Results tagged ‘ Clay Hensley ’

Hensley on bereavement list

The Marlins on Saturday afternoon placed reliever Clay Hensley on the breavement list due to a death in the family. The team recalled left-hander Hunter Jones from Triple-A New Orleans.

Late Friday, Hensley learned of the passing of his father. In an emotional scene in the team clubhouse, the right-hander received embraces and best wishes from his teammates following the Marlins’ 7-1 loss to the Nationals.

Hensley threw three innings of scoreless relief on Friday, striking out seven. It was his second straight dominating relief performance. On Wednesday against the Padres, he struck out six of the seven batters he faced in two innings.

By league rule, being on the bereavement list means a player must miss a minimum of three games and a maximum of seven games. Jones, acquired from the Red Sox after the 2009 season for outfielder Jeremy Hermida, got the call from Triple-A.

Jones was in Spring Training with the Marlins, trying to make the club as a reliever. Jones joins Renyel Pinto as the second lefty in the Florida bullpen.

Hensley has made eight appearances for the Marlins. In 12 2/3 innings, he has struck out 21 while walking five.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins roster set

With no more exhibition games to play, the Marlins on Saturday made their final moves to set their active and 40-man rosters.

Following an 8-7 loss to their low Class A Greensboro affiliate, the Marlins announced several transactions.

Outfielder Brett Carroll was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. Carroll is on the DL, retroactive to March 26. Reliever Brian Sanches, who suffered a hamstring injury on Friday night, also will start the season on the 15-day disabled list.

The Marlins also selected the contracts of infielders Brian Barden and Mike Lamb. Reliever Jose Veras also had his contract selected.

These moves set the 25-man roster.

The 40-man roster also has been set, as right-hander Cristhian Martinez and outfielder Jai Miller were designated for assignment. The roster now is at 40.

The Marlins now head to New York to get ready for Opening Day on Monday against the Mets at Citi Field.

The team will work out at Citi Field at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

For now, outfielder Cody Ross is on the active roster. Ross, recovering from a mild right calf strain, is hopeful to be in the Opening Day lineup. As a precaution, outfielder Scott Cousins will also head to New York, just in case a last minute decision is made to place Ross on the disabled list.

The Marlins roster includes 13 position players and 12 pitchers.

The position players are: Ronny Paulino, John Baker, Gaby Sanchez, Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu, Hanley Ramirez, Chris Coghlan, Cameron Maybin, Ross, Wes Helms, Emilio Bonifacio, Barden and Lamb.

The pitchers are: Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad, Nate Robertson, Leo Nunez, Veras, Wood, Burke Badenhop, Clay Hensley, Renyel Pinto and Dan Meyer.

Designating Miller wasn’t completely unexpected. The Marlins Triple-A outfield will feature Bryan Petersen, Cousins and Jason Lane. And the organization has outfield depth at the Double-A level, with top prospect Mike Stanton in right field.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Final roster spots appear set

Nothing has been announced yet, but look for Brian Barden, Mike Lamb, Clay Hensley and Jose Veras to be the non-roster invitees to make the team.

Barden appears to have won the final bench spot. Lamb will be the primary lefty bat off the bench.

Cody Ross hasn’t ruled out playing on Opening Day. Ross may play in a Minor League game in the next day or so.

Bryan Petersen is being reassigned to Minor League camp.

Non-roster invitees Hector Luna and Donnie Murphy didn’t make the team.

The final roster, for now, seems to be:

C – John Baker, Ronny Paulino

1B – Gaby Sanchez

2B – Dan Uggla

SS – Hanley Ramirez

3B – Jorge Cantu

LF – Chris Coghlan

CF – Cameron Maybin

RF – Cody Ross

Bench – Mike Lamb, Wes Helms, Brian Barden, Emilio Bonifacio

Starting pitchers – Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad, Nate Robertson

Bullpen – Leo Nunez, Renyel Pinto, Dan Meyer, Brian Sanches, Jose Veras, Burke Badenhop, Clay Hensley

DL – Brett Carroll

Carroll strained his left oblique, and he will go on the DL retroactive to March 26. The earliest he can be activiated is April 10. Carroll will remain in Jupiter when the team heads to Jacksonville for Friday.

