August 2011

Marlins weather the storm

PHILADELPHIA — Heavy rains and strong winds came throughout the night. But by morning, everything was getting back to normal.

The Marlins spent Saturday night in Philadelphia, waiting out Hurricane Irene as it churned through the northeast.

The storm dropped a lot of rain in the area.

By Sunday morning, all with the team were fine. The Marlins are planning on traveling to New York City in the afternoon in preparation for their series with the Mets, which begins with a doubleheader on Monday.

Joe Frisaro


Morrison returns, ready to move forward

MIAMI — Logan Morrison, sporting a Hanley Ramirez t-shirt, stood at his locker on Wednesday afternoon talking about being glad to be back.

The Marlins recalled Morrison from Triple-A New Orleans on Wednesday, after he spent the minimal 10 days after he was optioned to the Minor Leagues.

“It hasn’t been easy, but take it in stride and deal with it and just keep moving forward, keep pushing forward,” said Morrison, who was back in left field and hitting third in the first game against the Reds on Wednesday afternoon.

A fan favorite and promising talent, Morrison had a 10-minute chat with manager Jack McKeon before he addressed the media.

The message being delivered to Morrison, who turns 24 on Thursday, is to move forward and get behind the circumstances that led to him being sent down.

“He’s a good kid really,” McKeon said. “I talked to him earlier. He understands the situation. I’m sure you are going to see a different guy.”

The Marlins optioned Morrison to the Minor Leagues shortly after he missed a mandatory event with season ticket holders.

Did he view the move as a punishment?

“I don’t know. I try not to think about any of that stuff,” Morrison said. “It’s hard enough hitting a baseball, so just kind of deal with that and go from there.”

Morrison is batting .249 with 17 homers and 60 RBIs.

During his stint at Triple-A, the Marlins went 1-7.

Morrison and the Marlins expect more production in the final weeks.

“I’m not a .249 hitter, or .240 hitter, .250 hitter, I see myself as more of a .300 hitter, but it’s part of the game,” Morrison said. “The struggle. You have ups, you have downs, you have good seasons, you have bad seasons. Just take these next five weeks, work to get better and hopefully get the average up a little bit. If not, just grind it out and grind out at-bats and grind out games.”

Morrison says he wore the Hanley Ramirez “H2R Boombah” t-shirt because it was in his locker.

Joe Frisaro


McKeon calls the D-Train ‘special’

MIAMI — For the first time since being traded in 2007, the D-Train rolls back into Sun Life Stadium.

Dontrelle Willis, who still is the Marlins’ all-time leader in pitching victories, arrives in town as a member of the Reds.

The energetic left-hander, however, is not slated to pitch in the three-game series against the Marlins.

Still, his legacy and impact in South Florida is not forgotten.

Willis was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2003, and he helped the organization win the World Series that year.

Marlins manager Jack McKeon considers players like Willis and Juan Pierre, his best friend while with the organization, special.

“I always love to see those guys, Pierre, Dontrelle,” said McKeon, the manager of the ’03 squad. “They are special to me.

“Those two guys, they were workaholics. Some of the guys we have, if they had the work habits of those two guys, they’d be much better than they are now.”

Willis was a Marlin from 2003-07, and he posted a 68-54 record with a 3.78 ERA. In 2005, Willis won 22 games, a club record.

“All I can is, when I had him, he had great work habits, and he was a great competitor,” McKeon said. “I think that he finally went through some periods of adversity, and now he’s found himself again. And he could be back to being successful.”

McKeon notes that a number of current Marlins could have benefited by being around players like Willis, Pierre and others from the championship team.

“Sometimes that is ingrained in you,” McKeon said. “Guys want to be good. He wanted to be good. He didn’t take anything for granted. He didn’t expect anybody to give him anything.

“If you look at him, and not singling out any of our players, but watch him on the mound. He brought life. Some guys, they look like they are going to sleep. With him, he was hopping around. He brought some life. Maybe, that is some guys nature.”

Joe Frisaro

Coghlan optioned to New Orleans

SAN DIEGO — Before Chris Coghlan makes it back to the big leagues, the Marlins outfielder first will get some time playing at Triple-A New Orleans.

Coghlan has been on the disabled list since June 17 with left knee inflammation.

Of late, he has been on rehab assignment, playing Minor League games in Jupiter, Fla.

