May 2012

Infante back in starting lineup

MIAMI — The Marlins offense is about to get another boost.

Omar Infante has returned to the starting lineup after missing three games due to a death in the family. The veteran second baseman’s grandfather passed away on Sunday, and Infante returned to Venezuela for the funeral.

Donnie Murphy had been filling in at second. Murphy on Tuesday night was hit by a pitch on the left hand. While it got him pretty good, it wasn’t the same wrist that he dislocated in 2010, which required surgery.

The Marlins have won three straight and they go for the sweep on Wednesday against the Rockies at Marlins Park.


1) Reyes, SS

2) Infante, 2B

3) Ramirez, 3B

4) Dobbs, 1B

5) Stanton, RF

6) Coghlan, LF

7) Hayes, C

8) Petersen, CF

9) Zambrano, P

Joe Frisaro

Kearns lifted with hamstring ailment

MIAMI — Austin Kearns, who has made an impact in a reserve role, was removed from Tuesday’s game in the top of the fourth inning due to a tight right hamstring.

Kearns’ status is day to day.

The 32-year-old outfielder tweaked his leg while scoring from first on Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI double in the third inning. In the fourth inning, Colorado’s Michael Cuddyer doubled to left. Kearns had a tough time moving to the ball.

Miami substituted Chris Coghlan in left field for Kearns, who had a walk, single and run scored.

Joe Frisaro

Marlins Park ideal for triples

MIAMI — Home runs may be hard to come by in spacious Marlins Park.

But with so much room in the outfield, the ballpark is suited for triples.

In the first inning on Tuesday night, Bryan Petersen delivered an RBI triple to right field off Colorado’s Juan Nicasio.

The Marlins now have 13 triples on the season, which is tied with Milwaukee and San Diego for the third most in the Majors. The Giants have 14 triples. And the Rockies, who also play in a large ballpark, pace the league with 15.

Ten of the Marlins triples have been at Marlins Park. In all there have been 11 triples at Miami’s new home. Chicago’s Darwin Barney is the only visiting player with a triple at the new building.

Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio are tied for the team lead in triples with three. And pitcher Anibal Sanchez had a triple at home.

There have been 19 triples at Coors Field, home of the Rockies.

Joe Frisaro

Nolasco goes for wins record tonight

MIAMI — Once again, Ricky Nolasco will go for the record.

Nolasco is tied with Dontrelle Willis for the all-time lead in victories by a Marlins’ pitcher. Both are at 68.

This is the third start the right-hander goes for the mark.

The Marlins face the Rockies on Tuesday night at Marlins Park. The lineup right now doesn’t include Omar Infante, who has been in Venezuela the past few days due to the passing of his grandfather. The hope was Infante would return to play on Tuesday.


1) Reyes, SS

2) Petersen, CF

3) Ramirez, 3B

4) Kearns, LF

5) Stanton, RF

6) Morrison, 1B

7) Buck, C

8) Murphy, 2B

9) Nolasco, P

Joe Frisaro



Buehrle collects second career double

MIAMI — Mark Buehrle came within a few feet of being the first Marlins pitcher to homer in three years.

In the fourth inning, Buehrle lined a shot off the wall near the 335-foot marker by the right-field foul pole. The hit was good for the second career double by the veteran left-hander, who spent 11 seasons with the White Sox.

Buehrle has hit one home run in his career. It came in 2009.

No Marlins pitcher has homered since Josh Johnson on Aug. 4, 2009 against the Nationals. That year, JJ delivered three home runs.

Miami’s rotation this year features Carlos Zambrano, who has 23 career home runs, all with the Cubs. Big Z had two a year ago.

Miami Rotation Home Runs

Carlos Zambrano, 23 career, 2 in 2011

Josh Johnson, 3 in 2009

Mark Buerhle, 1 in 2009

Ricky Nolasco, 1 in 2006

Joe Frisaro


Home run celebration, Stanton-style

MIAMI — Next time Giancarlo Stanton belts a home run, pay attention to how the Marlins slugger rounds third base.

Stanton takes simulated toss from Espada. (Photo Robert Vigon/Miami Marlins)

Stanton and third base coach Joe Espada have come up with a ritual that is entertaining and yet safe for both parties.

The two were able to polish up on their celebration on Monday night when Stanton blistered a grand slam off Colorado’s Jamie Moyer in the fourth inning. The blast was hit so hard, it knocked out some lights on the auxiliary scoreboard in left field. The shot was estimated at 438 feet.

On each Stanton HR, Espada will simulate tossing an underhand high-five that Stanton will receive up high. Sometimes, Stanton pretends he is catching a football.

“It’s like, turning the corner and catching a football,” said Stanton, who played football in high school and was offered a scholarship at Southern California.

Espada also does a low-key home run celebration with Hanley Ramirez. When Ramirez rounds third, Espada simulates handing a football off. Hanley pretends he’s a running back, taking the ball on his way to home plate.

When it comes to Stanton, Espada has made it a point not to shake his hand or do an actual high-five. The reason is a year ago, Stanton slapped Espada so hard, the coach almost injured his shoulder.

Stanton slam knocked lights out on scoreboard

“Last year in San Diego, I stood there to shake his hand,” Espada said. “The adrenaline, the strength. But he hit me, and I thought he had knocked my shoulder out of place.

