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37 posts from February 2009

February 25, 2009

Marlins Travel Roster: at New York Mets (Thursday)

                  JUPITER -- If you're planning to head up to Port St. Lucie on Thursday to watch the Marlins and Mets go at it for the first time since Florida eliminated New York in the final game of the '08 season, here's who the Marlins are planning to take with them on the trip:

                 Pitchers: Chris Volstad (starting), William Collazo, Kiko Calero, Jesus Delgado, Matt Lindstrom, Carlos Martinez, Henry Owens, Rick Vandenhurk;

                 Position Players: Robert Andino, Emilio Bonifacio, Matt Dominguez, Andy Gonzalez, Wes Helms, Manny Mayorson, Logan Morrison, Hanley Ramirez, Alejandro De Aza, Jay Gibbons, Jeremy Hermida, Cameron Maybin, Jai Miller, Mike Stanton, Brad Davis, Miguel Fermin, Mike Rabelo, Kyle Skipworth.

                Staying Home: Jorge Cantu, Dan Uggla, Cody Ross, John Baker, Alfredo Amezaga, Dallas McPherson..

Drum Roll -- Marlins Lineup Revealed

               JUPITER -- The lineup card for today's Grapefruit League opener against the St. Louis Cardinals is up on the bulletin board this morning, ending weeks of speculation. No great surprises, though. Cameron Maybin is leading off, as expected, with Hanley Ramirez installed at the three spot. Typical of early spring training games, the two NL teams are using designated hitters. Dallas McPherson assumes that role for the Marlins.

               Here it is in its entirety:

               1. Cameron Maybin, CF; 2. John Baker, C; 3. Hanley Ramirez, SS, 4. Jorge Cantu, 3B; 5. Dan Uggla, 2B; 6. Jeremy Hermida, LF; 7. Cody Ross, RF; 8. Dallas McPherson, DH; 9. Gaby Sanchez, 1B.


February 24, 2009

Wednesday's Pitchers; Pinto Sick

               Anibal Sanchez is scheduled to work two innings in Wednesday's spring training opener against the Cardinals. Following him to the mound for an inning each: Aaron Thompson, Brett Sinkbeil, Chris Leroux, Taylor Tankersley, Tim Wood and Brian Sanches. Meanwhile, left-handed reliever Renyel Pinto was sent home early on Monday with a stomach illness and was absent Tuesday.

               Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he would reveal his lineup tomorrow, but Cameron Maybin is expected to lead off with John Baker batting second and Hanley Ramirez hitting third. Gonzalez said he would go with the regulars, especially those (Ramirez, Jorge Cantu and Alfredo Amezaga) who will be leaving soon for the World Baseball Classic. Both teams have also agreed to use designated hitters.

             Burke Badenhop gets the start for the Marlins in the morning "B" game against Italy. He'll be followed by Dallas Trahern, Frankie De La Cruz, Michael Wood and Scott Proctor.

             The "B" game lineup for the Marlins: 1. John Raynor, CF; 2. Andy Gonzalez, 2B, 3. Michael Stanton, RF; 4. John Lindsey, 1B; 5. Matt Dominguez, 3B; 6. Kyle Skipworth, C; 7. Michael Ryan, DH; 8. Jai Miller, CF; 9. Manny Mayorson, 2B.

Behind Closed Doors

              The Marlins are scrimmaging on the big field at Roger Dean Stadium this afternoon (1 p.m.), but it's NOT open to the public. One would think that a club starving for fans would allow them a chance to see the team for free, perhaps get them interested in the '09 edition. After all, fans have been permitted to watch the team workout and scrimmage on the practice diamonds for the past 10 days. Why not allow them the same luxury this one last time before Grapefruit League action begins Wednesday and it costs to watch? Perhaps it's a staffing or insurance liability issue, but....

             We have some pitching match-ups for the first two spring training games:

             -- Anibal Sanchez takes on RHP Blake Hawksworth of the St. Louis Cardinals in the Grapefruit League opener on Wednesday at Roger Dean.

              -- Chris Volstad faces Oliver Perez on Thursday when the Marlins head up the road to Port St. Lucie to challenge the New York Mets.

             -- Burke Badenhop is down to start Wednesday's morning "B" game against Italy's World Baseball Classic team.

