Marlins notes: Yelich on taking Jennings for a dip; Capps' first win; rotation picture

Whether its dunking on the game's hero being interviewed post-game or bathing them in shaving cream, the Marlins know how to come up with creative ways to celebrate.

Saturday night, after they finally got Dan Jennings his first victory, they came up with another -- taking their skipper for a dip in the pool at The Clevelander.

For Jennings it turned out to be more of a bath than anything else. In the clubhouse, per team tradition, he was covered in shaving cream -- and other things.

"Obviously it's been kind of a frustrating couple of weeks for us," said left fielder Christian Yelich, who said he and Dee Gordon had been kicking around the idea pregam about taking their manager for a dip after they finally got him his first win. "This game is kind of about having fun and stuff like that and we kind of wanted to get back to that. It kind of started off as a joke and after we got in here after the win last night everybody was saying 'Let's go in the pool!' We did it. Jumped in."

Yelich said he'd been in The Clevelander pool once before during his rookie season in 2013. But Yelich said it's the first time most of the team went in together.

"It was kind of a cool moment," Yelich said. "[The shaving cream baths are] something that kind of happens whenever there is a first in the big leagues for you. I really won't tell you what it is, but it's something happens after your first save, first win. After that, everybody went to the pool. I don't really think it's that big of a deal. But it's nice to loosen it up and get back to having fun. When you're having fun you play looser. It's the better way to go about things."

Said first baseman Justin Bour: "The way we got that win, it was just a good time. I don’t know if I did a bellyflop or a backflop [into the pool]. Whatever it was I got the most out of it."

> According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Jennings became only the 12th manager in baseball history to pick up their first win in extra innings -- joining Cy Young among others. Young served as a player/manager of the Boston Americans (who became the Red Sox) for six games in 1907 and pitched the 14th inning of an 8-4 win over the Philadelphia Athletics. So Young picked up the win as a manager and pitcher.

CAPPS AN UNSUNG HERO

Reliever Carter Capps picked up his first win as a Marlin in Saturday night's 13-inning marathon -- and he earned it. Capps pitched a career-high three innings and struckout a career-high six in only his second appearance since he was recalled from Triple A New Orleans on Wednesday.

His fastball was registering between 96 and 98 miles per hour and he was mixing in some impressive sliders. Acquired from the Mariners for Logan Morrison at the 2013 Winter Meetings, the Marlins have been working on adjusting Capps' delivery for the last two years so he has better command. 

"That was definitely my best big league outing, so I was pretty excited about that," Capps said. "That's probably the best I've felt with my slider command."

Said Jennings: "I tip my hat to John Duffy, our Triple A pitching coach and Charlie Corbell our minor league roving pitch coach. They spent time working with [Capps]. There was a mechanical adjustment that was made. To his credit, he did the work, he got the adjustment and he came out there last night and was just wow."

ROTATION STILL NOT SET

The Marlins will be hitting the road after Sunday's game for a six-game trip through Pittsburgh and New York and still haven't announced who will take the spots of Henderson Alvarez and Mat Latos in the starting rotation on Tuesday and Wednesday.

But it's become clear Justin Nicolino won't be one of those guys because he pitched Saturday for Triple A New Orleans. Nicolino threw 101 pitches and pitched seven innings of two-run ball in a 4-2 win over El Paso to improve to 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA on the season.

Right-hander Jose Urena, who made two quick relief appearances with the Marlins earlier this year, hasn't pitched for New Orleans since Monday. He leads the Pacific Coast League with a 1.21 ERA and is 4-0 this season. Jennings again Sunday morning brought up long reliever Brad Hand as a potential fill-in. 

"I have to tell you he's been absolutely impressive in his role and what he's adjusted to down there," Jennings said of Hand, who is 0-1 with a 5.64 ERA in 13 relief appearances this season and is 4-18 with a 4.54 ERA in 31 career starts.

"I see a lot of team first mindset, team first mentality and that's huge."

The Marlins are hoping to have some clarity on the health of Alvarez after he has an MRI sometime Sunday. Asked if they might shelve Alvarez (0-4, 6.45) for the remainder of the season because this is the second time he's gone to the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, Jennings responded: ""Let's hope not. No. Maybe for the rest of this month."

"He's working very diligent to strengthen that," Jennings continued. "The shoulder is the shoulder. It's one of those things where after the season starts nobody feels 100 percent. There's a lot of wear and tear on their parts, so you just go to strengthen it up and focus on that area and that's what he's doing now pretty intensely. He will find a way to get through this because he's a competitor and he's athletic."

Jennings said he's hoping to have Alvarez and Latos back not long after they are eligible to come off the disabled list. 

"Based on what I heard thus far, it seems like some of them it could be the 15-days and then have them back ready," Jennings said. "Maybe in that 15 to 20 [days] window. That's best case."

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.