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44 posts from June 2013

June 29, 2013

Rule 5 pick Alfredo Silverio has 2nd Tommy John operation

      Outfielder Alfredo Silverio, the Marlins' top Rule 5 draft pick in December, on Wednesday underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow for the second time in 14 months, according to Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest.

       The latest setback for Silverio places his future with the Marlins in doubt. It's possible the Marlins will return Silverio to the Dodgers.

       "I don't know what we're going to do," Beinfest said.

        SilverioSilverio, 26, was one of the top prospects in the Dodgers farm system before he suffered multiple injuries in a car accident that caused him to miss the entire 2012 season. But the Marlins gambled, taking him in the Rule 5 draft in hopes he could repeat his 2011 season when he hit .306 with 16 home runs and 85 RBI at Double A.

       Silverio, a native of the Dominican Republic, was considered a five-tool player. But, among multiple injuries stemming from the car accident, he suffered concussion syndromes and rquired Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm.

        Silverio has spent the entire season for the Marlins on the 60-day disabled list.

Henderson Alvarez set to join Marlins rotation

    The next stop for Henderson Alvarez: the Marlins' starting rotation.

    Alvarez made his final rehab start on Friday for Double A Jacksonville, and his pitching line indicates that it was a dandy. Alvarez gave up only two hits and didn't permit any runs over 7 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out six and didn't walk any batters. [Click on story here.]

     "He's going to be on his way," said manager Mike Redmond. "He'll throw a bullpen here tomorrow and we'll figure out what we're going to do as far as where we're going to fit him in."

      AlvarezAlvarez is lined up perfectly to take Ricky Nolasco's spot in the rotation and could be on the mound for the Marlins on Wednesday in Atlanta if Nolasco is traded before then.

      The 23-year-old right-hander from Venezuela was a key piece in the blockbuster trade with Toronto in November but has yet to throw a pitch for the Marlins after spending the first half of the season on the DL with right shoulder inflammation.

       "Everything I've heard has been really positive, how he feels, his arm strength and the way he's pitched," Redmond said of Alvarez's four rehab outings -- two with Single A Jupiter and the other two with Double A Jacksonville. "Each rehab start he's improved."

        Collectively, Alvarez in his four rehab appearances gave up only three earned runs in 24 1/3 innings (1.11 ERA), struck out 15 and walked just one.

        With Toronto last season, Alvarez went 9-14 with a 4.85 ERA in 31 starts. {See stats here.] His K/IP ratio was the lowest in the majors, and he also gave up 29 home runs, 11th most in the majors.

June 28, 2013

Former Marlins reliever Justin Miller found dead

      Sad news out of Pinellas County, where former Marlins reliever Justin Miller was found dead near his home in Palm Harbor. The cause of death is unknown.

      Miller, 35, appeared in 108 games for the Marlins in 2007 and '08, going 9-2 with a 3.90 ERA. He last pitched in the majors in 2010 with the Dodgers. In seven major league seasons, Miller went 24-14 with a 4.82 ERA.

     Miller was perhaps best known for his tattoos. He had so many of them that in 2004 Major League Baseball required him to wear long sleeves after hitters complained his tattoos were a distraction to them.


Chris Coghlan to be re-examined by Texas back specialist

      Chris Coghlan says he'll be returning to Texas on Monday to be re-examined by Dr. Drew Dossett, a spine specialist. Coghlan has been on the disabled list since June 9 with what is being described as "right calf nerve irritation."

      Coghlan has already visited Dossett once before and is continuing to rehab, but hasn't been cleared to resume baseball activities. He said his return status remains uncertain.

      The 2009 Rookie of the Year for the Marlins was starting to show improvement at the plate when he landed on the DL. After a slow April in which he hit .180 and drove in only one run, Coghlan warmed up in May and June, hitting .338 with nine RBI.

       "It involves the nerves," Coghlan said. "I thought I had blown out my calf. I didn't know what the heck it was."

June 27, 2013

Nolasco trade watch: Death, taxes and lust for pitching

Larry Beinfest's first significant trade in his Marlins stewardship involved giving up pitching to obtain pitching. That 2002 deal with the Cubs netted pitchers Julian Tavarez and an obscure (at the time) minor leaguer named Dontrelle Willis in exchange for Antonio Alfonseca and Matt Clement.

Beinfest's lust for pitching didn't stop there, and probably won't end when he deals Ricky Nolasco. If Beinfest's trading history is any indication, the Marlins will very likely receive a pitcher -- a mid- to upper-level minor league prospect, several sources say, depending on how much of Nolasco's remaining salary (about $6 million) they're willing to eat.

With rare exception, the Marlins have received pitching in nearly every trade Beinfest has made in which he's surrendered arms. A few of the most notable of those deals:

-- Acquiring Anibal Sanchez and two minor league pitchers (along with Hanley Ramirez) when the Marlins traded Josh Beckett, Guillermo Mota and Mike Lowell to Boston in 2005.

-- Acquiring Mark Redman and Gary Knotts from the Tigers in a 2003 trade with Detroit for Nate Robertson and Rob Henkel.

-- Acquiring Carlos Zambrano for Chris Volstad in 2012.

-- Acquiring Carl Pavano, Graeme Lloyd and Justin Wayne in a three-way swap with Montreal and Cincinnati in 2002 in which the Marlins gave up Ryan Dempster (and others).

-- Acquiring Andrew Miller and three other pitchers (along with outfielder Cameron Maybin) when they traded (gulp) Miguel Cabrera and Willis to the Tigers in 2007.

-- Acquiring Nathan Eovaldi from the Dodgers in last year's trade in which Ramirez and Randy Choate were dealt to Los Angeles.

-- Acquiring Jacob Turner (and catcher Rob Brantly) from the Tigers in last year's Sanchez/Omar Infante trade to Detroit.

-- Acquiring three pitchers (Henderson Alvarez, Justin Nicolino and Anthony DeSclafani) when they traded Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes et. al to the Blue Jays last November.

Even most of Beinfest's smaller, straight-up trades have been pitcher for pitcher:

-- Yusmeiro Petit for Jorge Julio in 2007

-- Jorge Julio for Byung-Hyun Kim (2007).

-- Randy Messenger for Armando Benitez (2007).

-- Gaby Hernandez for Arthur Rhodes (2008).

-- Kevin Gregg for Jose Ceda (2008).

There are very few examples in which Beinfest gave up pitching and didn't receive any in return:

-- A 2009 trade deadline deal in which the Marlins gave up a minor-league pitching prospect (Aaron Thompson) for first baseman Nick Johnson.

-- A 2011 deal with Tampa Bay (Burke Badenhop for catcher Jake Jefferies).

-- Last October's trade with Arizona in which the Marlins washed their hands of Heath Bell, trading him to the Diamondbacks for minor league infielder Yordy Cabrera.

Almost as strong as Beinfest's desire is for pitching is his penchant for trying to be in front of the market and making trades early. In other words, forget the July 31 trade deadling. The Nolasco deal could come at any time.

And, more than likely, it will be a pitcher headed in the Marlins' direction. 

June 26, 2013

Marlins' 2nd overall pick chooses college after failing physical

Unless he changes his mind between now and July 12, Matt Krook will be headed to the University of Oregon in the fall instead of signing a pro contract with the Marlins. That's because the high-school left-hander didn't pass his team physical with the Marlins, who took him with the 35th overall pick in the draft, and then turned down their reduced offer, sources said.

One way or the other, the Marlins will not be left empty-handed. By subsequently offering the young pitcher 40 percent of the about $1.6 million recommended for that draft slot (or about $650,000), they will automatically receive a competitive balance pick in the 2014 draft to offset the one they'll be giving up if Krook doesn't change his mind about going to Oregon. (By rule, the Marlins must leave their offer to Krook on the table until the July 12 deadline for signing draft picks has passed.)

Krook, who sources say has shoulder-related issues, was selected by the Marlins with a competitive balance pick they received (along with outfielder Gorkys Hernandez) from last year's Gaby Sanchez trade with the Pirates.

Meanwhile, the Marlins are in discussions with their first-round pick, University of North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran, and hope to have a deal worked out "sooner rather than later," according to a source with knowledge of negotiations. The source said the Marlins are confident they can get a deal done before the July 12 deadline with Moran, the sixth overall pick in the June 6 draft.

Dietrich trying to work his way out of a slump

Derek Dietrich ended an 0-for-17 slump at the plate when he crushed a 415-foot solo home to right field in the seventh inning of Tuesday night's 4-2 come-from-behind win over the Twins. 

The Marlins' rookie second baseman is hoping its a sign he's come out of the prolonged slump he's been in over the past three weeks. Since his last two-hit game June 9th against the Mets, Dietrich has gone just 5 for 41 at the plate (.122). He's reached base just three other times (two walks, one error) and struckout 16 times. His batting average is now at .200 through 40 games.

Wednesday, manager Mike Redmond decided to give Dietrich another day off -- his second since Saturday.

"Everybody struggles in this game at one point or another. It's the guys who minimize it that have the most success," Dietrich said Wednesday morning, shortly before the Marlins were set to take the field against the Twins at 12:40 p.m.

"Everybody is going make adjustments and always find a way to get you out a certain amount of time. I've been there before in the minors and in college. The sun always shines after the storm. I feel like if I just stick with it over time I think I know what I can do. The Marlins know what I can do. Just got to keep with it, stay positive and bring excitement and have fun with it each and everyday. The results will come."

Dietrich said he's been thinking too much at the plate and needs to get back feeling relaxed.

