Results tagged ‘ Braves ’

Nolasco polishing up delivery

For Ricky Nolasco, getting season ready is coming in two stages.

First, the 28-year-old had to show he is healthy. He’s done that, recovering from a sprained right thumb, to get back on the mound. The injury caused him to miss the first half of Spring Training. He’s also recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.

Now, Nolasco is working on getting sharp. The off time set him back in terms of polishing up his delivery and getting hitters out. The rust showed in his first two Grapefruit League starts, where he’s allowed 11 runs on 12 hits in four innings.

Nolasco is back on the mound on Wednesday when the Marlins face the Braves in Lake Buena Vista. Atlanta is starting Tim Hudson.

Between his last start and now, Nolasco has worked with pitching coach Randy St. Claire. The two have watched video and detected some glitches in his delivery.

“Just stuff that Randy and I saw,” Nolasco said. “I felt like I was flying open early, which the video obviously showed. He wanted to point that out to me, to stay closed a little bit longer.”

Nolasco also is looking to get his legs more into his delivery.

“I wasn’t really using my legs as much, which is another thing that we noticed,” he said. “It was causing me, instead of going directly to the plate, I was falling off. Those little things will come with the more that I throw.

“It’s nothing we’re worried about, but it’s something we’re working on. When I’m using my lower half a little more, it helps me stay in line through the ball and through the target.”


1) Dewayne Wise, CF
2) Ozzie Martinez, 2B
3) Logan Morrison, LF
4) Gaby Sanchez, 1B
5) Donnie Murphy, SS
6) Scott Cousins, RF
7) Brett Hayes, C
8) Matt Dominguez, 3B
9) Ricky Nolasco, P

Joe Frisaro

JJ to get first Spring swings

There will be no designated hitter in Monday’s Grapefruit League game at Roger Dean Stadium. So that means, Josh Johnson will be taking his first swings of Spring Training.

The Marlins are starting Johnson, and looking to throw him three or four innings. Atlanta is countering with Tim Hudson in the 1:05 p.m. ET start.

Before Johnson was shut down last year due to a back injury and sore right shoulder, he was instructed only to swing the bat when necessary. So frequently, he would take pitches rather than risk tweaking his back.

The Marlins pitchers have been hitting in the cages of late.

Monday is an exception on the Marlins’ pitchers hitting. The team plans on having them hit regularly beginning on March 22.

Marlins lineup:

1) Chris Coghlan, CF

2) Omar Infante, 2B

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) John Buck, C

5) Logan Morrison, LF

6) Wes Helms, 1B

7) Scott Cousins, RF

8) Donnie Murphy, 3B

9) Josh Johnson, P

Joe Frisaro


Edwin and Fredi reunite

Last June, Edwin Rodriguez was placed in the difficult position of replacing Fredi Gonzalez as manager of the Marlins.

Even after the decision was made, Rodriguez and Gonzalez have maintained a close friendship.

On Monday morning, before the Marlins faced the Braves at Roger Dean Stadium, Rodriguez shed some light on how the transition period went.

“I think it was the first three or four mornings, he was calling me every day,” Rodriguez said. “Obviously, he was trying to help me out about the whole situation. He did call me for those three or four first days.

“It was mainly about how to use the bullpen and the lineup, and all that. He was more asking me, if I needed any help. He wasn’t trying to tell me anything. He was asking me if I had any problems with anything. It was very nice of him. He understood what this situation was that I was coming into.”

Gonzalez, now the Braves manager, and Rodriguez more recently kept in touch during the NFL playoffs, courtesy of a Spanish-language radio show in Miami.

For a few weeks, the two managers made NFL playoff picks on Jerry Del Castillo’s show on AM 670.

Rodriguez, who doesn’t watch much of the NFL, agreed to go on with the current Braves manager.

It was all in good fun, and Rodriguez played along that he was an NFL expert, even though he didn’t follow the season. In fact, Rodriguez said he didn’t watch the Super Bowl.

