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."

August 31, 2010

Marlins being cautious with Uggla

One thing Dan Uggla has done throughout his career with the Marlins aside from hit a lot of home runs (150) and drive in nearly 100 runs a season is stay healthy. 

Dan Uggla Of the 774 games he's been available to play in since 2006, he's only missed a total of 32 games. Tuesday, though, that number will increase to 33 as he sits out for only the second time this season as he continues to rest a tight right groin. And with a day off Thursday, manager Edwin Rodriguez said it's likely he'll tell Uggla to also sit and rest Wednesday. 

"I don't like icing. I don't like missing games. And I don't like being out of the lineup," said Uggla, who is hitting .286 and leads the Marlins with 29 homers and 83 RBI this season. "But I don't want to make it any worse. You have to be careful with tweaks."

> There is still no official word from the Marlins on catcher John Baker's status for the remainder of the season. Rodriguez said Baker was meeting with a doctor Monday to determine if he'd need season-ending surgery on strained right flexor muscle on his throwing arm or if he's going to return to rehab in the coming days. Word now is Baker could be meeting with Dr. James Andrews Thursday for a final opinion.

As for now, Rodriguez said he's planning as if Baker won't be back.  "I have to think that way," Rodriguez said. "If he shows up tomorrow and says I'll be out there in the weekend, that would be great news. But I have to plan for the worst and hope for the best."

> Left-hander Sean West, on the disabled list with right knee inflammation since August 15, threw his first bullpen session Monday and participated in his first pitcher fielding practice on Tuesday. "I feel a lot better, do not feel any discomfort at all," West said. "But I've also been real cautious, riding the bike instead of running. We'll have to see how I feel tomorrow I do some fielding."

CALLUPS MIGHT NOT ARRIVE RIGHT AWAY: Wednesday is the first day major league teams can begin expanding their rosters. But as it stands, it may be a little while before the Marlins bring anybody up.

With the Jacksonville Suns set to participate in the Southern League Double A playoffs Sept. 9 and 10, those players will likely be the last to come up according to Rodriguez. The Triple A New Orleans Zephyrs, who just clinched their consecutive losing season, don't finish their season until Monday.

"We've been shuffling names, but we haven't made any decisions yet," said Rodriguez, who said he's heard between eight and nine players being discussed as potential callups. "Initially, I would say three or four could be up by Friday. But Jacksonville is going into the playoffs. Whoever is coming up from Jacksonville would usually be later."

> Marlins lineup Wednesday vs. Nationals: Emilio Bonifacio 2B, Logan Morrison LF, Hanley Ramirez SS, Gaby Sanchez 1B, Chad Tracy 3B, Mike Stanton RF, Cameron Maybin CF, Brett Hayes C, Anibal Sanchez P

September 03, 2009

Uggla: "I love [Hanley] like a brother."

Fights happen all the time between brothers. And apparently more often than we know in the Marlins clubhouse.

Dan Uggla Wednesday's clubhouse spat between All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez and second baseman Dan Uggla became the juiciest Fish story of the year when the two decided to extend jabs in front of a small group of reporters. Uggla reportedly called Ramirez out for not playing through the pain of his tight left hamstring, an injury Ramirez said made him feel "at 10 percent."

The Marlins quickly closed shop after the spat and we don't know whether or not Ramirez and Uggla really hugged it out. But this is what Uggla had to say about it after the Marlins beat the Braves 8-7 in dramatic fashion.

"Whether that fueled emotion for tonight, who knows. It happened. We’re a family. I love him like a brother. We got past it and moved on. Stuff like that happens and emotions are going to fly sometimes. I’m glad it happened. I’m glad its over with. I think we’re stronger, closer and tighter because of it."

The Marlins could certainly use something to light a fire under their butts. With 29 games left, they are 69-64 and need to finish 21-8 to reach that magical 90 win mark, which could be what puts them into the playoffs. But are we to just believe Ramirez and Uggla really buried the hatchet? Are we to believe Ramirez, who was pretty steamed about what Uggla said, is going to be back out leading the charge soon?

Most of the night, TV cameras kept showing Ramirez at the end of the Marlins bench -- by himself. Cody Ross said he didn't notice that, then laughed about the way he dodged the question. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the TV angle was simply focusing on Ramirez. Truth be told as the Marlins were celebrating with Wes Helms at home plate, Ramirez was in the background, not the foreground. When the clubhouse opened after the game, he was long gone.

"Me and Danny, Hermida fight constantly," Ross said. "It’s just the way we are. We’re together for seven straight months. We love each other, we’re going to fight for each other on the field. It doesn’t mean we go and hang out off the field or anything like that. But we’re in here and out on the field, we support each other 100 percent."

We'll have to see tomorrow I guess if Hanley still feels that way too.

June 25, 2009

Uggla: JJ better make All-Star team

Fans will get to vote for the starting position players in next month’s All-Star Game up until 11:59 p.m. on July 2. But Friday, players will help select the backups at each position, plus eight pitchers (five starters and three relievers).

