March 2012

Marlins Sunday-Monday lineups

JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins and Cardinals will meet again on Sunday with Miami as the visiting team at Roger Dean Stadium.

Carlos Zambrano gets the start for the Marlins, while St. Louis is starting Adam Wainwright.

MARLINS

1) Reyes, SS

2) Bonifacio, CF

3) Ramirez, 3B

4) Sanchez, 1B

5) Infante, 2B

6) Coghlan, LF

7) Buck, C

8) Petersen, RF

9) Zambrano, P

MARLINS vs. ASTROS, Monday

1) Reyes, SS

2) Bonifacio, CF

3) Ramirez, 3B

4) G. Sanchez, 1B

5) Infante, 2B

6) Cousins, LF

7) Rowand, RF

8) Hayes, C

9) A. Sanchez, P

Joe Frisaro

Is Hanley ready for MVP-like season?

JUPITER, Fla. — Healthy and happy, Hanley Ramirez appears primed for a big year.

Just how big?

Marlins hitting coach Eduardo Perez thinks the three-time All-Star is capable of MVP numbers.

“We got three key free agents everybody talks about,” Perez said. “My other free agent is Hanley. We got a top-notch free agent third baseman. He’s MVP material.”

The Marlins, of course, signed Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle in the offseason. The way Ramirez has adjusted to third base, and how he is swinging the bat is one of the most positive stories of camp.

“What I see as a good sign is when he can drive the ball to right-center, and not lob it into right field,” Perez said. “Now he’s driving it into left-center and left field. The one he hit [Saturday] was a pitch middle-in. The one he hit in St. Lucie, on an 0-2 count, was a pitch down-and-in. He’s throwing his hands now and his hips are being used to perfection.”

Ramirez had surgery on his left shoulder late last year. But he dealt with a back strain for most of the year.

The fact that Ramirez’s back is once again strong is a big reason he’s hitting so well right now.

“It’s a big year for him,” Perez said. “I think he’s going to be again, one of the top players in the league, and maybe the top player in the league. Health is huge. Environment is great, and he’s being put into a situation to succeed. I’ve got to give him a lot of credit. He’s learning a new position. He’s embracing it. He’s not letting that affect at all, his offense, and we’re seeing it now. Hopefully, he can carry it into the season.”

On June 11, 2011, he went on the disabled list with a left lower back strain. But the discomfort plagued him well before that.

“It’s about core,” Perez said. “Your back, it affects your legs, and you’re not comfortable. He’s healthy now. At the beginning, everybody was talking about the shoulder, and it’s not. He’s strong there. But now, he’s strong with his back.”

Joe Frisaro

Marlins make series of roster moves

JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins’ Spring Training roster was dramatically reduced on Sunday morning.

The day after playing two games in two cities, Miami sent 11 down to the Minor Leagues.

Right-handers Tom Koehler, Sandy Rosario and Alex Sanabia, along with lefty Dan Jennings, third baseman Matt Dominguez and outfielder Kevin Mattison were optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.

Left-hander Brad Hand and right-hander Evan Reed were optioned to Double-A Jacksonville.

Also, right-hander Elih Villaneuva, catcher Kyle Skipworth and infielder Jeff Dominguez were reassigned to Minor League camp.

Matt Dominguez, a first-round pick in 2007, was told to work on his offense at Triple-A New Orleans.

“It’s pretty much the same thing,” Dominguez said. “They said, the defense is good, get the at-bats and work on my offense. Be more consistent, and hopefully, it goes well.”

Joe Frisaro

Marlins weekend lineups

JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins will be spread thin on Saturday, playing two games in two different cities.

In Jupiter, they will take on the Twins at Roger Dean Stadium. Ricky Nolasco will make that start.

The team also will be at Viera to face the Nationals. Tom Koehler is getting the start. Manager Ozzie Guillen made the trip.

And on Sunday, Miami will take on the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium, and they will be the home team. Carlos Zambrano will start.

MARLINS vs. TWINS

1) Reyes, SS

2) Infante, 2B

3) Ramirez, 3B

4) Tiffee, 1B

5) Kearns, RF

6) Coghlan, LF

7) Rowand, CF

8) Hayes, C

9) Nolasco, P

MARLINS at NATIONALS

1) Bonifacio, CF

2) Murphy, SS

3) Buck, C

4) Sanchez, 1B

5) Petersen, LF

6) Cousins, RF

7) Solano, 2B

8) M. Dominguez, 3B

9) Koehler, P

MARLINS vs. CARDINALS, Sunday

1) Reyes, SS

2) Bonifacio, CF

3) Ramirez, 3B

4) Sanchez, 1B

5) Infante, 2B

6) Coghlan, LF

7) Buck, C

8) Petersen, RF

9) Zambrano, P

Joe Frisaro

Choate throws bullpen session

JUPITER, Fla. — Randy Choate, who has been resting a fatigued right lat, threw off the mound on Saturday morning.

The Marlins lefty specialist has yet to pitch in a Grapefruit League game. He is scheduled for another mound session on Monday. If that goes well, he will face hitters in live batting practice next Wednesday, which is two weeks to Opening Day.

Choate is confident that he will be ready for when the season begins against the Cardinals on April 4 at Marlins Park.

“I don’t think it will be an issue,” Choate said of being ready for the start of the season. “I don’t think it will take as long as [other relievers]. I’ve got one guy to get ready for, so I think I’ll be in shape.”

Choate’s role pretty much is to get left-handed hitters, and often, that means he will face one or maybe two batters per outing.