February 23, 2009

Scrimmage and Pitching Plans

                   The Marlins divided up Monday for a six-inning, uneventful scrimmage. No one was hurt, which is about the most that could be said for the first actual baseball action of the spring. They'll do it again on Tuesday before Grapefruit League games commence Wednesday with the Marlins facing the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

                   Manager Fredi Gonzalez announced some upcoming pitching plans:

                   -- Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco will pitch in Tuesday's scrimmage.

                   -- Anibal Sanchez makes the start Wednesday against St. Louis. That morning, Burke Badenhop will take the mound against Italy's World Baseball Classic team in a "B" game.

                   -- Chris Volstad and Rick Vandenhurk are down to pitch Thursday when the Marlins head up to Port St. Lucie to take on the New York Mets.

                   -- Sean West, who pitched in Monday's scrimmage, will go Friday against the Baltimore Orioles in Jupiter.

February 22, 2009

Starters for Intersquad Game & Tuna Visits

Manager Fredi Gonzalez announced that Eulogio De La Cruz and Sean West will start Monday's 6-inning intersquad game.

Anibal Sanchez will start the Grapefruit League Opener against the Cardinals on Wednesday.

The Marlins will play a B game against Italy on Wednesday morning before Florida's opener against St. Louis.

Dolphins executive VP Bill Parcells paid a visit to the Marlins camp on Sunday morning. The Tuna was asked if any Marlins could play for the Dolphins and he said "none of them are big enough".

Poll: Rank the Marlins

           The calendar shows we're still about six weeks out from Opening Day, but it's not too early to put on our prediction hats. Just wondering how you think it'll shake out for the Marlins this season in the NL East, a division headed by the World Series champion Phillies, not to mention the usual suspects (Mets), old guard (Braves) and perennial dormat Nats. Tell us where you think the Marlins will end up by voting below:


February 20, 2009

It's a Lefty-Righty Thing (Or Vice Versa)

               JUPITER --The Marlins have a weird -- and I would venture to say, extremely rare -- combination of corner outfielders. Their left fielder, Jeremy Hermida, bats left and throws right. And their right fielder, Cody Ross, bats right and throws left. Check out this really fascinating article at Hardball Times, which lists Ross as the 10th-best bats right/throws left player in big league HISTORY (Rickey Henderson ranks first). If anyone knows of any other such corner combination of polar opposites, past or present, feel free to chime in.

               This is one of those odd topics I could easily become obsessed with. If you'll notice in the HT article, the 9th-best bats right/throws left player is St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Ryan Ludwick. That might demand I walk over to the Cardinals side of the complex to investigate further. The Marlins and Ross, by the way, are housed beyond the left field fence. The Cardinals are on the other side of right. Got it?.

Ross bat  Ross throw  Hermida bat    Herm throw

Hermida and Playing the "Teal Monster"

Teal monster

 JUPITER -- Checked in today with Jeremy Hermida and outfield coach Bo Porter on how Hermida's right-to-left transition is coming. The primary focus has been on improving Hermida's comfort level with the new angle posed in left and reads on balls as they leave the bat. It's an all-new look for Hermida, who has played almost nothing but right field since high school.

One thing I was curious about was how they planned to prepare Hermida for the left field wall and scoreboard -- the so-called "Teal Monster" -- at Dolphin Stadium. Hermida didn't have a high wall to deal with in right, and it could take some getting used to. There is no way to simulate it at the team's spring training facility in Jupiter, and they'll have only one workout day between the end of spring training and the start of the season in which to test it out.

"Haven't looked that far ahead yet," Hermida said, laughing. "We'll worry about that when we get there. That's step B. When we get there, me and Bo will go out to the wall and try to get used to it. As of now we're just worrying about getting reads off the bat and getting used to that."

Porter doesn't think Hermida will have any trouble learning how to play caroms.

"I think it's more of a feel thing," Porter said. "Like I've already told him, when you're going back on a ball and realize you don't have a play, then you want to retreat out because the ball is going to ricochet. As long as you get out far enough, it's always easier to go in and get the ball if it ends up hitting the wall. Being too close, the ball can ricohet and go by you. We've already talked about it and continue to talk about it."

They just won't be able to simulate it this spring.

And just about the time Hermida starts to figure out the Teal Monster, he'll have another Monster to deal with, the big boy in Boston. The Marlins travel to Fenway Park in June for a three-game set against the Red Sox.

Marlins Poll: A Leading Question

Tell us what you think: