March 29, 2012

Rowand released, may retire; Petersen to minors

   JUPITER -- A couple of major moves just announced by the Marlins: outfielder Aaron Rowand has been released while outfielder Bryan Petersen was optioned to Triple A New Orleans -- indications that the team is confident Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton will be ready to go for Opening Night.

    It's also a sign that Chris Coghlan and Austin Kearns have won roster spots as backup outfielders.

    Rowand struggled throughout spring training, hitting just .133 (6 for 45) while Austin Kearns, another non-roster invitee, hit .364 (12 for 33) with three home runs.

     "I'll either go somewhere else if another team needs an outfielder or, if not, probably take it to the house, call it a career," Rowand said outside the clubhouse after being told the news. "Not everybody gets to decide when they're going to hang 'em up. I feel like I have some left. But, if the opportunity doesn't present itself, then I'm happy with the things I've accomplished and looking forward to the next chapter."

     No matter where he ends up, Rowand will be paid $12 million by the Giants in what is the final year of his contract with them.

      In addition, the Marlins re-assigned pitcher J.D. Martin and infielder Nick Green to minor league camp, bringing the spring training roster down to 33 players.

February 21, 2012

Hanley takes ground balls at 3B, discusses move (w/videos)

     JUPITER -- Welcome from Roger Dean Stadium, where Marlins pitchers and catchers are reporting and we just finished watching Hanley Ramirez take ground balls at third base on one of the back fields. He didn't make any diving stops behind the bag or long throws to first. On the other hand, the Marlins have instructed Ramirez -- who is coming off surgery on his left shoulder -- not to dive after anything. "We want to keep him on his feet this spring," said Larry Beinfest, president of baseball operations.

     "I'm not going to go into my list of worries, but I wouldn't say it's at or near the top of the list," Beinfest said of the transition Ramirez is making from shortstop to third. "You just don't go sign Jose Reyes unless you are completely comfortable he is going to play third base and play it well. So I don't think there's a lot of concern there."

      Beinfest said he has no doubt that Ramirez will succeed defenively at third.

      "I think he can play just about anywhere on the field," Beinfest said. "There's only so many talents like him, and he'll be fine. He'll do it whether it's a slow roller, or going to his backhand. He's got the arm. He's got all the thing he needs to do to be successful over there. I don't think mechanically, at least in my mind, that will be super-challenging for him."

      As for Ramirez's off year at the plate last season, Beinfest said: "Never thought I'd see it. Really it's a blip. I'm confident that's all it was, a blip. That's just not who he is, and we do not forsee that happening (again)."

      As for Ramirez, we just finished speaking with him and I'll get his remarks up later. Nothing major. He said that, mentally, he's prepared to play third and doesn't have any issues with the move.

      For now, check out the video:

And here's what Hanley had to say about moving to third base:

September 06, 2010

Masterful Big League Debut for Adalberto Mendez Ends With Injury -- UPDATED


                The injury to Adalberto Mendez was not as serious as first thought and manager Edwin Rodriguez said he is confident the 28-year-old rookie will make his next start in five days. If so, that would be a huge boost for the Marlins, who are short on starters, especially with suspensions coming up for Chris Volstad and Alex Sanabia. Rodriguez said Mendez suffered a leg cramp while running to first on a base hit in the seventh. It was initially reported as a right quad strain.

                Adalberto Mendez was having a fairytale kind of afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. In what was his major league debut, the 28-year-old Dominican was shutting down the vaunted Philadelphia Phillies, holding them to one hit and no runs through six innings, when suddenly it all came crashing down in a freak injury in the top of the 7th.

                Mendez singled to right for his first big league hit but pulled up lame as he was approaching the bag at first. He had to be assisted off the field. The Marlins just announced that he suffered a right quad strain.

                Mendez, who has toiled in the minors for eight seasons before finally getting his chance, was excited about the opportunity. He sure didn't look nervous before the crowd of 45,848, largest of the season at Citizens Bank Park. He struck out All-Stars Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the first, gave up only one hit (to Brian Schneider in the 2nd), dropped down a beautiful sacrifice bunt, and was cruising along until the unlucky seventh.

                Assuming Mendez will be out for awhile, if not for the rest of the season, the Marlins will have some serious starting pitching issues to deal with in the coming week. Chris Volstad, who starts on Tuesday, will likely begin serving his six-game suspension following a hearing on his appeal on Friday. Alex Sanabia, who sucker-punched Adam Dunn in the brawl with the Nationals, is also looking at a five-game suspension before he takes the mound again.

                With Ricky Nolasco out for the season and Sean West on the shelf, the Marlins are down to Josh Johnson, Andrew Miller and Anibal Sanchez -- and nothing else at the major league level.