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."

April 16, 2013

Giancarlo Stanton takes batting practice; return still uncertain

Giancarlo Stanton was not in the lineup for the fifth consecutive game Tuesday, but took his first batting practice since suffering a bruised shoulder.

Stanton took several swings hitting the ball often to the warning track. Stanton also did some throwing and catching pregame.

Redmond did not give an exact timetable on when Stanton would return, but said Stanton told him he felt good after swinging the bat.

"We're just going to wait and see how he responds," Redmond said. "He hadn't done anything in five days so we'll see how he feels the rest of the day and look at him tomorrow and go from there. I'm hoping he shows up tomorrow and feel even better."

Redmond said he wasn't leaning toward automatically giving Stanton another day off if he felt a lot better Wednesday.

"We don't want to push him. We want to make sure everything is good."

KEARNS CLEARED

Outfielder Austin Kearns underwent his follow-up medical tests, and was cleared to play Tuesday night. Kearns was hospitalized Sunday after complaining of an irregular heartbeat.

LINEUP SWITCH

The Marlins made a tweak to the top of their lineup Tuesday putting Chris Coghlan in the leadoff spot with Juan Pierre batting second.

LINEUPS

Marlins: Coghlan rf, Pierre lf, Polanco 3b, Dobbs 1b, Ruggiano cf, Brantly c, Hechavarria ss, Solano 2b, Sanabia rhp

Nationals: Werth rf, Bernadina cf, R. Zimmerman 3b, LaRoche 1b, Desmond ss, Moore lf, Lombardozzi 2b, Suzuki c, Haren rhp

July 16, 2012

Marlins reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo has sprained elbow

According to the Marlins, an MRI has revealed that relief pitcher Juan Carlos Oviedo has suffered a UCL sprain in his right elbow.

As of Monday evening the team has not given a timetable for his return.

Oviedo walked off the mound Saturday night in a rehab appearance at Triple A New Orleans after recording only one out because of right elbow discomfort.

Oviedo was back in Miami Sunday and was examined by team doctors. Manager Ozzie Guillen spoke to the media at 4:15 Monday afternoon and said Oviedo's MRI results were being evaluated.

Oviedo is eligible to return from his eight-week suspension for age and identity fraud on July 23.

April 28, 2010

Who is better in a pinch: Helms or Stairs?

One of the interesting story lines we haven't seen play out very often during this series is the pinch hit work of the Marlins' Wes Helms and Padres' Matt Stairs, clearly two of the best at their craft in this game.

Wes Helms Among active pinch hitters, the pair rank first or second in nearly every important offensive category. Stairs leads with 88 overall pinch hits in his career; Helms ranks second with 79. Stairs leads in home runs with 19; Helms is second with seven. Helms leads with 20 doubles; Stairs is second with 18. Stairs leads in RBI with 78; Helms is second with 51.

Stairs, 42, has been doing it a little longer. The Padres are the 12th team he's played for in 18 seasons. Helms, who will turn 34 on May 12th, is in his 12th major league season and with his fourth team. 

"I think we're both kind of different in our own way," Helms said. "He comes off the bench more with what I call a softball approach. He's trying to jack the ball until he gets two strikes. Then, when he gets two strikes, you see him go into that approach of putting the ball in play, just like that at-bat the other night. He got two strikes against [Josh Johnson] then hit the sacrifice fly to drive in the run. He's a professional hitter.

"I'm more the guy when I get in there, I like to see a pitch here and there. I like to work the count, but also in a situation with a runner or second and third and less than two outs, I'm up there to try and get them in. I'm not up there trying to hit a homer. I'm up in there to get him in with a hit or a double in the gap. So, we're different in our way. But we've both had success."

Helms said he actually spent a season playing with Stairs during winter ball in Mexico. He said they've become friends over the years and doesn't expect Stairs to hang it up anytime soon.

"From playing against him and with him, he's a baseball guru," Helms said. "He's one of those guys that you're probably going to have to rip the jersey off him. He's going to stick around as long as he can. If you have success off the bench, there's always going to be a team that can use you."

