July 25, 2015

Alvarez to see Dr. Andrews for shoulder; Stanton, Gordon on the mend

SAN DIEGO -- Henderson Alvarez is scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews early next week for his ailing right shoulder.

“He’s going to see Dr. Andrews and determine what’s going to be in his best interest, whether it’s a surgical or non-surgical procedure,” said manager Dan Jennings.

Alvarez has missed most of the season with right shoulder inflammation.

After making two minor-league rehab starts this month with Single A Jupiter, Alvarez continued to experience shoulder discomfort and was shut down from throwing once again.

Alvarez was the Marlins’ opening day starter and an All-Star last year.

Out of nowhere, Giancarlo Stanton showed up on Saturday in San Diego.

But Jennings said the slugger merely arrived to see family and friends, then fly back to South Florida with the team on Sunday.

“It might be a sneak attack, off the bench, to pinch-hit,” Jennings joked.

Stanton has been out four weeks with a broken hamate bone in his left hand, and there’s no timetable on his return. He’s been limited to dry swings with a bat.

“Just trying to get a feel right now,” Stanton said. “My wrist, the rotation -- the whole thing.”
Stanton said if he felt the hand was strong enough, “I’d be out practicing right now.”

-- Second baseman Dee Gordon, who is on the disabled list with a dislocated thumb, is expected to play in a rehab game on Sunday for Single A Jupiter.

It’s possible Gordon could be activated from the DL on Tuesday when the Marlins open a home stand against Washington.

July 24, 2015

Marlins trade Cishek to Cardinals for minor league pitcher

The Marlins have traded longtime reliever Steve Cishek to the St. Louis Cardinals for Kyle Barraclough, a right-handed closer for the Cardinals' Double A affiliate.

Cishek, who was the Marlins closer from 2012 until earlier this year when he lost the role earlier this year to A.J. Ramos, has been with the Marlins organization since 2007. He's saved 94 games in his career.

Barraclough is a former 7th round pick out of St. Mary's College of California. This season, he's 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA and 12 saves in 34 appearances between High-A and Double-A for the Cardinals. He's 12 of 13 on save chances.

July 23, 2015

Shoulder problems persist for Henderson Alvarez, season in jeopardy

SAN DIEGO -- There is an increasing likelihood that Henderson Alvarez, the Marlins' Opening Day starter, will not pitch again this season.

Alvarez, who has been on the disabled list since May 23, is continuing to experience problems with his injured right shoulder and will undergo tests to decide what path to take with him.

"He had a recurrence of the shoulder," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said of Alvarez, who made a rehab start on Monday for Single A Jupiter. "We're trying to determine if it's going to be best for a non-surgical, or surgical procedure regarding the shoulder."

Alvarez, an All-Star last season, has battled shoulder injuries most of this season and has yet to post a win.

July 22, 2015

'Zona manager Chip Hale blasts Carter Capps' delivery

PHOENIX -- One can now add Chip Hale's name to the chorus of people questioning the odd delivery of Marlins reliever Carter Capps. The Arizona Diamondbacks manager voiced his concern with Capps' delivery after the reliever worked Tuesday's eighth inning, striking out two.

"It plays to the integrity of the game for me," Hale said. "That's just the rule. Your foot is supposed to be in contract with the rubber, at least close. He's not even close. The league OK'd it. The umpires really have no say in it right now. The league said it is OK, and they have to let it go. It's very difficult to watch."

Capps lurches off the rubber, then drags his right foot on the mound before releasing. The extra extension adds about 3.5 mph to his fastball, giving him the highest "perceived velocity" of any pitcher in the majors. Check out this story I wrote last week about all this.

At any rate, just when it looked like the flap over Capps might finally be dying down, it re-surfaced in the Arizona desert.

"I think it's something the league needs to look at," Hale said. "... I'm sure it does throw off some timing but you're also another foot closer to home plate. The rubber is in a certain spot because that's the way the game is supposed to be played. So you're basically throwing from a rubber that's 12 inches forward."

During their broadcast, FOX Sports Arizona focused on Capps' delivery.

"I love it whenever we go to a new place and you hear the announcers talk about his delivery," said Marlins starter Mat Latos, who got the win Tuesday. "It's interesting. It's nothing new. The guy's been pitching like that for two years now and they still talk about it. It's funny."

July 21, 2015

Jennings questions MLB replay procedure after glitch puts Marlins at a disadvantage

PHOENIX -- Major League Baseball might need to examine its replay procedures following a glitch that gave the Diamondbacks an unfair advantage for about an inning on Monday.

Early in the game, a technical malfunction left the Marlins with only one camera angle with which to review plays. Each team is usually provided with nine to 12 angles.

