Recap from Thursday
The opening of their Grapefruit League season was an eventful one for the Marlins.
On a chilly 61-degree afternoon, the Marlins defeated the Nationals, 10-4, at Roger Dean Stadium.
Anibal Sanchez pitched two innings, giving up one run, while throwing 41 pitches. A radar gun reading had the 26-year-old right-hander topping out at 90 mph. For this time of year, before pitchers build up more arm strength, that’s pretty good.
A native of Maracay, Venezuela, Sanchez grew up playing in extremely hot conditions. A typical day would be pitching in 98 or more degree weather.
Thursday’s chilly conditions reminded Sanchez of when he pitched in Portland, Maine, in the Red Sox system in 2005.
“In ’05, I pitched in Portland, Maine,” Sanchez said. “Cold. We made it to the finals, and it was really cold.”
These chilly days may end up helping the Marlins prepare for their first series of the season. Florida opens at the Mets in Citi Field on April 5.
Trip to Port St. Lucie: On Friday, the Marlins face the Mets in Port St. Lucie. Not making the trip will be Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla. Some of the players who are traveling are Chris Coghlan, Jorge Cantu, John Baker, Cameron Maybin, Jorge Jimenez, Matt Dominguez, Bryan Petersen and Mike Stanton.
High on Jimenez: Manager Fredi Gonzalez repeated on Thursday what he’s said for a while, Jimenez could make the club as the regular third baseman, if he surprises in Spring Training. The Rule 5 pickup, was obtained by the Marlins in December to complete the Matt Lindstrom trade to Houston.
If Jimenez shows he can hit, and no winner emerges in the first base competition between Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez, the Marlins may use another option. In that scenario, Cantu would flip back to first base, and Jimenez could go to third.
“Who knows, Jimenez might win the job, we have that kind of flexibility,” Gonzalez said. “Let’s not put it out of the realm of possibility. If he plays well, we could put him at third and Jorge at first. It fits.”
Maybin’s area for improvement: Asked to rate Cameron Maybin’s defense, Gonzalez said: “Average.”
Noting that Maybin is not a finished product, Gonzalez says the 22-year-old needs more work on his throwing and getting better reads on fly balls.
“Right now, his breaks on balls, he catches up because of his speed,” Gonzalez said. “You want him to be able to read balls, and then the speed is there. For example, [Brett] Carroll and Cody Ross not as fast as Maybin, but they’re pretty fundamentally sound, and they get [good] breaks and reads on balls.”
Odds and ends: Donnie Murphy had two hits and four RBIs in Thursday’s win. Bryan Petersen went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored. The Marlins were held hitless through three innings before Petersen opened the fourth with a homer. … During his start against the Miami Hurricanes on Wednesday, Ricky Nolasco’s fastball reached 91 mph. He mainly in the 88-90 range, normal for now. … Outfield prospect Jai Miller is someone to keep an eye on as Spring Training progresses. He has upside and terrific athletic ability.
– Joe Frisaro