July 2011

Marlins looked to add, not subtract

ATLANTA — Until the deadline passed, the Marlins were looking to upgrade their roster, not part with any core parts.

But in the end, Florida came away with no deals before Sunday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline.

“We were interested in adding to this team, not taking away,” Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. “We were interested in only non-rental players. Players we could keep this year and at a minimum into next year.

“To help this team to just continue to grow, to win games and hopefully build momentum heading into the new building.”

The Marlins will be moving into their 37,000-seat retractable-roof ballpark in 2012, and the core of that team is already on the roster.

Beinfest said the team was presented with a number of new ideas, which could spark further trade discussions in the future.

“There were a number of different things that we got involved in and kind of came our way,” Beinfest said. “It didn’t happen. but that doesn’t mean it will not happen into the future, but it means it didn’t happen before we needed to clear waivers.”

Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins weighing offers on Infante

ATLANTA — Omar Infante has played a Gold Glove-caliber second base for the Marlins this year. But will the veteran complete the season with the club?

In recent weeks, Marlins’ scouts have floated Infante’s name out to other teams, according to a National League source.

MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reported the Braves have had discussions with the Marlins for Infante, who will be a free agent after the year.

A source on Sunday confirmed a deal with Atlanta possible before Sunday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline. As of late Sunday morning, a second source added that a number of teams called regarding Infante, but nothing was close.

The Marlins acquired Infante from the Braves as part of the Dan Uggla trade last November.

Along with weighing trade options for Infante, the Marlins also have been considering whether to sign the veteran for 2012 and perhaps beyond because he’s been so good defensively.

If the Marlins do move Infante, Emilio Bonifacio — who has been at third base — is the likely candidate to play second base.

The Marlins also are considering the future of Chris Coghlan, who recently hyper-extended his right elbow while on rehab assignment. Coghlan opened the season as the starting center fielder, but he has dealt with left knee and right shoulder issues. He has been on the disabled list since June.

A converted infielder, Coghlan has played second and third base in the Minor Leagues. In the big leagues, Coghlan projects more to play third base than second.

Joe Frisaro

Marlins not likely to trade by deadline

ATLANTA — In two days, the MLB non-waiver trade deadline will arrive. When it passes, the Marlins are not expected to have made any significant moves.

For a while, the team has been leaning towards keeping its core players, including closer Leo Nunez and lefty reliever Randy Choate.

Even National League rivals are not anticipating the Marlins being active at the trade deadline. In fact, one general manager specifically said so.

Doug Melvin, the Brewers executive vice president and general manager, told reporters in Milwaukee the Marlins are not looking to deal. The Brewers inquired about Choate, who is under contract through 2012. Florida has no intention to deal Choate at this point.

“If a club has somebody to replace the guy, he’s available,” Melvin said. “But if you’re going to trade a guy, you have to have somebody to replace him. If you have a young kid in the waiting, that’s one thing. But, if you don’t have anyone to replace him, it’s hard to give up a guy.

“Florida, for example … they’re not anticipating moving anybody.”

Joe Frisaro

Coghlan hyper-extends elbow

ATLANTA — Nagging injuries continue to happen to Chris Coghlan.

The Marlins recalled Coghlan from his rehab assignment due to a hyper-extended right elbow. Coghlan is expected to be out three to five days. He’s been on the DL with left knee inflammation since June 17.

In other injury-related news, reliever Ryan Webb (right elbow inflammation) threw off the mound on Friday. It was his first throwing session since he went on the DL on July 2, retroactive to June 27.

Josh Johnson (right shoulder inflammation) remains on no-throw status.

Alex Sanabia (strained right forearm) is rehabbing in the Gulf Coast League, and he could be activated to pitch in Minor League games in seven to 10 days.

Joe Frisaro

 

Sanchez back in lineup at Atlanta

ATLANTA — After sitting out three straight games in Washington, Gaby Sanchez is back in the lineup for the series opener with the Braves on Friday at Turner Field.

Sanchez missed the series with the Nationals due to a sore left hamstring. The All-Star first baseman had started every game prior to Tuesday’s opener at Nationals Park.

The Marlins are riding a five-game winning streak as they open their series with the Braves.

Emilio Bonifacio is riding a 26-game hitting streak, the second longest stretch in franchise history. In 2002, Luis Castillo hit safely in 35 straight.

