July 24, 2016

Reports: Wei-Yin Chen will not start Monday; Jarred Cosart to take his place

            Multiple reports on social media late Saturday night indicated that Wei-Yin Chen would be scratched from his next scheduled start Monday against the Phillies.

            The reports stated that Jarred Cosart would be called up from the minors to start Monday in his place.

Chen was the only starting pitcher not seen in the Marlins’ clubhouse following Saturday’s 7-2 win over the Mets.

Chen, whom the Marlins signed to a five-year, $80 million deal in the offseason, is 5-4 with a 4.99 ERA in 19 starts this season. Cosart would make his fourth start of this season and first since April 22 in San Francisco. Cosart went 0-1 with a 7.98 ERA his first three starts before being sent to Triple-A on April 26.

Cosart spent a month on the minor-league DL with a strained oblique and has gone 3-4 with a 4.09 ERA in 10 starts for New Orleans since his demotion.

July 11, 2016

Johnny Cueto, not Jose Fernandez, chosen as starting pitcher in All-Star Game, Marcell Ozuna will hit 7th

            SAN DIEGO – Jose Fernandez said this weekend he’s just excited to pitch in the All-Star Game.

On Monday morning, it was announced Fernandez won’t be as the National League’s starter.

            Mets manager Terry Collins, who will manage the NL squad Tuesday night at Petco Park in San Diego, announced Monday morning that he will go with the Giants’ Johnny Cueto as his starting pitcher.

            Fernandez was believed to be a strong candidate to be chosen as the starter in light of a few of the NL’s best – Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Noah Syndergaard and Stephen Strasburg – all out of the game.

            But Collins went with Cueto, who is 13-1 in 18 starts this season with a 2.47 ERA that ranks only behind Kershaw (1.79) and Bumgarner (1.94) for the best in the majors.

            Cueto, who pitched for the Royals against Collins’ Mets in last year’s World Series, will become the first Dominican-born pitcher to start the All-Star Game since Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010. Cueto will oppose the White Sox' Chris Sale, who was chosen as the AL starter.

            “We want to try and get as many of the guys in that were voted by the players and make sure they get in early so we can then sort out the back end of the game a little bit,” Collins said. “We haven’t seen Johnny this year, but his numbers speak for themselves and with what we saw last year against us that was the best outing I’ve ever seen him have.

“We had five very qualified guys and as the game got closer and closer, he continued to dominate the league and I felt he was the right choice.”

            Fernandez, a second-time All-Star who will pitch in his first since his 2013 rookie season, is 11-4 with 154 strikeouts, which ranks second in the majors behind Max Scherzer, and has a 2.52 ERA, which ranks fifth in the majors.

            Fernandez’s 12.9 strikeouts per nine innings ratio is a major-league best and his strikeout total at the break is a Marlins’ franchise record.

            Marcell Ozuna, who was moved into the starting lineup this past weekend following injuries to outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Dexter Fowler, will bat seventh in the NL lineup.

            Ozuna, a first-time All-Star, is in the midst of a major turnaround season, hitting .307 with 17 home runs and 47 RBI.

            A year ago at this time, Ozuna was playing in New Orleans for the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate after being demoted.

            Marlins’ closer A.J. Ramos (27 saves in 28 chances) is tied for second in the majors in saves and is also a first-time All-Star.

Fernando Rodney, acquired by the Marlins June 30 in a trade with the Padres, could find himself pitching on the home field of his former team. Rodney was picked for the third time in his career largely for his 17 saves in 17 chances and 0.31 ERA as the Padres closer.

            The quartet represents the Marlins highest number of All-Stars since 2005 and matched a team record.

July 05, 2016

Justin Bour sent home for MRI on ankle; Marlins awaiting results to determine if DL stint needed


            Justin Bour was sent back to Miami on Tuesday to undergo an MRI on his ailing right ankle.

            Bour, who missed his third consecutive game, planted his foot awkwardly recording an out at first base this past Saturday in Atlanta. Bour left the game limping shortly after the play.

            Don Mattingly said Bour will miss the remainder of the road trip which concludes Wednesday in New York, and potentially could be placed on the disabled list depending on the results of the MRI.

“Once we get the results, we’ll know,” Mattingly said. “He could come back but seems unlikely for [Wednesday]. For our next series before the break, we’d like to have a chance to use him. If not we would retro him to when it happened and he'd go on the DL."

June 30, 2016

Miami Marlins acquire veteran closer Fernando Rodney in trade with San Diego Padres

ATLANTA -- The Marlins aren't waiting for July to roll around to upgrade their pitching staff. The team announced Thursday that it has acquired veteran right-handed reliever Fernando Rodney from San Diego for Single A pitcher Chris Paddack.

The 39-year-old Rodney has been sensational this season for the Padres. Rodney boasts a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances for the Padres. He has 17 saves.

