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52 posts from June 2014

June 30, 2014

Astros internal trade talks leaked by hackers include discussions with Marlins over Stanton, Dominguez

The Marlins have never hid the fact they've received quite a few offers over the past couple years for All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton.

And now thanks to some hackers who purportedly posted 10 months worth of internal trade talks by the Houston Astros' front office on Anonbin.com (a site where users can anonymously share hacked or leaked information), we've got an idea of at least one trade for Stanton that was kicked around last November 15.

The trade the Marlins were looking for: Stanton for Astros top prospects Carlos Correa and George Springer. 

Here's the purported exchange: "[Astros GM Jeff Luhnow] talked to [Marlins GM Dan Jennings] and said we had interest in Stanton. [Jennings] said he doesn't think he'll trade Stanton and the only deal he could think of from us that would work would be Springer and Correa. [Luhnow] said that would not work. [Lunhow] posited a deal around [pitcher Jarred] Cosart and [minor leaguer Delino] Deshields [Jr]."

Obviously, neither trade worked out. In the end, if this information is all true, this is obviously pretty embarrassing for the Astros.

Deadspin.com first wrote about the purportedly leaked information and reported Monday that the Astros first began using an online database for the private use of the Astros front office two years ago called "Ground Control." The interface gives Astros executives instant access to player statistics, video, and communications with other front offices around baseball. Someone obviously hacked into it.

The Stanton deal wasn't the only one the Astros purportedly discussed with the Marlins. According to the documents on Dec. 9 the Marlins reached out to Houston looking for a second or third baseman in exchange for Logan Morrison. The Marlins inquired about Jose Altuve and Matt Dominguez, who the Marlins of course traded away to Houston for Carlos Lee two years ago. The also expressed interest in right-handed pitchers Mike Foltynewicz, Lance McCullers and catcher Carlos Perez, all minor leaguers.

The Marlins ended up trading Morrison to the Mariners for reliever Carter Capps and ended up signing Rafael Furcal and Casey McGehee that winter.

UPDATE: The Houston Astros issued the following statement this afternoon:

"Last month, we were made aware that proprietary information held on Astros' servers and in Astros' applications had been illegally obtained. Upon learning of the security breach, we immediately notified MLB security who, in turn, notified the FBI. Since that time, we have been working closely with MLB security and the FBI to the determine the party, or parties, responsible. This information was illegally obtained and published, and we intend to prosecute those involved to the fullest extent.

"It is unfortunate and extremely disappointing that an outside source has illegally obtained confidential information. While it does appear that some of the content released was based on trade conversations, a portion of the material was embellished or completely fabricated."

June 29, 2014

Yelich Returns to Lineup; Stanton Confirms Derby Invite

Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich was available to manager Mike Redmond Sunday for the first time since June 13, when Yelich suffered a lower back strain. 

He said he felt healthy a week ago, but he was not eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list until Sunday.

“It was a very slow 15 days,” Yelich said Sunday. “I’m glad it’s over with.”

Yelich will start in center for Miami Sunday in the series finale against the Athletics. The 22-year-old was in the dugout Saturday, watching his team lose to Oakland, 7-6, in 14 innings. It was the Marlins' third straight loss and their sixth defeat in their last eight games.

“That was the toughest thing—the guys were out there battling, going extra innings and coming up a little short,” Yelich said. “Having to sit there and watch it and not being able to do anything about it was the toughest part. It will be nice to be back out there and really have an impact.”

Yelich played two games for Double A Jacksonville and a pair for Triple A New Orleans during his rehab stint. He had one home run and hit .200 over those four games.

Outfielder Jake Marisnick was optioned down to the minors Saturday to make room for Yelich on the roster.


Giancarlo Stanton confirmed Sunday that he has accepted an offer to compete in the 2014 Home Run Derby in Minneapolis, though the team has not yet been formally announced. National League Derby captain Troy Tulowitzki reached out to Stanton during the Marlins’ most recent roadtrip in Philadelphia, and Stanton said he was excited to accept the offer.

In the midst of a three-game losing streak though, Stanton said he is not thinking much about the July 14 event.

