major league baseball with 49 RBI, ranks seventh overall in the National League in votes. He's also the only Marlin listed among the top vote-getters by position. 

"He's been great," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said Tuesday. "Spring training was big for him. You could tell he was a new man. He was energized with the moves we made. He's doing great. He's happy He's gotten some huge hits for us including [Monday's] game. It's been fun to watch him go out there and run around. You can tell he feels healthy, everything is going good. He's in a good place right now and that's good for us."

HEANEY SHINES AGAIN

Marlins top prospect Andrew Heaney had another stellar start Tuesday night for Triple A New Orleans, tossing six scoreless innings of one-hit ball in a rain-shorted win at Round Rock.

Heaney (1-0) struck out seven without walking a batter and threw 55 of his 78 pitches for strikes. At one point he retired 16 in a row. 

"[My command]'s been a big help lately," Heaney told MiLB.com. "I've really put a lot of emphasis on pounding the strike zone lately. You don't ever want to give up walks, but I've been working to not give in on 3-1 or 3-2. I want to make guys beat me. You try and stay out of deep counts, but they are going to happen sometimes. It's OK to let them beat me, but not beat myself."

WEDNESDAY'S LINEUPS

> Marlins (27-25): 1. Christian Yelich LF, 2. Derek Dietrich 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. Henderson Alvarez RHP.

> Nationals (25-26): 1. Denard Span CF, 2. Anthony Rendon 3B, 3. Jayson Werth RF, 4. Adam LaRoche 1B, 5. Wilson Ramos C, 6. Ian Desmond SS, 7. Kevin Frandsen 2B, 8. Nate McLouth LF, 9. Jordan Zimmerman RHP.