Jennings complained to umpiring crew chief Larry Vanover, who contacted New York for a ruling. Vanover then informed Jennings that the Marlins would be given extra time to decide whether or not to challenge a call.

Jennings felt the better solution would have been to have the Diamondbacks reduced to one camera angle, as well.

“Wait a second, don’t you have to shut those guys (the Diamondbacks) down, too?” Jennings said he asked umpires. “There has to be a sense of fair play for both sides. I think that’s something that will be addressed over the winter.”

Vanover acknowledged Tuesday that baseball’s replay system is “still a work in progress,” but that procedures were followed correctly on Monday.

“That’s the way the rule’s written,” Vanover said.

Vanover said he even double-checked with New York a second time on the rule after Jennings asked him about it.

“(Jennings said) ‘That don’t seem right,’” Vanover recounted. “I said, yeah, that’s odd. I see your point. I’ll double-check to make sure.”

Added Vanover: “I’m sure that will come up sometime this winter.”

July 20, 2015

Giancarlo Stanton sees hand specialist, cleared to begin dry swings; Jarred Cosart diagnosed with vertigo -- again

PHOENIX -- Giancarlo Stanton is ready to swing a bat again, even though it'll probably be at least two weeks before he's doing it for the Marlins. Stanton was checked out Monday by a hand specialist, who gave the slugger the green light to begin dry swings.

Stanton has been out since June 27 with a broken hamate bone. At the time, the timeframe for recovery was four to six weeks. But it remains uncertain exactly when he'll be able to return to the Marlins' lineup.

"I don't know that there's truly a timeframe," said Marlins manager Dan Jennings. "He'll know and he'll tell us. One thing about Giancarlo, he's very straightforward and very honest with his own assessment of himself and where he is. He's putting together a tremendous year, and you know he wants to be back."


The frustrations continue for pitcher Jarred Cosart, who saw doctors on Sunday and was told the dizziness he experienced in his most recent minor-league outing could be attributed to vertigo -- the same condition that landed him on the DL in May.

"They're going to run some more test and we should have the results of that a little later in the week," Jennings said of Cosart. "I hope for his sake, and ultimately our sake, that they can determine the cause of that and find some resolution, because we need him back. But we need him to be healthy first."


Henderson Alvarez's second minor-league rehab start with Single A Jupiter wasn't any more impressive than his first one. Alvarez went three innings on Monday for the Hammerheads, allowing two unearned runs on four hits and a pair of walks. He didn't record any strikeouts.

Alvarez, who is trying to work his way back from right shoulder inflammation, was scheduled to throw up to 60 pitches on Monday. The outing follows his first rehab start last week when he allowed two earned runs over 2 1/3 innings.


The Marlins are receiving good reports on recently demoted outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who hit .351 with a pair of home runs in his first nine games for Triple A New Orleans. But it remains to be seen when he'll be called up by the Marlins.

"Last night, (Ozuna had) two doubles off the wall and threw a runner out trying to advance to second base," Jennings said. "It's good to see."


July 17, 2015

Dee Gordon to DL, Martin Prado activated

When the Marlins suggested Dee Gordon could avoid a DL stint, it seemed like wishful thinking at the time. Turns out it was.

Gordon, who dislocated his left thumb two days before the All-Star break, was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday as the Marlins prepared to open a 10-game road trip, with the first stop coming in Philadelphia. The DL move is retroactive to July 12, which means Gordon will miss the entire trip, on that continues in Arizona and San Diego.

The Marlins were hopeful that Gordon would only miss the Philadelphia series before returning to the lineup once the team made it out west.

"We're optimistic," said Michael Hill, Marlins president of baseball operations, on Sunday. "We're not going to place him on the DL at the moment. He probably won't be available that first series after the break, but hopefully shortly thereafter."

That was then. Obviously, the thumb hasn't healed to the point where the Marlins feel Gordon can perform at full strength.

That's the bad news for the Marlins, who have been plagued with injuries.

The good news: the Marlins activated third baseman Martin Prado, who has been on the DL since June with a shoulder injury. With Casey McGehee back in the fold for the Marlins, they can move Prado to second base in Gordon's absence.

July 15, 2015

Marlins acquire 2011 first round pick from Dodgers in minor league swap

The Marlins on Wednesday swapped minor league left-handed relief pitchers with the Dodgers, acquiring 2011 first round pick Chris Reed for veteran minor leaguer Grant Dayton.

Reed, 25, began the season as the Dodgers’ ninth-ranked prospect according to Baseball America, but has had a disappointing career going 11-33 with a 4.28 ERA in 103 appearances.

