August 2010

Marlins-Mets lineups for Thursday

The Marlins rebounding from a loss on Tuesday to hold on for a win on Wednesday. Now they are in position to claim their series with the Mets at Citi Field on Thursday.

 Anibal Sanchez draws the pitching assignment against New York lefty Jonathon Niese.

The Marlins hold the season series edge, 9-6. The NL East rivals will meet again at Sun Life Stadium for two games on Sept. 21-22.

Hanley Ramirez, sporting his dyed red hair, will be batting third.

Here are the lineups:


1) Cameron Maybin, CF

2) Logan Morrison, LF

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Dan Uggla, 2B

5) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

6) Mike Stanton, RF

7) Wes Helms, 3B

8) Brett Hayes, C

9) Anibal Sanchez, P


1) Jose Reyes, SS

2) Angel Pagan, LF

3) Carlos Beltran, CF

4) David Wright, 3B

5) Ike Davis, 1B

6) Jeff Francoeur, RF

7) Josh Thole, C

8) Luis Castillo, 2B

9) Jonathan Niese, P

— Joe Frisaro


Nolasco likely for Saturday

After completing a series of fielding and running drills on Thursday, Ricky Nolasco said he expected to return to the Marlins rotation on Saturday at Atlanta.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez agreed.

The last hurdle before the team officially announces their intentions is to see if Nolasco has any swelling in his right knee on Friday.

Nolasco has a torn medial meniscus in his knee. Once the condition was detected last Saturday, Nolasco was scratched from his scheduled Sunday (Aug. 22) start at home against the Astros.

If he is ready for Saturday, it means he will miss just one start.

Nolasco is 14-8 with a 4.22 ERA.

Rodriguez said the team will monitor him closely, but that Nolasco would not be on a pitch count limit. Because the Marlins are unsure how long Nolasco will be able to pitch, Andrew Miller is being held as a backup option to throw multiple innings on Saturday.

If possible, Nolasco would like to stay in the rotation for the rest of the season. But he noted if he had any setbacks, he will shut things down.

After talking about his situation with three or four doctors, Nolasco said he became more encouraged that he could pitch through the ailment.

Nolasco added that he may have been pitching with the tear without even noticing it. He anticipates having surgery after the season. Recovery time for the procedure is three to four weeks.   

— Joe Frisaro



Hanley back hitting third

Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez talked about it a day ago. The switch became official on Wednesday.

The Marlins shuffled their lineup against the Mets, sliding Hanley Ramirez down to the No. 3 spot in the lineup for the first time since July 27.

Cameron Maybin moved to the leadoff spot in the second game of the Marlins’ series with New York.

Rodriguez wanted Ramirez hitting third because he feels the slugger is better suited to drive in runs. Often as a leadoff batter, he his hitting with no one on base.

Ramirez also sported a new look on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, he colored his hair. He was trying to change it to blonde, but instead it turned red.

The Marlins lineup for Wednesday is: Cameron Maybin (CF), Logan Morrison (LF), Hanley Ramirez (SS), Dan Uggla (2B), Gaby Sanchez (1B), Mike Stanton (RF), Wes Helms (3B), Brett Hayes (C), Alex Sanabia (P).

— Joe Frisaro


Will Hanley return to hitting third?

When Chris Coghlan went on the disabled list with a torn meniscus in his left knee, Hanley Ramirez moved from batting third to leading off.

Now that Cameron Maybin has rejoined the team, Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez is considering getting Ramirez back to the third spot in the lineup.

If all goes well, it could occur this week. The key, Rodriguez says, is Maybin.

Brought up from Triple-A New Orleans now that Cody Ross is with the Giants, Maybin batted seventh on Tuesday at New York.

If Maybin makes consistent contact, look for him to eventually slide to the leadoff spot.

Rodriguez feels Ramirez is best suited to bat third, ahead of Dan Uggla.

The possible lineup by the end of the week could be Maybin (CF), Logan Morrison (LF), Hanley Ramirez (SS), Dan Uggla (2B), Mike Stanton (RF), Gaby Sanchez (1B), Wes Helms (3B), Brett Hayes (C) and then the pitcher.

— Joe Frisaro


Marlins lineup for Tuesday

The Marlins and Mets open a three-game series at the Mets beginning on Tuesday night. Josh Johnson will make the start, seeking his 12th win.

Cameron Maybin is batting seventh, filling in at center field now that Cody Ross has moved on to the Giants.







1) Hanley Ramirez,SS

2) Logan Morrison, LF

3) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

4) Dan Uggla, 2B

5) Mike Stanton, RF

6) Wes Helms, 3B

7) Cameron Maybin, CF

8) Brett Hayes, C

9) Josh Johnson, P

— Joe Frisaro




Business part of the game

Make no mistake, if the Marlins were in serious playoff contention Cody Ross would still be with the club.

Actually, holding onto hope is the main reason why the club didn’t receive any player compensation in return for one of the most popular Marlins in recent years.

Ross was rewarded to the Giants on a waiver claim after Florida lost 2-1 to the Astros on Sunday afternoon.

A few days ago the Giants placed a waiver claim on Ross.

The Marlins had until Monday to decide what to do. One option was to pull him back and retain him for the rest of the season. Another was to work out a trade with San Francisco. Lastly, Sunday’s scenario transpired. That was the Marlins simply said the Giants could have him, meaning they take on the remainder of his $4.45 million salary without giving up a player in return.

What San Francisco essentially did was take on the final $1 million or so left on Ross’ contract.

In the meantime, the Marlins will recall outfielder Cameron Maybin from Triple-A New Orleans on Tuesday when they open a three-game series with the Mets at Citi Field.

Maybin will get plenty of chances to see if he will be their center fielder of the future. Emilio Bonifacio also promises to see more playing time in the final few weeks.

So why weren’t the Marlins able to receive any player compensation for one of their most respected players on and off the field in recent history?

Bottom line is, the team was hoping to make a better playoff push rather than explore trade avenues for Ross. The best chance to get value in return would have been before the July 31 deadline. Not in late August. 

In late July, many teams called, including the Red Sox and Braves, but the Marlins viewed Ross as a valuable player to make a second half push. So in the days and hours leading up to the non-waiver deadline, the Marlins made it clear it wanted to retain its regulars rather than move them.

Trades can still be made before Aug. 31, but the process is more difficult because potential deals must go through the waiver process.

Had Ross cleared waivers, the Marlins would have had a better chance to work out a trade with any interested team. By the Giants putting in their claim meant, and getting dibbs on him, meant the Marlins had to negotiate exclusively with them.

The Marlins could have pulled Ross back off waivers, and kept him for the rest of the season. Then they could have explored a trade in the offseason.

Why that didn’t happen is because the team didn’t view Ross as part of their plans for 2011. So they wanted to get a look at Maybin over these final weeks. By doing so, they cut ties with Ross.

It was a painful and emotional decision since he is such a popular player who has a history of productivity. The Marlins haven’t had such a fun-loving, universally liked player since Kevin Millar. Like Ross, Millar also was a fan favorite. 

With Ross, cost also was becoming a factor. In the arbitration system, the 29-year-old was in line to see his salary rise to about $6 million in 2011.

The Marlins are in the process of trying to sign Dan Uggla and Ricky Nolasco to long-term contracts. So they are being careful with their dollars.

Ross, who is deserving of his raises, basically priced himself out of Florida.

— Joe Frisaro





Ross awarded to Giants

Cody Ross, a fan favorite and one of the Marlins’ steadiest players since 2006, has been awarded to the Giants on a waiver claim.

The Marlins announced the transaction after losing 2-1 on Sunday to the Astros at Sun Life Stadium.

The 29-year-old opened the season as the starting right fielder, but he was switched to center field after Cameron Maybin struggled early.

Maybin will be recalled from Triple-A on Tuesday and assume the center field spot when the Marlins open a three-game set with the Mets at Citi Field.

In February, Ross won his arbitration hearing with the Marlins, and he is earning $4.45 million this year, instead of the $4.2 million Florida offered. The Giants will assume about $1 million of the remainder of Ross’ contract.

A few days ago, it became public that the Giants had claimed Ross on waivers. The move was seen to block the Marlins from working out a possible trade with the Padres.

The Marlins had until Monday to decide whether to work out a trade, or pull him off waivers or to award him to the Giants.

Ross had two hits in Sunday’s loss, and is batting .265 with 11 homers and 58 RBIs.

Because he is in line to make about $6 million in 2011, his final arbitration year, he wasn’t part of the team’s plans. The Marlins considered trading Ross before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but kept him in hopes of making a playoff push.

The Marlins record now is 62-61, and they face an uphill climb to seriously be in the race.

The Marlins now will get a longer look at Maybin, who appeared in 51 games for Florida and was batting .225.

The 23-year-old Maybin is batting .338 with New Orleans with four homers and 23 RBIs.

Moving Ross also should free up more playing time for Emilio Bonifacio, who also can play center field.

— Joe Frisaro


Nolasco has torn medial meniscus

Ricky Nolasco has been scratched from his start on Sunday with a torn medial meniscus in his right knee.

Andrew Miller will get the start in his place in the series finale with the Astros.

As of now, Nolasco isn’t going on the disabled list. The team will see if he will miss just one start.

“We’re going to wait and see, he’s going to miss one start,” manager Edwin Rodriguez told reporters after the game.

There is a chance he could go on the disabled list.

Best case scenario is Nolasco will miss one start and be ready to go on Saturday at Atlanta.

The right-hander is 14-8 with a 4.22 ERA.

In his last start, a win on Aug. 17 at Pittsburgh, Nolasco threw six-plus scoreless innings. In that game, he did some running on the bases as he had an RBI double and a run-scoring single.

Recently, Chris Coghlan underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

The medial meniscus is inside the knee. Players commonly have played through the injury, which is to cartilage in the knee.

Miller recently was called up to add a second lefty to the bullpen. The 25-year-old last started in the big leagues on July 19, 2009 against the Phillies.

— Joe Frisaro

Nolasco likely to be scratched

Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco likely will be scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday against the Astros.

Nolasco is being tested to see if he has a torn meniscus in his right knee. Details remain sketchy at this point.

With a 14-8 record and a 4.22 ERA, Nolasco paces the Marlins in victories. He has made 25 starts, and he’s thrown 155 2/3 innings.

Nolasco is 9-2 since June 23.

790 The Ticket’s Josh Friedman reported Nolasco has a torn meniscus and he could be out for the season. There has been no official word yet on Nolasco’s status.

— Joe Frisaro


Nolasco has that winning edge

Ricky Nolasco once again is getting better as the season progresses.

The Marlins right-hander improved to 14-8 with a win over the Pirates on Tuesday night at PNC Park.

nolasco1.JPGOver his last 11 starts, he is 9-2 with a 3.45 ERA. And since June 23, when his hot streak started, his nine wins are the most in the National League, ahead of Roy Halladay and Tim Hudson, who each have seven.

Winning is a trait Nolasco has shown throughout his professional career. Groomed in the Cubs’ system, Nolasco has a career Minor League record of 37-18.

The 27-year-old is steadily moving up the Marlins ladder for victories. With 54 wins, the right-hander ranks second only to Dontrelle Willis’ 68.

Since breaking in with the Marlins in 2006, Nolasco has the 11th most wins among National League pitchers. Derek Lowe has an NL most of 68 in that span.

Nolasco has a career 54-38 record, which compares favorably to the pitcher just ahead of him. Cole Hamels is 55-43 since 2006 and he has the 10th most wins since 2006. Consider, Matt Cain has a 51-59 record in those seasons, and Cain is tied for the 13th most victories.

In his second season of arbitration, Nolasco would be eligible for free agency after the 2011 season.

He might not reach that point because the Marlins have expressed interest in signing Nolasco to a multi-year contract. Currently, the lines of communication are open between the club and the pitcher, but they are very preliminary.

Retaining Nolasco has been a priority for a while. In fact, after the Marlins signed Josh Johnson to a four-year deal in January, the team expressed to Nolasco that they were open to a long-term contract.

— Joe Frisaro