June 2010

Bullpen options for Baltimore

For the Marlins to get back over .500 and into realistic playoff contention, they need to solidify their bullpen.

There are more unanswered questions, even after Josh Johnson’s brilliant eight-inning start on Sunday in a 4-1 win over the Rays.

When Johnson is on the mound, the bullpen pretty much gets a day off. Only closer Leo Nunez was used to polish up the ninth inning for his 15th save in 18 chances.

After the game, the Marlins announced they had designated Jorge Sosa for assignment and optioned Jay Buente to Triple-A New Orleans.

The club has yet to announce which two relievers would be getting called up for their series at Baltimore, which begins on Tuesday.

Burke Badenhop doesn’t appear to be one of them. Badenhop opened the season with the Marlins, but was optioned to Triple-A last month. Jose Veras, who is not on the 40-man roster, also was on the Opening Day roster before being designated for assignment in April.

If the Marlins stay with pitchers on their 40-man roster, there is a candidate to keep an eye on. Jose Ceda, the 23-year-old who was acquired from the Cubs for Kevin Gregg after the 2008 season.

Now, Ceda missed all of 2009 with a shoulder injury. He was in Spring Training this season for a little while with the big league club.

Ceda is working his way back into shape at low Class A Greensboro, where he has thrown eight innings with five strikeouts and one walk. His ERA is 4.50, but three of the four runs he allowed came on June 5.

If Ceda doesn’t get the call as soon as Tuesday, he is a promising hard-thrower who likely will make his big league debut sometime this season. Ceda threw 30 innings at Double-A Tennessee in the Cubs system in 2008.

He remains a possibility to help the bullpen in the near future.

Veras, meanwhile, has appeared in 23 games at New Orleans. He’s struck out 35 and walked 15 in 28 1/3 innings. Veras pitched a scoreless inning on Sunday, striking out three, but walking two.

With Sosa designated for assignment, Veras could be added to the 40-man and active roster for Tuesday, if the team goes with him.

Kris Harvey, at Class A Jupiter, and Brett Sinkbeil, at Triple-A New Orleans, are other right-handed relievers who are on the 40-man roster. They may be in the mix, if not immediately then something this year.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Hanley out of lineup Sunday

Hanley Ramirez tweaked his right hamstring while running out a double in the eighth inning in Saturday night’s 9-8 loss in 11 innings to the Rays at Sun Life Stadium.

Ramirez was out of the starting lineup on Sunday, but he was available to pinch-hit. The All-Star shortstop came in early for treatment.

The Marlins are off on Monday, and there is a chance he can be in the lineup on Tuesday at Baltimore.

Sunday lineup:

1) Chris Coghlan, LF

2) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

3) Dan Uggla, 2B

4) Ronny Paulino, C

5) Cody Ross, CF

6) Wes Helms, 3B

7) Mike Stanton, RF

8) Brian Barden, SS

9) Josh Johnson, P

– Joe Frisaro

 

Perez-Stanton connection

Mike Stanton now has something in common with Hall of Famer Tony Perez.

Stanton belted his first MLB homer on Friday night, and it was a grand slam off Tampa Bay’s Matt Garza.

Perez, a special assistant in the Marlins organization, belted 339 home runs in his career. Like Stanton, Perez’s first home run was a grand slam.

“April 13, 1965 off Denny Lemaster,” Perez said Saturday, remembering the day as if it were yesterday.

Then a 22-year-old, Perez connected at Crosley Field in Cincinnati.

“I never got the ball,” Perez said. “It went to center field, and there was an expressway out there.”

Stanton’s blast came at age 20, and it was in his ninth game. Perez’s slam came in the second game of the 1965 season. A crowd of 4,236 was on hand to see the Reds play the Milwaukee Brewers.

Perez was hitting sixth and playing first base. Among his teammates then were Pete Rose, who played second base, and Frank Robinson was in right field.

The Brewers lineup that day included Joe Torre, Eddie Mathews, Felipe Alou and Sandy Alomar.

Stanton is the sixth Marlin in team history to hit a grand slam for his first MLB homer.

“He’s never going to forget that,” Perez said. “It was his first hit at home. All he has to do is keep playing. He will get better.”

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

Marlins-Rays Saturday lineup

The Marlins took Game 1 on Friday night. Chris Volstad will look to give them the series on Saturday. The Rays counter with Jeff Niemann at Sun Life Stadium.

 

 

logo_tb_79x76.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

1) John Jaso, C

2) Carl Crawford, LF

3) Evan Longoria, 3B

4) Carlos Pena, 1B

5) Ben Zobrist, RF

6) B.J. Upton, CF

7) Reid Brignac, 2B

8) Jason Bartlett, SS

9) Jeff Niemann, P

 

logo_fla_79x76.jpg

 

 

 

 

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) Mike Stanton, RF

8) Ronny Paulino, C

9) Chris Volstad, P

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins look to rebound Friday

After being swept by the Rangers, the Marlins look to snap their three-game losing streak against the Rays on Friday at Sun Life Stadium.

The Marlins took two of three at Tropicana Field last weekend. But in recent years, the Rays have controlled the Citrus Series. Tampa Bay won two of three in Miami last season.

