Results tagged ‘ Arizona ’

Porter emerges as frontrunner

The Marlins may be weighing all their options, but the candidate that appears to have the most momentum to manage the club in 2011 is familiar to Florida fans.

Indications are Bo Porter has emerged as the frontrunner.

Porter, a former big league outfielder, was the Marlins’ third base/outfield coach from 2007-09, before he joined the Arizona staff in 2010.

Numerous sources confirmed the Marlins have serious interest in Porter, who is regarded as a strong teacher of fundamentals. Known for being well prepared, the 38-year-old already has been making inquiries about candidates for his coaching staff.

Earlier this month, Porter interviewed for the Pirates managerial position.

The Marlins’ search is entering another week after Bobby Valentine, who was offered the job, opted to withdraw from consideration. 

Edwin Rodriguez, who went 46-46 after replacing Fredi Gonzalez on June 23, remains in the mix. But the club hasn’t spoken with Rodriguez since the season ended.

Porter previously interviewed for the Marlins job after Gonzalez was dismissed in June. Porter impressed the club then, and he remained under consideration even after the team decided to stay with Rodriguez.

Other candidates being mentioned are Tony Pena, Ted Simmons and Jim Fregosi. It remains unclear how much serious interest the team has in them.

The Marlins finished 80-82 in 2010, and the organization is placing an emphasis to improving fundamentally.

Florida has a young outfield that features rookies Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton. Cameron Maybin isn’t a rookie, but he is 23-years-old.

Porter would be looked at to help the developments of these young players.

In recent years, Porter worked with former Marlin, Cody Ross, who now has become a playoff hero for the Giants. In 2008 and 2009, Porter frequently stated that Ross was deserving of a Gold Glove.

— Joe Frisaro


Wood offered needed relief

Not to be overlooked in the Marlins’ 7-4 loss to the Pirates on Friday night were three shutdown relief innings from Tim Wood, a recent callup from Triple-A New Orleans.

“He went three innings and 36 pitches,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He was very effective with his pitches. He really saved us. He really, really saved us, picking up those three innings. And he kept us in the ball game.”

Because of a 45-minute rain delay in the bottom of the third inning, starter Chris Volstad didn’t return for the fourth inning. That meant the bullpen needed to pick up some extra innings. Two days before, long reliever Burke Badenhop, tossed 2 2/3 innings in relief of Josh Johnson on Wednesday against the Nationals.

Long relief isn’t a role that Wood normally handles. But because Badenhop wasn’t available, Wood assumed long relief duties on Friday.

It marked the most innings he’s thrown since he returned from Tommy John ligament replacement surgery to his right elbow in 2006.

“I’ve made spot starts, but I didn’t go three innings,” Wood said on Saturday.

Friday was Wood’s third MLB appearance since being brought up.

He retired the first eight batters he faced before allowing a single to Adam LaRoche followed by a walk to Garrett Jones. Wood was able to escape the jam by getting Andy LaRoche to tap a ground ball to shortstop.

Admittedly, Wood felt fatigued in his third straight inning.

“I was definitely getting tired,” he said. “I was getting winded a little bit. I was able to bear down and make some pitches.”

Wood held the score at 4-0 after six innings.

The Marlins are in need of bullpen help due to some injuries. Closer Matt Lindstrom (sprained right elbow) and Kiko Calero (right shoulder inflammation) are out.

The Marlins have come to terms with veteran reliever Luis Ayala to a Minor League contract. Ayala will get some work at Triple-A New Orleans before joining the club.

Lindstrom threw off flat ground for the second straight day, and he could be back shortly after the All-Star Break. Calero, who is scheduled to pitch in a rehab assignment game for Class A Jupiter on Saturday, may be ready to join the team late next week at Arizona.

Wood is striving to help out whenever he is called upon.

“I’m noticing that you have to throw strikes,” he said of how to achieve big league success. “You’ve got to be ahead in the count. You can’t fall behind and be in fastball counts. These guys are professional hitters. They don’t miss fastballs in fastball counts.”

— Joe Frisaro



Badenhop to start Wednesday

The Marlins have decided on who to start on Wednesday at Philadelphia.

Burke Badenhop will make his first start of the season. The right-hander has thrown out of the bullpen in long relief since he was called up from Triple-A New Orleans.

A sinkerball pitcher, the Marlins are hoping he can get his share of groundball outs in hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park.

How long Badenhop can go is up in the air. He did make two starts at Triple-A, but those came in early April.

His longest outing with the Marlins has been 3 2/3 innings and 53 pitches, last Wednesday against Arizona.

— Joe Frisaro

Bonifacio learned from Butler

A few years ago when Emilio Bonifacio was advancing in Arizona’s Minor League system, he learned a lot about the game from a pretty good former big leaguer.

Brett Butler, a speedster and an excellent bunter in his 17-year MLB career, was Bonifacio’s manager at high Class A and Double A.

“He was my manager for two years, in high A and Double-A,” said Bonifacio, a native of the Dominican Republic. “He talked to me about how to bunt. I like him.”

Butler these days is managing Arizona’s Triple-A Reno.

With 17 years of big league seasons and 2,375 career hits under his belt, Butler offered plenty of advice to the speedy Bonifacio.

Bunting is a part of Bonifacio’s game that continues to develop. Florida is looking for the speedster to find ways to get on base, and make things happen.

After a scorching start, Bonifacio has quieted the last two games in Atlanta. He has gone hitless with seven strikeouts in his last 10 at-bats.

On Friday night at Washington, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez gave Bonifacio a day off. Cameron Maybin replaced Boni in the leadoff spot.

Gonzalez said the 0-for-10 stretch wasn’t the breather.

“That’s not the column, I’m worried about,” Gonzalez said. “The strikeouts. It’s the Ws that I’m worried about.”

With Washington starting lefties John Lannan on Friday and Scott Olsen on Saturday, Gonzalez was leaning toward giving Bonifacio one of the two days off.

It happened to be Friday.

Maybin also has struggled at the plate. The two youngsters are still learning.

Bonifacio says he started chasing pitches up in the zone, citing that for a reason for his slight slump.

“I have to see better pitches,” Bonifacio.

Early in the season, Bonifacio said he was effective hitting pitches down in the zone. An adjustment some pitchers are making are to elevate in the zone.

“There is a lot of scouting out there,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve said it from the very beginning, [Boni] and Maybin, we’re going to be patient with them. They’re going to go ups and downs.

“Yeah, there are going to be some adjustments. It’s hard on veteran guys.”

— Joe Frisaro