September 2009

Marlins sticking with starters

Being officially eliminated from playoff contention doesn’t mean the Marlins won’t be running out their best available lineup.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez, realizing the Braves and Phillies this weekend, will be playing meaningful games. So the Marlins will not rest most of their regulars in their final four games.

“We’re going to try to play it as close as we can,” Gonzalez said.

Now, the Marlins will likely give a player or so a day of rest.

Hanley Ramirez, for instance, likely will be out of the lineup on Friday at Philadelphia. The Marlins are off on Thursday, so that would give the All-Star, who is leading the N.L. in hitting, a two-day breather.

Nick Johnson, who has been nursing the flu since last Friday, took batting practice on Wednesday in Atlanta. The team is hoping Johnson will be  able to start on Friday at Philadelphia.

The rotation against the Phillies will be Rick VandenHurk on Friday, Anibal Sanchez on Saturday and Josh Johnson on Sunday.

Cody Ross’ bruised left wrist is still bothering him. If he can play at Philadelphia, he will, but chances of that happening seem remote.

Gaby Sanchez could get a start at first base in one of the games at Philadelphia.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Taking it easy with Hermida

Since straining his right oblique on Sept. 2, Jeremy Hermida has worked hard to get back into the lineup.

“We’ve treated it aggressively and done all we could,” said the 25-year-old outfielder.

On Wednesday, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said chances are Hermida will not make another start this season. Florida has four games remaining, and Hermida says playing a full game would be troublesome.

However, the left-handed hitting outfielder says he is available to pinch-hit.

“As hard as it is to swallow the truth, [the oblique] just isn’t ready,” Hermida said. “But I can pinch-hit. Anything I can do to help the team, I will do.”

Hermida went 26 days without playing before he had a pinch-hit appearance on Monday at Atlanta. He felt a little sore after that at-bat — a strikeout. The Marlins considered pinch-hitting Hermida on Tuesday night, but his side didn’t feel right.

After the season, Hermida will be heading into his second year of arbitration. With changes expected after the season, speculation is he will not be with the club next year.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins-Braves Wednesday lineups

In their series finale with the Braves on Wednesday, the Marlins are sending Ricky Nolasco to the mound against Javier Vazquez.

Marlins

1) Coghlan, LF

2) Maybin, CF

3) Hanley, SS

4) Cantu, 3B

5) Gload, 1B

6) Uggla, 2B

7) Paulino, C

8) Carroll, RF

9) Nolasco, P

Braves

1) McLouth, CF

2) Prado, 2B

3) Chipper, 3B

4) McCann, C

5) Anderson, LF

6) Escobar, SS

7) LaRoche, 1B

8) Diaz, RF

9) Vazquez, P

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins home attendance increase

A story in USA Today on Wednesday outlined how Major League Baseball overall is experiencing a 6.5 percent drop in attendance, based on numbers obtained through Baseball-reference.com.

The Marlins, however, enjoyed a 9.7 percent increase, averaging 18,075 in 78 dates at Land Shark Stadium. Instead of 81 dates, that number was down three due to three doubleheaders, two caused by rainouts.

The Marlins wrapped up their home schedule on Sunday against the Mets, and the team drew more than 30,000 in its final four home dates.

“Our attendance is up,” Marlins president David Samson said in a recent interview.

If not for rain delays, the team feels the crowds would have been bigger. In all, the Marlins attracted more than 1.4 million fans.

“There is no question, I think it would have been closer to 1.8 [million],” Samson said if not for the weather. “We [were] in the race until the final week. The definition of in the race is when there is no ‘x’ next to our name.”

That Marlins were officially eliminated on Tuesday night.

Other teams to see a dramatic increase in attendance are the Royals (13.9 percent) and Rangers (10.8 percent).

Teams on the decline are the Nationals (22.8 percent), Blue Jays (21.8) and Padres (21.6).

Overall, however, the league projects more than 75.2 million fans, the fourth most in baseball history, according to USA Today.

“Given that we are in the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, it’s stunning,” commissioner Bud Selig told USA Today of still attracting more than 75 million people. “This year is a great testament to the huge popularity of our sport.”

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins-Braves complete lineups

The Marlins look to rebound from Monday’s loss to the Braves on Tuesday night at Turner Field.

Florida has been held without a run for 21 straight innings, dating back to a seven-run fifth inning on Saturday night.

Marlins

1) Coghlan, LF

2) Maybin, CF

3) Hanley, SS

4) Cantu, 3B

5) Gload, 1B

6) Uggla, 2B

7) Baker, C

8) Carroll, RF

9) Johnson, P

Braves

1) McLouth, CF

2) Prado, 2B

3) Jones, 3B

4) McCann, C

5) Anderson, LF

6) Escobar, SS

7) LaRoche, 1B

8) Diaz, RF

9) Hudson, P

– Joe Frisaro

 

J.J. to start

Josh Johnson, skipped from Sunday’s start, will start on Tuesday against the Braves.

Johnson saw the doctor on Monday and the right-hander is dealing with the flu.

Johnson also is expected to start on Sunday at Philadelphia.

– Joe Frisaro

J.!

Marlins-Braves Monday lineup

The Marlins open their three-game set with the Braves on Monday at Turner Field, and Nick Johnson and Cody Ross remain out of the starting lineup.

Johnson is recovering from flu-like symptoms, while Ross is resting a bruised left wrist.

Ross was hit by a John Maine fastball on Saturday night against the Mets, and he is day to day, although it is very possible that he won’t play again this season.

Here’s the lineup for Monday:

1) Coghlan, LF

2) Maybin, CF

3) Hanley, SS

4) Cantu, 3B

5) Gload, 1B

6) Uggla, 2B

7) Baker, C

8) Carroll, RF

9) Sanchez, P

– Joe Frisaro

  

Marlins awards winners

awards1.jpg

                                                                                         Robert Vigon/Florida Marlins

Before Sunday’s home finale, four Marlins players were honored by the South Florida chapter of the BBWAA.

This year’s winners were Wes Helms (Jeff Conine “Mr. Marlin”), Cody Ross (Charlie Hough Good Guy), Chris Coghlan (Rookie) and Hanley Ramirez (MVP).

Ramirez is the team’s MVP for the third straight season.

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

Marlins scratch Josh Johnson

The Marlins have scratched Josh Johnson from his Sunday start, and they will start Chris Volstad in the series finale with the Mets at Land Shark Stadium.

Johnson is dealing with flu-like symptoms, and he was sent home before the game with the Mets.

Johnson will not traveling with the team to Atlanta on Sunday night, and he will be examined by the doctor in South Florida on Monday.

Johnson said he felt the flu coming on Saturday. Several players are stricken by the flu, including first baseman Nick Johnson.

The Marlins are hopeful to start Johnson on Tuesday in Atlanta, and then again next Sunday in the season finale at Philadelphia.

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

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