Fellow rookie Marcell Ozuna went through a similar slump around the same time as Dietrich, but has hit his way out of it. Dietrich, who celebrated his seventh home run of the season with Ozuna in the Marlins dugout Tuesday, said seeing another young guy snap out of a slump is definitely encouraging.

"I think early on when I was getting on base I was seeing the ball, hitting the ball," he said. "Now, I'm thinking about too much up there what they might do. I just get back to seeing it and hitting it."


> Marlins (26-50): 1. Justin Ruggiano LF, 2. Ed Lucas 2B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Marcell Ozuna CF, 5. Logan Morrison 1B, 6. Placido Polanco 3B, 7. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 8. Jeff Mathis C, 9. Tom Koehler RHP.

> Twins (34-39): 1. Clete Thomas CF, 2. Brian Dozier 2B, 3. Joe Mauer C, 4. Josh Willingham LF, 5. Oswaldo Arcia RF, 6. Trevor Plouffe 3B, 7. Chris Parmalee 1B, 8. Eduardo Escobar SS, 9. Scott Diamond LHP.

June 25, 2013

Ruggiano, scratched from starting lineup Tuesday, says new shoulder injury not as bad last year's

Good news from Marlins home run and RBI leader Justin Ruggiano.

The shoulder he injured diving for a ball in San Francisco over the weekend isn't the same one that caused him to miss the final few weeks of the season and pained him throughout the off-season.

"Last year I couldn't lift my [right] arm up for week and I had rehab all off season," Ruggiano said. "This is minor compared to what happened last year. The bone bruise is what kept me out. This right now is no bone bruise. It's just a strain in the back of rotator cuff or something like that. We all have that as baseball players."

Ruggiano was originally supposed to get the start in left Tuesday against the Twins, but was pulled from the lineup after complaining about shoulder pain. He said he was able to loosen it up enough to tell skipper Mike Redmond he would be available to pinch hit. Ruggiano did in the seventh and struckout swinging.

"Hopefully whatever pain I have right now it goes away," he said. "I'm definitely coming in early tomorrow and trying to get back in that lineup."

> Winning has definitely made the Marlins clubhouse a more fun place.

Redmond, whose team has won 12 of their last 21 games, took some credit for Derek Dietrich's seventh inning home run, which snapped an 0-for-17 stretch at the plate.

"He made a simple adjustment for that at-bat. He couldn't find his elbow guard. I told him don't wear the elbow guard and he hit a home run," Redmond said with a smile on his face. "That's coaching -- you got to have some stuff for these guys."

Nolasco trade rumors continue to pick up steam

We've pretty much known for awhile Ricky Nolasco's future would likely include a ticket out of Miami at some point prior to the July 31st trade deadline. 

Well, his trade rumors continued to pick up steam Tuesday as the Marlins were preparing to open up a quick two-game set with the Twins.

ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted Tuesday the Marlins have been aggressively working to move Nolasco as soon as possible. FoxSports' Ken Rosenthal later reported the most likely destination for Nolasco is the NL West.

But as opposed to Olney's report, Rosenthal writes: "The Marlins are 'kicking around' names in a potential Nolasco trade with clubs, sources say, but their talks have not progressed to the point where a deal is close."


Justin Ruggiano's big day Sunday against the Giants did nothing to buy him more playing time. Juan Pierre is back in left field and at the top of the lineup Tuesday.

> Marlins (25-50): 1. Juan Pierre LF, 2. Ed Lucas 3B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Logan Morrison 1B, 5. Marcell Ozuna CF, 6. Rob Brantly C, 7. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 8. Derek Dietrich 2B, 9. Jose Fernandez RHP.

June 24, 2013

Justin Ruggiano's lopsided home/road home run split

     SAN FRANCISCO -- Justin Ruggiano has hit 11 home runs this season -- but nary a one at Marlins Park.

     Ruggiano has never once this season made that home run contraption kick into gear. Counting last season, when Ruggiano was traded to Miami, he's hit 20 home runs on the road and only four in the not-so-friendly confines (at least for him) of the Marlins' new ballpark.

     But he still has a ways to go to catch Goose Goslin's single-season record for hitting the most home runs exclusively on the road. Goslin hit all 17 of his home runs in 1926 for the Washington Senators elsewhere.

      Here's a look at the top five, home-shy home run hitters courtesy of Stats LLC:

      17 -- Goose Goslin, 1926 Washington

      13 -- Ken Keltner, 1939 Cleveland

      12 -- Sam Mele, 1950 Washington

      12 -- Eddie Yost, 1952 Washington

      12 -- Jose Cruz, 1964 Houston

As you can see from the above chart, Griffith Stadium in D.C. wasn't the easiest place to hit home runs, especially for right-handers. It was 388 feet down the line in left and 421 to center, making it extremely difficult to anything out to left.