September 2011

Surgery date set for Hanley

MIAMI — Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez will undergo his shoulder surgery on Sept. 15, and the procedure will be performed by Dr. James Andrews.

The extent of the damage to Ramirez’s left shoulder won’t be known until the surgery is conducted in Birmingham, Ala.

The three-time All-Star shortstop had surgery to the same shoulder after the 2007 season.

Joe Frisaro


Marlins announce organizational changes

Here is the release the Marlins sent on Baseball Operations changes

MIAMI — The Marlins today announced three changes in their Baseball Operations department: Jim Fleming has been named Special Assistant to the President of Baseball Operations; Stan Meek has been named Vice President of Scouting; Marty Scott
joins the organization as Vice President of Player Development. The announcement was made by Marlins President of Baseball
Operations Larry Beinfest.

Fleming, who joined the Marlins organization in 2002, spent nine seasons as the Marlins Vice President, Player Development and Scouting and was an Assistant General Manager. He previously served four-and-a-half seasons as Director of Scouting
for the Montreal Expos as part of a 12-year tenure in the Expos organization.

Meek has spent the past nine seasons as the Marlins Director of Scouting. He has 21 seasons of professional scouting, following a 14-year collegiate coaching career. Meek has served in various scouting capacities with the Detroit Tigers,
Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Montreal Expos before joining the Marlins.

Scott joins the Marlins after spending the past three seasons as manager of the Lincoln Saltdogs of the Independent American Association, guiding the Saltdogs to the American Association championship in 2009. He has worked 34 seasons in
professional baseball, including 10 as the Director of Player Development for the Texas Rangers, from 1985-1994. Scott’s front office tenure also includes a year as a Vice President with the St. Paul Saints (2001) and as President of the Fort Worth Cats’ parent company in 2002. In addition, he has 13 seasons of managing experience at the minor league level, winning four championships. His managerial career includes stints in the Texas Rangers (1982-84) and New York Mets (2008) organizations, as well as with St. Paul (1995-2000) and Fort Worth (2002). He also managed Team USA in 2002 and 2003, leading the team during the 2003 World Cup and the qualifying rounds for the Pan-American Games. Drafted in 1977 by the Texas Rangers, Scott played four seasons in the organization, reaching as high as Triple-A in 1979 and 1980 as a corner infielder.

Not surgery set yet for Hanley

MIAMI — Hanley Ramirez will have one more test before undergoing surgery on his left shoulder.

The 27-year-old spoke with reporters on Monday afternoon, and he noted no date has been set for surgery. Within the next few days, the Marlins shortstop will undergo a CT Scan. Once that is completed, he will have surgery.

The hope is he will be ready for Opening Day. He is holding hope to be ready for the start of Spring Training, but that will be determined after the severity of the surgery is determined.

“I’m going to have another test on my shoulder,” Ramirez said. “I’m going to have the surgery, but we haven’t set the date yet. We’ve got to do that test first.”

Will he be ready for the start of 2012?

“We are at a time right now, after the surgery, I’ve just got to work hard,” Ramirez said. “I’ve done it before. I was ready for the first day of Spring Training. So hopefully, it’s not a surgery to take longer than it was before.”

After the 2007 season, Ramirez had surgery in October and he was back for the start of Spring Training.

Joe Frisaro



Baker, Murphy, Sanches are back

MIAMI — The Marlins added some more depth on Monday, reinstating three players off the disabled list.

Returning to the active roster are catcher John Baker, reliever Brian Sanches and infielder Donnie Murphy, who was the Opening Day third baseman.

Also, lefty reliever Randy Choate was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Joe Frisaro



Changes on horizon for Marlins

MIAMI — Less than a month remains in a disappointing 2011 season, and already speculation is heating up regarding possible changes the Marlins will make for 2012.

At the forefront is Jack McKeon’s status as manager.

Reports already are surfacing that the 80-year-old won’t be managing the club at age 81.

McKeon told reporters the other day that he has made up his mind but nothing will officially be determined until after the season.

Conventional wisdom suggests the team will make a switch.

After all, McKeon took over on an interim basis for Edwin Rodriguez on June 20. He will turn 81 in November, and it isn’t too far fetched to assume that the organization will seek someone else for a multiyear deal. So a change wouldn’t be startling. In fact, it would be expected.

Still, until something is made official, don’t rule out anything regarding McKeon. He still has plenty to offer.

But if the sagely skipper isn’t in the dugout, he likely would return to his advisory position, which he held from after the 2005 season until he took on the interim tag.

It would be safe to assume the Marlins will be looking for a new voice in the dugout as they enter their new ballpark. Shortly after the All-Star Break, owner Jeffrey Loria went on record saying he wants someone with big league managerial experience.

Loria then also has talked about changes at the Minor League level, in hopes of restocking the system.

If McKeon indeed is through with managing, there will be no shortage of potential replacements.

Ozzie Guillen is the potential candidate who generates the most attention. But he is under contract with the White Sox for next year. Speculation arises out of Chicago on almost a daily basis as to whether Guillen will return to the White Sox or exit.