Carroll took some swings on Wednesday off the tee. He again will do some light hitting on Thursday. He says he is making progress. The plan is for him to play for Class A Jupiter in their home opener on April 8.

If Ross isn’t ready for Opening Day, Emilio Bonifacio is a possibility to play right field. Boni started in right field on Thursday in the Marlins final Grapefruit League game.

– 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
 

Penn claimed off waivers by Pirates

Hayden Penn, who was out of options, has been claimed off waivers by the Pirates.

Penn had been in the mix for a rotation spot.

In five Grapefruit League starts, Penn made two starts. He was 1-0 with an 8.31 ERA, he walked four and struck out four.

The Marlins entered Spring Training with Penn as part of the mix for a rotation spot. But Clay Hensley has locked up the fifth rotation spot.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Rotation shaping up

No official word has been made yet regarding the Marlins rotation, but if the next week’s schedule of games means anything, the candidates are already lined up.

The Marlins on Sunday are starting Ricky Nolasco against the Astros at Roger Dean Stadium. On Monday, Anibal Sanchez will face the Mets in Port St. Lucie. Chris Volstad will throw on Tuesday in Jupiter against the Nationals.

josh-johnson.jpgAce Josh Johnson will take the mound on Wednesday at Port St. Lucie against the Mets. On Thursday, Clay Hensley will start in the final Grapefruit League contest, facing the Cardinals.

Nolasco will pitch against Double-A Jacksonville in Jacksonville. Sanchez gets the call on Saturday afternoon at low Class A Greensboro.

If this order stays in tact, which is expected, the rotation for the first week of the season will be:

April 5 at Mets: Josh Johnson

April 7 at Mets: Ricky Nolasco

April 8 at Mets: Anibal Sanchez

April 9 vs. Dodgers: Opening Night at Sun Life Stadium — Chris Volstad

The April 10 starter will be up on the air. It’s the first Super Saturday of the season, and a big crowd will be on hand.

Because the Marlins are off on April 6, Johnson would be available to face the Dodgers on April 10. The team is being flexible with that date. If Johnson has a non-taxing season opener at the Mets, he could come back and pitch. But if Johnson’s pitch count is high in the opener, and he had some stressful innings, he may instead pitch on Sunday, April 11 against the Dodgers.

How Johnson is will determine when Hensley would pitch. If Johnson pitches on April 10, Hensley would throw on Sunday. Hensley would be the option to throw on April 10 if Johnson throws on Sunday.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins-Cardinals lineups for Saturday

The Marlins are the visiting team on Saturday against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Clay Hensley will look to improve his chances of winning the fifth starter spot. Brad Penny is pitching for St. Louis. 

 

 

 

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1) Chris Coghlan, LF

2) Cameron Maybin, CF

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Jorge Cantu, 3B

5) Dan Uggla, 2B

6) John Baker, C

7) Mike Stanton, RF

8) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

9) Clay Hensley, P

 

 

 

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1) Skip Schumaker, 2B

2) Brendan Ryan, SS

3) Albert Pujols, 1B

4) Matt Holliday, LF

5) Felipe Lopez, RF

6) David Freese, 3B

7) Joe Mather, CF

8) Jason LaRue, C

9) Brad Penny, P

– Joe Frisaro

 

Sim Game in the Rain

They started off throwing in a light drizzle. About 30 minutes later, when the conditions worsened under a steady rain, they were shut down.

