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4 posts from September 2016

September 26, 2016

To honor Jose Fernandez, Marlins will wear his No. 16 tonight

     To honor Jose Fernandez, all Marlins players will wear his No. 16 tonight when they face the New York Mets.

     Sources said other tributes to Fernandez, who died early Sunday in a boating accident, were still in the planning stages.

     Fans continued to leave flowers and candles near the main turnstiles as a tribute to the Marlins pitching star.

     Following Sunday's emotional news conference at Marlins Park, players and team officials traveled by bus to offer their condolences to Fernandez's mother and grandmother.

September 17, 2016

Johnny Bench offers Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto some interesting advice

PHILADELPHIA -- When Johnny Bench talks, you listen.

Especially if, like Bench, you’re a catcher from Oklahoma.

“Everybody back home knows who Johnny Bench is,” said Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, who also hails from the Sooner State.

BenchBut even Realmuto was surprised at the novel advice the Hall of Fame catcher gave him when the two met during spring training.

“He told me — which is probably not great advice for everybody — to make sure in batting practice you take at least one round (of swings) and try to hit home runs,” Realmuto said.

Said Bench to Realmuto: “In my opinion, if you don’t practice it, you’re never going to be able to do it. So make sure you take one round and try to go deep, every single pitch, no matter where it’s at. Try to go deep.”

Bench ranks second all-time among catchers with 389 home runs.

Realmuto doesn’t have Bench’s power. But he’s no lightweight, either, with 10 home run each of the past two seasons.

The two catchers compare in other ways, though.

According to STATS LLC, Realmuto became the fifth catcher, along with Bench, to record at least 260 hits, 50 doubles and 20 homers in their first two full seasons in the majors. The others: Benito Santiago, Kenji Johjima and Russell Martin.

“That’s awesome, to be able to categorize with a guy like that,” Realmuto said. “It’s just the first two seasons, and obviously (I have) a long ways to go. But it’s pretty special.”

As for taking Bench’s advice on batting practice, Realmuto wasn’t so sure.

“Yes and no,” Realmuto replied when asked whether he practices what Bench preaches. “ Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. But I thought that was a funny piece of advice, because of the way he thinks. It’s definitely different than most people. It was pretty cool just to chat with him, though.”

-- The Marlins just missed equaling a franchise record in Friday’s 13-inning loss when they used 24 players. The team record of 25 players used in a game was set Sept. 9, 1999, in a 13-inning win over the Dodgers.
-- Over his past seven relief outings, Fernando Rodney has allowed nine earned runs on 12 hits and seven walks in 5 1/3 innings. Rodney had an 0.31 ERA when the Marlins acquired him in their trade with San Diego. With the Marlins, his ERA is 5.97.

September 16, 2016

Miami Marlins need a Hail Mary to reach playoffs

PHILADELPHIA -- The postseason picture is bleak for the Marlins, who are four back in the Wild Card race with 16 games remaining. They have about a two percent chance of pulling it off, according to ESPN calculations. One team executive I spoke with figured the Marlins would have to go 13-3 the rest of the way for there to be any chance of it happening.

The team's best 16-game stretch at any point during the season was a 12-4 run in late April and early May. So, essentially, the Marlins would have to play their best baseball of the season and hope that at least two of the three teams ahead of them in the Wild Card fray -- the Giants, Mets and Cardinals -- finish poorly. That's a lot to hope for.

But it's not impossible. It's not enough for the Marlins to win their five remaining series (two with the Nationals and one each with the Mets, Braves and Phillies). They're going to need to sweep two or three, and one of those must include their three-game set in Miami against the Mets on Sept. 26-28.

While a Wild Card berth is highly unlikely, the team's first winning record since 2009 is still within the realm. The Marlins enter their weekend series against the Phillies with a 73-73 record, and have nine games remaining against teams with winning records. But three of those will come on the final weekend of the season against the first-place Nationals, who have all but clinched the N.L. East and could be resting their stars in preparation for postseason play.

September 05, 2016

Justin Bour close to being activated from the DL

Justin Bour could be on the active roster later today.

After being listed as a reserve on the lineup card for Monday's 1:10 p.m. game against the Phillies, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Bour could be activated by game time or soon after.

Shortly before the game, Mattingly said it was a matter of making room for Bour on the active roster.

"He's looked really good out there taking ground balls and batting practice," Mattingly said. "It's getting to the point where we feel like we want to activate him, and just have him available."

Mattingly said Bour, who hasn't played since July 2 with a high ankle sprain, would be used in a pinch-hitting/reserve role.


Bour hurt his ankle during a game in Atlanta when he stepped on first base awkwardly. He then dealt with further setbacks including an Achilles issue in the weeks that followed.

Bour hit .268 with 15 home runs and 46 RBI in 68 games before the injury.