But he agreed to do the radio show because he didn’t want to appear like he was ducking the challenge of picking the games.

Joe Frisaro

Full-squad workouts to begin

JUPITER, Fla. — Over the past few days, position players have gradually filtered into the Marlins complex at Roger Dean Stadium.

hanley2-21.jpgWhile pitchers and catchers have been working out since last Friday, several position players have been getting ready on their own. On Monday, for instance, Hanley Ramirez and Gaby Sanchez were in the batting cages late in the morning.

On Tuesday, full-squad workouts will begin with the players taking the field at 12:30 p.m. ET, after they take their physicals in the morning.

The workouts are open to the public.

What fans can expect to see on the back fields are plenty of drills, and an emphasis on improving defensively. Pitchers will also be throwing to hitters.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez is stressing the fundamentals, and challenging his players and the coaching staff to do the little things that result in victories.

Ramirez on Monday told reporters that he is ready to take on the challenge of doing his part to lead the team to the postseason.

The first full-squad workouts will give the team its first look at Chris Coghlan in center field, and Matt Dominguez at third base. Those two spots will be closely watched all spring.

Coghlan, who is recovering from a meniscus tear to his left knee, has never played center field at the professional level. Also, because of the surgery, he will be eased back into playing shape.

Dominguez, meanwhile, is a 21-year-old who is striving to make the leap from Double-A to the big leagues. His overall game has drawn comparisons to Mike Lowell. Defensively, he is special. Whether he can handle hitting in the big leagues will be his greatest challenge.

Tuesday also will be the first time the organization sees Omar Infante in a Marlins’ uniform. Acquired from the Braves as part of the Dan Uggla trade, Infante is the probable Opening Day second baseman.

Many questions have been asked about the roster during the offseason. Beginning on Tuesday, the organization will start to get some answers.

— Joe Frisaro


Bonifacio back in lineup

Overall, the Marlins are 39-39 on the road this year after they dropped three of four at Milwaukee.

On Monday, they begin their final away series of the season, as they take on the Braves at Turner Field.

Alex Sanabia gets the starting nod, while the Braves are going with Tommy Hanson.

Monday marks the return of Emilio Bonifacio to the starting lineup. Bonifacio has been bothered by a tight left hamstring. He is starting at shortstop as Hanley Ramirez isn’t ready to return.








1) Scott Cousins, CF

2) Emilio Bonifacio, SS

3) Logan Morrison, LF

4) Dan Uggla, 2B

5) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

6) Chad Tracy, 3B

7) Mike Stanton, RF

8) Brad Davis, C

9) Alex Sanabia, P








1) Omar Infante, 2B

2) Jason Heyward, RF

3) Martin Prado, 3B

4) Brian McCann, C

5) Derrek Lee, 1B

6) Nate McLouth, LF

7) Alex Gonzalez, SS

8) Rick Ankiel, CF

9) Tommy Hanson, P


— Joe Frisaro


Wagner assesses Marlins

Will 2010 go down as a season of missed opportunities for the Marlins?

The team still has a chance to finish above .500, but there is a school of thought that if the club had upgraded in a couple of areas — mainly their bullpen — they could have seriously challenged for the NL East title.

Braves closer Billy Wagner certainly feels the Marlins are a quality team. Recently, Wagner offered this assessment of the Marlins to Braves’ reporter Mark Bowman.

“The Marlins are no fun to play,” Wagner said. “They’re probably the best talent and if they’d have had a bullpen, they’d have won this division.

“They’ve always been like that. Every time they’ve put a closer in their bullpen, they’ve won championships. Then they go through three or four years where they have unbelievable talent and starting pitching, but they don’t have a bullpen.”

— Joe Frisaro


Gaby in lineup Friday

On a day he was suspended for three games by Major League Baseball, Gaby Sanchez was back in the Marlins lineup on Friday in the series opener with the Braves.