“I’m not worried about it at all at this point,” Stanton said. “We’ve had a rough couple games so it’s the last thing on my mind at the moment.”

Each league will have five participants square off in the Derby and then compete through a bracketed system to create an AL vs. NL final.

Stanton leads the National League in home runs (21) and RBI (60).


After leaving Saturday’s game with a cramp, outfielder Marcell Ozuna was not in the starting lineup Sunday. Yelich will start in center while Reed Johnson mans left field.

Ozuna said his rest was merely precautionary.

“They don’t want to lose me for two or three innings,” Ozuna said Sunday. “Tuesday I’ll be able to play.”


The Marlins bullpen entered Sunday third in Major League Baseball with 263.1 innings pitched, including 20 over the last three days.

Reliever Mike Dunn, who threw 31 pitches yesterday and has pitched in three of the Marlins' last four games, said he and his teammates have altered their routines to help deal with the increased workload.

“You’ve got to listen to your body and understand what you can or can’t do on a daily basis leading up to a game,” Dunn said. “I don’t think we’ve played long toss in over a week and the workout sessions have gone from an hour to 20-to-30 minutes.”

Dunn added that with the team’s off day Monday, Miami's first since June 12, more arms would be available for use Sunday.

“They asked us if we can go and knowing there is an off day tomorrow, I’m available today and a lot of guys are going to be,” he said. “I threw 30 pitches last night but we've got an off day tomorrow so I know I can go in there and pitch today and I know I’m not going to pick up a baseball tomorrow.”

The Marlins called up lefthander Dan Jennings from the minors before Sunday's game to provide depth in the bullpen.



> Athletics (50-30): 1. Craig Gentry CF, 2. Alberto Callaspo 2B, 3. Yoenis Cespedes LF, 4. Josh Donaldson 3B, 5. Nate Freiman 1B, 6. Brandon Moss RF, 7. Nick Punto SS, 8. Stephen Vogt C, 9. Tommy Milone LHP.

> Marlins (39-42): 1. Christian Yelich CF, 2. Reed Johnson LF, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Ed Lucas SS, 6. Jeff Baker 1B, 7. Donovan Solano 2B, 8. Jeff Mathis C, 9. Andrew Heaney P.  


  • Monday: Off.
  • Tuesday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (5-3, 2.32 ERA) vs. Philadelphia Phillies TBA 

June 28, 2014

Marlins CF Marcell Ozuna leaves Saturday's game with what appears to be a right hamstring injury

Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna left Saturday's game against the Athletics in the bottom of the seventh inning with an apparent right hamstring injury.

Ozuna was seen on the television broadcast in the dugout clutching his hamstring and motioning to teammates that he hurt himself swinging. Ozuna flew out to left field for the second out in the seventh.

The Marlins have yet to announce why Ozuna left the game. Ozuna ranks third among National League outfielders with 46 RBI. He came into the day tied for ninth in RBI in the NL overall.

Left fielder Christian Yelich is expected to come off the disabled list Sunday.

Marlins have signed 30 of their 42 draft picks

The Marlins announced Saturday they've signed 30 of their 42 draft picks.

The deadline for draft picks to sign is July 18.

Here is the list of those who have signed (CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO ENLARGE)

Marlins Signed Picks


Redmond plans on starting Yelich in left field when he returns Sunday; Stanton, Mathis talk plays at plate

Left fielder Christian Yelich will be back from the disabled list Sunday and Marlins manager Mike Redmond said he plans on starting him out in his usual spot.

Redmond had discussed in the past playing Marcell Ozuna over in left field more to utilize his arm. Ozuna has started in left field in 10 of his last 12 games with Yelich on the disabled list.

"I know O's arm plays better in left. I just like him out there in center," Redmond said. "He covers a lot more ground out there, but we'll see. That's not to say we won't mix and match them too."

The Marlins will decide after Saturday's game how to make room for Yelich. Outfielder Jake Marisnick, who has held Yelich's roster spot over the last two weeks, is the likely candidate to be sent down. He is batting .159 in 12 games.