The 36-year-old was one of the Marlins top relievers a year ago. He appeared in 54 games, and had a 1.82 ERA in 24 2/3 innings. But his season was cut short when he was placed on the disabled list with elbow inflammation on Aug. 18.

Choate said he felt some cramping and discomfort on his right side after taking some swings in the batting cage.

His elbow, he says, is fine. The issue that has slowed him in Spring Training is on his right side.

“Arm-wise, I’m fine,” he said. “We’re just being cautious, getting a little extra time.

“Wednesday will be two weeks [to Opening Day]. I’ll throw a live BP [Wednesday]. So I’d have more than a week-and-a-half to get ready. I don’t see it at an issue.”

Joe Frisaro

Upcoming Marlins lineups

JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins face the Cardinals on Friday afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium.

Miami will be the visiting team. Mark Buehrle will pitch, and for the first time in Spring Training, hit in an exhibition game.

MARLINS at CARDINALS, Friday

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) Buehrle, P

MARLINS vs. TWINS in Jupiter, Saturday

1) Reyes, SS

2) Infante, 2B

3) Ramirez, 3B

4) Sanchez, 1B

5) Kearns, RF

6) Coghlan, LF

7) Rowand, CF

8) Hayes, C

9) Nolasco, P

MARLINS at NATIONALS, Saturday

1) Bonifacio, CF

2) Murphy, SS

3) Buck, C

4) Tiffee, 1B

5) Petersen, LF

6) Cousins, RF

7) Solano, 2B

8) M. Dominguez, 3B

9) Koehler, P

Joe Frisaro

 

 

 

 

Stanton confident to be ready for opener

JUPITER, Fla. — The left wrist is no longer a concern for Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins slugger is keeping a closer eye on his left knee.

An MRI revealed inflammation, but no structural damage.

Stanton remains hopeful to return to game action sometime next week. Manager Ozzie Guillen said he hopes to have the regular lineup ready to go pretty much on a daily basis the final 10 games of Spring Training. That would mean all the projected starters would stay together beginning on March 24.

“We’re working towards it,” Stanton said. “It all depends on how it responds and all that good stuff. We’re trying to get there ASAP.”

Stanton was struck on the left wrist by a Chris Schwinden fastball of the Mets last Sunday at Port St. Lucie. Now, his wrist isn’t an issue.

In recent days, Stanton has felt discomfort in his knee, so he had it examined on Wednesday.

If Stanton isn’t ready by March 24, he hopes to see game action no later than the April 1-2 exhibitions against the Yankees at Marlins Park. The Marlins open on April 4 against the Cardinals in Miami.

“Obviously, I want to play now,” Stanton said. “But I’d rather be ready for those April 1 or 2 games than be ready for the 4th,” Stanton said.

If he needs more at-bats, he could also play in Minor League games.

Stanton has appeared in four Grapefruit League games and he has nine at-bats.

Joe Frisaro

Stanton gets knee checked out

JUPITER, Fla. — Giancarlo Stanton, who has been out since Sunday with a bruised left wrist, is also dealing with a sore knee.

Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said after Thursday’s 3-1 win over the Mets that Stanton’s knee was examined by a doctor. The manager wasn’t sure which knee is ailing the 22-year-old right-fielder.

“Giancarlo has a little soreness in his knees,” Guillen said. “He’s being tested right now. It’s a lot better. I talked to the doctor today. It’s not a big deal. I expect him to start running and doing something in the next couple of days, and then we go from there.”

Joe Frisaro

 

Reyes faces former team for first time

JUPITER, Fla. — Facing the Mets is Spring Training felt like just another game for Jose Reyes.

Circumstances will be different, he says, when he visits Citi Field for the first time.

On Thursday, Reyes was in the lineup for the first time against his former team. He went hitless in one at-bat, bouncing back to pitcher R.A. Dickey to lead off the first inning.

“He jammed me,” Reyes said.

The four-time All-Star’s day was done after 2 1/2 innings, due to a 54-minute rain delay.

“It was good to see my old teammates,” Reyes said. “It is what it is after that. This is nothing. It’s going to be a little crazy when I go back to New York. This is Spring Training. This is just another game.”

Reyes interacted with Mets players during warmups, and he exchanged a few words with New York manager Terry Collins.

“I said hello to them,” Reyes said. “It was good to see my old teammates. I had a chance to say hello to Terry. He said, ‘Congratulations, and I wish all the best to you, and good luck.’ I had an opportunity to see Terry in New York, too. He said the same thing.”

Reyes said he last spoke with David Wright about a week ago, to check up on his former teammate, who is resting a left abdominal injury.

Earlier in Spring Training, the Marlins faced the Mets twice at Port St. Lucie, but Reyes didn’t make either trip. A few Mets fans on Thursday greeted Reyes with some boos.

“Of course, I heard,” he said. “But it’s ok. It is what it is. I’m good with it. If they decide to boo me, I don’t care. I feel like I gave everything that I had in New York. If they boo me, it’s ok. If they don’t, I’m happy.”

Reyes said he enjoyed his years with the Mets, but he now is enjoying his time with Miami.

“I’m part of a new organization now,” he said. “I’m going to miss the fans in New York, for all the support that they gave to me. I’m going to miss that. Now I have new fans in Miami.”

Joe Frisaro

 

 

Lefty prospect Benjamin undergoes surgery

JUPITER, Fla. — Marlins prospect Ramon Benjamin, projected to open at Double-A Jacksonville, will miss the entire season after undergoing surgery repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

The procedure was performed by Dr. James Andrews on Tuesday in Pensacola, Fla.

Benjamin will need about five months of rehab, and he is expected to be ready for 2013.

Joe Frisaro

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