March 2012

Marlins lineup vs. Nationals

JUPITER, Fla. — A couple of Marlins players battling for roster spots will be in the lineup on Tuesday against the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Outfielders Aaron Rowand and Austin Kearns are non-roster invitees competing for a right-handed hitting backup position.

Miami is sending Ricky Nolasco, their No. 3 starter, to the mound against Washington lefty Gio Gonzalez.

MARLINS

1) Reyes, SS

2) Bonifacio, CF

3) Ramirez, 3B

4) Sanchez, 1B

5) Infante, 2B

6) Kearns, RF

7) Rowand, LF

8) Hayes, C

9) Nolasco, P

On Wednesday, the Marlins will be traveling to Kissimmee to face the Nationals.

Position players making the trip include Aaron Rowand, Emilio Bonifacio, Austin Kearns, Omar Infante, Gaby Sanchez, John Buck, Bryan Petersen, Nick Green and Chris Coghlan.

Joe Frisaro

Stanton, LoMo set to take field

JUPITER, Fla. — Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton will be playing in the outfield on Tuesday in a Minor League game on a back field at the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

Both are set to go about five innings.

Morrison will be in left field, while Stanton will play in right field. Both are optimistic to be ready for Opening Day, which is April 4 against the Cardinals at Marlins Park.

Morrison received a bit of a scare on Monday while being a designated hitter in the Minor League game. His left knee locked up, causing pain and discomfort. He was assisted off the field, and carted back to the clubhouse.

He’s had that happen in the past, and he is fine and ready to go.

The knee that locked is Morrison’s left knee, or the knee that didn’t require surgery in early December. Morrison’s right knee also is responding.

Stanton, meanwhile, is wearing a brace on his left knee, which has bothered him since mid-March.

From Saturday until Monday, Stanton and Morrison were used exclusively as designated hitters in Minor League games.

Joe Frisaro

 

LoMo fine after left knee tightens

JUPITER, Fla. — There was a moment of concern for Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison on Monday during a Minor League game.

Morrison’s left knee briefly tightened, causing him to be assisted off a back field at Roger Dean Stadium.

The ailment was to his non-surgical knee, so there isn’t major reason for concern. Basically, he experienced something like a cramping in his left knee.

In early December, the left fielder had a scope on his right knee.

Morrison is fine, and should be back doing his rehab work on Tuesday.

Morrison’s right knee also continues to improve, and he remains hopeful of being ready for the April 4 opener against the Cardinals at Marlins Park.

Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins lineup vs. Tigers

JUPITER, Fla. — Mark Buehrle will face a former foe on Monday.

The Marlins left-hander, who formerly was with the White Sox, is making the start against the Tigers in Lakeland.

MARLINS

1) Reyes, SS

2) Bonifacio, CF

3) Ramirez, 3B

4) Sanchez, 1B

5) Infante, 2B

6) Coghlan, LF

7) Kearns, RF

8) Buck, C

9) Buehrle, P

Joe Frisaro

 

Will Marlins start off with four-man rotation?

JUPITER, Fla. —  A couple of early offdays could mean the Marlins will open the season with a four-man rotation.

That doesn’t mean that one of their projected starters will not break camp with the big league club. It could mean the projected fifth starter, which appears to be Anibal Sanchez, will be used as a long reliever until he joins the rotation.

Nothing has been firmly set.

Manager Ozzie Guillen, pitching coach Randy St. Claire and the front office have yet to officially decide the direction they want to begin the season with.

Barring anything unforeseen, the first three starters are pretty much set. Josh Johnson will pitch the April 4 opener against the Cardinals, who are going with Kyle Lohse, at Marlins Park.

The next day, Miami is at Cincinnati, and Mark Buehrle is set as the No. 2 starter. Ricky Nolasco is locked in at No. 3.

The fourth and fifth starters will be Carlos Zambrano and Sanchez.

Guillen hasn’t officially said in which order they will pitch. He doesn’t really have to, because of sceduled off days on April 6 and April 10. Technically, the club doesn’t need a fifth starter until April 15, at home against the Astros.

Whoever the fifth starter is could find himself pitching out of the bullpen until April 15.

Sanchez was hindered early in Spring Training with soreness behind his right shoulder. He has been limited to 4 2/3 innings of Grapefruit League play in two starts.

He did throw five innings in a Minor League intrasquad game on Saturday, and got his pitch count up to 53.

Zambrano, meanwhile, has thrown 13 2/3 innings in four Grapefruit League starts.

If the club begins with four starters, it will likely be only through April 15. After that, the five-man rotation should fall into place.

The pitcher most impacted by the potential of a four-man rotation early is lefty Wade LeBlanc, who actually paces the Marlins in innings pitched this spring. LeBlanc has been terrific in five Grapefruit League games, with two starts. He is 2-1 with a 1.37 ERA, giving up three earned runs in 19 2/3 innings. He’s struck out 19 and walked just two.

LeBlanc has an option, and the Marlins may start him off pitching regularly in the Triple-A New Orleans rotation, rather than have his innings limited in the unpredictable long-relief role in the big leagues. At least that could be the thinking early in the season.

That could change later in April or as the year progresses, when LeBlanc could be asked to fill the long relief role.

LeBlanc is clearly the team’s No. 6 starter. Should there be an injury or a projected rotation piece needs to skp a start, LeBlanc likely would get the call.

The Marlins bullpen is pretty much set, except for maybe one or two spots.

Steve Cishek, Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica are the expected right-handed setup options to closer Heath Bell. Randy Choate and Mike Dunn are the two lefties.

Jose Ceda has had a strong camp and could win a spot. The club also will have to make a decision on Chad Gaudin, a non-roster invitee who has had a strong spring (1.74 ERA in 10 1/3 innings).

