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3 posts from March 29, 2012

March 29, 2012

Rowand released, may retire; Petersen to minors

   JUPITER -- A couple of major moves just announced by the Marlins: outfielder Aaron Rowand has been released while outfielder Bryan Petersen was optioned to Triple A New Orleans -- indications that the team is confident Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton will be ready to go for Opening Night.

    It's also a sign that Chris Coghlan and Austin Kearns have won roster spots as backup outfielders.

    Rowand struggled throughout spring training, hitting just .133 (6 for 45) while Austin Kearns, another non-roster invitee, hit .364 (12 for 33) with three home runs.

     "I'll either go somewhere else if another team needs an outfielder or, if not, probably take it to the house, call it a career," Rowand said outside the clubhouse after being told the news. "Not everybody gets to decide when they're going to hang 'em up. I feel like I have some left. But, if the opportunity doesn't present itself, then I'm happy with the things I've accomplished and looking forward to the next chapter."

     No matter where he ends up, Rowand will be paid $12 million by the Giants in what is the final year of his contract with them.

      In addition, the Marlins re-assigned pitcher J.D. Martin and infielder Nick Green to minor league camp, bringing the spring training roster down to 33 players.

See LoMo run (video)

     JUPITER -- The Marlins' "injured three" -- Logan Morrison, Giancarlo Stanton and Greg Dobbs -- tested their legs once more in a minor league game on one of the back fields this morning. Dobbs (hamstring) and Stanton (left knee) looked light on their feet; Morrison not quite as much.

      But Morrison can hardly be described as a gazelle to begin with and he was all-out on a double to right-center, rounding first in a hard sprint and sliding into second for the two-bagger. In a subsequent at bat, he ripped a shot into right-center for a stand-up double.

      All three players played in the field, as well.

      Check out the video of Morrison's first double: 

Stanton and Dobbs sound optimistic for Opening NIght, Morrison less sure

    JUPITER -- Giancarlo Stanton and Greg Dobbs are sounding confident that they'll be in uniform Opening Night in Miami. Logan Morrison remains cautiously optimistic, but a bit less certain.

     Asked to put a percentage on the likelihood he'll be in the lineup next Wednesday when the Marlins open the season against the Cardinals, Morrison replied: "My heart says 100 percent and my mind doesn't know."

     All three Marlins will be playing in minor-league games today. Stanton said that if all goes well, he'll make the trip to Viera to play against the Nationals and pitcher Stephen Strasburg. All three hope to play in the exhibition games against the Yankees on Sunday on Monday.

      Morrison, who is dealing with soreness and swelling in his right knee -- the result of arthroscopic surgery in December -- took it as a good sign that there was no swelling in the knee when he woke up on Wednesday, one day after he played the field in a minor-league game.

     "The first time I played in Miami it was really sore the next day," Morrison said. "It didn't feel terrible yesterday. It felt all right. So I think there's improvement there."

     The question, Morrison said, is if the knee will feel the same "over seven or nine" straight days of playing. One motivating factor, he said: the opening of the new ballpark. He wants to be a part of that, not on the disabled list.

     "It would be pretty awesome to be in the starting lineup," Morrison said. "I'd be lying if I said it wasn't playing a big factor into it. If we were still at Sun Life, I don't know. Obviously, you want to be there no matter what. But it's pretty cool opening a new ballpark against the Cardinals, the World Series champions, and playing in front of a sold-out rowd. It's definitely a motivating factor. But I can't force it because it's 162 games, not one."

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     Jose Ceda said it's all but certain he'll undergo Tommy John surgery next week. Ceda, who was bidding to win a bullpen spot on the Opening Day roster, said he was told he had a 50 percent tear of his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Ceda, 25, said he could have tried to pitch through the injury this season but would have required ligament replacement surgery eventually.

     "It's really disappointing," Ceda said.

     Ceda said that in his last spring outing (March 22 against Atlanta), he felt discomfort in his elbow anytime he tried to throw a breaking ball. The next morning, Ceda said, he was unable to move the elbow at all and sought medical help.

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      One day after shortstop Jose Reyes dyed his hair a rust color, third baseman Hanley Ramirez did the same.

      Asked if he would follow suit, second baseman Omar Infante replied: "No chance. I don't like. Too ugly."