Results tagged ‘ Chris Volstad ’

Rotation order not quite set

JUPITER, Fla. — There are no real openings in the Marlins rotation. But the order of the five starters may not yet be set in stone.

Aside from Josh Johnson starting on Opening Night (April 1) against the Mets, the rest of the order is subject to change.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez said on Saturday morning that Johnson is locked in at No. 1, but the team wants to make sure Ricky Nolasco is ready to pitch the second game.

Key for Nolasco is how he does in his third start, which is March 23 against the Braves.

“If Ricky feels good after his third outing, he should be ready to go,” Rodriguez said.

Nolasco is recovered from a sprained right thumb and surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The right-hander has had two rough outings, including giving up seven runs in 2 1/3 innings on Friday to the Astros.

Nolasco feels fine, health wise. Rodriguez noted that it isn’t the health of his 28-year-old right-hander, “it’s the quality of his pitches.”

The Marlins would like their rotation to be Johnson, Nolasco, Javier Vazquez, Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad.

Rodriguez says more will be known on the order of the rotation after Nolasco’s next start.

Joe Frisaro

Marlins facing Italy in B Game

On Sunday afternoon, the Marlins will be taking on the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Chris Volstad will make the start for Florida, while St. Louis goes with Kevin Thomas in the 1:05 p.m. ET start.

Before the scheduled Grapefruit League game on the main field at the complex, on Field 2, the Marlins will be playing Italy in a B Game that starts at 10:30 a.m.

The exhibition gives the Marlins a chance to throw a few of their pitching prospects. Omar Poveda is scheduled to start. Brad Hand, Chad James, Rob Rasmussen, Chris Hatcher and Dan Jennings are lined up to pitch.

Joe Frisaro

Still weighing rotation options

JUPITER, Fla. — Javier Vazquez pitched effectively on Friday, but did the veteran secure the No. 3 spot in the Marlins’ rotation?

It’s still too early to tell.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez says the team has an idea on how they will line up their starting five, but the exact order is still subject to change.

Aside from Josh Johnson pitching on Opening Night against the Mets, there still is uncertainty.

Ricky Nolasco projects to be the No. 2 starter, going on April 2 at Sun Life Stadium. But Nolasco has yet to pitch in a Grapefruit League game because of a bruised right thumb. The right-hander threw off the mound on Friday, and the session went well. He next will have a bullpen session on Sunday.

The target date for Nolasco to be in a game is March 13 versus the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium. If he makes that start, he would be lined up to pitch on April 2.

Should Nolasco not be ready to open the season, then Vazquez appears to be the frontrunner to pitch the second game. Otherwise, Vazquez and Anibal Sanchez are choices for the third and fourth spots, with Chris Volstad as the fifth starter.

If Johnson and Nolasco line up one and two, then Vazquez is the likely candidate to pitch the third game.

“We’re going to wait and see,” Rodriguez said. “We keep saying we have an idea. But we’re going to wait and see how everything develops in Spring Training. Right now, we have an idea. We haven’t seen Ricky on the mound yet. As soon as we see Ricky on the mound and how he feels, we’ll have a better idea.”

Joe Frisaro

Marlins-Cardinals Tuesday lineup

Chris Volstad takes the mound on Tuesday when the Marlins face the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. St. Louis is going with Chris Carpenter.

The Marlins are giving Hanley Ramirez and Omar Infante the day off. Matt Dominguez, who hit a two-run homer on Monday, is back in the lineup at third base.

 

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1) Chris Coghlan, CF

2) Donnie Murphy, SS

3) Logan Morrison, LF

4) John Buck, C

5) Greg Dobbs, 1B

6) Scott Cousins, RF

7) Josh Kroeger, DH

8) Matt Dominguez, 3B

9) Emilio Bonifacio, 2B

– Joe Frisaro

 

Vazquez to face Hurricanes

JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins are sending veteran Javier Vazquez to the mound to face the University of Miami in their Feb. 27 exhibition game at Roger Dean Stadium.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez said on Monday that Vazquez will throw two innings in the game against the Hurricanes. Also on that day, ace Josh Johnson is expected to throw a simulated game on a back field.

The Marlins open their Grapefruit League schedule on Feb. 28 against the Cardinals. Florida will be the visiting team that day. Anibal Sanchez is scheduled to pitch and throw two innings. Chris Volstad is the probable starter for the March 1 game with the Cardinals, when the Marlins are the home team.

Ricky Nolasco, who is resting a jammed right thumb, is not expected to do any throwing until at least later in the week, or perhaps next week.

Rodriguez said the team could wait until around March 14 for Nolasco to throw off the mound, and still have him ready for the start of the season.

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

 

JJ, Javy throw off the mound

The Marlins got their first glimpse of ace Josh Johnson throwing off the mound. And based on how the 6-foot-7 right-hander was releasing the ball it looked as if the two-time All-Star was in mid-season form.

jjST2-18.JPGJohnson threw a bullpen session on the first day of Spring Training at Roger Dean Stadium.

With John Buck catching, Johnson showed no signs of any carryover from the back and shoulder problems that caused him to miss the final weeks of 2010.

Also throwing off the mound on Friday was Javier Vazquez, a free agent acquisition who was with the Yankees in 2010.

Closer Leo Nunez threw off the mound for the first time, and he was re-united with Buck. The two formerly were teammates in Kansas City.

Chris Volstad also threw a bullpen session on the first day of camp.

After catching Johnson for the first time, Buck noted that the 27-year-old Florida ace is “special.”

