October 2010

Nolasco contract update

The Marlins continue to have interest in signing Ricky Nolasco long-term, but at this point, the right-hander’s agent, Matt Sosnick, has been doing his pre-work on a one-year deal.

Sosnick on Thursday appeared on the Diamond Hoggers’ Baseball Show and he shed some light on the contract talks.

Sosnick said the sides have agreed on the number of years, but are “about 20 percent” off on the salary. Sosnick anticipates talks to pick up again in November or December.

On Friday, Sosnick responded to MLB.com that he hadn’t talked with the Marlins in “almost two months.”

The number of years the sides were talking about over the summer was three.

Nolasco earned $3.8 million in 2010, and he has two more seasons left of arbitration, if a multi-year contract isn’t reached. So the right-hander won’t have the necessary service time to be a free agent until after the 2012 season.

If the sides don’t agree on a minimum of three years, there is a strong chance the Marlins will sign Nolasco for separate contracts for 2011 and 2012, which will be the organization’s first season in their retractable-roof ballpark.

– Joe Frisaro

Managerial movement picking up

Vacancies are starting to be filled, and some of the decisions may factor into who is named the Marlins next manager.

For instance, the Cubs on Tuesday announced that they have hired Mike Quade over Ryne Sandberg.

The move also means that Chicago won’t make a pitch for Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who now is all but guaranteed to remain in New York.

So what does this mean for the Marlins?

For one, it means the Marlins will likely talk internally about the merits of Sandberg, and whether it makes sense for them to seek permission to talk with the Hall of Famer.

Andre Dawson, a Marlins special assistant, is a former teammate of Sandberg. He knows him well.

So expect the Marlins to talk among themselves about Sandberg. Whether it leads to anything more remains to be seen.

The Marlins are getting close to starting their interviewing process to see who will direct the club in 2011.

Had Quade not been hired in Chicago, the Marlins likely would have considered him because he is so highly regarded.

Over the past few days we’ve seen some jobs being filled.

Seattle recently hired Eric Wedge. And any doubts about Tony La Russa leaving St. Louis were put to rest on Monday when the Cardinals announced his return.

Of course, high on Florida’s list is Bo Porter, who has past history with the organization. Sources have noted that Porter has an inside edge for the job, but that doesn’t mean the team hasn’t ruled out all its options.

Retaining Edwin Rodriguez also is under consideration.

More answers should be known in the upcoming days as the front office begins its interviewing process.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Porter emerges as frontrunner

The Marlins may be weighing all their options, but the candidate that appears to have the most momentum to manage the club in 2011 is familiar to Florida fans.

Indications are Bo Porter has emerged as the frontrunner.

Porter, a former big league outfielder, was the Marlins’ third base/outfield coach from 2007-09, before he joined the Arizona staff in 2010.

Numerous sources confirmed the Marlins have serious interest in Porter, who is regarded as a strong teacher of fundamentals. Known for being well prepared, the 38-year-old already has been making inquiries about candidates for his coaching staff.

Earlier this month, Porter interviewed for the Pirates managerial position.

The Marlins’ search is entering another week after Bobby Valentine, who was offered the job, opted to withdraw from consideration. 

Edwin Rodriguez, who went 46-46 after replacing Fredi Gonzalez on June 23, remains in the mix. But the club hasn’t spoken with Rodriguez since the season ended.

Porter previously interviewed for the Marlins job after Gonzalez was dismissed in June. Porter impressed the club then, and he remained under consideration even after the team decided to stay with Rodriguez.

Other candidates being mentioned are Tony Pena, Ted Simmons and Jim Fregosi. It remains unclear how much serious interest the team has in them.

The Marlins finished 80-82 in 2010, and the organization is placing an emphasis to improving fundamentally.

Florida has a young outfield that features rookies Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton. Cameron Maybin isn’t a rookie, but he is 23-years-old.

Porter would be looked at to help the developments of these young players.

In recent years, Porter worked with former Marlin, Cody Ross, who now has become a playoff hero for the Giants. In 2008 and 2009, Porter frequently stated that Ross was deserving of a Gold Glove.

– Joe Frisaro

 

History repeating itself

If it seems like we’re watching something special right now, it’s because we are.

The first few days of the playoffs have not only been entertaining, they’ve been historical. At least, from a pitching standpoint.

As a fitting followup to Roy Halladay’s no-hitter for the Phillies over the Reds on Wednesday, Tim Lincecum turned in one of the more dominating playoff performances ever on Thursday. The two-time Cy Young Award winner struck out 14 while allowing two hits in the Giants’ 1-0 win over the Braves.

Halladay’s effort had more histocial meaning because he tossed the second no-hitter in postseason history. Prior to Doc taking the mound at Citizens Bank Park, Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series had stood alone as the only no-hit postseason effort.

Still, Lincecum placed himself in elite company.

For just the 22nd time in playoff history a pitcher has logged a complete-game shutout while allowing two or fewer hits. It’s already happened twice in the first two days of the playoffs.

There is a Marlins’ connection to this piece of postseason history. Josh Beckett is one of the 22 to have a complete-game, shutout win in the playoffs with two or less hits.

In Game 5 of the 2003 NL Championship Series, Beckett blanked the Cubs on two-hits while he struck out 11.

All-time playoff nine-inning, complete-game, shutout wins with pitchers allowing two or less hits.

* Josh Beckett, 10/12/2003, Florida v. Chicago Cubs, 2 H, 1 BB, 11 K
* Vida Blue, 10/8/1974, Oakland v. Baltimore, 2 H, 0 BB, 7 K
* Nelson Briles, 10/14/1971, Pittsburgh v. Baltimore, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K
* Mordecai Brown, 10/12/1906, Cubs v. White Sox, 2 H, 2 BB, 5 K
* Roger Clemens, 10/14/2000, New York Yankees v. Seattle, 1 H, 2 BB, 15 K
* Dave Dravecky, 10/7/1987, San Francisco v. St. Louis, 2 H, 4 BB, 6 K
* George Earnshaw, 10/6/1931, Philadelphia v. St. Louis, 2 H, 1 BB, 8 K
* Whitey Ford, 10/4/1961, Yankees v. Cincinnati, 2 H, 1 BB, 6 K
* Roy Halladay, 10/6/2010, Philadelphia v. Cincinnati, 0 H, 1 BB, 8 K
* Waite Hoyt, 10/6/1921, Yankees v. New York Giants, 2 H, 5 BB, 5 K
* Bill James, 10/10/1914, Boston v. Philadelphia, 2 H, 3 BB, 8 K
* Bobby Jones, 10/8/2000, New York Mets v. San Francisco, 1 H, 2 BB, 5 K
* Don Larsen, 10/8/1956, Yankees v. Brooklyn, 0 H, 0 BB, 7 K
* Tim Lincecum, 10/7/2010, San Francisco v. Atlanta, 2 H, 1 BB, 14 K
* Jim Lonborg, 10/5/1967, Boston v. St. Louis, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 K
* Jon Matlack, 10/7/1973, Mets v. Cincinnati, 2 H, 3 BB, 9 K
* Claude Passeau, 10/5/1945, Cubs v. Detroit, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K
* Monte Pearson, 10/5/1939, Yankees v. Cincinnati, 2 H, 1 BB, 8 K
* Vic Raschi, 10/4/1950, Yankees v. Philadelphia, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K
* Allie Reynolds, 10/5/1949, Yankees v. Brooklyn, 2 H 4 BB, 9 K
* Warren Spahn, 10/5/1958, Milwaukee Braves v. Yankees, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K
* Ed Walsh, 10/11/1906, White Sox v. Cubs, 2 H, 1 BB, 12 K

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

Postseason pitching flashbacks

After more than five decades, Don Larsen finally has company, and baseball has another game for the ages.

beckett.jpgRoy Halladay placed himself in exclusive company on Wednesday by tossing the second no-hitter in MLB playoff history. Halladay and the Phillies blanked the Reds, 4-0, in Game 1 of their NationaL League Division Series.

Before Halladay’s historical performance, Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series stood as the lone no-hitter in MLB postseason history. Standing in the way of perfection for Halladay was a lone walk.

The Marlins can certainly feel the Reds’ pain. On May 29, they were shut down by Halladay, who tossed the 20th perfect game in MLB history that day.

In their history, the Marlins have gone to the postseason twice, and in each year captured the World Series title.

While no Marlin has ever tossed a no-hitter in the playoffs, there have been a few masterful pitching performances.

Florida’s most memorable complete game shutout in the playoffs was turned in by Josh Beckett, when he closed out the Yankees in Game 6 of the 2003 World Series at Yankee Stadium.

Beckett allowed five hits in a 2-0 victory that day, on his way to winning MVP honors. But an argument can be made that it wasn’t Beckett’s best playoff performance of that season.

In the NL Championship Series against the Cubs, Florida was trailing 3-1 in games heading into Game 5 in Miami. Beckett tossed a two-hit shutout, striking out 11. That performance set the stage for the Marlins to return to Chicago, where they took care of the Cubs in Games 6 and 7 at Wrigley Field.

The Marlins have had four complete games in their playoff history. Livan Hernandez striking out 15 Braves in the 1997 NLCS also remains one of the top pitching performances ever by a Marlin.

