March 2011

Marlins lineup vs. Twins

JUPITER, Fla. — After a day off, the Marlins are back in action on Tuesday afternoon, taking on the Twins at Roger Dean Stadium.

Josh Johnson will face former Marlins right-hander Carl Pavano.

Donnie Murphy will be playing third base.

MARLINS

1) Emilio Bonifacio, CF
2) Omar Infante, 2B
3) Hanley Ramirez, SS
4) Gaby Sanchez, 1B
5) Logan Morrison, LF
6) John Buck, C
7) Greg Dobbs, RF
8) Donnie Murphy, 3B
9) Josh Johnson, P

Joe Frisaro

Castillo not likely an option for Marlins

JUPITER, Fla. — Chances of Luis Castillo returning to the Marlins are remote.

The club hasn’t completely closed the door on the idea. But the Marlins are not in hot pursuit of the former All-Star second baseman.

The Marlins have had internal discussions regarding the 35-year-old, who was recently released by the Mets.

With his career in decline, the Marlins aren’t sure Castillo would be an upgrade.

Still, Castillo promises to attract interest on the open market, which should begin on Sunday after he clears waivers. The Phillies could be among the teams making a push.

Castillo is one of the most popular and productive Marlins in history. During Florida’s 2003 World Series championship season, the switch-hitting second baseman was an All-Star and Gold Glove winner.

Over the past few days, Marlins officials have been discussing if Castillo made sense to play second base should third base prospect Matt Dominguez not make the Opening Day roster.

Omar Infante is slated to play second base for Florida, and he could switch to third if Dominguez is sent to Triple-A.

Emilio Bonifacio is a candidate to play second base if Infante does go to third.

If Dominguez doesn’t make the club out of Spring Training, the Marlins have some internal candidates — Infante, Wes Helms, Bonifacio and Greg Dobbs.

The season opens on April 1, and at this point, the Marlins are not actively searching for a third baseman on the trade market.

The Marlins have their scouts visiting camps in Florida and Arizona, but they aren’t necessarily looking to make a move for a third baseman.

Joe Frisaro

Marlins-Mets lineups

JUPITER, Fla. — Anibal Sanchez was back on the mound on Sunday after the right-hander missed one start due to a right shin contusion.

Sanchez and the Marlins face the Mets, who are starting Chris Young.

Because the Marlins don’t want Sanchez to bat as his shin recovers, the team will use the designated hitter. The Mets, meanwhile, will have the pitcher batting.

The game will be aired on 790 The Ticket, and televised on Fox Sports Florida.

METS

1) Willie Harris, LF
2) Luis Hernandez, SS
3) Scott Hairston, CF
4) Ike Davis, 1B
5) Nick Evans, 3B
6) Lucas Duda, RF
7) Brad Emaus, 2B
8) Ronny Paulino, C
9) Chris Young, P

MARLINS

1) Emilio Bonifacio, CF
2) Omar Infante, 2B
3) Hanley Ramirez, SS
4) Gaby Sanchez, 1B
5) Logan Morrison, LF
6) John Buck, C
7) Wes Helms, DH
8) Matt Dominguez, 3B
9) Dewayne Wise, RF

Joe Frisaro

Stanton, Coghlan updates

JUPITER, Fla. — Chris Coghlan and Mike Stanton will once again be in Minor League games on Sunday as they move closer to being ready for the season opener.

Coghlan (sore right shoulder) is expected to play seven innings in center field and get five plate appearances.

Stanton (strained right quad) will again be used as a designated hitter, but he is moving closer to being ready to play the outfield. In recent days, the 21-year-old right fielder has been doing running and agility drills with no discomfort.

He could be playing in the outfield in Minor League games as early as Tuesday. If that goes well, Stanton may be playing in a Grapefruit League game as soon as Thursday against the Red Sox at Roger Dean Stadium.

An important date for injured players is Tuesday (March 22), because that’s the day that factors into when a player is placed on the disabled list retroactively. So the Marlins will ask themselves whether they should keep Coghlan playing in Minor League games after Tuesday, because that gives them flexibility.

If a player opens the season on the DL retroactively to March 22, he can be eligible for reinstatement as early as April 7, instead of missing the first 15 days of the season.

To be on the DL retroactively, a player can play in Minor League games, but he can’t appear in Grapefruit or Cactus League games after March 22.

A year ago, the Marlins faced the same situation with Cody Ross, who had a hamstring injury. Ross played in Minor League games until the end of Spring Training, and the team then determined he was ready to play on Opening Day.

If he wasn’t, he could have been placed on the DL retroactively, and missed about five or six games.

Joe Frisaro

Marlins roster moves

JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins made four roster moves on Sunday morning, reducing their number in camp down to 37.

Pitcher Elih Villanueva, outfielder Tim Torres, outfielder John Raynor and catcher Clint Sammons were reassigned to Minor League camp.

Villanueva made a strong impression in his first big league camp, and he will be in Triple-A New Orleans’ rotation.