Former Marlin Lenny Harris owns the record with most career pinch hits. Harris had 212 in 804 career pinch-hit at-bats. Former Yankee Cliff Johnson owns the pinch-hit home run record with 20.

SENDING COGHLAN DOWN 'A LAST RESORT': Listened to Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez or Jorge Sedano's radio show this morning as I was driving into the stadium and heard Gonzalez say he still hasn't seen Chris Coghlan struggle enough to consider sending him to Triple A.

Gonzalez said Coghlan hasn't show him "signs" of being defeated at the plate, something that would tell him it was time for the second-year player to head back down and work on his swing. Coghlan produced a hit for the fourth consecutive game Tuesday to raise his average to .162 to on the season.

He also struck out three times and now has 21 strikeouts in 74 at-bats this season. Last year, he didn't have that many K's until 109th at-bat, 33 games in. 

CARROLL'S BIG THROW... The only reason Brett Carroll started Tuesday's game was because Cody Ross came down with a bad case of the flu. In the end, the Marlins kind of caught a break as Carroll was able to use his strong arm in right field to throw out the Padres Nick Hundley at the plate in the second inning.

It was Carroll's first assist of the season and ninth of his career. But the way the ball was hit to him by Tony Gwynn Jr., Carroll thought he had no chance -- especially since he said he wasn't able to "get much behind it."

Catcher John Baker caught the throw on the right side of the plate and did a good job sweeping his glove to left to tag Hundley for the third out. 

"When it was initially hit, I knew it was hit hard. But I was moving to my left and I was deep," Carroll said. "I felt good when I let it go. I knew it had the right trajectory, but it was hit or miss. Usually when I just grab it and throw it is when things happen, not when I try to manipulate it."

> Ross by the way said he's feeling better even though he's not in the lineup.

> Helms won't get an opportunity to pinch hit Wednesday because he's starting for the Marlins at third. Brian Barden is getting his first start at shortstop with Hanley Ramirez getting his first day off this season. 

MARLINS LINEUP VS. PADRES: 1. Cameron Maybin, CF; 2. Chris Coghlan LF; 3. Wes Helms 3B; 4. Jorge Cantu 1B; 5. Dan Uggla 2B; 6. Ronny Paulino C; 7. Brett Carroll RF; 8. Brian Barden SS; 9. Nate Robertson P.

May 16, 2009

Marlins sparkle in win over Dodgers

There's a really good chance Saturday night was the last time the Marlins are going to have Pom Pom giveaway night. In case you weren't at Land Shark Stadium you probably missed the silver lining in the Marlins 6-3 win over the Dodgers.

It was all over the field -- silver strands from the 15,000 pompoms given away before the game. Fans spent most of the night tossing those strands in the air, which eventually landed on the field. Players weren't happy. Dan Uggla called the situation "brutal." John Baker, who hit a two-run home run to break a 2-2 tie in the fifth, got deeper.

"Absolutely brutlal,'' Baker said. "The thing that was really frustrating is you look up and see people shaking them like its a joke. Its frustrating when stuff is flying all over the field and they're shiny and they hit the lights... I think you focus for the moment and your OK. But seeing stuff all over the baseball field... baseball is obviously America's past time and to see like that all over the field is very frustrating for a player."

Of course, at least they won and they were plenty of encouraging signs.

Andrew Miller's five innings in his first start since he went on the DL April 20th with an oblique strain wasn't glorious. But he picked up the win and got stronger as the game progressed.

"His final two and half innings were outstanding," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "His breaking ball was good, his fastball outstanding. That was a good start for Andrew."

Baker agreed. "I felt he did great. I think he made a breakthrough in the middle of the game. Anybody could see it watching on the velocity from the third inning on. [Pitching coach] Mark [Wiley] told him if your going to miss, miss throwing your good stuff. All of a sudden, you see 93, 94, 95 and it turned around for him. You have to give him credit battling through a shaky start. That's a tough lineup even without Manny Ramirez in it."