Joe Frisaro

Optimism that Stanton, LoMo will be ready

JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins are optimistic that Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison will be ready for Opening Day.

The two took a step closer to making that a reality on Saturday when they each had at-bats in an intrasquad Minor League scrimmage at the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

Stanton (left knee inflammation) and Morrison (right knee inflammation) got at-bats. Morrison had a double, while Stanton belted two home runs.

Afterwards, they each ran sprints without any discomfort.

Stanton likely will be playing the field on Tuesday. And Morrison, who didn’t push running at all during the scrimmage, is hopeful to be ready when the season gets going on April 4 against the Cardinals at Marlins Park.

Greg Dobbs (left hamstring) is set to be a designated hitter on Sunday on the back fields at Roger Dean Stadium. Dobbs likely will be set for the season opener.

Manager Ozzie Guillen said the club will closely monitor Stanton and Morrison.

The team is weighing whether to take one or two backup outfielders. They’d like one to be a right-handed hitter. Austin Kearns and Aaron Rowand are in the mix.

Left-handed hitting Bryan Petersen and Chris Coghlan are also competing for roster spots.

“Whoever is going to be the backup outfielder, he has to be ready,” Guillen said. “LoMo, he had the knee injury last year. We’re going to monitor that, and hopefully keep him as healthy as we can.”

Lefty reliever Randy Choate threw a perfect inning on Saturday in a Minor League scrimmage. Choate, who had been dealing with tightness in his right side, will pitch in his first Grapefruit League game on Monday, against the Tigers in Lakeland.

Guillen said he’d like for Choate to be ready to face left-handed and right-handed hitters this year.

“I don’t want him to have in the back of his mind, I only get paid to get lefties out,” Guillen said. “He’s got to be ready to get righties out too. Left specialists, that’s a good way to make money. Get one guy and get out. No, he’s got to be ready for righties too, because sooner or later we’re going to need him to get a righty.”

Joe Frisaro

Marlins lineup vs. Red Sox

JUPITER, Fla. — Wade LeBlanc, who is competing for a long relief role, will take the mound on Saturday against the Red Sox at Roger Dean Stadium.

With the Marlins heading out of town on Sunday and Monday, the club is resting most of its regulars on Saturday.

MARLINS vs. RED SOX, Saturday

1) Bonifacio, CF

2) Coghlan, LF

3) Sanchez, 1B

4) Buck, C

5) Kearns, RF

6) Murphy, 3B

7) Solano, 2B

8) Green SS

9) LeBlanc, P

The regulars will be traveling to Port Charlotte on Sunday to face the Rays. The team is spending a night on the road, and they will face the Tigers on Monday at Lakeland.

MARLINS at RAYS, Sunday

1) Reyes, SS

2) Bonifacio, CF

3) Ramirez, 3B

4) Sanchez, 1B

5) Buck, C

6) Infante, 2B

7) Rowand, LF

8) Petersen, RF

9) Johnson, P

On Sunday at Lakeland against the Tigers, Mark Buehrle is set to start.

Joe Frisaro

Marlins make roster moves

JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins trimmed their roster a bit on Friday morning, sending five to the Minor Leagues.

Outfielder Scott Cousins was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.

The club also reassigned catcher Luke Montz, outfielder Kyle Jensen, infielders Terry Tiffee and Gil Velazquez to Minor League camp.

Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins lineup for Friday

JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins will send Carlos Zambrano to the mound on Friday against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

MARLINS

1) Reyes, SS

2) Bonifacio, CF

3) Ramirez, 3B

4) Sanchez, 1B

5) Infante, 2B

6) Coghlan, LF

7) Rowand, RF

8) Hayes, C

9) Zambrano, P

Joe Frisaro

 

Opening Day uncertain for LoMo, Stanton hopeful

JUPITER, Fla. — Being in the Opening Day lineup remains the objective. But will it be a reality for Marlins outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison?

Perhaps the chances are better for Stanton than Morrison.

For both, though, it’s still wait and see.

Chances are Greg Dobbs (left hamstring) will be ready for the April 4 opener against the Cardinals at Marlins Park.

Stanton (left knee), Morrison (right knee) and Dobbs began a light running program on Thursday. The three were cleared to begin baseball activities after meeting with team physician, Dr. Lee Kaplan, on Tuesday in Miami.

The three will continue jogging, throwing and hitting on Friday. The plan is for Morrison to be a designated hitter on Saturday in a Minor League game on a back field at the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

Stanton could be a DH as early as Monday or Tuesday.

Dobbs isn’t sure when he will see game action.

Morrison is being reserved in assessing his status. He isn’t completely confident he will be ready for Opening Day.

“I don’t think I’m going to tell them,” Morrison said. “I think the knee is going to tell me. The knee is going to tell everyone. I can’t tell it what to do.”

Dobbs fielded grounders at third base on Friday morning, while Stanton and Morrison took batting practice.

Morrison had surgery in the knee in early December, and he experienced some swelling that has shut him down from game action.

The Marlins have a decision to make because if any of their players is in Grapefruit League games after March 26, they won’t be eligible to be put on the disabled list, retroactive to that day.

For instance, if Stanton or Morrison play in Minor League games for the rest of the spring, and they aren’t considered ready for Opening Day, they could be placed on the disabled list, retroactive to March 26. So that means, they would be eligible to be activated on April 10, when the team is at Philadelphia.

Under that scenario, they would miss the first three games of the regular season.

“I fast jogged a little bit yesterday,” Stanton said. “I’ll pick it up today. I got positive feedback, and we’ll get this progress for Opening Day going.”

Dobbs’ hamstring responded favorably to some light jogging on Thursday.

“We’ll ramp it up a little bit more,” he said.

Joe Frisaro

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