June 2010

Marlins lineup for Wednesday

The Marlins look for the sweep on Wednesday afternoon when they face the Mets at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mike Pelfrey takes the mound for New York, with Florida going with Chris Volstad.

 

 

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1) Chris Coghlan, LF

2) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Jorge Cantu, 3B

5) Dan Uggla, 2B

6) Cody Ross, CF

7) Ronny Paulino, C

8) Mike Stanton, RF

9) Chris Volstad, P

 

– Joe Frisaro

 

Continuity after a confusing week

A constant in an otherwise confusing week was the Marlins determination to “find the right guy” to be the next manager.

Some clarity came on Tuesday, one day shy of a week that Fredi Gonzalez was dismissed.

Ending six franctic days of speculation and plot twists, team owner Jeffrey Loria told the team minutes before taking the field on Tuesday that Edwin Rodriguez would manage the club for the remainder of the season.

At that point, the owner will re-evaluate which direction to go. The timing of the decision was crucial because the clubhouse was wondering what would happen next.

“Continuity is important, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Loria said.

To the players credit, they stayed as focused as possible under otherwise trying circumstances.

To Rodriguez’s credit, he handled his interim status with class and dignity. Never did he speak about what was in his best interests. He talked about how it would be fair foremost for the players to know who they will be answering to. Now they know.

What this means for the big picture — the future of the franchise — we’ll have to wait and see.

Still unanswered is what went wrong in the negotiations with Bobby Valentine. The frontrunner when Gonzalez was let go, all signs pointed to Valentine taking over until late Sunday night.

When Loria announced Rodriguez was staying on, he said he didn’t want to go into details of anything else. So the team isn’t saying what happened.

Indications are there was a difference in philosophy, perhaps with Valentine wanting more say in personnel moves. The Marlins remain a low-payroll roster, and the team has a number of young players, like Mike Stanton, who are adjusting to the big leagues.

Typically, high-profile managers are brought in with the expectation to win now. Whether it’s Pat Riley or Bill Parcells or Phil Jackson, they are looking to win championships, not rebuild.

Bobby Valentine would have been a Pat Riley or Bill Parcells type presence in South Florida. He would have been the Marlins’ answer to Joe Torre.

Those types of people aren’t stepping into seven-year projects. They are there to help a team reach a championship, sooner rather than later.

Perhaps after the season, Valentine will be re-visited. By then, though, he may entertain other possibilities.

Bo Porter also interviewed for the job, and he was impressive. Now Arizona’s third base coach, Porter was a strong candidate after a very good interview last Friday. Had the Marlins gone with Porter, it likely would have been a sign that they would get younger again.

Also the outfield coach, Porter would have been viewed as someone to work with Stanton, Cameron Maybin, and perhaps Logan Morrison, when he eventually is promoted from Triple-A. Porter has familiarity in the clubhouse because he was on the Marlins staff from 2007-09. The organization likes his energy and passion.

As part of the staff shakeup, outfield coach Dave Collins stepped down last Saturday. Collins was very popular. Porter would have been a familiar voice as a replacement.

By staying with Rodriguez, the organization has more time to weigh the situation without making any hasty decisions. The players also have a building connection with Rodriguez, whom many played for in the Minor Leagues.

For the rest of the year, the Marlins players and staff can focus on playing baseball. The team has work to do if they want to get back into the race. They are three-games under .500, and the July 31 trade deadline is approaching. So more changes can be made — this time in terms of player movement — if the club falls completely out of the race.

Now with the cloud of uncertainty lifted, the current staff and set of players have been given a chance to seize the opportunity.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Mets-Marlins Tuesday lineups

With a win on Tuesday, the Marlins would claim the series against the Mets.

The Marlins send Nate Robertson to the mound, while the Mets counter with Hisanori Takahashi at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


 
hirambithorn.jpgMETS:

1) Jose Reyes, SS

2) Angel Pagan, CF

3) David Wright, 3B

4) Jason Bay, LF

5) Rod Barajas, C

6) Fernando Tatis, 3B

7) Jeff Francoeur, RF

8) Ruben Tejada, 2B

9) Hisanori Takahashi, P

 

MARLINS:

1) Chris Coghlan, LF

2) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Jorge Cantu, 3B

5) Dan Uggla, 2B

6) Cody Ross CF

7) Ronny Paulino, C

8) Mike Stanton, RF

9) Nate Robertson, P

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

Porter new frontrunner?