> After the game we learned utility man Alfredo Amezaga injured his left knee rounding third base in the eighth. Gonzalez said Amezaga would get reevaluated before Sunday's game. It's the same knee Amezaga hurt while playing for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic.

April 25, 2009

Cantu back in lineup; Lindstrom won't pitch tonight

A night after blowing a golden opportunity to take the first game of the series at Dolphin Stadium against the World Champion Phillies, the Marlins got some good news regarding their lineup. First baseman Jorge Cantu will be back in it.

Cantu, who flew back home early from Pittsburgh this week to get a cortisone injection on his deeply bruised left hand and wrist, apparently had a good session of batting practice early Saturday. It was enough to convince manager Fredi Gonzalez to put Cantu back in the cleanup spot.

"We’ll keep an eye on him," Gonzalez said. "I’m sure it’s going to be some days where it feels a little sore, but he said he’s made tremendous progress in the last three days."

Cantu's bat will definitely be welcomed. The Marlins have produced just nine runs in their last three games. Cantu is hitting .341 this season He and outfielder Jeremy Hermida (.308) are the only regulars hitting better than .300.

Here are the lineups for both teams...
> FLORIDA: 1. Emilio Bonifacio, 3B; 2. John Baker, C; 3. Hanley Ramirez SS; 4. Jorge Cantu, 1B; 5. Dan Uggla, 2B; 6. Jeremy Hermida, LF; 7. Cody Ross, RF; 8. Cameron Maybin, CF; 9. Chris Volstad, P
> PHILADELPHIA: 1. Jimmy Rollins, SS; 2. Shane Victorino, CF; 3. Chase Utley, 2B; 4. Ryan Howard, 1B; 5. Jayson Werth, RF: 6. Raul Ibanez, LF; 7. Pedro Feliz, 3B; 8. Lou Marson, C; 9. Chan Ho Park, P.

LINDSTROM WILL TAKE A DAY OFF: Closer Matt Lindstrom, meanwhile, will get the night off. But it's not because he's coming off the most embarrassing night of his career. According to Gonzalez, they're giving Lindstrom the night off because he threw 38 pitches last night.

"If it wasn’t 36, 37 pitches he threw [we’d use him tonight]," Gonzalez said. "We still got to be careful with his arm. If it was 16, 20 pitches. I think we’re going to stay away from him because it was 38 pitches."

In case the Marlins are in position tonight to close out the game again in the ninth, Gonzalez said he would play tonight's game by feel. "It will probably be a matchup thing. We'll see how it goes."

INJURED RELIEVER GETS MOUND WORK: Marlins right-handed reliever Rick VandenHurk pitched for the first time off a mound on Friday since he left a spring training game against the Mets on March 28th. VandenHurk, who said he likely tweaked his elbow while pitching for the Netherlands during the World Baseball Classic last month, is still likely a month or so away from coming back to the Marlins.

"It’s going to be another probably five or six times off the mound before he faces hitters," Gonzalez said. "And that’s not going to be every other day. It may be two days off, three days off, that kind of stuff."

September 21, 2008

Marlins-Phillies home finale; Hanley takes BP, but will not start

Hey guys,

Andre Fernandez here filling in for Clark and Mike today at the ball park as the Marlins wrap up the home slate against the Phils.

Suffice to say if we thought the Fish couldn't lose before last night's game, they can afford it even less from here on. A loss today would put them 6 1/2 behind Philly and at least 5, maybe 6 behind the Mets.

A win keeps their faint hopes alive - 4 1/2 behind Philly, 4 or 5 behind Mets with a 3-gamer next weekend at Shea.

Hanley Ramirez is still not in the starting lineup but he did take batting practice for the first time since he's been out and hit a couple out and others toward the warning track. Ramirez has missed the past three games and is expected sit out again today, although he said if he felt good enough, he'd like to possibly come in and pinch hit.

Here are the starting lineups for today.