Second baseman Dan Uggla, a two-time All-Star, probably be won’t be joining Hanley Ramirez this year on the NL team in St. Louis. But Uggla hopes ace Josh Johnson, scheduled to pitch Friday against the Rays, finds a spot in the midsummer classic despite what Uggla said hasn’t been enough support or publicity from the organization.

“I don’t know what we’re waiting for,” Uggla said. “He’s one of the best pitchers in the game, if not the best. I’m waiting for these guys to do something to get his name out there – a little publicity, commercial, something.”

According to Marlins PR man Matt Roebuck players are allowed to vote for teammates and themselves.

Johnson is 7-1 this season with a 2.66 ERA, the sixth lowest among starters in the league. Last week, he gave up three hits and one earned run over seven innings in a 2-1 win over the Yankees and drew high praise from both Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter.

“He deserves an opportunity to pitch in the All-Star game,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

“There’s no hiding him anymore. Not that we were hiding him. Guys around the league are figuring out he’s one of the top guys in the league. Ross Gload was playing first base in Toronto two weeks ago when he pitched and guys were coming up saying ‘I’m glad this guy isn’t in our league.’ When guys from other leagues start paying a compliment, you know they’re good."

The Marlins have posters through out Land Shark Stadium that urge fans to vote Ramirez, who is currently the leading vote getter at shortstop. Fans can’t vote for pitchers.

CANTU IMPROVING

Jorge Cantu had a rough month of May (.211, 1 HR, 15 RBI) in part because of the medication he was prescribed to deal with high cholesterol. It made him lethargic and at times dizzy on the field and at the plate.

Now, that he’s no longer taking the pills and had more than a week to have it cleaned out of his system, Cantu is not only feeling better, but he’s hitting better.

Tuesday night, he connected on his second walk-off hit of the season and third game-ending RBI. Cantu not only leads the Marlins in RBI (45), but is tied with Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder in clutch RBI (27).

While Cantu said his bat speed and timing are returning, he still isn’t completely 100 percent. “If I make mistakes from now on, it is on me, nothing else,” Cantu said. “I wish I felt 100 percent. I’m just not there yet.”

STANTON SELECTED

Outfielder Mike Stanton, one of baseball’s top prospects, will represent the Marlins in the All-Star Futures Game in St. Louis next month. The 19-year old Stanton will be the youngest player in the game.

Stanton was recently called up to Double A Jacksonville after hitting .294 with 12 homers and 39 RBI in 50 games for the Class A Jupiter. Although he struggled early in Double A, Stanton is now batting .246 with two homers and 8 RBI in his first 17 games with the Suns.

June 02, 2009

Uggla 'cool' with being fastest 2B to 100 HRs

Maybe we make too much of milestones in baseball. Maybe we have to stop being such big geeks when it comes to numbers and statistics. Maybe we ought to try and be cool like Dan Uggla.

Dan Uggla That's exactly what the Marlins All-Star second baseman was like after making a little baseball history Tuesday night against the Brewers. Fastest to 100 home runs among second baseman ever, Dan, how does it feel? “Uh, it’s pretty cool,” Uggla responded. “You know I hadn’t really thought about it until kind of somebody brought it to my attention yesterday. But yeah, it’s pretty cool.”

Just pretty cool to be on pace to hit more homers than guys like Jeff Kent and Ryne Sandberg?  “It means a lot,” Uggla said. “I really don’t even know what to say about it. I’m excited about it. I do it the fastest at my position. But it’s over and done with now.”

Maybe that's a good thing for the Marlins because they certainly need Uggla to keep doing more of what he's been up to lately than how he was performing for the first month and a half. Uggla started this season as the second-highest-paid Marlin at $5.35 million, but his batting average sagged at .182 as recently as May 15. He has picked it up over his past 16 games, hitting .276 (16 for 58) with six homers and 18 RBI -- his 2 for 4 effort with 3 RBI Tuesday included.

> Even he really wasn't pitching with the pressure on, Burke Badenhop deserves some props for what he did over five scoreless innings of relief Tuesday. Badenhop gave up just one hit, the longest relief performance of his career.

> Starter Anibal Sanchez didn't have a triumphant return -- just three innings and 71 pitches. But he made a key out when he needed to in the first with the bases loaded. When I looked up at the scoreboard Tuesday, I didn't see a whole lot of his pitches register in the 90s. But he said afterward his velocity was fine.

"I had a bad first inning. But it wasn’t bad really. The umpire made a couple [calls] there, they hit a lot of fouls," Sanchez said. "I felt better. I know I threw hard today. I just wanted to throw strikes and keep the ball in the zone. Today, it didn’t happen. But I was ok. I had better command today, more on the outside than the inside. It helped me get a lot of ground balls."

July 10, 2008

Welcome back Dan AKA Uggla is back

Dan Uggla returns to the lineup tonight in LA, taking the field for the first time since he left with a sprained left ankle June 28.

Uggla, who has 23 home runs, is back in the fifth spot in the lineup. Running is the only question, and Uggla said he felt "85" percent when it came to running.

"That will be the test,'' he said.

Here's the Marlins lineup:

Ramirez SS

Hermida RF

Cantu 3B

Willingham LF

Uggla 2B

Jacobs 1B

Ross CF

Baker C

Johnson P