Rodney would strengthen the back end of the Marlins bullpen, adding to a mix that includes A.J. Ramos, Kyle Barraclough and David Phelps. Over his 14-year major league career, Rodney has gone 37-56 with a 3.58 ERA in 728 relief appearances. He led the majors with 48 saves in 2014 when he was with Seattle.

Yet to be determined is what the addition of Rodney would do to Ramos, who has converted all 24 save opportunities this season. But Rodney has closed most of his career, and Ramos would most likely move into a set-up role who can also spot-close if needed.

Rodney would be a relatively low-cost upgrade in terms of payroll. The Marlins would pick up the pro-rated portion of his 2016 salary of $1.6 million and a team option for $2 million should they decide to keep him next season.

Paddack has been lights out at Single A Greensboro, going 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA. He has struck out 48 batters in 28 1/3 innings. He was the Marlins' 8th-round draft pick in 2015. Paddack has been just about un-hittable, giving up just nine hits to go with a pair of walks. He hasn't allowed a hit over his past three starts (15 innings) for Greensboro.

The Marlins are continuing to shop for starting pitching, as well. One name that can now be crossed off the list is Bud Norris. Atlanta traded him to the Dodgers on Thursday.

June 19, 2016

Marlins send struggling Nicolino to Triple-A; promote RHP Paul Clemens

Justin Nicolino will not start Monday's series finale against the Rockies.

The Marlins announced Sunday morning they optioned the struggling Nicolino, who is 2-4 this season with a 5.17 ERA, to Triple-A New Orleans and selected RHP Paul Clemens.

Clemens will make his season debut Monday in Nicolino's previously scheduled rotation spot when the Marlins face the Rockies at 7:10 p.m. at Marlins Park.

Clemens made 14 starts for New Orleans and went 6-4 with a 4.30 ERA, compiling 66 strikeouts and 25 walks.

"It's exciting to come up especially as a starter," Clemens said. "I'm still working on some things, but I feel like I'm getting better every day. I'm really happy where I'm at with three of my pitches right now."

Nicolino opened the season at Triple-A, but was called up on April 27 after Jarred Cosart was sent down to the minors. Nicolino won his first two starts including a stellar outing in Los Angeles in which he pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings and allowed only two hits.

But Nicolino had struggled with his command over the past month and had not won a decision since May 3 and had compiled a 6.44 ERA in his past seven starts.

"I think you find out a lot about who you are when you struggle and I think this is a true testament to that," Nicolino said on Saturday. "The biggest thing right now for me is getting back to executing pitches and trying not to look too much into it. I talked to a couple of the veteran guys and I think I just have to get back to the basics."

Clemens, 28, was originally drafted by the Braves in 2008 and made his major league debut in 2013 for the Astros. That season, Clemens started five games and made 30 appearances out of the bullpen, compiling a 4-7 record with a 5.40 ERA in 73 1/3 innings. The following season, he pitched 24 2/3 innings in relief and posted a 5.84 ERA.

After stints in the minor leagues with the Phillies and Royals, Clemens signed a minor-league contract with the Marlins this past November.


June 13, 2016

Sensing growing frustration with Stanton, Mattingly sits the slumping slugger

SAN DIEGO -- Giancarlo Stanton has always savored trips to southern California, the region where he grew up. But as the Marlins prepared to open a three-game series against the Padres on Monday, Stanton's name wasn't in the lineup. Manager Don Mattingly benched the slumping slugger for Monday's game, and left open the possibility that it might not be the last time.

"I think 'G' is really frustrated with the way things are going and I just don't want that to boil over into worse," Mattingly said. "So we'll give him a day (off) here, he'll play (Tuesday), and we'll talk about the last day when we get there. But I'm really trying to get him rested, where he can work without having to get out there as much, to try to get him back on track."

Stanton is mired in an 11-for-98 slump and hitting just .192 overall on the season.

"I think he's frustrated," Mattingly said. "I'm sure he'd admit he's frustrated. So we're trying to ease him and get him back on track."

Mattingly said that Stanton is mostly over a side injury that forced him to the sidelines recently, but that the injury likely contributed to his slump.

"For him, it's been a little bit of a balance because of the side (injury)," Mattingly said. "When he first came back he couldn't take all the swings he wanted and still keep playing. He had to balance that a little bit. I don't know if he's completely over it. But he seems to feel he's on the other side of it. It's better than it's probably been."

Benching Stanton afforded Mattingly the opportunity to start Ichiro Suzuki, who is enjoying a renaissance at age 42 as he takes aim on 3,000 hits. Suzuki didn't start any of the three games in Arizona, but is hitting .336. He needs 26 more hits to reach 3,000 for his major league career and, when combining his hit totals in Japan before coming to the U.S., is four hits shy of Pete Rose's career mark of 4,256.

