August 2012

Stanton bobblehead night

MIAMI — The first 15,000 fans at Marlins Park on Wednesday received a Giancarlo Stanton bobblehead.

The figure was complete with Stanton wearing an orange compression sleeve on the right arm.

Even a fan sitting in The Clevelander on Wednesday night sported the orange sleeve.



Ozzie promises changes on handling of injuries

MIAMI — There’s going to be some changes around Marlins camp when it comes to injuries.

Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen has kept his cool on a number of things that have gone wrong for the Marlins this year. When it comes to players being hurt and how they go about recovering, his voice raised.

“I expect everybody here to be healthy for Spring Training and be ready to go,” Guillen said. “If not, they’re going to be surprised. A lot of surprises.”

Logan Morrison will undergo surgery on his right knee on Sept. 5. The procedure, which will be performed by Dr. Richard Steadman in Colorado, will come nine months after Morrison had surgery to the same knee.

Recovery time is about six months. To Guillen, he is upset that Morrison didn’t have the surgery immediately after the 2011 season. Instead, it was performed in early December, after he aggravated the knee while playing for an MLB team that traveled to Taiwan last October and into November.

Morrison ended up missing most of Spring Training, and on July 29, he went on the disabled list.

Emilio Bonifacio has a right knee sprain, and he has been on the DL since Aug. 19. Bonifacio likely is done for the season.

If he needs a procedure, Guillen would like to see him get it soon.

“It’s time for this organization to move on and be tough on the players and do the right thing,” Guillen said. “I think we’re going to let LoMo rest, and make sure he is better for the first day of Spring Training, ready to go. It’s going to be a challenge for him. I hope he’s healthy.”

Guillen understands with Morrison that the doctors were waiting for the inflammation to go down to accurately determine what was wrong.

As for Bonifacio, Guillen said: “In my opinion, with Boni, if you need to go in, clean it up, do it right now, and I’ll see you in Spring Training.

“Second opinion is always going to come, with the doctors. But we’re not going to go through it, ‘Ok, let’s wait for another month, it might be better. Let’s wait for another two weeks, it might heal.’ It ain’t never happen.”

Guillen said that happened with reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo, on the DL since July 23 with a right elbow sprain.

“That happened with Oviedo,” Guillen said. “Wait for another month, they’ve got to go in [with surgery]. Why you not do it two months ago? But agents, and people and doctors and different opinions, make those guys take a different way.

“Now it’s time for the Marlins to take it our way. That’s the way we’re going to take. I don’t care about opinions. I don’t care about what you guys think. That’s the way we’re going to do it. That’s the way we’re going to do it from now on.”

In 2013, Guillen doesn’t want a repeat where Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton (left knee) were out for much of Spring Training.

“Not when I’m here. Because all of a sudden, those guys play bad, have surgery, rehab, and I’m the one who is going to get fired,” Guillen said. “If I’m going to get fired, I’ll do it my way. If they’re going to fire me, I can go home and say, they fired me because I was bad. Because too many different things happened. We paid them a lot of money for them to play for us. They’ve got to respond to us, to the Marlins.”

The Marlins have endured a rough year, where they never got on track. Some of the spotty play is due to injuries.

“We’ve got to show responsibility,” the manager said. “It’s our way. It’s not your agent’s way. It’s not your own doctors way. It’s the Marlins’ way. If you don’t like it, talk to your agent, and lets see what happens. This year was kind of funny. That ain’t going to happen.

“It’s not going to happen like it did in the past. Last year, LoMo went to [Taiwan], I don’t know, I don’t know why. I think this year, he’s going to have surgery. I expect LoMo to be back in Spring Training, ready to be with the full-squad the first day of Spring Training. I’m not planning on playing LoMo in B Games, Minor League games, to see how he was. If LoMo can play in A Game in Spring Training, then he’s got to work hard, because, if not, he’s not going to have a job here.”