The Dodgers moved Reed from a starting role into the bullpen this season and he hasn't been any better, going 2-2 with a 5.97 ERA, 22 walks and 21 strikeouts in 24 relief appearances between Double A and Triple A.

The Marlins are hoping a change of scenery will do the former Stanford University pitcher from London, England some good.

Dayton, 27, was 2-1 with a 2.83 ERA in 25 games in New Orleans this season and 20-16 with a 2.62 ERA in his career. He was an 11th round pick out of Auburn in 2010.

> With veteran infielder Martin Prado expected back from the disabled list soon, the Marlins outrighted outfielder Jordany Valdespin to Triple A on Wednesday. Valdespin could opt to decline the assignment and become a free agent.

> Opening Day starter Henderson Alvarez was scheduled to make his first rehab start Wednesday night for Single A Jupiter since being put on the disabled list May 22 with shoulder inflammation. The 2014 All-Star likely won't be an option for the Marlins' rotation until the end of July.

July 12, 2015

Dee Gordon could return soon after All-Star break

He'll miss the All-Star Game. But Dee Gordon may not miss much time with the Marlins.

The Marlins are hopeful that Gordon, who dislocated his left thumb on Saturday, could return to the lineup when the team heads out west following the Philadelphia series after the All-Star break.

"We're optimistic," said Michael Hill, Marlins president of baseball operations. "We're not going to place him on the DL at the moment. He probably won't be available that first series after the break, but hopefully shortly thereafter."

Hill said it wasn't even deemed necessary to perform a MRI on the thumb to determine if Gordon sustained any ligament damage.

"He had range of motion and decent strength given the injury, so no MRI was necessary," Hill said. "to as bad as it could have been. We're optimistic it shouldn't be a long-term issue for him. DL may not be necessary. Dee's going to do everything in his power to avoid that. We're hopeful we don't go that far."


With the July 31 trade deadline right around the corner, Hill was non-specific about the Marlins' intentions -- buy, sell or stand pat -- leading up to that point.

"In our position, you're always working dual paths," Hill said. "As we work towards the 31st, if there's a deal  that makes sense for us moving forward, we'll obviously entertain it. If there's something that works for us, we'll pursue it."

Don't look for the Marlins to make any radical moves. Mat Latos, Dan Haren and Brad Hand could be dealt, along with a few others. But the Marlins aren't planning any mass sell-off.

"We still believe in this core," Hill said. "We have controllable pieces that are talented. You look at our injured right fielder (Giancarlo Stanton). Our left fielder (Christian Yelich) is starting to play well. Our starting center fielder (Marcell Ozuna) has had to take a step back, but we're confident he'll be back. Arguably the best double play duo in baseball up the middle, with Dee and (Adeiny) Hechavarria. (Martin) Prado will be back healthy, but a true pro. And our young catcher (J.T. Realmuto) is here and is showing that he is going to be a frontline catcher for many years to come. Those are everyday pieces that we're excited about. Our thought process hasn't changed. Our evaluation process hasn't changed with any of those players. Still supreme belief in their ability, their talent."

July 11, 2015

MIami Marlins irked with latest All-Star snub

The Marlins went from having two starters in the All-Star Game to having no players at all. And they're not happy about it.

“Fans should have an opportunity to see an active player from every team, and that’s wrong,” said Marlins president David Samson.

Samson voiced his displeasure with the snubbing after the Marlins' All-Star second baseman, Dee Gordon, dislocated his left thumb on Saturday, costing him a trip to Cincinnati for the Midsummer Classic. With All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton sidelined with an injury, that left the Marlins without a representative for Tuesday's game.

Both Samson and Marlins manager Dan Jennings felt shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria should have been chosen to replace Gordon and give Miami at least one active player on the team. But Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who is managing the N.L. All-Stars, quickly named Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki as Gordon's replacement.

And so for the second time in four years, the Marlins will have no player at the All-Star Game. They were shut out in 2012, as well, when Stanton -- their lone All-Star that year -- underwent knee surgery and didn't go. The Marlins weren't happy then.

They're not happy now.

Samson said the issue needs to be taken up at the league level to make sure that every team has at least one active, healthy player on the All-Star team.


After indicating earlier on Saturday that third baseman Martin Prado could come off the DL on Sunday, Jennings said after the Marlins' 14-3 win over the Reds that Prado would instead be activated after the All-Star break.


Adam Conley's stay with the Marlins lasted all of one game. Conley, who picked up the win in what was his first big-league start on Saturday, was optioned back to Triple A New Orleans following the game.

The Marlins announced that infielder Donovan Solano would be called up Sunday.


And finally, if you didn't see Cole Gillespie's sensational, over-the-shoulder Willie Mays catch on Saturday, check it out: