August 06, 2016

Saddened Cashner buries beard; MLB looking into Padres trades

DENVER -- When Andrew Cashner says he literally buried his beard after shaving it off to conform to the Marlins' ban on facial hair, believe him. Cashner's father worked in the mortuary business and he used to help him dig the graves and mow the cemetery grass.

"It's a sore subject still," Cashner said of having to shave his bushy beard after the Padres traded him to the Marlins. "I don't like it. But what can you do? I hate shaving. I think my beard is a part of me as a person and who I am."

CashnerCashner isn't the only Marlin who doesn't care for the team's facial hair policy, which was restored before the season after the rule was relaxed for a few years. Players have complained about it privately, but have no choice in the matter. A rule is a rule.

Reliever Fernando Rodney was also forced to shave off his beard when he came over to the Marlins in an earlier trade with the Padres. Cashner said he was informed about the rule when owner Jeffrey Loria and president of baseball operations Michael Hill spoke to him by phone after the trade was made with San Diego.

"When I talked to Michael Hill and Jeff Loria, they kind of told me I needed to shave it," Cashner said. "I hate it. But that's the rule here and that's what you've got to do."

Cashner said shaving off a distinctive beard he wore for years wasn't pleasant.

"I shaved it the next day," Cashner said. "It took a while. It's probably one of the saddest days I've ever had. It stinks, but what are you going to do?"

Cashner didn't just wash the stubble down the sink.

"I buried it," he said.

The clean-shaven Cashner will be making his second start for the Marlins tonight when they face the Rockies at Coors Field. The Marlins obtained him as a two-month rental in their bid to reach the postseason. And, from the sounds of it, a rental Cashner will always be unless the Marlins relax their policy on facial hair. Cashner, who will be making his second start for the Marlins tonight, can become a free agent after the season.

"That'll be the nice thing about free agency, kind of choose a place that (allows facial hair)," Cashner said. "It's a big deal to me."

_________________

Major League Baseball is taking a look at the Colin Rea trade, which went up in flames when the pitcher suffered a season-ending arm injury in his very first start with the Marlins.

According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the league is looking into whether the Padres failed to disclose an existing injury with Rea before trading him to the Marlins, along with Cashner. Olney's sources told him Rea informed the Marlins he was receiving treatment on the arm before the Padres traded him. After Rea's injury came to full light, the Marlins traded him back to the Padres for minor-league prospect Luis Castillo.

Rea has since undergone Tommy John surgery.

 

July 29, 2016

Reports: Marlins to acquire Cashner, Rea from Padres

The Marlins aren't just adding one starter to their rotation. They're adding two.

But right-handers Andrew Cashner and Colin Rea aren't coming cheap.

The Marlins are giving up starting pitcher Jarred Cosart, injured reliever Carter Capps, and two of their top minor-league prospects, first baseman Josh Naylor and pitcher Luis Castillo, to complete the deal, according to various reports. The Marlins are also getting minor-league reliever Tayron Guerrero in the deal. Guerrero is a 6-foot-8-inch right-hander who throws in the high 90s.

Cashner (4-7, 4.76) is a two-month rental who will become a free agent after the season. Rea, on the other hand, is under team control through 2021. Rea has gone 5-5 with a 4.98 ERA.

The Marlins have been linked to Cashner for a while. But Rea's name has never been mentioned in any type of trade rumors.

The Marlins have been seeking rotation help for some time in their push to reach the postseason for the first time in 13 years. But there became an even greater urgency when Wei-Yin Chen landed on the disabled list. He is out indefinitely with a sprained left elbow.

The win-now deal for the Marlins is coming at a high price. While Cosart has been a disappointment the past two seasons, Naylor and Castillo represented arguably two of the top three or four prospects in what is a thin farm system -- one that becomes even thinner now. And Capps, while out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, is expected back before the start of 2017 and would have strengthened what is already a strong Marlins bullpen.

 

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

Justinbour

            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.