« May 2016 | Main | July 2016 »

3 posts from June 2016

June 30, 2016

Miami Marlins acquire veteran closer Fernando Rodney in trade with San Diego Padres

ATLANTA -- The Marlins aren't waiting for July to roll around to upgrade their pitching staff. The team announced Thursday that it has acquired veteran right-handed reliever Fernando Rodney from San Diego for Single A pitcher Chris Paddack.

The 39-year-old Rodney has been sensational this season for the Padres. Rodney boasts a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances for the Padres. He has 17 saves.

Rodney would strengthen the back end of the Marlins bullpen, adding to a mix that includes A.J. Ramos, Kyle Barraclough and David Phelps. Over his 14-year major league career, Rodney has gone 37-56 with a 3.58 ERA in 728 relief appearances. He led the majors with 48 saves in 2014 when he was with Seattle.

Yet to be determined is what the addition of Rodney would do to Ramos, who has converted all 24 save opportunities this season. But Rodney has closed most of his career, and Ramos would most likely move into a set-up role who can also spot-close if needed.

Rodney would be a relatively low-cost upgrade in terms of payroll. The Marlins would pick up the pro-rated portion of his 2016 salary of $1.6 million and a team option for $2 million should they decide to keep him next season.

Paddack has been lights out at Single A Greensboro, going 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA. He has struck out 48 batters in 28 1/3 innings. He was the Marlins' 8th-round draft pick in 2015. Paddack has been just about un-hittable, giving up just nine hits to go with a pair of walks. He hasn't allowed a hit over his past three starts (15 innings) for Greensboro.

The Marlins are continuing to shop for starting pitching, as well. One name that can now be crossed off the list is Bud Norris. Atlanta traded him to the Dodgers on Thursday.

June 19, 2016

Marlins send struggling Nicolino to Triple-A; promote RHP Paul Clemens

Justin Nicolino will not start Monday's series finale against the Rockies.

The Marlins announced Sunday morning they optioned the struggling Nicolino, who is 2-4 this season with a 5.17 ERA, to Triple-A New Orleans and selected RHP Paul Clemens.

Clemens will make his season debut Monday in Nicolino's previously scheduled rotation spot when the Marlins face the Rockies at 7:10 p.m. at Marlins Park.

Clemens made 14 starts for New Orleans and went 6-4 with a 4.30 ERA, compiling 66 strikeouts and 25 walks.

"It's exciting to come up especially as a starter," Clemens said. "I'm still working on some things, but I feel like I'm getting better every day. I'm really happy where I'm at with three of my pitches right now."

Nicolino opened the season at Triple-A, but was called up on April 27 after Jarred Cosart was sent down to the minors. Nicolino won his first two starts including a stellar outing in Los Angeles in which he pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings and allowed only two hits.

But Nicolino had struggled with his command over the past month and had not won a decision since May 3 and had compiled a 6.44 ERA in his past seven starts.

"I think you find out a lot about who you are when you struggle and I think this is a true testament to that," Nicolino said on Saturday. "The biggest thing right now for me is getting back to executing pitches and trying not to look too much into it. I talked to a couple of the veteran guys and I think I just have to get back to the basics."

Clemens, 28, was originally drafted by the Braves in 2008 and made his major league debut in 2013 for the Astros. That season, Clemens started five games and made 30 appearances out of the bullpen, compiling a 4-7 record with a 5.40 ERA in 73 1/3 innings. The following season, he pitched 24 2/3 innings in relief and posted a 5.84 ERA.

After stints in the minor leagues with the Phillies and Royals, Clemens signed a minor-league contract with the Marlins this past November.


June 13, 2016

Sensing growing frustration with Stanton, Mattingly sits the slumping slugger

SAN DIEGO -- Giancarlo Stanton has always savored trips to southern California, the region where he grew up. But as the Marlins prepared to open a three-game series against the Padres on Monday, Stanton's name wasn't in the lineup. Manager Don Mattingly benched the slumping slugger for Monday's game, and left open the possibility that it might not be the last time.

"I think 'G' is really frustrated with the way things are going and I just don't want that to boil over into worse," Mattingly said. "So we'll give him a day (off) here, he'll play (Tuesday), and we'll talk about the last day when we get there. But I'm really trying to get him rested, where he can work without having to get out there as much, to try to get him back on track."

Stanton is mired in an 11-for-98 slump and hitting just .192 overall on the season.

"I think he's frustrated," Mattingly said. "I'm sure he'd admit he's frustrated. So we're trying to ease him and get him back on track."

Mattingly said that Stanton is mostly over a side injury that forced him to the sidelines recently, but that the injury likely contributed to his slump.

"For him, it's been a little bit of a balance because of the side (injury)," Mattingly said. "When he first came back he couldn't take all the swings he wanted and still keep playing. He had to balance that a little bit. I don't know if he's completely over it. But he seems to feel he's on the other side of it. It's better than it's probably been."

Benching Stanton afforded Mattingly the opportunity to start Ichiro Suzuki, who is enjoying a renaissance at age 42 as he takes aim on 3,000 hits. Suzuki didn't start any of the three games in Arizona, but is hitting .336. He needs 26 more hits to reach 3,000 for his major league career and, when combining his hit totals in Japan before coming to the U.S., is four hits shy of Pete Rose's career mark of 4,256.

"I have to admit that getting him in there is enticing right now because of what he's been able to bring to the table for us," Mattingly said of Suzuki. "To have Ichy right there, to give us that leadoff guy -- he can hopefully spark us -- is a good feeling to have."