In the eighth inning of Friday's series opener, Redmond brought Marisnick in to play centerfield and moved Ozuna to left. Oakland's Josh Reddick hit a liner to left and Ozuna dove for the ball, hoping to make the final out of the inning. But as he lifted his glove in the air to show the umpire he had made the catch, the ball trickled away. 

Ozuna said he didn't realize the ball was out until he heard Marisnick yelling to throw home. Stephen Vogt managed to come around from first to score the tying run on the play. Oakland added four more runs in the ninth for a 9-5 win. After the game, Redmond called Ozuna's dive "a little aggressive" given the circumstances.

"Most of the time with two outs when you have a chance to dive and catch it, you do it and that's what happened on my play," Ozuna said. "When I was diving I closed my glove and I thought I had it."


Friday's game saw two bang-bang plays at the plate, and the A's won out on each.

In the third inning, Yoenis Cespedes tallied his league-leading 10th outfield assist by gunning down Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton seemed to beat the throw to the plate but did not touch it with his feet, and Derek Norris laid down a tag before Stanton touched the plate with his hand.

"I just think the quickest way is just to slide straight to the plate. Since you can't run the catcher over anymore it's kind of caused guys to try to go around and avoid the contact, which is too bad," Redmond said. "You take the aggressiveness out of the play for the runner. The aggressiveness really is all in the catcher. That's not really fair to the runner. It's just one of those things where it's going to take the runners some time to get used to of when to slide and how to slide. I think always the way to go is just slide straight in. That rule has definitely affected those plays at home plate."

In the top of the ninth, Oakland's Coco Crisp went in feet first and was able to tap a foot on the plate before Jeff Mathis could swipe him with his glove.

"If my feet hit first I would have been safe and it was the same idea with Coco," Stanton said Saturday. "Things like that change the whole game."

Mathis said he needs to work on getting his tag down faster, like a middle infielder defending a steal. Before MLB instituted a rule to prevent collisions at home plate this spring, Mathis would work to secure the ball with two hands and anchor himself between the runner and the plate. Now that MLB requires him to give baserunners a lane, he said he needs to work on getting a slap tag down faster.

"It’s a different play for a lot of guys used to really blocking the plate," Mathis said. "You've just got to make a better tag -- a quicker tag."


Sam Dyson became the lastest Marlins relief pitcher to get called up from the minors and join a tired bullpen. The pitcher got his first win in the big leagues on June 17 and was sent down soon after.

"The travel is getting to me -- flying one place, flying another, get a couple days off and then fly somewhere else," Dyson said. "But it's definitely fun flying up here regardless of if it's for a couple days or for a month."

Friday, left-hander Brian Flynn flew to Miami from Nashville early in the morning, pitched three innings, and then was optioned back to Triple A New Orleans after the game. The Marlins' bullpen has had to work hard this month. They've used five relievers in each of their last two games. 

Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos expressed regret Saturday after Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz landed on the seven-day concussion disabled list Friday. Ramos hit Ruiz in the helmet in Thursday's 14-inning marathon in Philadelphia.

"I feel really bad about that," Ramos said. "There’s nothing I can do but apologize for it but it doesn’t make anything better. I just hope that everything comes out ok for him."



> Athletics (49-30): 1. Coco Crisp CF, 2. John Jaso C, 3. Yoenis Cespedes LF, 4. Brandon Moss 1B, 5. Josh Donaldson 3B, 6. Jed Lowrie SS, 7. Josh Reddick RF, 8. Alberto Callaspo 2B, 9. Sonny Gray RHP.

> Marlins (39-41): 1. Reed Johnson LF, 2. Derek Dietrich 2B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Garrett Jones 1B, 6. Marcell Ozuna CF, 7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 8. Donovan Solan SS, 9. Nathan Eovaldi RHP.  

Report: Tulowitzki says Stanton has agreed to participate in HR derby

According to a report from MLB.com, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki told reporters on Saturday that Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton has agreed to participate in next month's Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game.

Stanton leads the National League in home runs (21) and RBI (59) and currently ranks fourth among National League outfielders in All-Star voting.

Tulowitzki was named captain of the NL team for the Derby on July 14 at Target Field in Minneapolis. The Blue Jays' Jose Bautista was chosen captain of the American League squad. Each league will have five participants square off and then compete through a bracketed system to create an AL vs. NL final.

