June 2011

Lopez batting fifth in finale

PHILADELPHIA — Jose Lopez, who had a double off Roy Halladay in Game 2 on Wednesday, was back in the lineup on Thursday in the series finale with Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Lopez was given the starting assignment at third base, after he was at second base on Wednesday.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez plans on giving Lopez ample playing time at third base, perhaps in a platoon situation with Greg Dobbs.

As expected, Hanley Ramirez was given the day off after he started Game 2 on Wednesday night. For about two weeks, the team will avoid starting Ramirez in day games after night games.


Bonifacio SS

Infante 2B

Morrison LF

Sanchez 1B

Lopez 3B

Stanton RF

Buck C

Coghlan CF

Vazquez P

Joe Frisaro



Mujica sprains right wrist

PHILADELPHIA  — Marlins reliever Edward Mujica exited Game 1 on Wednesday with a right wrist sprain.

The right-hander, who mainly pitches in long relief, is listed as day to day.

Mujica had an X-ray after the game, and he isn’t sure if he will miss just a few days or need more time.

The Phillies breezed to an 8-1 win in Game 1 of the day-night doubleheader.

In the seventh ining, Mujica was shaken up after colliding with Wilson Valdez, who reached on an infield single.

With two outs, Valdez hit a grounder that was fielded by second baseman Omar Infante, who made the short throw to Mujica. Mujica raced to the bag, and he toppled over Valdez, who made a head-first slide.

Mujica tumbled to the ground, landing on his right wrist. He tried to brush it off, and he was ready to attempt a warmup pitch before he headed to the clubhouse.

Burke Badenhop relieved Mujica, who was appearing in his 30th game.

Joe Frisaro

Hanley sitting in Game One

PHILADELPHIA — After Tuesday’s 9-1 loss, manager Edwin Rodriguez noted that Hanley Ramirez wouldn’t start in Game 1 of Wednesday’s day-night doubleheader at Citizens Bank Park.

Ramirez went 0-for-4 in his return from the disabled list on Tuesday.

Because of the quick turnaround, Ramirez sat out, but is available to pinch-hit, in the 1:05 p.m. game.

Emilio Bonifacio is starting at shortstop in the first game.


Coghlan CF

Bonifacio SS

Morrison LF

Sanchez 1B

Stanton RF

Dobbs 3B

Infante 2B

Hayes C

Villanueva P

Joe Frisaro

Hanley back leading off

PHILADELPHIA — As expected, Hanley Ramirez was back in the lineup on Tuesday and he is once again leading off.

The Marlins reinstated Ramirez off the 15-day disabled list, and placed outfielder Scott Cousins on the DL with a lower back strain.

Florida opens a four-game series with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

With the Phillies starting lefty Cole Hamels, Chris Coghlan was not in the lineup.


Ramirez SS

Bonifacio CF

Morrison LF

Sanchez 1B

Stanton RF

Buck C

Infante 2B

Helms 3B

Volstad P

Joe Frisaro


Villanueva to face Phillies Wednesday

PHILADELPHIA — For the second time this month, a prospect will be making his MLB debut.

The Marlins have tabbed Elih Villanueva to pitch against the Phillies on Wednesday in the day-night doubleheader. Anibal Sanchez is expected to take the mound in Game 2 at Citizens Bank Park.

Villanueva will have his contract selected from Triple-A New Orleans, where he was 4-5 with a 5.23 ERA in 13 starts.

The 24-year-old right-hander attended Florida State, and he was in big league camp during Spring Training.

Earlier this month, the Marlins called up lefty Brad Hand from Double-A Jacksonville.

Joe Frisaro



Hanley could return to leadoff spot

MIAMI — Much of Hanley Ramirez’s early success in his career came when he was batting leadoff.

In fact, the 27-year-old Marlins’ shortstop has appeared in 400 games at the leadoff spot, the most of any spot since he became a big league regular in 2006. And he’s a .311 hitter when batting first in the order.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez said he is considering returning Ramirez to the leadoff spot when the shortstop comes off the disabled list.

Ramirez is on the DL with a left back strain, and he is eligible to be reinstated on Tuesday when the team is at Philadelphia.

Rodriguez said in the first game or so, he may not hit Ramirez first, just because his legs may not be ready for that. But the move could be made in the near future.

“Let’s see where he is at,” Rodriguez said. “I haven’t decided that yet. It could be first or it could be second.”