If the Marlins indeed are turning their search away from Bobby Valentine, the new frontrunner may be Bo Porter.

Porter, now Arizona’s third base coach, interviewed for the Florida job last Saturday. From 2007-09, he was the Marlins third base/outfield coach.

Jon Heyman of SI.com reported late Monday that the Marlins are seriously considering Porter.  There are strong indications that the team is internally is giving the prospect strong consideration.

Porter is looked upon as a candidate who will bring energy to the job. He was respected by the players in his three seasons as a coach, and he has a little more seasoning coaching at the big league level than Edwin Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was named interim manager when Fredi Gonzalez was dismissed on June 23. The first Puerto Rican-born manager in MLB history, Rodriguez has been well received in Puerto Rico where the Marlins are facing the Mets in a three-game series in San Juan.

Rodriguez interviewed for the job on Saturday, and he remains in the mix. The process has no time line, but Porter may have the inside edge, if the field is down to Porter and Rodriguez, who previously was the Triple-A New Orleans manager.

Talks between the Marlins and Valentine broke down on Sunday, and it is unclear if there is any chance of both sides getting together. In the meantime, Porter is definitely a strong candidate for the full-time job.

The organization has had no comment on the managerial search.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins-Mets lineups Monday

The Marlins and Mets open a three-game series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Monday.

New York sends R.A. Dickey to the mound. The Marlins are going with Ricky Nolasco.

 

 

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1) Jose Reyes, SS

2) Jesus Feliciano, CF

3) David Wright, 3B

4) Ike Davis, 1B

5) Jason Bay, LF

6) Jeff Francoeur, RF

7) Henry Blanco, C

8) Ruben Tejada, 2B

9) R.A. Dickey, P

 

 

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1) Chris Coghlan, LF

2) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Jorge Cantu, 3B

5) Dan Uggla, 2B

6) Cody Ross, CF

7) Ronny Paulino, C

8) Mike Stanton, RF

9) Ricky Nolasco, P

 

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

Houser designated, Veras selected

Once again, the Marlins bullpen is back to having one lefty.

Left-hander James Houser was designated for assignment on Friday afternoon, one day after he made his Major League debut in Baltimore.

Houser threw 1 1/3 innings, giving up three runs with one hit batter, one walk and one strikeout. He yielded a home run to Miguel Tejada.

The Marlins had promoted Houser from Triple-A New Orleans on Tuesday.

Replacing Houser is right-handed reliever Jose Veras, who had his contract selected from New Orleans on Friday.

Veras rejoins the Marlins for the second time this season. The veteran right-hander was a non-roster invitee in Spring Training, and he was on Florida’s Opening Day roster. However, he appeared in four games, and gave up eight runs in 4 2/3 innings with four walks and six strikeouts.

Veras appeared in 24 games at New Orleans, and he was 1-1 with a 4.60 ERA. In 29 1/3 innings, he struck out 37 and walked 15.

Taylor Tankersley is the lone lefty in Florida’s bullpen.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins look for sweep

The Marlins take the field on Thursday night looking to complete a three-game sweep of the Orioles. If they can pull it off, they will even their record at .500 for the first time since they were 28-28 on June 4.

 

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1) Chris Coghlan, LF

2) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Jorge Cantu, DH

5) Dan Uggla, 2B

6) Cody Ross, CF

7) Mike Stanton, RF

8) Wes Helms, 3B

9) Ronny Paulino, C

Nate Robertson, P

 

 

 

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1) Julio Lugo, 2B

2) Miguel Tejada, 3B

3) Nick Markakis, RF

4) Ty Wigginton, 1B

5) Luke Scott, LF

6) Adam Jones, CF

7) Jake Fox, DH

8) Craig Tatum, C

9) Cesar Izturis, SS

Kevin Millwood, P

– Joe Frisaro

 

Price of relief help costly

For the Marlins to seriously contend, they must solidify their bullpen.

This is no mystery. The fans know it. Opposing scouts observing the club on a daily basis know it. Most importantly management knows it, and they are trying to address it.

Morrison.jpgThe problem they are running into is cost. Not so much the salary of the player they are looking at, but the asking price in return.

