Results tagged ‘ Brian Sanches ’

Marlins-Phillies lineups

The Marlins strive to avoid being swept on Wednesday, but it will be a daunting task.

The Phillies are sending Roy Halladay to the mound, while the Marlins are countering with Jorge Sosa, who will start for the first time since 2007 when he was with the Mets. Reliever Brian Sanches likely will throw multiple innings in relief of Sosa, who may only go three or four innings.







1) Shane Victorino, CF

2) Placido Polanco, 3B

3) Chase Utley, 2B

4) Ryan Howard, 1B

5) Jayson Werth, RF

6) Raul Ibanez, LF

7) Carlos Ruiz, C

8) Wilson Valdez, SS

9) Roy Halladay, P








1) Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2) Logan Morrison, LF

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Dan Uggla, 2B

5) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

6) Chad Tracy, 3B

7) Scott Cousins, RF

8) Brad Davis, C

9) Jorge Sosa, P

— Joe Frisaro



Sanches injury update

In his mind, he has a target date of when to return.

Marlins reliever Brian Sanches is eyeing when the Marlins are in Houston rom April 20-22.

A more realistic return, however, may be April 23-25, when Florida travels to Colorado.

“I’d like to be back for Houston, but Colorado may be more likely,” Sanches said on Sunday morning. “It’s all tentative.”

Sanches is on the 15-day DL with a strained right hamstring. He did some running on Sunday morning, and he threw off flat ground at 120 feet. His next step is to throw off the mound on Monday and Wednesday. By next weekend, the setup reliever could be pitching in Minor League rehab assignment games.

Sanches is expected to be one of the Marlins prime right-handed setup relievers. But on April 2 he injured his hamstring while throwing a warmup pitch before an exhibition against Double-A Jacksonville.

— Joe Frisaro



Speculating on final roster

For weeks, Marlins coaches and officials have been evaluating. Now, the time is getting close to make the tough final decisions and set the 25-man roster.

Opening Day is a week away (April 5 at the Mets), and there are still some unanswered questions.

On Monday, the Marlins did settle who will be the starting first baseman. As expected, Gaby Sanchez was given the nod when Logan Morrison was reassigned to Minor League camp. Morrison will start off at Triple-A New Orleans. Don’t discount the 22-year-old making an impact at some point during the season. A year ago, Chris Coghlan was in Triple-A until May, and he went on to become the N.L. Rookie of the Year.

The rotation also has come together, with Clay Hensley securing the fifth spot.

Still to be resolved are at least one bench player, as well as a bullpen spot.

Over the past few days, Marlins personnel evaluators have been in Jupiter, consulting and meeting. Final moves can happen any day now.

While nothing has been officially announced, for recreational purposes, here is a look at how the 25-man roster may shake down. There are a few factors that will come into play, like how players fit into the 40-man roster. Currently, nine non-roster invitees are still in camp.

Again, this is for conversational purposes only, and not an officially announced 25-man squad.

Catchers: John Baker, Ronny Paulino

Infielders: Gaby Sanchez, Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez, Jorge Cantu, Wes Helms, Brian Barden, Mike Lamb

Outfielders: Chris Coghlan, Cameron Maybin, Cody Ross, Emilio Bonifacio

Starting pitchers: Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad, Clay Hensley

Bullpen: Leo Nunez (closer), Brian Sanchez, Jose Veras, Burke Badenhop, Tim Wood, Renyel Pinto, Dan Meyer

On this projected roster, there are four non-roster invitees who will have to be added to the 40-man roster — Hensley, Lamb, Barden and Veras. Currently, there are 37 on the 40-man. So that means, if they all make it, one current 40-man player would be removed.

The Marlins did clear a 40-man spot when pitcher Hayden Penn was claimed off waivers by the Pirates on Monday.

Barden, Donnie Murphy and Hector Luna are are vying for a utility position. All three are non-roster invitees. Murphy has impressed several other teams who have been watching him in camp. But Barden may secure the job. Working in Barden’s favor is his ability to play shortstop defensively at a high level. Of all the players in camp, Barden appears to be the best insurance policy to Ramirez. Barden also can play left field.

Bonifacio, of course, is a natural middle infielder. For now, it looks like he will be used in a super utility role previously held by Alfredo Amezaga.

The Marlins appear to be leaning toward not carrying a primary backup outfielder. Bryan Petersen, a highly regarded prospect, has impressed. But he likely will be in Triple-A.

The Marlins don’t have the need for a regular outfield backup because the starters — Coghlan, Maybin and Ross — won’t be replaced for defensive purposes. Now, if there is an injury situation, the team would likely make a move to call up an outfielder. Brett Carroll, who will open the season on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, is an option once he is healthy. Jai Miller, Scott Cousins and Petersen (if he doesn’t make the team) are other choices.

Barden also gives some flexibility if the Marlins slide Cantu over to first base in the late innings. The Marlins could go with Barden or Helms at third, or use them as pinch-hitters. Lamb is expected to be the lefty bat off the bench.