MARLINS

Bonifacio, 3B

Infante, 2B

Sanchez, 1B

Ramirez, SS

Morrison, LF

Stanton, RF

Cameron, CF

Buck, C

Hensley, P

Joe Frisaro

 

JJ’s road to recovery

A better indication of when Josh Johnson will be able to pitch will be known at the end of this week.

If the Marlins’ ace can begin a throwing program later this week or early next, then there is a realistic chance he could pitch again this season, and perhaps in early September. But if he is no closer to throwing, then it dramatically decreases the odds of him returning before the end of the year.

Johnson has been on a routine to strengthen his right shoulder, and he made progress last week.

If he continues to make strides this week, then he may not be far away from picking up a baseball.

Johnson has been on the disabled list since mid-May with right shoulder inflammation. He visited Dr. James Andrews at the end of June, and he hasn’t done any throwing in July.

Johnson repeatedly says he hopes to pitch in a game before the season ends, even if it is in relief for a game or two. The reason he wants to pitch this year is to give him some peace of mind going into the offseason.

If he can pitch in game situations without pain, he will be more assured his shoulder is fine for next season.

Joe Frisaro

 

Volstad optioned to New Orleans

MIAMI — Marlins right-hander Chris Volstad, who has an 8.50 ERA in four July starts, was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Saturday afternoon.

Volstad, 5-8 with a 5.58 ERA through 20 starts, threw five innings in a no-decision against the Mets on Friday night. He gave up three runs in the first inning, and four runs in the game, with three earned.

The Marlins will make a corresponding move after Saturday’s game with the Mets at Sun Life Stadium.

In four starts in July, Volstad is 1-1 with an 8.50 ERA, giving up 17 earned runs in 18 innings.

Joe Frisaro

 

Mr. Marlin critical of Hanley

MIAMI — Marlins’ three-time All-Star Hanley Ramirez is not on the trading block, but the 27-year-old has frustrated a prominent member of the organization.

Jeff Conine, a team special assistant, said he would be open to dealing Ramirez.

During a radio interview on “The Dan LeBatard Show on 790 The Ticket,” Conine said he was frustrated “On a nightly basis” with how Ramirez plays the game.

“I think that obviously Hanley is a phenomenal talent,” Conine said. “But as a guy that … I’m probably jealous too because I didn’t have that kind of talent, but I had to work extremely hard on a nightly basis to put my talent on the field. I think that there are some nights when he doesn’t work as hard as he should.”

Asked if he would trade Ramirez, Conine said: “If it were up to me, probably.”

Conine, known as Mr. Marlin, doesn’t dispute Ramirez’s overall talent.

“Maybe that’s part of the problem, but you know he is no doubt one of the top talents in baseball, and you hope at some point he would get it and become a leader in the clubhouse like he can be on the field,” Conine said.

Joe Frisaro

McKeon doesn’t anticipate big moves

MIAMI — Trade speculation is increasing with the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaching.

Sitting in last place in the NL East, the Marlins are a team being talked about as being involved in major moves. On Friday, manager Jack McKeon echoed what Florida owner Jeffrey Loria said last week when the club was in Chicago. The team isn’t expected to make significant deals.

“On this particular club, I don’t see any guys getting traded,” McKeon said. “Something could happen, but I don’t see it. That’s not my department.”

The player who is receiving the most trade talk is closer Leo Nunez.

At least 3-6 teams are scouting Nunez on a daily basis.

“I don’t think anyone of our guys should have concerns about getting traded,” McKeon said. “The names you see bandied around are maybe the guys who are going good. Probably, the only name I’ve seen is Nunez. I don’t think it bothers him. This is a business. They have no choice if the club wants to trade them.”

Joe Frisaro

Mild lineup shakeup on Saturday

CHICAGO — In the first two games of their series in Chicago, the Marlins failed to score a run off the Cubs’ starters.

Looking to shake things up a bit, manager Jack McKeon has shuffled his lineup a bit. Gaby Sanchez, who has been batting third, has flipped with Logan Morrison in the order as the club seeks to generate some offense against Cubs right-hander Carlos Zambrano on Saturday.

Catcher John Buck and center fielder Mike Cameron also were given the day off.

Emilio Bonifacio carries a 14-game hitting streak into the game the afternoon contest at Wrigley Field.

MARLINS

Bonifacio 3B

Infante 2B

Morrison LF

Ramirez SS

Sanchez 1B

Stanton RF

Petersen CF

Hayes C

Vazquez P

Joe Frisaro

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