Stanton spoke with reporters before Saturday's game, but the derby didn't come up in conversation. He was too busy answering questions about last night's two big plays at the plate. It's likely he'll confirm the report after Saturday's game.

He has said in the past he's interested in participating in it.

June 27, 2014

X-rays negative on DeSclafani; Flynn optioned back to Triple A New Orleans

Marlins starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani said the line drive that struck him on his right forearm and forced him to leave Friday's 9-5 loss to the Athletics shouldn't keep him out too long.

He thinks its just a bone bruise and he said expects to be able to throw on Saturday. Manager Mike Redmond said x-rays peformed on DeSclafani were negative, but the arm swelled up on him.

"We'll see how it feels when I wake up and evaluate it [Saturday]," DeSclafani said. "It felt good to keep going, but I understand where he's coming from. I still had a sweat going and a lot of adrenaline. I didn't quite feel it when i was out there. I might have been able to keep pitching. I felt like I wasn't affected by it at all, but it's their judgment, their decision to take me out. I'm not going to argue with that."

> After the game, the Marlins optioned left-hander Brian Flynn back to Triple A New Orleans. Redmond said the team will make a corresponding move Saturday.

DeSclafani exits early with right forearm contusion

Marlins starter Anthony DeSclafani left Friday night's game with a right forearm contusion after pitching only three innings.

DeSclafani, 24, was struck by a line drive back to the mound by Athletics first baseman Brandon Moss in the first inning, but remained in the game after throwing two warm up pitches in front of Marlins trainers.

After giving up two runs on four hits in the opening frame, the right-hander settled down and retired six of the next seven hitters he faced on only 22 pitches. He was replaced by left-hander Brian Flynn, who was called up by the Marlins Friday to provide depth to an already taxed pitching staff following Thursday night's 14-inning loss in Philadelphia.

In five starts for the Marlins including Friday's, DeSclafani has an ERA of 7.40. He is in line to take the loss as the Athletics now lead the Marlins 3-0 in the fourth inning.

Marlins call-up Flynn to aid taxed bullpen; Hechavarria in line to play catch Sunday

After losing a 14-inning, four-hour, 41-minute marathon to the Phillies Thursday night, the Marlins came home a tired a bunch Friday morning.

Manager Mike Redmond said the team's flight didn't get into South Florida until around 4:15 a.m., and heads "didn't hit the pillow until about 5."

By then, left-handed pitcher Brian Flynn was already awake and on a plane in Nashville bound for South Florida. Flynn was called up from Triple A New Orleans to provide some pitching depth and bullpen relief for this weekend's series against the visiting Oakland A's. The Marlins optioned first baseman Justin Bour back down to New Orleans to make room for Flynn, who is 7-5 with a 3.56 ERA in 16 starts for New Orleans this season.

"We just needed an arm after last night," Redmond said. "We had a couple guys throw a lot of pitches -- A.J. [Ramos] and [Chris Hatcher]. We definitely needed an arm especially since we're going to have a couple young arms throwing in the next couple days. Hopefully [Anthony DeSclafani] will go out there tonight and give us a great start. But just in case we wanted to make sure we're covered with an extra arm."

Ramos threw 50 pitches in 1 2/3 innings of relief work and Hatcher needed 44 pitches to get through 2 1/3 innings. Redmond said both pitchers are unavailable Friday, and he hinted Ramos could need more time than just one day off.

"We're just going to play it by ear," Redmond said. "It was 50 pitches. That's a lot for him for those two innings. We needed those two innings. It just took him more pitches to get through it. Hatch? I'm not sure exactly how many pitches it was. But it was two long innings too."

Since June 6, the Marlins have played five extra-inning games including four that have gone at least 13 innings or more. They've won just one of them -- a 10-inning, 3-2 win over the Pirates on June 15. Making matters tougher, the Marlins haven't had a day off since June 12 and are in the midst of playing their 15th consecutive game in a 17-game, 17-day stretch. They'll finally have another off day on Monday.