“It was his first bullpen, and he wasn’t throwing 110 percent,” Buck said. “But I think after that pen he threw there, he probably could win 15 games. I know I haven’t even seen anything yet.” 

– Joe Frisaro

 

Nolasco signing now official

It’s now official.

The Marlins on Friday announced the signing of Ricky Nolasco to a three-year contract.

Both sides reached agreement on the deal on Sunday night, and the deal became official after the 28-year-old right-hander completed his physical, which was on Thursday.

The three-year contract is worth $26.5 million, and it includes base salaries of $6 million in 2011, $9 million for 2012 and $11.5 million for 2013. Based on innings pitched, Nolasco also can earn bonuses of up to $500,000 for each season, or another $1.5 million total.

Projected as the Marlins’ No. 2 starter, Nolasco was 14-9 with a 4.51 ERA in 26 starts in ’10. He struck out 147 and walked just 33. With a 54-39 record, the right-hander is second in Marlins’ history in wins. Dontrelle Willis is the franchise leader with 68 victories.

The Marlins’ rotation is solidified with ace Josh Johnson, Nolasco, Javier Vazquez, Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad.

– Joe Frisaro

How Lee decision impacts Marlins

Landing Cliff Lee gives the Phillies the strongest rotation in the game.

The pending signing also reinforces what the Marlins have been preaching for a long time — Pitching and defense wins.

“A good team just got better,” Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said of Lee joining Philadelphia. “Our plan has been to build a team to win, and to do that, you have to beat the best teams. So, we’re planning to do just that.”

Well before Lee picked Philadelphia, Florida’s front office has been working towards crafting a formidable starting rotation. The recent free agent signing of Javier Vazquez was another step in piecing together a top-flight starting five.

The Marlins certainly like their rotation of Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Vazquez, Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad. The team feels they can match up favorably on most nights. It’s just a matter of these young starters gaining consistency, along with staying healthy.

With Lee off the market, the Marlins certainly aren’t looking to trade away their top starters. There will be speculation about Nolasco, who has a three-year contract offer on the table that hasn’t been agreed upon.

But Nolasco has two more years left in arbitration, and the Marlins certainly value him as either their No. 2 or No. 3 starter, depending on the competition in Spring Training shapes up.

Florida is prepared to go year-to-year with Nolasco, who remains a highly valued right-hander for the cost. The team has no urgency to move him.

Obviously, the Marlins would listen to offers, but to trade Nolasco, Florida would covet pitching in return. Because the team is trying to compete in 2011, they would seek a big league-ready starter in any trade.

Johnson, who has three-years remaining on his contract, is a franchise player who isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Marlins are looking for Johnson to be their Opening Day starter in the first game in their new ballpark, which opens in 2012.

In order to contend in the NL East, the Marlins will be banking on their rotation. They won’t be looking to break it up.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins on the mend

With a modest payroll, success for the Marlins’ largely rests on the team staying healthy.

Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest touched on that Wednesday during the announcement that Edwin Rodriguez would return as manager.

“We need to keep our starting pitching healthy,” Beinfest said. “We need to keep JJ, Ricky, Anibal and Vollie pitching deep into September. We really can’t afford to lose our starting pitching like we did this year.”

Josh Johnson missed the final few weeks with a back and shoulder ailment. Nolasco was out down the stretch with a meniscus tear in his right knee. Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad pitched down the stretched, and both actually finished up strong.

The Marlins will be counting on Johnson, Nolasco, Sanchez and Volstad to be four workhorses in 2011.

“One of the things we’re looking for the team to do too is to just grow up a little bit,” Beinfest said. “We’ve transitioned a little bit some of the guys who had been here since ’06. … Health and the arms will be important.”

Currently, several players are on the mend this offseason. Johnson and Nolasco are recovering nicely, and neither should have any restrictions when Spring Training gets underway.

Chris Coghlan is recovering from a meniscus tear in his left knee. Coghlan recently was checked out by team physician, Dr. Lee Kaplan. As of now, he doesn’t have a timeline to start baseball activities.

Hanley Ramirez, who was bothered with left elbow inflammation, will soon be examined again by Kaplan to determine when he will begin baseball activities. Ramirez is spending much of the offseason in Miami working out. 

John Baker underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, and he hasn’t begun baseball activities.

Sean West, who was in the Arizona Fall League, has been sent home with a left elbow strain. The 6-foot-8 lefty is scheduled to see Kaplan. The team doesn’t think the injury is serious, but more will be known after the visit.

Alex Sanabia, who missed his final start due to a right forearm strain, is making progress. The team didn’t think the ailment was serious.

Also on Wednesday, Beinfest noted that the team has had on-going discussions with Terry Bross, Dan Uggla’s agent, regarding a long-term contract for the power-hitting second baseman. There has been little movement, however, on a multiyear deal with Nolasco, who has two more seasons left in arbitration.

Beinfest said he was given his payroll range for the ’11 season. He didn’t give any estimates, but he noted payroll will be higher than the $46 million in 2010.

Look for Florida’s payroll to be in the $50 million range.

– Joe Frisaro
 

 

Marlins lineup for Thursday

Home again after getting swept by the Braves, the Marlins look to finish 2010 on a high. They certainly endured a low on the road, going 1-6 at Milwaukee and Atlanta.

The Marlins face the Pirates in the first of four games on Thursday at Sun Life Stadium.

At home this season, the Marlins are 38-39.

 

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1) Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2) Ozzie Martinez, SS

3) Logan Morrison, LF

4) Dan Uggla, 2B

5) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

6) Mike Stanton, RF

7) Wes Helms, 3B

8) Brad Davis, C

9) Chris Volstad, P

 – Joe Frisaro

 

 

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