Sanchez is appealing his three-game penalty levied by MLB on Friday. Sanchez was involved in the melee with the Nationals on Wednesday night.

Friday also marked the return of Dan Uggla to the starting lineup. Uggla missed three straight games due to a strained right groin.

The Marlins on Friday also announced they selected the contracts of outfielder Scott Cousins and reliever Chris Leroux from Triple-A New Orleans.

Here’s the Marlins lineup for Friday: Cameron Maybin (CF), Logan Morrison (LF), Hanley Ramirez (SS), Dan Uggla (2B), Gaby Sanchez (1B), Chad Tracy (3B), Mike Stanton (RF), Brad Davis (C), Andrew Miller (P).

— Joe Frisaro


Nolasco concerned about knee

Ricky Nolasco, feeling discomfort in his right knee, is now doubtful to make his scheduled start on Friday against the Braves.

“He’s concerned about his knee,” Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “Right now, that’s the only thing I can say.”

Nolasco has a torn medial meniscus in his right knee. He went 11 days without pitching before he faced the Braves last Saturday (Aug. 28) at Atlanta.

In a rough outing, Nolasco gave up six runs in two innings, throwing 62 pitches, with 41 in the second inning.

Nolasco’s season may be over. The right-hander is 14-9 with a 4.51 ERA.

Andrew Miller, who took batting practice with the pitchers on Wednesday, is the likely replacement to face the Braves on Friday. But that has not been announced.

— Joe Frisaro


His name is Dan Uggla!

Facing the Braves brings out the best in Dan Uggla.

On Friday night, Uggla connected on his 29th homer of season, an opposite-field shot off Tommy Hanson in the sixth inning at Turner Field.

uggla1b.jpgThe blast was the 150th of his five-year career, as Uggla continues to add on to his Marlins’ record for home runs.

It also was the 22nd home run the second baseman has collected against the Braves, his highest total against any team.

Uggla’s 11 homers at Turner Field are a personal high at any ballpark besides Sun Life Stadium, where he has 74.

Uggla and Miguel Cabrera are the only Marlins ever to reach 30 homers three separate times. The difference is Uggla has done it in three straight seasons, while Cabrera’s weren’t all in a row.

It is a matter of time before Uggla extends that to four consecutive years, since he has 29 with more than a month to play.

When it comes to pure home run power, Uggla has been remarkably consistent. For his career, he’s averaging a home run every 18.71 at-bats. This season, he is ahead of that pace, as he is going deep every 16.14 per at-bats.

The slot in the lineup where Uggla has his most home runs may surprise some people. It’s second in the batting order, where he was anchored in 2006-07. It wasn’t until early in the 2008 season that he slid down to fifth or six. He opened this year batting fifth, but has been in the cleanup spot for 46 games.

Uggla has 61 homers from the second spot, and 48 while batting fifth. He has 19 when batting sixth, and 15 at cleanup.

— Joe Frisaro



Maybin exits with left groin strain

Marlins center fielder Cameron Maybin, who flinched while taking a swing in the seventh inning on Friday night, was removed during the middle of the at-bat with a left groin strain.

He is listed as day to day.

But after the Marlins beat the Braves, 7-1, Maybin said he expected to be ready for Saturday.

“Two swings in a row, I felt my groin grab a little bit,” Maybin said. “They wanted me to take it easy for precautionary reasons. We’ll see how it feels, and I hope to be back in the lineup tomorrow.”

Maybin was having a strong game against the Braves. He led off with a home run, and he made a terrific diving catch to rob Tommy Hanson in the third inning.

Mike Stanton replaced Maybin, assuming the at-bat against Cristhian Martinez. Stanton swung through strike three, but the strikeout was recorded to Maybin.

In the first inning, Maybin and Logan Morrison became the first pair in Marlins history to belt back-to-back home runs in the team’s first at-bat.

Emilio Bonifacio replaced Maybin in center field, while Stanton remained in the game, moving to right field.

— Joe Frisaro