"Obviously when you play that long you want to come out on top," veteran outfielder Reed Johnson said. "Hopefully we can play better at home. And hopefully we can find a way to have a four or five-run lead going into ninth inning. Those are a lot more fun." 


Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said he's planning to play catch on Sunday for the first time since going on the disabled list June 21 with a right triceps strain.

"Before, whatever movement I made my tricep hurt," Hechavarria said. "I don't know if when I throw it will hurt, but right now I feel fine."

Hechavarria said he's been doing exercises to strengthen his arm and said he thinks in a week he'll be fine. Redmond said the Marlins aren't rushing Hechavarria to throw yet, and if he feels any discomfort before Sunday they'll hold him off.

"We've got time with him," Redmond said. "It's more on how he feels day-to-day. So if on Sunday he says he's fine to play catch, then great. But we want to make sure when these 15 days are up he's 100 percent, ready to go. We don't need to push him."

Hechavarria said the triceps strain is different from last year's throwing arm injury, which kept him on the disabled list for the final two weeks of April. "That was my elbow," he said. "This is more up here [triceps]."

> Redmond said the wife of pitcher Tom Koehler "is ready to have a baby at any minute." Koehler isn't scheduled to start for the Marlins until Wednesday against the Phillies.

> Left fielder Christian Yelich will play in his final rehab game Friday for Triple A New Orleans before traveling back to South Florida on Saturday and rejoining the Marlins Sunday.


> Athletics (48-30): 1. Coco Crisp CF, 2. Alberto Callaspo 2B, 3. Yoenis Cespedes LF, 4. Brandon Moss 1B, 5. Josh Donaldson 3B, 6. Jed Lowrie SS, 7. Derek Norris C, 8. Josh Reddick RF, 9. Jesse Chavez RHP.

> Marlins (39-40): 1. Reed Johnson LF, 2. Derek Dietrich 2B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Garrett Jones 1B, 6. Marcell Ozuna CF, 7. Donovan Solano SS, 8. Jeff Mathis C, 9. Anthony DeSclafani RHP.

June 26, 2014

Casey McGehee's road hitting streak, Marlins winning 1-run games

PHILADELPHIA -- Casey McGehee will put his 16-game road hitting streak on the line tonight when the Marlins face the Phillies and Cole Hamels.

McGehee is nowhere close to Luis Castillo's club-record 27-game road hitting streak, set in 2001. But he isn't far behind some of the others on the list.

Greg Dobbs and Cliff Floyd are tied for the second-longest road streak at 19 games. McGehee's streak is presently tied for the 10th-longest in team history. But a hit tonight would move him into a tie for the 7th longest.


With their 3-2 victory on Wednesday, the Marlins improved their record in one-run games to 18-10 -- a significant turnaround from last year's abysmal 24-35 mark in such contests. In fact, the Marlins are tied with the Pirates for the most 1-run wins in the majors.

Probably the biggest reason for the turnaround is the fact the Marlins are scoring far more runs than they did a season ago.

"I think part of it is probably our offense," said manager Mike Redmond. "But part of it is probably our pitching, too, and having a great closer down there helps. But definitely the offense has helped."


After wrapping up their season with the Phillies, the Marlins will return home to face the team with the best record in the majors, the Oakland A's.

The A's lead the majors in runs scored.

"I think there are some similarities between the two teams, just as far as they don't have a bunch of huge names," McGehee said. "I think they've got not a lot of household names who are doing a really good job for them."

Though the A's payroll of $83 million is much greater than the Marlins' figure of $47 million, Oakland still ranks 25th in terms of the money it spends on its roster.

The Marlins have gone 8-1 in interleague play this season. The A's have visited South Florida only once previously, during the 2003 season when they won two of three. Overall, the Marlins have gone 5-4 in their three series meetings.

"They've done a great job of bringing in guys and mixing and matching," Redmond said of the A's roster. "That's a team that doesn't get a lot of publicity, media attention, probably not as close as they should. But they're a great ballclub. Those guys hit. They rake. They've got some free-swingers. It's not the work-the-count-and-try-to-get-on-base anymore. Those guys are swinging the bats, and they can pitch, too."