Whenever the Marlins inquire about a player, the player teams bring up is Logan Morrison, the 22-year-old left-handed hitting first baseman, who has also been playing some corner outfield.

Make no mistake, the front office is seriously exploring what is on the market. The fact that no trade has been made hasn’t been for lack of effort trying. The team just isn’t willing to part with Morrison for a quick fix.

Morrison is on a roll at Triple-A New Orleans, where he is batting .325 with four home runs, 27 RBIs and a .951 OPS.

Before the season, Morrison was ranked as the 25th on Jonathan Mayo’s Top Five MLB prospect list, which was released on the MLB Network. A couple of days ago, he was added to the USA squad in the Futures Game.

Morrison is close to being an untouchable name on the trade market. A year ago, the Marlins ran into similiar problems when exploring the trade market. Teams were asking for Mike Stanton in return, and the Marlins weren’t willing to part with the slugger.

Another factor is the Marlins are still one game under .500, and they have to ask if they are in serious playoff contention.

By making their managerial change on Wednesday, dismissing Fredi Gonzalez, the front office made it clear they are hoping to get themselves back into the race this year. But is it too late? Or the bigger question in exploring a trade is, do you risk moving a prospect or two in a season that may not be worth making that investment?

So for now, the club seems prepared to stay the course, and go with what they have. If by the All-Star Break, they are five or so games above .500, and tracking like they can compete, then the front office may become more willing to part with a piece of their future to win in the present.

The one name they don’t want to part with, however, is Logan Morrison.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Hanley back in lineup Tuesday

A couple of days off, and Hanley Ramirez is good to go.

Ramirez was back in the starting lineup at shortstop in the Marlins series opener with the Orioles on Tuesday night at Camden Yards.

Ramirez experienced tightness in his right hamstring in the eighth inning on Saturday. He was given off on Sunday, and the Marlins were off on Monday.

 

 

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1) Chris Coghlan, LF

2) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Jorge Cantu, DH

5) Dan Uggla, 2B

6) Cody Ross, CF

7) Mike Stanton, RF

8) Wes Helms, 3B

9) Ronny Paulino, C

Anibal Sanchez, P

 

 

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1) Corey Patterson, LF

2) Miguel Tejada, 3B

3) Nick Markakis, RF

4) Ty Wigginton, 1B

5) Luke Scott, DH

6) Adam Jones, CF

7) Matt Wieters, C

8) Scott Moore, 2B

9) Cesar Izturis, SS

Jeremy Guthrie, P

 

– Joe Frisaro

 

Two relievers joining squad

The revolving door continues to spin.

Once again, the Marlins have dipped into their Minor League system in hopes of finding consistent relief help.

While no official announcement has been made, left-hander James Houser will have his contract selected on Tuesday from Triple-A New Orleans. And right-hander Alex Sanabia also had his contract selected, but from Double-A Jacksonville.

Once these two are added to the 40-man roster, the Marlins will have to make one corresponding roster move. Currently the roster is at 39 after Jorge Sosa was designated for assignment following Sunday’s 4-1 win over the Rays.

Also on Sunday, Jay Buente was optioned to Triple-A.

The Marlins have already used 15 different relievers this season. Also, for one game, Nate Robertson — who was skipped a start because of the way a day off fell — threw 5 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.

Foremost, the Marlins are looking for relievers to throw strikes. The team suffered an agonizing 9-8 loss to the Rays in 11 innings on Saturday. Six separate relievers combined to walk 11 batters.

Sanabia, picked in the 32nd round in 2006, has enjoyed a strong season at Jacksonville. The right-hander was a starter. In 14 outings, he wsa 5-1 with a 2.03 ERA, including 65 strikeouts to 16 walks in 84 1/3 innings.

Sanabia projects to be used in long relief. The feeling is he has the makings of a solid fourth or fifth starter in the big leagues. For now, he will be asked to help out in either long relief or in certain situations.

Houser, meanwhile, is a 25-year-old lefty from Sarasota, Fla. He was signed as a Minor League free agent last November.

In 11 games at New Orleans, he struck out 11 and walked four in 19 1/3 innings.

Like Sanabia, Houser can throw multiple innings. He joins Taylor Tankersley as a lefty in the bullpen.

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

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