Gaby Sanchez adds value in the fact he could be the emergency third catcher. This is important because it means either Baker or Paulino — the catcher who doesn’t start — could be used as a pinch-hitter.

The bullpen battles have been tightly contested all spring. Seth McClung, a non-roster invitee, has more big league experience than Wood. McClung alsohas a clause that allows him to opt out of his contract on April 1. Not being on the 40-man roster may work against McClung and for Wood.

If Wood makes the team, he would be a middle relief candidate. The hard-throwing right-hander has been impressive in camp, and his slider has improved.

Badenhop is a long relief, and spot starter candidate. He’s had a solid spring. Veras has been throwing 95 mph all spring, and he has big league experience in a setup role.

Much can still change in the next few days. But the picture of how the team may look is becoming a bit more clear.

— Joe Frisaro

Bullpen shaping up

Perhaps there is just one bullpen spot left to fill at Marlins camp.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez shed some light on some of the relievers who are moving closer to winning spots on the Opening Day roster.

pinto4a.JPGThe Marlins anticipate carrying 12 relievers, and Leo Nunez is locked in as the closer. The team anticipates carrying two lefties. They are expected to be Renyel Pinto and Dan Meyer. Both are out of options.

Also strong possibilities to make the team are right-handers Brian Sanches and Jose Veras, in camp on a Minor League contract. Burke Badenhop is a frontrunner to be the long reliever.

“This can change,” said Gonzalez, noting that other candidates may pop across the waiver wire.

If these five hold true, there will be one reliever spot open.

Candidates include Mike MacDougal, Seth McClung, Tim Wood, Chris Leroux and Scott Strickland. 

The team may also decide to keep someone like Clay Hensley, who is in the mix for a rotation spot. If Hensley isn’t in the rotation, he could be an option in relief. The same would hold true for Rick VandenHurk and Hayden Penn, who are currently being used as starters.

— Joe Frisaro


Marlins out of options

Who is out of options factors into finalizing every big league roster.

A year ago, because shortstop Robert Andino was out of options, he became a primary trade target because he was blocked by All-Star Hanley Ramirez. So late in Spring Training 2009, Andino was dealt to the Orioles for right-hander Hayden Penn, who also was without options.

The Marlins currently have seven players who are out of options, which means they have to be on the 25-man roster, or the club risks losing them.

When a player has options, he can be sent up and down to the Minor Leagues all season.

Here are the seven Marlins without options for 2010: Penn, Dan Meyer, Renyel Pinto, Brian Sanches, Wes Helms, Cody Ross and Leo Nunez.

Rule 5 addition Jorge Jimenez also must make the 25-man roster, or he will have to be offered back to Boston.

— Joe Frisaro


Nunez uncharacteristically wild

Some tension surfaced before Leo Nunez locked down his 22nd save of the season on Wednesday at St. Louis.

In the Marlins’ 5-2 win over the Cardinals, Nunez was uncharacteristically wild, hitting Ryan Ludwick and Albert Pujols with pitches before Matt Holliday bounced into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Entering the ninth inning with a four-run lead, the Marlins went with reliever Brian Sanches, who retired Julio Lugo on a groundball to open the frame.

From there, the plot thickened when pinch-hitter Jason LaRue drew a walk after a 10-pitch showdown. Mark DeRosa’s double put runners on second and third, brining in Nunez.

Nunez’s first pitch was a fastball that plunked Ludwick on the hand, bringing up Pujols, who was promptly clipped by a changeup, drawing boos and jeers from the crowd.

“I tried to throw a fastball inside and it got away,” Nunez said through a translator. “The changeup to Pujols also went too far inside, but thank God everything came out well and I got a double play.”

Holliday bounced a fastball away to Dan Uggla at second base. The double play was turned easily, prompting Nunez to make an exuberant fist pump and point to the sky. Again, the crowd booed Nunez.

“We were trying to go in with a fastball on Ludwick,” said catcher John Baker, who noted he almost threw his shoulder out while celebrating the final outs. “We went too far in. We were trying to throw a changeup to Albert.”

In his first 68 appearances, Nunez only hit two batters. So striking two straight — back-to-back — was uncharacteristic.

“It’s probably more of a fluke than anything,” Baker said. “We’re not trying to hit Albert in that situation. We’re not trying to hit Ryan Ludwick to get to Albert Pujols with the bases loaded in the ninth inning with a four run lead. Common sense says that’s not we were trying to do. I think even Albert knew.”

— Joe Frisaro


Ayala, Wood recalled

A depleted bullpen picked up two fresh arms on Saturday, as the Marlins recalled from Triple-A New Orleans relievers Luis Ayala and Tim Wood.

The two right-handers were added to help preserve a bullpen that has picked up 12 2/3 innings the past two games.

Ayala and Wood were added to fill the roster spots of Chris Volstad and Gaby Sanchez. Both were optioned to Triple-A on Friday night.

Both Wood and Ayala have split time this year with the Marlins and Triple-A.

Wood has a 1-2 record with a 3.18 ERA in 31 games with New Orleans. He last threw an inning on Thursday.