"I have to admit that getting him in there is enticing right now because of what he's been able to bring to the table for us," Mattingly said of Suzuki. "To have Ichy right there, to give us that leadoff guy -- he can hopefully spark us -- is a good feeling to have."

May 26, 2016

Bryan Morris to DL; Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich remain out

ST. PETERSBURG -- The injury list continues to lengthen for the Marlins, who announced this morning that reliever Bryan Morris is headed to the disabled list with lumbar disc herniation. Meanwhile, outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich remained out of the lineup -- Stanton with a sore right side and Yelich with back spasms.

Morris landed on the DL last season with a lower back strain, so the issue has continued to persist, obviously. It's uncertain at this point the severity of the latest injury to Morris, who has not been as effective this season. The Marlins called up right-hander Nick Wittgren from Triple A New Orleans to take his roster spot.

With all of the injuries, manager Don Mattingly has produced an unusual lineup for today's game against the Rays: 1. Hechavarria, 6; 2. Prado, 5; 3. Ozuna 8; 4. Realmuto 2; 5. Gillespie 9; 6. Johnson, 3; 7. Dietrich, 7; 8. Rojas, 4; 9. Mathis, 2. Jose Fernandez is pitching.

May 12, 2016

Marlins sign veteran lefty reliever Joe Beimel to minor league deal

With no left-hander in their bullpen at the moment, the Marlins signed veteran southpaw Joe Beimel to a minor-league deal in an effort to shore up a weak area.

Beimel, 39, will reported to extended spring camp in Jupiter, as first reported by MLB.com.

A veteran of 13 big-league seasons, Beimel last pitched in the majors with Seattle last season, appearing in 53 games while going 2-1 with a 3.99 ERA. Overall, he has appeared in 676 major league games, all but 23 out of the bullpen.

The Marlins are awaiting the return of left-hander Mike Dunn, who has been on the disabled list with a forearm strain since before the start of the season. Dunn isn't expected to return until the end of this month or the first part of June.

The Marlins left themselves without a lefty when Craig Breslow was designated for assignment on Wednesday.

May 10, 2016

The Home Run That Wasn't

In case you missed last night's baseball oddity, the Marlins' J.T. Realmuto hit a home run that was negated when he passed Marcell Ozuna on the base path -- a violation of Rule 7.08 (h). Ozuna took blame for the gaffe, as did first base coach Perry Hill. I'm not sure Realmuto wasn't at fault, either, for not paying close enough attention to Ozuna's whereabouts.

Judge for yourself: 

This sort of blunder does not happen very happen above the Little League level. Retrosheet.org has documented a list of instances in which a home run was taken away for passing a runner. It's not a very long one, but involves quite a few famous names. Interestingly, Marlins manager Don Mattingly, when asked if he had every seen anything like it before, could only nod his head in the affirmative. He was with the Yankees in 1985 when a nearly identical play involved Bobby Meacham and Willie Randolph.

Courtesy of Retrosheet.org, here's the list:

9/12/1920 - In the top of the fourth inning of a game in Chicago, Washington's Frank Ellerbe was on first base with two outs. Patsy Gharrity hit the ball into the left field bleachers for an apparent two-run homer. When Ellerbe heard the fans in those seats cheering he thought Joe Jackson had caught the ball which would have ended the inning. After rounding third base, Ellerbe turned and went to his shortstop position. Meanwhile Gharrity trotted around the bases. When he rounded third base, he was called out for passing Ellerbe. Both umpires, Bill Dineen and Ollie Chill, made the call. Washington argued that since the ball was out of play it did make any difference that Gharrity passed Ellerbe. The headline in the next days' New York Times read: "Gharrity's Homer Retires His Side." This event had no affect on the game as the Senators beat the White Sox, 5-0.

9/15/1930 - In the bottom of the second with runners on 1b and 2b, Dodger Glenn Wright hit the ball to right-center. It looked like it might be caught so Babe Herman slowed up as he neared 2b. The ball bounced over the fence for a home run but Wright had his head down as he ran between 1b and 2b. Consequently, he passed Herman and was called out. He lost a homer but still knocked in 2 runs.

4/26/1931 - In the first inning with Lyn Lary on first and two out, Lou Gehrig hit a home run into the centerfield bleachers at Griffith Stadium. However, the ball caromed back to the centerfielder. Lary returned to the dugout, evidently thinking the ball was caught. Gehrig was declared out for passing the runner and lost the homer. He ended the year tied for the lead in homers with Babe Ruth.

5/26/1959 - Joe Adcock lost a homer in Harvey Haddix' perfect game. In the bottom of the 13th inning, after Felix Mantilla reached on an error and was sacrificed to second, Hank Aaron was intentionally walked. Adcock then hit his home run. However, Aaron didn't know the ball left the park, so he returned to the dugout and Adcock was called out for passing Aaron.