Joe Frisaro

Power road show best in three seasons

MIAMI — What Giancarlo Stanton did on the road was record-setting for a Marlins’ player. But it wasn’t unprecedented around the league.

Still, eight home runs on one road trip is pretty rare. In fact, it hadn’t happened in three years.

The last player with eight homers on a road trip was Mark Reynolds.

Then with the D-backs, Reynolds belted eight homers on a 10-game swing from July 31-Aug. 9, 2009.

Stanton set a Marlins’ mark of eight over a three-city, 11-game trip. The slugger didn’t start one of the games, although he made a pinch-hit appearance.

Previously, the Marlins’ road trip record was six, done three times.

Joe Frisaro

Marlins open series with Nationals

MIAMI — Coming off a 5-6 road trip, the Marlins return home to face the Nationals on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.

Stephen Strasburg gets the starting nod for Washington, while Miami counters with Ricky Nolasco.

Donovan Solano carries a 10-game hitting streak into the game.


1) Petersen, LF

2) Ruggiano, CF

3) Reyes, SS

4) Lee, 1B

5) Stanton, RF

6) Dobbs, 3B

7) Solano, 2B

8) Brantly, C

9) Nolasco, P

Joe Frisaro


Stanton homering at rapid pace

LOS ANGELES — Giancarlo Stanton is powering his way up the home run charts at a young age.

The 22-year-old has belted home runs in two straight games at Dodger Stadium, with his latest shot coming off Clayton Kershaw on Saturday.

Stanton has set a Marlins record for home runs on a road trip with seven. He has 28 on the season and 84 in his career.

Stanton’s total ties him for ninth all-time among players to reach that figure before age 23.

Most HRs before age 23 in MLB history

1) Mel Ott 115

2) Eddie Matthews 112

3) Tony Conigliaro 104

4) Alex Rodriguez 95

5) Frank Robinson 93

6) Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey Jr. 87

8) Jimmie Foxx 86

9) Giancarlo Stanton, Andruw Jones, Mickey Mantle 84

Joe Frisaro

Turner stays in rotation, LeBlanc to bullpen

LOS ANGELES — The odd man out, for now, is Wade LeBlanc.

The Marlins will move LeBlanc to the bullpen and go with rookie Jacob Turner in the rotation.

Both started in Wednesday’s doubleheader at Arizona. Turner now will assume LeBlanc’s rotation spot, and next throw on Aug. 29 at home against the Nationals.

“Right now, we’re going to keep the kid [Turner] in the rotation, and we’re going to put LeBlanc in the bullpen,” manager Ozzie Guillen said on Friday. “Then, maybe, depending how we pitch, go with a six-man rotation. It depends on how those guys are going. It depends if we’re going to need them.”

The Marlins could go with a six-man rotation starting on Aug. 31, when they have a stretch of 13 straight games. However, it may not be practical because LeBlanc will not be stretched out to push himself to five or more innings.

Miami made the switch to give Turner and Nathan Eovaldi, both rookies, a strong look down the stretch. Both promise to be part of the 2013 rotation.

* Veteran first baseman, Carlos Lee, is a free agent after the season. There is a chance he could sign with Miami. Lee’s representatives from the Wasserman Media Group have expressed to the Marlins that Lee is receptive to return. No negotiations have taken place, but there is mutual interest.

Joe Frisaro

Eovaldi faces former team

LOS ANGELES — Nathan Eovadi made 10 starts with the Dodgers before being dealt to the Marlins on July 25 as part of the Hanley Ramirez trade.

On Friday night, the right-hander is back at Dodger Stadium, this time facing his former team.

The Marlins open a three-game set with Los Angeles. The Dodgers are sending Chad Billingsley to the mound in the opener.

Since the deal, Eovaldi is 3-2 with a 3.75 ERA in five starts with Miami.

Donovan Solano enters with a seven-game hitting streak.


