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22 posts from July 2015

July 30, 2015

Latos, Morse still with Marlins as of Thursday morning, trade rumored to be imminent

Mat Latos and Michael Morse were still in the Marlins clubhouse as the team prepared for its 12:10 p.m. game against the Nationals Thursday afternoon.

But according to reports and tweets by MLB.com, a three-team trade that would send the two players to the Dodgers as part of a three-team trade also involving the Braves could be imminent.

MLB.com is reporting that the proposed deal would send Latos and Morse to the Dodgers, who would also acquire closer Jim Johnson, starting pitcher Alex Wood, infield prospect Jose Peraza and reliever Luis Avilan from the Braves.

The Marlins would get three minor league pitchers Jeff Brigham, Victor Araujo and Kevin Guzman from the Dodgers, who would pick up the remaining $14.3 million in salaries owed to Latos and Morse. The Braves would pick up Cuban infielder Hector Olivera and pitcher Paco Rodriguez from the Dodgers. Atlanta would also receive the Marlins’ Competitive Balance Round A pick in next year’s draft, which is slated at No. 35 overall.

All three prospects the Marlins would get have been playing at the Single-A level this season.

Brigham, a 23-year old, 6-0, 200-pound right-handed pitcher from Washington, is 6-5 with a 5.52 ERA in 14 starts combined at both the Class-A and advanced Class-A level. He had 75 strikeouts in 75 innings and has a 1.97 strikeout to walk ratio.

Guzman, a 20-year old, 6-3, 165-pound Venezuelan righty, is 5-7 this season with a 3.90 ERA in 83 innings pitched.

Araujo, a 22-year old, 5-11, 171-pound Dominican righty, went 3-3 with a 5.40 ERA as a reliever in 32 appearances (50 innings).

“I know about as much as you guys do,” said Latos when speaking briefly to reporters. “I’m just employee No. 35 [jersey number with the Marlins] and I’m showing up to work.”

Latos, 27, is 4-7 with a 4.48 ERA this season. But the Coconut Creek High alum has turned in four consecutive quality starts with at least six innings and three or less runs and has a 2.08 ERA over that span. Latos has a 2.96 ERA over his past seven starts since June 13 when he came off the disabled list (knee inflammation).

Morse, 33, hit just .214 with four homers and 12 RBI in 52 games, and hit .091 in 22 at-bats against lefties this year, with no homers and no RBI. At Marlins Park, Morse hit .149 with no homers, had a .171 on-base percentage and a .176 slugging average. Morse also suffered a sprained right finger injury on May 24, which contributed to his struggles.

July 29, 2015

Miami Marlins agree to trade Mat Latos, Michael Morse to Los Angeles Dodgers for minor-leaguers

The Marlins spent a busy offseason making wholesale changes to a roster many felt could take it to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. Now, with the season up in flames, they are tearing it down almost as quickly as they pieced it together.

The Marlins have agreed to trade pitcher Mat Latos and underperforming first baseman Michael Morse -- two of their most prominent offseason acquisitions -- to the Los Angeles Dodgers for three minor-leaguer players. The Marlins threw in their 2016 Competitive Balance draft pick in a deal that has all the components of a salary dump.

By trading Latos, Morse and reliever Steve Cishek, who was dealt to the Cardinals on Friday, the Marlins effectively cleared $8.7 million in payroll from the books this season, as well as the $8 million Morse is due to make next season. The Dodgers agreed to pick up all his money.

Trading Latos comes as no surprise. As Latos is headed for free agency following the season, he didn't fit in the Marlins' future plans and becomes a two-month rental for the Dodgers. Either did Morse, apparently. Morse, who signed a two-year, $16 million deal in December, struggled at the plate and ultimately lost his job at first base to Justin Bour. Morse hit .214, drove in just 12 runs, and posted a career-low OPS of .592.

Latos made 16 starts, going 4-7 with a 4.48 ERA, though he has pitched better of late.

It marks the third straight year the Marlins have traded their Competitive Balance pick, the only draft picks that can be traded. They used their pick in 2013 to acquire reliever Bryan Morris from Pittsburgh, and packaged it in their deal with Houston at last year's trade deadline to obtain pitcher Jarred Cosart.

The next to go for the Marlins could be Dan Haren. And several teams, including the Indians, are also asking about outfielder Marcell Ozuna. The Marlins have been scouting Cleveland's pitching, just in case. 






July 28, 2015

Henderson Alvarez undergoes shoulder surgery, out for season

Marlins manager Dan Jennings said starter Henderson Alvarez underwent shoulder surgery Tuesday in Pensacola, effectively ending the former All-Star's season.

The 25-year old Alvarez, who pitched a no-hitter in 2013, went 0-4 with a 6.45 ERA this season before going on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Alvarez was shut down during a recent rehab start after again feeling discomfort in the shoulder.

"It's a tear in the shoulder," Jennings said. "He's a definite out for the season candidate now."

Jennings said it was undetermined whether Alvarez would be ready to return by Spring Training.

"I think depending on the severity of the tear and we'll know more of a timetable once the surgery is complete."

Alvarez, the Marlins' Opening Day starter, had not pitched since May 22, and was on a rehab assignment at Single-A Jupiter. He made two minor league starts before being shut down again.

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.