FLORIDA (81-73)

1. Cameron Maybin cf

2. John Baker c

3. Jorge Cantu 3b

4. Mike Jacobs 1b

5. Dan Uggla 2b

6. Josh Willingham lf

7. Cody Ross rf

8. Alfredo Amezaga ss

9. Chris Volstad p

PHILADELPHIA (87-68)

1. Jimmy Rollins ss

2. Chase Utley 2b

3. Jayson Werth rf

4. Ryan Howard 1b

5. Pat Burrell lf

6. Shane Victorino cf

7. Gregg Dobbs 3b

8. Carlos Ruiz c

9. Jaime Moyer p

June 08, 2008

Rabelo should play the lottery: He's that lucky

Mike Rabelo must have a charmed life, because he could have made three outs in the third inning, and ended up scoring the first run for the Marlins.

He led off the inning by striking out, but raced to first on a passed ball on the third strike.

He went to second on Hanley Ramirez's single, but was almost doubled off second when Jeremy Hermida flew out to center. Rabelo took off for third and the throw to second actually beat him, but second baseman Brandon Phillips was not on the base and stepped on it just late.

Then Jorge Cantu singled to left and the throw home beat Rabelo by several feet. But Reds catcher David Ross, who started the whole Rabelo run-around-the-bases, missed the tag and Rabelo scored.

June 07, 2008

Cantu's Friday night feat

Cantu

It is so rare that Jorge Cantu can’t ever remember doing it – or even seeing it done.

            But in Friday night’s game against the Reds Cantu hit a long foul ball that would have been a home run if it had stayed fair, and then hit the next pitch over the scoreboard in left-center field for a home run. He hit another home run later for his fifth multi-home run game of his career. But the foul ball/home run sequence was more impressive than the two-homer night.

“It’s one of the rarities in baseball,’’ Cantu said. “They have a saying in baseball: When you hit one like that and it goes foul you usually end up striking out. That’s what usually happens.

“I wasn’t thinking about striking out, but I wasn’t thinking about hitting a home run. I was just trying to get a pitch to hit.

“I don’t know if I will ever do that again.’’

Cantu is off to a better start than Miguel Cabrera. He has more home runs (11-8) and is hitting better (.276-.271).

But the real difference is in salary: Cantu is making $500,000 this season. Cabrera, who signed an eight-year deal worth $152.3 million with the Tigers, is making $11.3 million this season.

And then Cantu hit another home run Saturday, three in two days. 

Cabrera hasn't hit a home run since May 27 and has hit three homers over his last 32 games.

May 21, 2008

A little Wiley wisdom

Marlins pitching coach Mark Wiley’s words of encouragement (or whatever they were) might have saved the seventh tonight. Ricky Nolasco, who pitched his best game siince the 2006 season, looked wild when he started the inning by walking Justin Upton and sailing the first pitch high to Eric Byrnes. That’s when Wiley went to the mound with some words.

We don't know what the words were -- or if they were suitable for print -- but they got Nolasco's attention.

It worked. Nine of Nolasco’s next 10 pitches were strikes. He struck out Byrnes on a 1-2 changeup, got ahead of Mark Reynolds 0-2 before getting a pop-out and finished the inning by striking out Chris Snyder on three pitches.

Gonzo and cutting the cord

        When Luis Gonzalez got to his locker Wednesday a message was hanging there for him to read: “Cut the Cord.”

The joke of course had to do with Gonzo’s hanging out and talking to some of his old Arizona teammates on the field before Tuesday’s Arizona-Marlins game.

It didn’t take Gonzalez long to detect where the message came from, and he promptly removed the sign and hung it on Logan Kensing’s locker.

“It doesn’t take long to figure it out in the clubhouse,’’ he said. “They're not that many guys who would do something like this.

“There are always guys like that. Logan is a quiet assassin, kind of like Ryne Sandberg. We used to ride to the games together and it took me a while to figure out he was a prankster. As a Hall of Famer he’s really a good prankster. He used to freeze your shower shoes. He would get them, pour water on them and freeze them. You stepped into them and they were two blocks of ice.’’

Someone in the clubhouse then remarked: “That’s probably the only time Logan Kensing and Ryne Sandberg’s name will be in the same sentence.’’