June 2013

JoFz positioned to make case for All-Star Game

MIAMI — Without an obvious All-Star candidate, the timing is right for rookie right-hander Jose Fernandez to make a case to represent the Marlins in the Midsummer Classic.

In fact, Fernandez is in position to make a statement on Friday night. The 20-year-old — a rising, young star — could increase his chances if he shuts down the team with the best record in baseball.

Fernandez gets the start in the series opener against the Cardinals at Marlins Park.

Miami’s other top rookie deserving of All-Star consideration is outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who is batting .314 with 17 RBIs in 39 games.

No Marlins position player ranks among the National League leaders in the fan voting. Pitchers can be voted in by the players, and they also are selected by the All-Star managers and Major League Baseball.

Fernandez’s 3-3 record and 3.17 ERA in his first 12 starts certainly aren’t eye-opening, but his raw talent is.

His fastball reached as high as 99 mph in his last start, a no-decision at the New York Mets. And he has command of four pitches.

Fernandez projects as a future ace.

In building his All-Star case, you simply can look at how the right-hander stacks up with the other National League rookie starting pitchers.

In strikeouts, Fernandez’s ranks third among NL rookies with 67 in 65 1/3 innings.

St. Louis’ Shelby Miller tops NL rookies with 91 in 81 1/3 innings, and Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Dodgers is second with 75 in 85 1/3 innings.

The Marlins’ first-round pick in 2011, Fernandez made the leap to the big leagues without pitching beyond Class A ball. He compiled 138 1/3 innings total in two Minor League seasons.

In a surprise move, the Marlins carried Fernandez on their Opening Day roster after Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez were placed on the disabled list the day before the season got underway.

Because of his youth, the Marlins are limiting Fernandez to between 150-170 innings. Being carefully monitored, he hasn’t thrown more than seven innings in any outing. And his season-high pitch total is 99, on May 16 against the Reds.

Even with a pitch limit, there would likely be a little wiggle room for an inning or two of relief in the All-Star Game.

Joe Frisaro

Coghlan to DL, LoMo activated

NEW YORK — Chris Coghlan, hampered by calf discomfort in recent days, was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday with right calf nerve irritation.

In a corresponding move, the Marlins reinstated first baseman Logan Morrison from the 60-day disabled list.

Morrison underwent surgery on his right knee last September, and he opened the season on the 60-day DL.

The Marlins were planning on reinstating Morrison on Monday, but due to Coghlan’s ailment, he was pulled from his rehab assignment with Double-A Jacksonville after one at-bat on Saturday. Morrison traveled early Sunday to New York.

Joe Frisaro

LoMo arriving for series finale at New York

NEW YORK — Logan Morrison’s return to the Marlins is coming a day earlier than initially planned.

With a couple of Miami players hobbled, the organization has decided to bring Morrison in for Sunday’s series finale against the Mets at Citi Field.

On rehab assignment with Double-A Jacksonville, Morrison had one at-bat on Saturday night before being pulled from the game in Birmingham, Ala.

Morrison is heading to New York in time for Sunday’s afternoon game.

It was an exhausting Saturday for the Marlins, who outlasted the Mets, 2-1, in 20 innings.

Chris Coghlan, who was replaced during the game, has been dealing with a sore calf muscle. And Casey Kotchman, recently reinstated from the 60-day disabled list, is a banged up. Kotchman was out for two months with a strained left hamstring.

There is a chance one or both could be headed for the disabled list.

Morrison, who had right knee surgery last September, opened the season on the 60-day disabled list. His 20-day rehab assignment stint ended on Saturday.

The Marlins had been planning on reinstating Morrison on Monday, when the team opens a three-game set with the Brewers at Marlins Park.

Joe Frisaro

Marlins have five of top 80 picks

SECAUCUS, N.J. — The Marlins promise to be among the most active teams at the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Bill Beck and Andre Dawson represent the Marlins.

Bill Beck and Andre Dawson represent the Marlins.

The team has the sixth overall pick, and is expected to select a college player. And the Marlins have five of the first 80 picks in the three-day Draft, which runs from Thursday through Saturday.

Miami will have four picks the first day — sixth, 35, 44 and 73.

Bill Beck and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson are representing the organization at the MLB Network studios.

Joe Frisaro

Cishek, Dunn not currently on trade market

NEW YORK — Struggling in the standings, the Marlins have already been mentioned as a team willing to make moves before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

For now, the team is not considering dealing two of its top relievers.

According to a league source, the Marlins have told clubs that closer Steve Cishek and hard-throwing lefty Mike Dunn are not available. Both are under club control this season, and reach arbitration next year.

The Marlins, however, are open to dealing starter Ricky Nolasco, who will be a free agent next season. A source says Miami likely would get a mid-level prospect for Nolasco.

Reliever Ryan Webb, in arbitration for the first time, also could be dealt for the right offer.

Joe Frisaro

Yelich to Minor League DL

PHILADELPHIA — Marlins prospect Christian Yelich is heading to the Minor League disabled list with a small abdominal wall strain. The transaction officially will take place on Thursday, and the left-handed hitting outfielder will miss about two weeks.

Ranked by MLB.com as the Marlins’ top prospect, Yelich is batting .262 with six home runs and 28 RBIs in 41 games for Double-A Jacksonville.

Yelich suffered the injury while making a diving attempt in the outfield on Sunday. He played on Monday, and was lifted after three at-bats.

The Marlins had been weighing to promoting Yelich to the big leagues, perhaps as early as next week.

Joe Frisaro

Stanton playing rehab; Cogz to third base

PHILADELPHIA — The Marlins are about to do some mixing and matching in anticipation of getting players back.

Giancarlo Stanton is playing right field in a rehab assignment game for Class A Jupiter on Tuesday. The Hammerheads are playing a double-header, and Stanton is expected to see action in the field for five innings. If he feels comfortable in Game 1, Stanton could be used as the designated hitter in Game 2.

Stanton is on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain. Tuesday is his first game action.

With Stanton moving closer to returning, the Marlins are planning to give move Chris Coghlan from center field to third base. And Marcell Ozuna, who has played right field with Stanton out, is expected to see action in center field.

Nathan Eovaldi, on the 60-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, is making his third rehab assignment start on Tuesday night. After his first two were with Jupiter, Eovaldi is set to pitch for Double-A Jacksonville.

If the start goes well, he is expected to return to the rotation.

Former Marlins manager Jack McKeon underwent double bypass heart surgery on Monday, and the 82-year-old is resting comfortably at a North Carolina hospital.

After his surgery, McKeon woke up on Tuesday morning and immediately asked how the Marlins did on Monday night.

Joe Frisaro

Stanton running bases; Eovaldi getting close

PHILADELPHIA — Giancarlo Stanton is moving closer to game action.

The Marlins right fielder, on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, is up at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. On Monday, he tested his legs running the bases.

“He’s getting closer to playing in a game,” manager Mike Redmond said.

On Tuesday, Nathan Eovaldi will be starting for Double-A Jacksonville in what likely will be his final rehab start before he joins the Marlins.

Placido Polanco was scratched from the lineup on Monday at Philadelphia because he is under the weather.

Ed Lucas started at third base in place of Polanco, who could be ready to go on Tuesday.

At Double-A Jacksonville, highly-touted outfielder Christian Yelich strained an abdominal muscle while diving for the ball. He is being evaluated day to day right now.

Yelich is a candidate to being called up in about a week.

Donovan Solanco (intercostal strain) was the designated hitter for Class A Jupiter on Monday night. Joe Mahoney (right hamstring) played first base in the game.

Joe Frisaro