On Friday morning, the Marlins announced that Coghlan has returned from his rehab assignment. The 26-year-old has been reinstated from the disabled list, and optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.

Coghlan played in 10 rehab assignment games for the Class A Jupiter Hammerheads, where he batted .343 (12-for-35) with one double, two RBIs and four runs scored.

The Marlins Opening Day center fielder, Coghlan appeared in 65 games before going on the disabled list.  The 2009 National League Rookie of the Year is batting .230 with five homers and 22 RBIs in the big leagues this year.

Joe Frisaro

Choate placed on disabled list

SAN DIEGO — Subtract yet another reliever from the Marlins’ bullpen.

Lefty-specialist Randy Choate on Thursday was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 16, with left elbow inflammation.

To fill his roster spot, the Marlins recalled right-hander Chris Hatcher, who joins the bullpen.

Choate last pitched on Monday at Colorado, where he surrendered a three-run, walk-off homer to Jason Giambi.

On Wednesday, Choate returned to South Florida, where he was further examined and underwent an MRI.

In 54 games, Choate threw 24 2/3 innings. The veteran is 1-1 with a 1.82 ERA.

Joe Frisaro

LoMo tweaks groin at New Orleans

DENVER — Injuries keep piling up for the Marlins, even at the Minor League level.

Logan Morrison, who was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans last Saturday, left Wednesday’s game after tweaking his groin. The left fielder went 2-for-4 with a home run, double and three RBIs against Colorado Springs.

Morrison was replaced after hitting a double. The left fielder was playing in his second game since joining the Zephyrs.

Joe Frisaro

Choate has sore left elbow

DENVER — On a day the Marlins placed Brian Sanches on the 15-day disabled list, the bullpen also has lost the services of another veteran.

Randy Choate, the team’s lefty specialist, has a sore left elbow. The veteran headed back to South Florida on Wednesday to be evaluated.

As of now, Choate isn’t on the DL.

Mike Dunn is the lone lefty in the bullpen.

Joe Frisaro


Why Stanton doesn’t showboat

DENVER — We’re seeing the tremendous power and monstrous home runs out of Mike Stanton. He has 28 blasts this year and 50 in his career.

What we don’t see is the 21-year-old slugger standing at home plate, bat-flipping and admiring his tape-measured shots.

In his second year and his first full big league season, Stanton doesn’t feel he has enough time in the game to do anything to draw additional attention to himself.

So when he unloads on his big blasts, he simply drops the bat and runs. On those shots he isn’t sure have a chance, he is hustling, just in case the ball doesn’t clear the fence.

What would it take for Stanton to “pimp” a home run?

“If they threw at me, for no reason,” he said. “Or to intimidate me or whatever, then I will. If I’m upset about something.”

Another time he would show more excitement is if it is a walk-off homer.

“Other than that, there is no need to,” he said.

Stanton also is mindful that he doesn’t want to be embarrassed if he thinks a ball is gone and it isn’t.

“I never want that pimp to hit the top of the wall and me get thrown out at second,” Stanton said. “I’d rather have 100 non-pimps than to have something happen.”

Joe Frisaro

Sanches to DL, Webb reinstated

DENVER — In the late innings on Monday at Coors Field, Brian Sanches warmed up in the bullpen. The Marlins reliever had been dealing with some discomfort in his right elbow, but he felt he could have pitched that night.

He wasn’t called upon.

Rather than take any chances with his arm, the Marlins on Wednesday morning placed Sanches on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow strain. The move was made retroactive to Aug. 10.

Right-hander Ryan Webb was reinstated from the disabled list and he will be with the club on Wednesday in the series finale with the Rockies.

Webb had been on the disabled list with a shoulder injury.

The Marlins bullpen already is without Edward Mujica, who is missing a few days due to a right lat strain.

Joe Frisaro


Petersen hitting second

DENVER — Looking for some spark to a struggling offense, Marlins manager Jack McKeon has moved Bryan Petersen to the second spot in the lineup.

Petersen will play left field and hit second on Monday night when the Marlins open a three-game set with the Rockies at Coors Field.

Clay Hensley will pitch for Florida, while Kevin Millwood goes for the Rockies.


Bonifacio SS

Petersen LF

Stanton RF

Dobbs 3B

Sanchez 1B

Buck C

Wise CF

Amezaga 2B

Hensley P

Joe Frisaro