The last time the Marlins won a home series vs. the Rays was in 2006, when they took two of three.

 

 

logo_tb_79x76.jpg

 

 

 

 

1) B.J. Upton, CF

2) Carl Crawford, LF

3) Evan Longoria, 3B

4) Carlos Pena, 1B

5) Ben Zobrist, RF

6) Sean Rodriguez, 2B

7) Kelly Shoppach, C

8) Jason Bartlett, SS

9) Matt Garza, P 

 

logo_fla_79x76.jpg

 

 

 

 

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) Mike Stanton, RF

8) Ronny Paulino, C

9) Nate Robertson, P

– Joe Frisaro

 

Strickland back in big leagues

For the first time since 2005, Scott Strickland is back in the big leagues.

The 34-year-old right-hander officially had his contract selected on Friday, and he now joins a Marlins bullpen looking for consistency.

Strickland was promoted from Triple-A New Orleans, where he appeared in 14 games and was 3-0 with a 1.72 ERA.

Strickland was added to replace Clay Hensley, who was placed on the disabled list with a left neck strain.

The last time Strickland was in the big leagues was with the Astros in 2005, where he appeared in five games.

The right-hander broke in with the Montreal Expos in 1999, and he has appeared in parts of six MLB seasons.

Strickland was a non-roster invitee with the Marlins in Spring Training, and he opened the year in New Orleans.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Pinto designated, Wood recalled

After the Marlins lost 6-3 to the Rangers on Wednesday night, the Marlins designated left-handed reliever Renyel Pinto.

Right-hander Tim Wood has been recalled from Triple-A New Orleans.

Pinto appeared in the ninth inning on Wednesday, and he yielded a home run to Josh Hamilton.

In 20 games this season, Pinto posted a 2.70 ERA with 16 strikeouts and nine walks.

He went on the disabled list on May 27 with a left hip strain, and he was reinstated on Sunday afternoon.

With Pinto designated, Taylor Tankersley is the lone lefty in the bullpen.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins Wednesday lineup

Looking to bounce back from a tough loss on Tuesday night, the Marlins send Anibal Sanchez to the mound on Wednesday against the Rangers at Sun Life Stadium.

 

 

logo_fla_79x76.jpg

 

 

 

 

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) Mike Stanton, RF

8) Ronny Paulino, C

9) Anibal Sanchez, P

 

– Joe Frisaro

 

Season-high eight walks wasted

The pitch that will be remembered is Leo Nunez’s 94 mph fastball that ran back over the plate and Matt Treanor drove to deep center for a two-run triple.

It was the decisive hit in the Rangers’ 3-2 comeback victory over the Marlins on Tuesday night.

leo-nunez-46-2009-mlb-florida-marlins.jpgThe sequence that is being lost in the outcome is the two-out walk to Julio Borbon, setting up Treanor’s game-changing pinch-hit. The Rangers had Josh Hamilton on third in a one-run game. The free pass to Borbon, the Ranger’s eighth hitter, put the potential go-ahead run on base. Treanor’s triple did the rest.

Perhaps Nunez was being more careful with a base open and Borbon being a left-handed hitter. Treanor bats from the right side, so the matchup seemed to favor Nunez. Regardless, the walk resulted in the winning run scoring.

Because Treanor’s hit ultimately decided the outcome, it overshadowed another significant fact on the night.

The Marlins were one out away from securing a victory on a night in which they had just three hits, including a two-run homer from Hanley Ramirez.

Even with a smattering of hits, the Marlins had a number of baserunners, courtesy of the Rangers staff. In all, the Marlins drew a season-high eight walks. Yet, only one of them scored. Setting up Ramirez’s home run in the sixth inning was a walk to Gaby Sanchez.

This season, the Marlins have drawn as many as six walks seven times. They are now 5-2 in those games. The other setback came on June 6 at the Mets, when they collected six walks in a 7-6 loss. On that day, however, the Marlins pitchers also walked six.

Capitalizing on free passes is crucial for any team. During the season, the Marlins offense has had as many as five walks in 17 games, and they are 10-7 in those contests. A reason their result isn’t better is because five times in those games, their own pitchers have walked at least five.

Perhaps if the Marlins had taken care of their free passes on Tuesday, Nunez wouldn’t have had to work with just a one-run lead in the ninth.

– Joe Frisaro

Marlins-Rangers lineups

The Marlins send Josh Johnson to the mound on Tuesday night in the Sun Life Stadium debut of rookie Mike Stanton.

The Rangers are going with C.J. Wilson.

 

 

 

logo_tex_79x76.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

1) Elvis Andrus, SS

2) Michael Young, 3B

3) Ian Kinsler, 2B

4) Vladimir Guerrero, RF

5) Josh Hamilton, LF

6) Justin Smoak, 1B

7) Max Ramirez, C

8) Julio Borbon, CF

9) C.J. Wilson, P

 

logo_fla_79x76.jpg

 

 

 

 

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) Mike Stanton, RF

8) Ronny Paulino, C

9) Josh Johnson, P

– Joe Frisaro

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 98 other followers