In 13 Grapefruit League innings, the right-hander gave up two runs, and he struck out seven while walking three.

“I’ve been very impressed with Elih,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “He made a very good impression with everybody here. He’s going to be in the big leagues for a long time.”

Joe Frisaro

Rotation order not quite set

JUPITER, Fla. — There are no real openings in the Marlins rotation. But the order of the five starters may not yet be set in stone.

Aside from Josh Johnson starting on Opening Night (April 1) against the Mets, the rest of the order is subject to change.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez said on Saturday morning that Johnson is locked in at No. 1, but the team wants to make sure Ricky Nolasco is ready to pitch the second game.

Key for Nolasco is how he does in his third start, which is March 23 against the Braves.

“If Ricky feels good after his third outing, he should be ready to go,” Rodriguez said.

Nolasco is recovered from a sprained right thumb and surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The right-hander has had two rough outings, including giving up seven runs in 2 1/3 innings on Friday to the Astros.

Nolasco feels fine, health wise. Rodriguez noted that it isn’t the health of his 28-year-old right-hander, “it’s the quality of his pitches.”

The Marlins would like their rotation to be Johnson, Nolasco, Javier Vazquez, Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad.

Rodriguez says more will be known on the order of the rotation after Nolasco’s next start.

Joe Frisaro

Stanton makes TV commercial

JUPITER, Fla. — Home runs come to mind when talking about Mike Stanton.

In 2010, the Marlins slugger paced all rookies with his 22 homers. He added 21 more in Double-A before getting called up to the big leagues in June.

With his immense power, Stanton may ultimately become the Marlins’ first home run champion.

As he prepares for his sophomore season, Stanton is gaining some national attention, but he is doing so talking about defense.

Stanton is featured in an MLB 2K11 commercial, talking about playing “perfect defense.”

“It’s a new experience,” Stanton said of being featured in video game commercial.

The commercial was filmed in Lakeland in mid-January.

Joe Frisaro

Vazquez facing Cardinals on Saturday

JUPITER, Fla. — After missing one start due to mild soreness in his right elbow, Javier Vazquez is back on the mound for Florida on Saturday against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

There will be no designated hitter, so Vazquez and St. Louis right-hander Kyle Lohse are both expected to hit.

About 30 minutes before the first pitch, the Marlins announced Logan Morrison was scratched from the lineup due to flu-like symptoms.

Also slated to pitch for the Marlins are Burke Badenhop, Randy Choate and Clay Hensley.

Dewayne Wise is back in the lineup after sitting out a couple of days with a sore left big toe.

MARLINS

1) Dewayne Wise, CF
2) Omar Infante, 2B
3) Hanley Ramirez, SS
4) Greg Dobbs, 1B
5) Brad Davis, C
6) Matt Dominguez, 3B
7) Josh Kroeger, RF
8) Emilio Bonifacio, LF
9) Javier Vazquez, P

CARDINALS

1) Ryan Theriot, SS
2) Colby Rasmus, CF
3) Albert Pujols, 1B
4) Matt Holliday, LF
5) Matt Carpenter, 3B
6) Yadier Molina, C
7) Skip Schumaker, 2B
8) Nick Stavinoha, RF
9) Kyle Lohse, P

Joe Frisaro

Marlins may have interest in Castillo

JUPITER, Fla. — Luis Castillo is now on the market, and the Marlins may have interest.

A source said the organization is having some internal discussions about whether to bring the 35-year-old back to Florida.

On Friday the Mets released Castillo. a switch-hitting second baseman. New York is on the hook to pay the $6 million on his 2011 contract.

Castillo could make sense for Florida if the team isn’t sure prospect Matt Dominguez is ready to win the third base job. The 21-year-old Dominguez, currently the frontrunner to be the Opening Day starter, is batting .219 in 32 Grapefruit League at-bats.

If the Marlins do look to sign Castillo, he could play second and Omar Infante could switch to third base.

Castillo was with the Marlins from 1996-2005. He was a three-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner in Florida.

Joe Frisaro
  

Astros-Marlins lineup

JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins snapped their nine-game losing streak by beating the Cardinals on Thursday. On Friday, they look for back-to-back wins when they take on the Astros at 1:05 p.m. at Roger Dean Stadium.

Ricky Nolasco gets the start for Florida, while J.A. Happ throws for Houston.

ASTROS

1) Michael Bourn, CF
2) Clint Barmes, SS
3) Hunter Pence, RF
4) Brett Wallace, 1B
5) Chris Johnson, 3B
6) J.B. Shuck, LF
7) J.R. Towels, C
8) Humberto Quintero, DH
9) Anderson Hernandez, 2B

MARLINS

1) Emilio Bonifacio, CF
2) Ozzie Martinez, 2B
3) Hanley Ramirez, SS
4) Gaby Sanchez, 1B
5) John Buck, C
6) Greg Dobbs, DH
7) Donnie Murphy, 3B
8) Josh Kroeger, LF
9) Scott Cousins, RF

Joe Frisaro

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