Positive energy fills first day at Marlins’ camp

JUPITER, Fla. — Body language is being observed at Marlins camp.

Manager Mike Redmond noticed it, and was looking for it, during the first day of Spring Training workouts at the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

Pitchers and catchers were on the field from 10 a.m. ET to 12:30 p.m. A number of pitchers threw off the mound. Those who didn’t worked on fielding their position. And on a back field, a number of position players who are at camp early, went through informal infield and outfield drills.

Full-squad workouts get underway on Friday. But a number of players, including Giancarlo Stanton, Juan Pierre, Justin Ruggiano, Bryan Petersen, Chris Coghlan, Zack Cox, Joe Mahoney, Derek Dietrich, Kevin Mattison, Christian Yelich and Kyle Jensen, already are hitting and fielding.

For Redmond and pitching coach Chuck Hernandez, Tuesday was the first time to see Ricky Nolasco, Steve Cishek, Mike Dunn and top pitching prospect Jose Fernandez throw off the mound.

“It was a long wait for the first day,” Redmond said. “I think things went great. Pitchers got some work in, and we got to move around out there a little bit. It was a beautiful day, not a lot of wind out there. For the first day, I was real happy with the energy and the way guys threw.”

Redmond has already spoken to the team about what to expect, but his first full team meeting will be on Friday, when everyone takes the field.

The first few days, Redmond and his staff are watching players ease into things.

“I’m just watching to see how guys react,” Redmond said. “How they go about their business. How they work. That’s about it. How they throw. Energy levels. It’s a long spring. We’re here a long time. So we’re easing into it. But I can feel a good energy out there. A lot of young guys. I think they understand what’s at stake, and the opportunity, and kind of the sense of urgency. That’s a good thing.”

Fernandez, 20, is a prospect that will be closely watched. The right-hander is among the top Minor League players in the game.

“He’s good,” Redmond said. “He kept the ball down. I tried to back off to the side a little bit. I tried not to stand right behind him, and get him amped up too much. But I was watching him. He’s very confident. Good stuff. You can tell. He has that great mound presence from a good pitcher.”

* Non-roster invitee catcher Craig Tatum has decided to retire. The 29-year-old, who last played in the big leagues in 2011, decided on Monday that he is ready to walk away as a player. The Marlins now have six catchers in camp and 73 players overall.

* Miami has four players on their 40-man roster who are out of options — Justin Ruggiano, Gorkys Hernandez, Wade LeBlanc and Mike Dunn. Basically, if the Marlins release any of them, they would have to clear waivers to rejoin the organization. Before it reached that point with any of them, the club would likely seek a trade. All four have an excellent shot at making the Opening Day roster.

* With 38 pitchers in camp, the Marlins are planning on adding some B Games and scrimmages in the next couple of weeks.

* Wednesday’s workouts at Roger Dean Stadium begin at 10 a.m. ET, and they are open to the public.

– Joe Frisaro

 

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