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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.

STANTON DISCUSSES DERBY

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).

OZUNA OUT

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.”

BULLPEN'S HEAVY LOAD

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.

--JACOB FELDMAN

SUNDAY'S LINEUPS

> 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.  

COMING UP

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

Comments

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Stan M

Marlins are 5 games out of 1st place; three games out of last place. I don't see any help from the farm system...none at all. There are only two players, in my opinion, who could even make the big club right now. Realmuto and he's not yet a difference maker, and Nicolino, who at best is a step or two below Heaney.

I think this pitching coach is far better than the fellow he replaced, but that could be faint praise. There has been little or no improvement over the season, perhaps even some regression. I'm beginning to agree with you, DT. One thing I'd like to know and that's the staff ERA when Salty catches vs. when Mathis catches. DT, there is a possibility that Salty's catching ability is part of the problem. Flav, what can you tell us?

Regarding the announcers, DT, it's not their job to show every misstep. It is their job to make the game interesting. That is not easy when the team is losing as this team has for the last few years. If I'm not mistaken. TV viewership has been far more successful than attendance itself, and there must be a reason. What makes them click is the way they get along personally, and how Rich (the superior of the two by a longshot) is able to bring out the best in Tommy. They do criticize, but the way this team is playing, they could spend the entire game doing only that and then who would tune in. What I don't like is the Minerini interviews that take place during, and detract from, the game in progress. I absolutely hate the plugs for that inappropriate night club in the middle of a baseball park, and can't watch the game each year when they have those charity auctions. DT, if you have Direct TV, put on the visiting announcers and see what you get. I do love the Met announcers and have to watch the Brave announcers (and they're very good) because of blackouts, but most of them are horrible.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Stan, good post. Taking your points in sequence:

There IS help out there. I have always maintained that teams wishing to use discretion in spending (not to be confused with greed for money) will first put together the core of a team through the draft and trades, and once you find that your team is maybe one or two players away, only THEN do you spend to fill that obvious need, whatever "hole" the team manifests on the playing field.

Can it be any more obvious that this team needs an effective veteran presence on the mound? The loss of Fernandez could be turned out into a silver lining by acting on that. The young pitchers on this staff could better learn their craft from a seasoned veteran, much more so than by listening to lectures from a crusty recycled pitching coach who's I think I glad just to have a job at the MLB level.

We've all known from the start that Salty's defense is questionable. I've now deduced from watching him everyday that this also includes his "handling" of the pitching and how he calls the game. I still like Salty, but it seems to me that the combination of Hernandez as PC and Salty as starting catcher means that the young arms are pretty much on their own out there.

On the announcers, I don't have Direct TV, I have UVerse, but I have occasion to watch Rays, White Sox, Cubs, Braves, and nationally televised games. I also travel regularly, especially to California and the Eastern seaboard cities and watch games to relax. So I think I have a frame of reference. And an important factor in how I distinguish between announcers is what I consider to be their level of professionalism. This doesn't have to preclude them from rooting for the home team... they ALL do that. But imo it should never ever happen at the price of truth and accuracy. And THAT is the problem I have with the Marlins announcers. THAT, imo, is what makes them shills rather than broadcasters. Watch for yourself how when the Marlins fall behind in the game, say like 4-1, they virtually ignore the game and rattle on interminably about irrelevant minutiae. I'm not saying that they HAVE to show every misstep nor do they need to harshly criticize the home team. But they ARE obliged to honestly and accurately CALL the game that is going on in front of them. And to not do so distracts from the game and is unprofessional.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Allison Williams would clean their clocks as an announcer.

Stan M

DT, my point with decrying the farm system is that they must use funds and what trading chips they have to improve their chances of competing this year. I fervently hope that they don't make a move for just a bump in 2014. Rather, any trade should be aimed at the longer outlook as well.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Stan, as you yourself succeeded in pointing out with the Ricky Nolasco deal, the price of acquiring a middle of the rotation starter as a half season rental is relatively modest. However, acquiring Price or Samardzija could make the difference between the team watching the postseason on TV and contending for the whole enchilada. Venturing to guess, one decent prospect and one or two mid-level prospects may get it done, and it'd be worth the gamble, imo.

Stan M

It would depend on whether or not either is also signed through 2015. If so, I'd jump on him for neither salary is outrageous. I'm sure you have also seen the articles on McCarthy. He would be a good fallback if neither of the two premier pitchers can be had. They better damn sure do something about McGehee pretty soon as well. It will be the first question I send tomorrow. Another question I will send, and it ties in with your comments about the TV broadcasts, will be, why don't they take more e-mails and tweets when games are dull or out of hand.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Both those guys would be arbitration eligible next season, which is also their walk year, so they'd be under "control" through '15.

I would not go for McCarthy, who is already in his walk year and can probably be had cheaply. Given his numbers this year and as well as last, though, I don't see him as an upgrade for the Marlins. Frankly, I don't even see how he's gotten a 7 figure salary. At best, he's a #5 or maybe even a #6/spot starter/long man.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Good point about McGehee! He was signed for $1.1M but stands to make another $450K based on number of plate appearances (of which ALREADY $100K has kicked in).

And fwiw, I expect Jones to be gone before the start of next season, since his salary bumps from $2.75M to $5M.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

I'm pleased to see that Stanton has been invited to the Derby, but frankly, I don't see how he stands a chance. Those horses are pretty fast, you know.

Lou Vales

Three days in Boca Raton this weekend, 3 invites to Marlins-A's games and I'm proud to say that I refused to partake in any more misery. I always knew it was difficult to NEVER get a hit in extra innings but I didn't realize the near IMPOSSIBILITY of the feat. I made a mistake---and I will apologize again===for saying it was stupid to watch this team, it was actually stupid for me to have said that. Everyone should do whatever he or she wants as long as nobody is being physically, emotionally or economically harmed but I personally will be damned if I ever waste my time trekking down there to watch guys fail over and over and over and over again in clutch situations.

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