4/21/1967 - Tony Oliva of Minnesota lost a home run due to a base running blunder. Playing in Detroit in the third inning, Cesar Tovar was the runner at first base. Oliva hit the ball out of the park off Denny McLain, but then passed Tovar between first and second. He was credited with a single and one RBI for scoring Tovar.

7/18/1969 - Don Buford hit the ball into the right field seats in Fenway Park in the eighth inning. Tony Conigliaro leaped and fell into the stands, but did not have the ball when he came up. The first base umpire, Bob Stewart, gave no signal. Dave May, running at first, hesitated, then started back to first base. Buford passed him and May was called out while Buford circled the bases. A five minute argument followed. Earl Weaver argued about Stewart's delayed home run call. Buford was credited with a run scoring single, and May with a run scored, even though those events never actually happened on the field. Home plate umpire Red Flaherty allegedly called May out, which was why he stopped running. The hit came off Ray Jarvis, who was ahead 6-0 at the time. May's run was the only tally of the game for the Orioles.

7/9/1970 - In the seventh inning at Tiger Stadium, Dalton Jones pinch hit for Jim Price with the bases loaded. Jones hammered the 2-2 pitch into the upper deck in right field for a grand slam. However, Jones passed Don Wert between first and second and was called out, thus ending up with a 3-RBI single. Vicente Romo had entered the game to face Jones.

6/19/1974 - Giant Ed Goodson hit a home run in the third inning off Bob Gibson at St. Louis with Garry Maddox on first and no one out. Unfortunately, Goodson passed Maddox between first and second. Goodson was credited with a single and a run batted in.

7/4/1976 - Catcher Tim McCarver of the Phillies hit a grand slam in the second inning of the first game of a doubleheader at Pittsburgh. The 375 foot homer came off Larry Demery. However, after rounding first base, McCarver passed Garry Maddox and was called out. He received credit for a single and three runs batted in.

6/24/1977 - Ralph Garr of the White Sox homered off Minnesota's Paul Thormodsgard in Minneapolis. It came in the third inning with two men on and no one out. Jim Essian, the runner on first, thought the ball might be caught by the Twins' right fielder, Dan Ford, so he retreated towards first base. Garr was watching the flight of the ball and passed Essian after rounding the bag. He was credited with a single and two runs batted in.

5/14/1982 - Pittsburgh's Lee Lacy batted in the bottom of the eighth inning as the first batter to face Tom Hume of the Reds. The bases were loaded with no outs and Lacy hit one of Hume's pitches out of the park. However, in the celebration during his run around the bases, Lacy passed Omar Moreno between first and second. He is credited with a single and three runs batted in. Luckily, Moreno's run won the game for the Pirates 8-7.

4/29/1985 - The Yankees had runners on 1B and 2B in the top of the fourth inning at Texas when Bobby Meacham hit a ball that just cleared the fence for a homer. He paid no attention to the fact that Willie Randolph stayed near 1B waiting to see if the ball would drop in. Meacham passed Randolph after rounding 1B and was called out. Randolph and Butch Wynegar both scored on the play and Meacham was credited with a single. Those runs put the Yanks up 4-0 but the Rangers won, 7-5.

9/26/1998 - The Pirates' Adrian Brown singled to lead off the top of the fourth in Cincinnati. Jose Guillen was hit by a Pete Harnisch pitch. Kevin Young then homered to LF and Guillen rounded 2B and passed Brown, turning a three-run homer into a two-run shot. The Reds won 6-2.

4/16/2006 - Javy Lopez of the Orioles hit a home run to left center as Darin Erstad attempted to catch the ball at the wall. The runner on first, Miguel Tejada, thinking the ball was caught, returned towards the bag and Lopez rounded first and passed Tejada. Lopez was called out and Tejada scored on the play, giving Lopez an RBI single over the wall.

May 05, 2016

Adam Conley sets Miami Marlins record for consecutive hitless innings by starter

Don't call him Johnny Vander Meer. But Adam Conley made himself a little Marlins history Thursday when he extended his string of consecutive hitless innings to 11 1/3 -- a club record for a starter.

Conley, who delivered 7 2/3 hitless innings in Milwaukee on Friday, added three more on Thursday before the Diamondbacks' Wellington Castillo ended the streak with a two-out single in the fourth. He was also credited with 2/3-scoreless inning two starts back.

According to Elias, the previous record for consecutive hitless innings by a Marlins starter -- 10 -- was shared by Al Leiter, Kevin Brown and Anibal Sanchez, each of whom threw a no-hitter in the process.

The record for consecutive hitless innings by any Marlins pitcher belongs to reliever Armando Benitez -- 14 straight in 2004.