Gearing up for games

Game action will get underway at Roger Dean Stadium on Wednesday when the Marlins face the University of Miami.

On Monday, the Marlins got a feel for playing in the big stadium.

During morning workouts, players went through infield and outfield drills, as well as live batting practice.

anibal1a.JPGMostly the regulars were on the main field, while the rest of the 63 in big league camp were on the back fields of the complex in Jupiter, Fla.

On the big field, Anibal Sanchez threw live BP to a group that included Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla and Jorge Cantu.

Looking sharp, Sanchez threw about 30 pitches. One of them jammed Hanley, who stung his right hand on a swing. After shaking it off, Ramirez resumed hitting.

Hayden Penn and Brian Sanches also threw off the mound at Roger Dean Stadium. One close call occurred when Sanches accidentally brushed Cantu back. The two jokingly talked to each other, and later gave each other a big hug.

During practice, catcher John Baker was wearing a microphone for MLB Productions, which had a crew at the workouts. The footage being taken will air at a later date, with some of it mixed into MLB Network reports.

Being miked prompted Baker to receive his share of jokes from his teammates.

“I really do cherish the relationship I have with these players,” Baker said. “It’s a lot of fun to sometimes get a hard time because you’re wearing a microphone.”

When games begin, the Marlins plan on playing by N.L. rules. So they will let their pitchers hit in all Spring Training games except for when they are the visiting team in A.L. parks. Then they will use the designated hitter.

anibal2a.JPG“The pitchers will hit,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “We’re going to play National League rules. I’m just worrying about our own guys.”

If another team wants to use the DH at Roger Dean Stadium, Gonzalez says they can do so.

On Tuesday, the Marlins will have a lighter day of workouts before they start playing games on Wednesday.

“Let’s get the games going,” Gonzalez said. “After four or five days of pitchers batting practice, you’re looking forward to games. I think the hitters are itching to get going, and so are the pitchers.”

The University of Miami will be hitting with metal bats. Gonzalez said he’s sure some Marlins will want to hit with the metal bats in batting practice, to see how far the ball travels.

Ricky Nolasco will start for the Marlins against UM. Nolasco last faced hitters with metal bats when he was in high school.

When Miguel Cabrera was with the Marlins a few years ago, Gonzalez recalls the slugger taking BP with a metal bat. Some of the balls, traveled on top of the Marlins office building, located behind the left field wall.

— Joe Frisaro


1 Comment

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