“So I said, ‘You know what, kid, I will never, ever again shake your hand during a home run,’ ” Espada told the slugger. ” ‘So, I’m going to just throw you the high-five. Instead of giving my congratulations to you, I’m just going to throw it to you.’ Now, we’re like catching a football. Like I do a handoff with Hanley.”

Added Stanton: “I get a little pumped up. I almost knocked his shoulder out. Now, we’re non contact.”

Stanton says he and Espada are changing the routine up. Sometimes he will hold up two hands like catching a football. And others he may reach up one hand over his head, like he is making a one-handed grab.

“We’re mixing it up every time,” Stanton said. “Sometimes it’s like a football.”   The flipping the fake football at Stanton, Espada points out, is the safest way to celebrate a home run.

“I’m not going near Stanton ever again,” the third base coach said.

Joe Frisaro  

MIAMI — The Marlins, coming off a 3-2 road trip, open a 10-game homestand on Monday night against the Rockies at Marlins Park.

Mark Buehrle gets the start for Miami. Jamie Moyer gets the nod for Colorado.


1) Reyes, SS

2) Petersen, CF

3) Ramirez, 3B

4) Kearns, LF

5) Stanton, RF

6) Morrison, 1B

7) Buck, C

8) Murphy, 2B

9) Buehrle, P

Joe Frisaro

JJ recalls watching Dobbs at Oklahoma

CLEVELAND — Greg Dobbs played a big part in helping Josh Johnson collect his 50th career victory.

In the Marlins’ 5-3 win over the Indians on Sunday at Progressive Field, Dobbs had three-hits, including two doubles. He drove in a run and scored a run.

Johnson had an impressive outing, too. The right-hander gave up one run in seven innings. Now, 50-26 in his career, Johnson is the third Marlins pitcher to reach the 50-victory plateau.

The others are Ricky Nolasco and Dontrelle Willis, who are tied with 68.

Johnson has long known what Dobbs can do on a baseball field. In fact, when JJ was in high school, he remembers watching Dobbs in college.

Dobbs was a teammate of Johnson’s older brother, Tyler, at the University of Oklahoma. The team also included Jason Bartlett, who is on the Padres.

“I saw him play in a couple of scrimmages,” Johnson recalled after Sunday’s game. “I never got to see him play in a game, because I was always playing. But I remember him, for sure. I remember saying, ‘Why is this kid from California coming to Oklahoma to play baseball for?’ He didn’t know he was my brother until maybe two years ago.”

Actually, Dobbs didn’t find out that Josh and Tyler were brothers until the end of the 2011 season.

“No idea,” said Dobbs, who joined the Marlins in 2011. “Then at the end of last year, I found out. I had no idea through the year, and at the end of the year, I found out. I was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding? Small world.’ It never came up in conversation. He never brought it up. I didn’t know to bring it up. I didn’t know they were related.”

Tyler, an outfielder, was listed at 6-foot-3, 230-pounds in college.

“He’s brother is a great guy,” Dobbs said of Tyler. “He was big, strong. Swung from the left side. Could run. Looked like he should have been on the football field at Oklahoma. That’s the kind of stature that he had.”

Had Johnson not signed as a fourth-round pick with the Marlins in 2002, he planned on going to Oklahoma, and being a teammate of his older brother.

Joe Frisaro  



Infante to miss a few days

CLEVELAND — Marlins second baseman Omar Infante, the team’s most consistent hitter all season, will miss a few days due to a death in a family.

Infante learned on Sunday that his grandfather passed away. The Venezuelan native returned to his native country for the funeral.

The Marlins are hoping the veteran second baseman will rejoin the team on Wednesday.

Donnie Murphy started at second base in place of Infante.

Josh Johnson is starting for the Marlins in Sunday’s series finale at Cleveland. Derek Lowe is starting for the Indians.


1) Reyes, SS

2) Petersen, CF

3) Ramirez, DH

4) Dobbs, 3B

5) Stanton, RF

6) Morrison, 1B

7) Hayes, C

8) Coghlan, LF

9) Murphy, 2B

Joe Frisaro


Boni to DL, Coghlan, Solano called up

CLEVELAND — Rather than take any risks on Emilio Bonifacio’s sprained left thumb, the Marlins on Sunday morning placed the center fielder on the 15-day disabled list.

The transaction is retroactive to Saturday.

The decision came a day after an MRI revealed no fracture to Bonifacio’s thumb, which was jammed while he was attempting to steal second base on Friday night. Bonifacio leads the Majors with 20 steals.

The Marlins on Sunday recalled outfielder Chris Coghlan and selected the contract of infielder Donovan Solano. Both are getting the call up from Triple-A New Orleans.

Coghlan, on Miami’s Opening Day roster, was optioned to New Orleans on April 29. In 16 games with the Zephyrs, he batted .275 with six doubles and seven RBIs.

Coghlan provides outfield depth.

Solano, a 24-year-old from Colombia, was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Cardinals in 2005. This is the first time he has been called up to the big leagues.

Signed to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Marlins’ Spring Training, the infielder impressed manager Ozzie Guillen and the staff in the spring.

In 36 games with the Zephyrs, he batted .262 with seven doubles, a triple and 14 RBIs.

Solano has been hot lately, riding a five-game hitting streak, and he’s 8-for-19 in that span.

Joe Frisaro