Postseason Marlins’ complete games:

* Josh Beckett, 10/12/03: 2 hits, 0 runs, 11 strikeouts, vs Cubs, NLCS
* Josh Beckett, 10/25/02: 5 hits, 0 runs, 9 strikeouts, vs Yankees, WS
* Kevin Brown, 10/14/97: 11 hits, 4 runs, 8 strikeouts, vs Braves, NLCS
* Livan Hernandez, 10/12/97: 3 hits, 1 run, 15 strikeouts, vs Braves, NLCS

– Joe Frisaro

Marlins managerial update

The search for the Marlins new manager will take about two weeks.

Fresh off an 80-82 season, the front office is in the process of narrowing its list of candidates and setting up interviews. The process is expected to take a little while.

In contention for the job are Bobby Valentine, Jim Fregosi, Bo Porter and Tony Pena. Other names that have been reported are Ted Simmons and Tim Wallach.

Edwin Rodriguez, who replaced Fredi Gonzalez on June 23, remains a candidate. But it appears he isn’t a frontrunner. Under Rodriguez, the Marlins were 46-46.

As the Marlins are plotting how to move forward with their managerial search, the organization also are being impacted by the Mets’ general manager vacancy.

The Mets have asked for permission to talk with president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest, general manager Michael Hill and vice president of player personnel Dan Jennings about their GM post.

Indications are the Marlins will deny the request. However, ESPN.com reports that Jennings has a stipulation in his contract that would allow him to talk with the Mets. So the door may not be completely closed for him to talk with New York.

– Joe Frisaro

New stadium countdown underway

Eighteen seasons down. One to go.

When the final out was made on Sunday in a 5-2 win over the Pirates, the Marlins completed their 18th season in the big leagues. When they take the field on April 1 against the Mets, it will mark the start of the franchise’s final year at Sun Life Stadium.

pitchingmound1a.jpgThe 2011 campaign also will be the last in which the franchise is known as the Florida Marlins. In 2012, the organization will go through a new beginning. They will move into their new ballpark, and change their name to the Miami Marlins.

Construction is nearly 50 percent complete on the retractable-roof ballpark in the Little Havana section of Miami. The new stadium will seat 37,000. Already, season ticket sales are underway for 2012, as well as ’11.

The roof will guarantee all home games will be played without delay, and it also offers a reprieve from the scorching South Florida heat.

In 2010, the Marlins ranked 28th in home attendance, averaging 18,825 (1,524,894).

Since their inaugural 1993 season, the Marlins have shared their home stadium with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. It didn’t take long for the grounds crew to transform the park from baseball to football on Sunday. As Marlins players were celebrating the final out on Sunday, workers began digging up the pitchers mound, and prepping the infield to be covered with grass.

The workers were able to have the infield dirt and mound covered with sod in time for Monday night’s Dolphins-New England Patriots game.

– Joe Frisaro
 

 

Sanabia scratched for Saturday

Due to some right elbow stiffness, rookie Alex Sanabia was scratched from his scheduled start on Saturday.

The Marlins are now going with Jorge Sosa against the Pirates at Sun Life Stadium. Charlie Morton is throwing for Pittsburgh.

Sanabia experienced a tingle in his right arm in his previous start, when he tossed seven innings at Atlanta on Monday, Sept. 27.

The rookie has logged 72 1/3 innings for the Marlins this season. Counting his Minor League totals, Sanabia has logged 170 2/3 innings, by far the most in the 22-year-old’s professional career.

A year ago for Class A Jupiter, Sanabia threw 104 1/3 innings.

Sanabia has enjoyed a strong rookie season, posting a 5-3 record with a 3.73 ERA in 15 appearances, including 12 starts. He is expected to challenge for a rotation spot in Spring Training.

The right-hander made 16 Minor League starts and was 6-1 with a 1.92 ERA.

Sosa is making his second start for Florida. The veteran worked 2 1/3 innings on Sept. 15 in a loss to the Phillies.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins-Pirates lineup Friday

With Thursday’s win, the Marlins snapped their four-game slide. Now, they look to make it two in a row over Pittsburgh on Friday night at Sun Life Stadium.

Adalberto Mendez will get the start for Florida, while Daniel McCutchen takes the mound for Pittsburgh.

 

 

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1) Andrew McCutches, CF

2) Jose Tabata, LF

3) Neil Walker, 2B

4) Pedro Alvarez, 3B

5) John Bowker, 1B

6) Brandon Moss, RF

7) Ronny Cedeno, SS

8) Chris Snyder, C

9) Daniel McCutchen, P

 

 

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1) Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2) Ozzie Martinez, SS

3) Logan Morrison, LF

4) Dan Uggla, 2B

5) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

6) Chad Tracy, 3B

7) Mike Stanton, RF

8) Brad Davis, C

9) Adalberto Mendez, P

– Joe Frisaro

 

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