March 2012

Stanton leading off vs. Mets

JUPITER, Fla. — Don’t expect any drag bunts or stolen bases the Marlins’ leadoff batter for a day.

To get more at-bats, Giancarlo Stanton is slotted first in the lineup on Saturday against the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium.

“I’m Jose Reyes today,” Stanton joked.

“I feel strong today,” said Reyes, who will bat third in the Marlins’ finale in Jupiter.

Stanton says he last led off at low Class A Greensboro in 2008. It was at the end of the year and done mostly for fun because the slugger had 39 homers that year. An extra at-bat or two may have increased his chances of reaching 40.

Stanton (left knee) and Logan Morrison, who is hitting second on Saturday, (right knee) have missed a majority of Spring Training.

MARLINS

1) Stanton, RF

2) Morrison, LF

3) Reyes, SS

4) Ramirez, 3B

5) Sanchez, 1B

6) Infante, 2B

7) Buck, C

8) Bonifacio, CF

9) Buehrle, P

METS

1) Hairston, CF

2) Tejada, SS

3) Murphy, 2B

4) Davis, 1B

5) Bay, LF

6) Duda, RF

7) Turner, 3B

8) Thole, C

9) Batista, P

Joe Frisaro

Opening Day lineup preview?

VIERA, Fla. — Chances are the batting order the Marlins used on Friday night will be what takes the field on Opening Night.

Due to injuries to Giancarlo Stanton (left knee) and Logan Morrison (right knee), manager Ozzie Guillen didn’t have his entire club available for all of Spring Training.

In fact, Friday night at the Nationals was the first time the Marlins had all their expected starters in the lineup together. That includes pitcher Josh Johnson, who iis set to go in Wednesday’s opener against the Cardinals at Marlins Park.

The lineup Guillen used was: Jose Reyes (SS), Emilio Bonifacio (CF), Hanley Ramirez (3B), Giancarlo Stanton (RF), Logan Morrison (LF), Gaby Sanchez (1B), Omar Infante (2B), John Buck (C) and Josh Johnson (P).

The Cardinals will be starting right-hander Kyle Lohse on Opening Night.

Joe Frisaro

Why LeBlanc was optioned

JUPITER, Fla. — You can file this one in the “Life isn’t always fair” category.

The Marlins decision on Friday to option Wade LeBlanc to Triple-A New Orleans had nothing to do with performance. Because, if this decision was performance driven, there would be no question the left-hander is deserving of a roster spot.

But because he had an option, the Marlins exercised it to allow LeBlanc to pitch where he is best suited, and that’s in the rotation.

So LeBlanc heads to Minor League camp the day before the Marlins pack up and head down to Miami to get ready for Wednesday’s opener against the Cardinals at Marlins Park.

LeBlanc did his part, making for a tough decision. His numbers showed it. In 20 2/3 innings, the lefty posted a 1.31 ERA with 19 strikeouts and two walks. He showed great command of four pitches, able to change speeds on all of them. And his changeup is a plus pitch for him.

In many ways, LeBlanc’s style is similar to Mark Buehrle’s. Both are not overpowering, but they can change speeds and compete.

LeBlanc just will be competing at Triple-A, and he is essentially the Marlins’ “sixth starter.” So in case anything happened to someone in Miami’s rotation, LeBlanc is expected to get the first call.

Considering the health concerns of Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez, it probably was a wise move to have someone with big league experience in the wings to step in, if necessary. Like LeBlanc, J.D. Martin, who was recently sent down, is capable coming up to provide help. Unlike last year, the Marlins have some solid starting depth.

The Marlins decided to keep LeBlanc as a starter instead of a long reliever.

Friday’s move pretty much opens the door for non-roster invitee Chad Gaudin to make the club as a long reliever.

The Marlins will be able to create 40-man roster space for Gaudin when they officially transfer reliever Jose Ceda, who will have Tommy John surgery on Tuesday, to the 60-day disabled list.

Joe Frisaro

Anchorman sequel, super duper news to Marlins

JUPITER, Fla. — Important breaking news in the world of entertainment was greeted with a big, “super duper!” in the Marlins clubhouse.