1) Petersen, LF

2) Ruggiano, CF

3) Reyes, SS

4) Lee, 1B

5) Stanton, RF

6) Dobbs, 3B

7) Solano, 2B

8) Brantly, C

9) Eovaldi, P

Joe Frisaro


Power shortage at Dodger Stadium

LOS ANGELES — Dodger Stadium is not the easiest place to hit home runs. The Marlins have seen that over the years.

The most homers any Marlin has ever hit at Dodger Stadium is six, shared by Miguel Cabrera and Derrek Lee.

Hanley Ramirez, as a Marlin, had three homers in LA in 18 games.

Marlins’ HR leaders at Dodger Stadium

Miguel Cabrera 6 (12 Games)

Derrek Lee 6 (19)

Cliff Floyd 5 (18)

Gary Sheffield 4 (17)

Jeff Conine 3 (29)

Hanley Ramirez 3 (18)

Kurt Abbott 2 (16)

Bruce Aven 2 (6)

Jorge Cantu 2 (9)

Greg Colbrunn 2 (10)

Carlos Delgado 2 (3)

Todd Dunwoody 2 (10)

Juan Encarnacion 2 (12)

Giancarlo Stanton 2 (6)

Preston Wilson 2 (14)

Joe Frisaro

Bonifacio goes back to the DL

PHOENIX –- For the third time this season, Emilio Bonifacio is headed to the disabled list. But the injury was not the same as the first two.

After Game 1 of Wednesday’s doubleheader at Arizona, the Marlins placed Bonifacio on the 15-day DL with a right knee sprain.

Previously, he spent two stints with a sprained left thumb.

Manager Ozzie Guillen says the ailment shouldn’t require surgery, but the chance remains that he could miss the remainder of the season.

“If we’re not going anywhere, why are we going to take a chance for him to get hurt again?” Guillen said. “To go to Minor League rehab and do all kinds of stuff to come back. To me, it’s up to him. But why risk something that shouldn’t be risked?”

Replacing Bonifacio on the roster is lefty reliever Dan Jennings, who was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans.

Joe Frisaro


Marlins showing more power away from home

PHOENIX — For the Marlins’ hitters, there is no place like the road.

With each passing day, we’re seeing a larger sample size. What is becoming very clear is the Marlins are a more productive team — power-wise — at the plate away from Marlins Park.

Giancarlo Stanton led the way on Monday night with two home runs in Miami’s 12-3 rout of the D-backs at Chase Field. The Marlins belted four home runs and hammered out a season most 20 hits.

The 12 runs were one run shy of their top scoring game of the season, 13 at Citi Field on Aug. 8. They hit four homers in that game, too, with Stanton providing a pair. Miami’s only other double-digit scoring game came on July 13, when they lost 13-12 at Milwaukee. They belted five homers in a 10-inning loss that day.

It’s not shocking the Marlins hitters are belting homers on the road, because Marlins Park is one of the biggest in the game. The building ranks 26 out of 30 in total home runs.

In 63 road games, the Marlins have 65 home runs, compared to 44 in 60 games at home. Miami also has scored more runs on the road, 239 to 226. And they have more total hits 525 to 480.

The Marlins do have a higher batting average at home, .248 to .241, and more RBIs, 220 to 219. Maybe that isn’t shocking, because with a spacious outfield, more balls are likely to drop for hits.

But if fans like the excitement of the home run, it is not occurring at the same rate in Miami.

With Stanton’s immense power, he can crush the ball out of any building. That said, he’s benefited by some shorter fenches this season. For instance, both of his home runs at Citi Field on Aug. 8 would not have cleared the wall a year ago. The Mets had the fences moved in this year, and neither shot a few weeks ago cleared the old wall.

On the current West Coast trip, Stanton has five home runs. Now, overall, he has 14 of his 26 homers away from home. And he’s played in seven less road games — 50 to 43.

If the trend continues, and it is likely, Marlins fans will get to enjoy their team hitting the long ball more while watching TV than from their seats at Marlins Park.

Joe Frisaro