Asked directly if Rodriguez is thinking of batting Ramirez leadoff, the manager said: “Yes. Maybe not at first because we don’t know how his leg is going to hold up or his back.”

Ramirez on Friday is playing the first of likely two rehab assignment games with Class A Jupiter. He is in the lineup as the designated hitter. On Saturday, he should play the field, getting innings in at shortstop.

If that goes well, the Marlins plan on bringing Ramirez back to Miami where he will take batting practice with the team on Sunday and work out on Monday.

The hope is he will be ready to face the Phillies on Tuesday.

“He will work out on Monday and go with us to Philadelphia,” Rodriguez said.

Joe Frisaro

First anniversary for Stanton

MIAMI — Exactly one year ago, the much anticipated arrival of Mike Stanton to the big leagues took place when the Marlins were at Philadelphia.

In his MLB debut on June 8, 2010, the young slugger had three singles in five at-bats.

A year later, Stanton is a fixture for Florida in right field. The 21-year-old is one of the rising young power hitters in the game. He’s batting .254 with 13 homers and 33 RBIs.

In his first 365 days in the big leagues, he has 35 homers, 92 RBIs to go along with a .257 batting average in 156 games.

A year ago, he belted 22 homers in 100 games, pacing all MLB rookies in home runs.

“The ceiling is very high for him,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “We don’t want to limit him by putting numbers on him for how good he can be, because nobody knows.”

As impressive as he has been, Stanton currently is in a big of a slide. He’s 2-for-17 on the homestand.

To help Stanton regroup, Rodriguez gave him a day off on Wednesday in the second of three games against the Braves. Scott Cousins made the start in right field.

“He’s learning to be a hitter now,” Rodriguez said. “Even these 12 months, he’s putting the numbers he’s putting up now are outstanding numbers for any Major Leaguer. You have to take into consideration that he’s been very inconsistent at the plate.

“Some times he looks like Willie Mays out there. Sometimes you wonder. But the numbers he’s put up the first year for him have been amazing.”

Joe Frisaro

Hanley hopes to miss a week

MIAMI — Going on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his career hasn’t dampened Hanley Ramirez’s enthusiasm about a speedy recovery.

The Marlins’ three-time All-Star shortstop feels he may only be out a week.

On Monday afternoon, Ramirez was placed on the 15-day disabled list — retroactive to May 30 — with a left back strain. Shortly after the decision was made, the 27-year-old sounded confident that he could be back in lineup on June 14, when the Marlins open a four-game series with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

“I hope it’s just a week,” Ramirez said.

Due to the retroactive date, June 14 is the first day Ramirez is eligible to be reinstated. Monday was the most confident the Florida shortstop has sounded about a speedy return.

“Today, I haven’t had that tingle in my leg,” he said. “Everything has been improving. I think I feel way better today than I did yesterday and the day before.”

Joe Frisaro

Hand to face Braves Tuesday

MIAMI — A left-hander is on the verge of being added to the Marlins’ rotation.

Brad Hand has received the nod to be called up and start on Tuesday against the Braves at Sun Life Stadium. The 21-year-old was a second-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, and he will be making his MLB debut.

The Marlins are expected to announce the Hand promotion on Monday.

Hand will be filling the rotation spot of Josh Johnson, who is on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder was in big league camp in Spring Training with the Marlins, and he has enjoyed a strong season at Double-A Jacksonville, where he is 7-1 with a 3.53 ERA.

The Marlins rotation has been exclusively right-handed before deciding on Hand.

Hand’s velocity is in the 88-93 mph range, and he has a plus curveball.

Joe Frisaro

Hensley on DL, Martinez recalled

MIAMI — The Marlins on Friday placed reliever Clay Hensley on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder sprain.

The veteran, who suffered the injury while throwing a pitch in the ninth inning on Wednesday night at Arizona, underwent an MRI on Friday. The Marlins have recalled infielder Ozzie Martinez from Triple-A New Orleans. Hensley is on the DL, retroactive to June 2.

Martinez is making his second stint with the Marlins. In 22 games for the Zephyrs, he batted .250 with three home runs and eight

RBIs. In the nine games he appeared after being sent down in late May, he hit .342 with five doubles, two homers and six RBIs.

Martinez provides middle infield depth because Hanley Ramirez is dealing with a sore lower back. On May 7, Hensley went on the DL with a left rib contusion.

Joe Frisaro