If available, Guillen appears to be at the top of the Marlins’ list of possible managers. Guillen has a link to the organization, having been Florida’s third base coach from 2002-03.

Another name expected to be in the mix is Bobby Valentine. Yes, the courtship went on twice in 2010, and his hiring appeared to be a done deal after Fredi Gonzalez was let go in June of 2010.

Then after the 2010 season, Valentine again was back in the equation, before Rodriguez signed a one-year contract to return.

Perhaps a third try at Valentine will end up with the former Rangers and Mets skipper agreeing to manage the Marlins.

Will the Marlins be willing to spend money on a manager and payroll?

According to multiple sources, Loria is ready to do what it takes to upgrade the organization as it transitions from Sun Life Stadium to the new ballpark.

For the first time in their history, the Marlins will be in their own ballpark, and increased revenue streams. And their payroll is expected to be more than $70 million and perhaps as high at $80 million.

On the current roster, the team is hoping to bring back potential free agents Omar Infante and Greg Dobbs.

Starting pitching is high on the agenda for 2012. The organization will be targeting at least one left-hander.

The Marlins also are expected to be busy on the trade front. Chris Volstad, who be entering arbitration for the first time, is a possible piece to be dealt.

Hanley Ramirez, headed for surgery on his left shoulder, remains a focal point for the franchise. Getting him healthy for Opening Day 2012 is the team’s priority. The club isn’t looking to deal their three-time All-Star shortstop, especially now when his value isn’t at its highest.

Joe Frisaro

JJ to throw off mound soon

NEW YORK — Josh Johnson is on the verge of throwing off the mound, according to Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest.

Johnson could be taking the mound either Friday or sometime this weekend.

The Marlins’ ace, who has been on the disabled list since May 17 with right shoulder inflammation, isn’t expected to pitch at the big league level the rest of the season. But the team would like to see if the right-hander face batters before the end of September, even if it is during a simulated game in Jupiter, Fla.

“We’re hoping that he’s going to get on the mound in the next day or two or three,” Beinfest said on Thursday. “We were talking about late this week, this weekend to get him on the mound.”

Asked if Johnson will pitch for the Marlins this year, Beinfest said: “I doubt it. I don’t think the Major Leagues. Maybe our mini-camp. Maybe in a simulated game. At this point, is it possible? I guess, yes. But he’s just getting on the mound. It’s Sept. 1, and he has 27 days to get all the way ramped up.”

Even if Johnson faces batters before the end of the month, the team and the right-hander will have a better indication of where he stands for 2012.

“We just want to get him on the mound, even if it is simulated in Jupiter,” Beinfest said.

* It is undecided if Chris Coghlan will be brought up to the big leagues as a September callup. Coghlan has dealt with several injuries.

* Matt Dominguez likely will get called up, but the team will wait until after the Minor League season ends on Sept. 5 before bringing up a majority of their players.

Joe Frisaro



Hanley has left shoulder instability

NEW YORK — Hanley Ramirez is dealing with some left shoulder instability, and he will discuss treatment options with a Marlins physician this weekend.

The results of an MRI taken on Wednesday were revealed on Thursday.

Ramirez will further assess his situation with Dr. Lee Kaplan in South Florida. The two options are whether to treat the ailing shoulder with rest, or go ahead with a surgical procedure.

Since Ramirez was injured at New York on Aug. 2, the shoulder has popped out of socket a couple of times. After it occurred the first time, he was placed on the disabled list on Aug. 10, retroactive to Aug. 3.

Ramirez felt it pop out again on Tuesday while he was on rehab assignment playing for Class A  Jupiter, which makes it doubtful he will play the rest of this year.

After the 2007 season, Ramirez had surgery on the same shoulder. Even if a procedure is need, it isn’t believed to be as serious as what the 27-year-old shortstop went through in ’07. So there are no indications that Ramirez won’t be healthy for the 2012 season, should he not return in September.

Joe Frisaro

Rosario gets September call

NEW YORK — As an emergency alternative, Sandy Rosario was a standby relief pitching option for the Marlins when they began their series with the Mets at Citi Field on Monday.

In fact, Rosario hooked up with the team in Philadelphia this past weekend, and he made the bus trip with the team to New York on Sunday afternoon. Because the Marlins had a doubleheader set with the Mets on Monday, Rosario was an option to get brought up for Game 2, had the team burned through relief pitching in the first game.

That didn’t happen.

On Thursday, the first day of September callups, Rosario was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans, and he becomes the 14th pitcher on the roster, which now is at 26.

Rosario made seven relief appearances for the Zephyrs, posting an 0-1 record with a 4.05 ERA in 6 2/3 innings. The 26-year-old from the Dominican Republic spent most of the season at Double-A Jacksonville, where he appeared in 46 games where he was 3-2 with a 4.15 ERA.

In 2010, Rosario appeared in two games with the Marlins, and he gave up six runs in one inning.

Rosario last pitched on Aug. 25, tossing a scoreless inning against Omaha.

Joe Frisaro