There will be an “Anchorman” sequel.

Will Ferrell, in character as Ron Burgundy and playing a jazz flute, made the announcement on “Conan” on Wednesday night.

“This made my day that much better,” said Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison, a huge fan of the 2004 original, “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.”

Morrison, who often quotes and Tweets lines from the movie, felt like shouting the news out to the rest of the Marlins clubhouse on Thursday morning.

“I want to stop everybody and tell them,” Morrison said. “Excuse me, every one! I have a very important announcement to make. There’s an Anchorman 2 coming out!”

Like lines from the TV series, “Seinfeld,” “Anchorman” is a pop culture sensation.

Morrison frequently will quote lines from the movie.

“I ended a ‘Billy Bunch’ kids TV show with, ‘Stay classy, Miami,’ ” Morrison said. “When it’s really hot out and I’m stretching, I’ll say, ‘Milk was a bad choice.’ “

Morrison on occasion has even gone into a Ron Burgundy voice to impress the ladies.

“Yeah, I do,” he laughed. “But usually it’s with girls that I know, so they don’t think I’m a total idiot. I’ll say, ‘my apartment smells of rich mahogany. and I’ve read many leather-bound books.’ “

Joe Frisaro

Hanley, Reyes color coordinated

JUPITER, Fla. — They’re together on the left side of the Marlins infield. Away from the field, they regularly play PlayStation. Now, they’ve colored their hair together.

Since the Marlins have red-orange as a prominent color, Reyes and Ramirez each have decided to go with red-orange hair.

Ramirez Tweeted a picture of the two.

Second baseman Omar Infante said, “I’m next, papi.”

Reyes says he wants to get Emilio Bonifacio to do it too. But Boni doesn’t have much hair to work with.

Joe Frisaro

 

Thursday’s lineup; Stanton, LoMo update

JUPITER, Fla. — Anibal Sanchez will take the mound on Thursday against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

The Marlins will be testing Chris Coghlan in right field. Coghlan, who is competing for a roster spot, has primarily played left and center field.

Also on Thursday, Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton will be playing seven innings in the outfield in a Minor League game. Both were used as designated hitters on Wednesday.

If all goes well, Morrison (right knee) will play nine innings in a Minor League game on Friday. Chances are the earliest Morrison will join the big league club is Sunday against the Yankees at Marlins Park.

Stanton (left knee) could play on Friday against the Nationals in Viera.

Greg Dobbs (left hamstring) played the field on Wednesday in a Minor League game. He again will play in the field on Thursday in a Minors game.

The hope is to have Morrison, Stanton and Dobbs playing in the exhibition with the Yankees on Sunday.

Jose Ceda (right elbow sprain) is expected to visit Dr. James Andrews early next week. There is a chance he will have Tommy John surgery as early as Tuesday.

MARLINS vs. CARDINALS, Thursday

1) Reyes, SS

2) Coghlan, RF

3) Ramirez, 3B

4) Kearns, 1B

5) Petersen, LF

6) Rowand, CF

7) Murphy, 2B

8) Hayes, C

9) Sanchez, P

Joe Frisaro

 

Rowand released, other Marlins moves

JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins roster is coming more into focus.

The team on Thursday afternoon, released outfielder Aaron Rowand, a non-roster invitee who was competing for a roster spot.

The Marlins made a handful of roster moves, including optioning Bryan Petersen to Triple-A New Orleans.

The two moves means non-roster invitee Austin Kearns and outfielder Chris Coghlan likely will make the club.

The Marlins also re-assigned non-roster invitee right-hander J.D. Martin and non-roster invitee infielder Nick Green to Minor League camp.

With Thursday’s transactions, Donnie Murphy is the likely choice to be the backup infielder.

Joe Frisaro

Marlins lineup for Wednesday

The Marlins are on the road Wednesday, facing the Astros in Kissimmee.

Carlos Zambrano is making the start for Miami, while Houston counters with Lucas Harrell.

Wade LeBlanc and Edward Mujica are also scheduled to pitch.