Ayala has made nine appearances with New Orleans, and he last threw on Wednesday.

Rosters expand on Tuesday, and the Marlins are hoping to preserve their bullpen until then.

The Marlins are shying away from their two primary long relievers, Cristhian Martinez and Brian Sanches.

Sanches threw 2 1/3 innings on Friday, and Martinez tossed 3 1/3 innings on Thursday.

Asked who was available for long relief on Saturday against the Padres, manager Fredi Gonzalez quipped: “Don’t ask me that.”

The Marlins are hopeful starter Ricky Nolasco can go deep into the game. However, if there is a need for a reliever to throw multiple innings, both Ayala and Wood are candidates.

Gonzalez said he is hoping to avoid using Sanches the rest of the weekend.

— Joe Frisaro


— Joe Frisaro

Sanches quietly delivering

Unsung no more.

Marlins reliever Brian Sanches has been a major part of a heavily-used bullpen, and he’s quietly approaching a team record.

After tossing two shutout innings on Thursday night against the Astros, Sanches ran his scoreless streak at Land Shark Stadium to 24 1/3 straight innings. That’s the third longest stretch in club history. The only strings longer are by former Florida starters. Dontrelle Willis logged 31 straight without a run in 2003, and A.J. Burnett had a run of 26 innings in 2005.

Sanches, 31, is 2-0 with that 0.00 ERA at home. Overall, his numbers are impressive — 3-0 record with a 1.01 ERA in 30 games. In 35 2/3 innings, he has struck out 34, while walking 15.

A versatile right-hander, Sanches opened the season at Triple-A New Orleans, where he had four saves. He had his contract selected on May 18, and he’s been used in setup situations as well as long relief.

The Marlins are firmly in the playoff race, and the role of the bullpen will be huge down the stretch.

“Obviously, the bullpen is a really strong part of the team,” Sanches said. “That’s what we’re looking for, to make sure guys are ready and are taking precautions, preparing their bodies for the work that is coming up.”

Through the years, the Marlins have had a knack for finding relievers with some big league experience who are looking to resurrect their careers. A year ago, Joe Nelson and Doug Waechter fit the mold. They found success with Florida before moving to other teams.

Sanches and Kiko Calero are two of the bargains this year. And Dan Meyer was claimed off waivers, providing a lefty who has stepped up after having a change of scenery.

“The organization does a very good job. They had Joe Nelson and Doug Waechter last year,” Sanches said. “They had guys like me who have been up and down in the big leagues, and they come in and produce. I think it is a reflection of their scouting, and the character of the guys.

“You also have to give credit to the staff up here, because obviously, they’re doing something to change either the mental approach or they make a physical tweak that helps them produce. That’s what I was looking for, an opportunity. What I needed was a chance. They actually approached me early in the free agent process. It helps when you’re in a situation where they want you.”

— Joe Frisaro

Calero day-to-day

In the eighth inning of Florida’s 12-3 win over Philadelphia, Marlins reliever Kiko Calero was lifted with pain in his right knee.

Appearing for the first time since Aug. 4 at Washington, Calero exited after issuing a two-out walk to Chase Utley.

Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez and trainer Sean Cunningham came to the mound, and the veteran right-hander was replaced without even testing the knee with a warmup pitch.

Afterwards, Calero said he feld discomfort in the muscle area above the kneecap.

“It felt weak today,” said Calero, who has appeared in 47 games this season. “On Friday, I started feeling it. But today, there were two pitches [to Utley] where my knee felt weak. I’m fine.”

Calero is listed as day-to-day.

In 2003, he had surgery to repair a torn right patella.

Gonzalez said before of his past history with the knee area, the team is being extra cautious.

Calero was on the disabled list from June 21-July 9 with right shoulder inflammation.

The Marlins were hoping to avoid using Renyel Pinto on Sunday, but the lefty replaced Calero, and he retired Ryan Howard on a fly ball to right field.

Calero has been used in a late-inning relief role. Matt Lindstrom, Brendan Donnelly, Brian Sanches and Tim Wood are right-handed setup options. Leo Nunez has been used as closer.

— Joe Frisaro



Lindstrom on disabled list

The Marlins on Wednesday afternoon placed right-hander Matt Lindstrom on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow sprain.

The hard-throwing right-hander is on a no-throw status for four weeks. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the team would mix and match the closer spot. Leo Nunez, Dan Meyer and Brian Sanches are closer options.

Replacing Lindstrom is right-hander Chris Leroux, who was called up from Double-A Jacksonville.

Late after Tuesday night’s 7-6 win in 12 innings over the Orioles, Lindstrom said he felt soreness in his forearm area, and it affected the command of his slider. Lindstrom was throwing 98 mph.

Lindstrom struggled in the ninth inning on Tuesday. He entered with Florida ahead, 6-3, but with two outs and no one on, he allowed four straight singles. Lindstrom was relieved by Sanches, who allowed the game-tying single.

Nunez also is dealing with a sprained ankle, but he said on Wednesday that he is ready to pitch.

— Joe Frisaro