MARLINS

1) Bonifacio, CF

2) Infante, 2B

3) Sanchez, 1B

4) Buck, C

5) Petersen, RF

6) Coghlan, LF

7) Solano, SS

8) Murphy, 3B

9) Zambrano, P

Joe Frisaro

 

Decision time approaching for Marlins

JUPITER, Fla. — Opening Night is now a week away, and time is running short for players on the bubble.

The Marlins have some tough decisions to make, but they are mostly for reserve roles and one or two spots in the bullpen. Otherwise, the 25-man roster is getting closer to being set.

One of the most watched battles in camp has been the right-handed hitting bench spot. Non-roster invitees Aaron Rowand and Austin Kearns are the two choices. Rowand has an impressive big league track record, but Kearns is having the better Spring Training.

Based on numbers, the edge goes to Kearns.

But working in Rowand’s favor is he can play all three outfield spots, while Kearns is more of a corner option.

The left-handed hitting outfielders being considered are Chris Coghlan and Bryan Petersen. Coghlan can play left and center, but he isn’t an ideal option to play in right field. Petersen can play all three outfield spots. So it would come down to who is a better option at the plate. Coghlan could have the edge there.

Another factor is the health of Logan Morrison.

The starting left fielder has been dealing with a sore right knee for most of Spring Training, and he is playing in Minor League games. Morrison is set to be a designated hitter in a Minor League game on Wednesday. If that goes well, he could be back in the outfield on Thursday.

It seems Friday or Saturday would be the earliest Morrison would test the knee in a Grapefruit League game.

If Morrison needs more time to get ready, he could be placed on the disabled list, retroactive to March 26, and be eligible to be reinstated as early as April 10.

Should that be the case, Coghlan and Petersen could both make the Opening Day roster.

The backup infield job is between Donnie Murphy, Donovan Solano and Nick Green.

Murphy is on the 40-man and he has experience with the Marlins. While Solano has been the surprise of camp, most likely he will open at Triple-A and play every day.

The rotation is pretty much set with Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Ricky Nolasco and Carlos Zambrano lined up the first four games. Anibal Sanchez will be the fifth starter, but the question is when exactly he will go. He would be lined up for April 9, but because of a couple of early off days, the team could go with a four-man rotation until April 15.

If the club keeps Sanchez flexible, it could mix and match the rotation after a week or so, and give any of the top four another day or two of rest.

Either way, Sanchez opens with the big league club.

Heath Bell, Edward Mujica, Ryan Webb, Steve Cishek, Randy Choate and Mike Dunn are pretty much locks in the bullpen. Jose Ceda has looked in camp and is another right-handed option.

Left-hander Wade LeBlanc has enjoyed a terrific camp. He is a long relief option, should the team decide it needs a true long reliever. LeBlanc has an option and the club may opt to let him go to Triple-A New Orleans and pitch regularly out of the rotation. If for some reason the Marlins have a rotation opening, LeBlanc is likely to get the call first.

Whichever direction the team is leaning, the decision makers have a week to figure things out.

Joe Frisaro

Mujica unveils ‘Sup Girl’ shirts

JUPITER, Fla. — A new batch of custom made t-shirts have arrived at Marlins camp.

Courtesy of reliever Edward Mujica, seven red-orange t-shirts that sport “Sup Girl” and a sketch of half a baseball on the front were handed out on Tuesday morning. On the back is the players nickname and number.

Mujica will have the rest of the shirts printed up after the 25-man roster is set.

“That’s my favorite phrase ever,” said Mujica, one of the fun-loving players in the clubhouse. “Sup, how you doin’? The shirt is like baseball, and my favorite [saying]. I want to get everybody’s nickname, and make 18 more t-shirts.”

On the back of Mujica’s shirt is No. 34 and “Muji.”

Lefty reliever Mike Dunn, who shaves his head, will have a shirt that reads, “Calvo,” Spanish for bald.

Mujica is the latest to custom make t-shirts for the club.

Earlier in camp, Emilio Bonifacio introduced “lo viste” — which means, see that? — shirts.

The players frequently wear the t-shirts under their uniforms, or to work out in before and after games.

Joe Frisaro

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 100 other followers