Bottom line for Clay Hensley and Andrew Miller is they both got their work in on a day that didn’t seem possible.

hensley23ag.jpgWith the Marlins having their lone off day of Spring Training, Hensley and Miller were scheduled to pitch. Initially, they were called in on Monday to throw in a scrimmage on Field 2 of the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

Because of the rain, the scrimmage didn’t take place, and instead, the two threw to batters in a simulated game that lasted about 30 minutes. Batters were hitting under a cage, and the two pitchers dealt with messy conditions. There weren’t any fielders.

Hensley, a non-roster invitee, continues to improve his chances of winning a rotation spot. In three innings — including a four-out inning due to a low pitch count — he didn’t allow a run. Of his 32 pitches, 18 were for strikes.

On a couple of occasions the right-hander slipped after throwing a pitch. A sinker-ball pitcher, Hensley induced nine groundballs out of the 11 batters he faced. He struck out two. His fastball topped out at 88 mph, and he was mainly throwing in the 85-86 mph range. Velocity isn’t a major issue with him, as long as his sinker is breaking downward, which it has all camp.

“He commands all his pitches,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He’s putting himself into position where he can fill a role easy.”

The Marlins are looking for two remaining rotation spots. Miller and Hensley are candidates, along with Chris Volstad, Rick VandenHurk and Hayden Penn.

Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco have been named the Nos. 1 and 2 starters, and Anibal Sanchez is regarded as the No. 3 starter, although that hasn’t been announced. Volstad is a frontrunner to be the No. 4 starter.

Gonzalez added that Hensley, if he is not in the rotation, could still win a bullpen spot.

The left-handed Miller threw 43 pitches with 23 strikes, and he had four strikeouts and two walks in the sim game.

Miller’s velocity was 92-93 mph in wet conditions on Monday.

When they were done throwing on the field, Miller and Hensley threw some more pitches under a covered bullpen. 

Either Henlsey or Miller could start on Saturday against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Johnson, meanwhile, will face the Mets on Friday at Roger Dean Stadium. Because Johnson will pitch against New York on the April 5 opener at Citi Field, the team doesn’t want to showcase him too much to the Mets before Opening Day.

The way Johnson’s rotation schedule is shaping up, however, he was in face them on Friday and on March 31 at Port St. Lucie.

Gonzalez said on Monday that Johnson will not face the Mets twice to close out Spring Training. But he will see them once, on Friday in Jupiter. On March 31, Johnson most likely will throw in a Minor League game.

Typically, in their last Spring Training appearance, starting pitchers have their pitch count scaled back to about three innings. Johnson threw 80 pitches on Sunday against the Nationals. He could go to about 100 pitches on Friday.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins-Cardinals on TV

Marlins baseball once again is on the air.

Friday’s afternoon contest against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium is being televised on Fox Sports Florida beginning at 1 p.m. The feed is being picked up on MLBTV.

This is the second and final Grapefruit League game being televised by Fox Sports Florida. The game also is being broadcasted in St. Louis.

broadcaster_fla_hutton.jpgThose tuning in won’t completely hear familiar voices. That’s because there is a twist the teams are doing with the telecast. Marlins analyst Tommy Hutton will be paired with Rick Horton of the Cardinals crew.

A similar format was used on Wednesday when the Marlins played the Braves. Fox Sports Florida also aired that game. In the booth, Rich Waltz of the Marlins was matched with Joe Simpson of the Braves.

“We’ve done a couple of these telecasts the last few years,” Hutton said. “Today, I’m working with Rick Horton, who does the St. Louis Cardinals on their Fox affiliate. I’ve never worked with Rick before. Actually, Rich Waltz and I haven’t worked together yet. Rich worked the other day with Joe Simpson. So the April 5 opener will be the first time me and Rich work together this year.”

Hutton, a former big leaguer, follows Spring Training with interest. He’s in the process of following several different storylines.

“Spring Training is always fun to watch because there is always somebody who steps up,” Hutton said. “There is always a name you haven’t heard about, who gets everybody’s attention. I think this year, it is Clay Hensley, with the way he’s pitched.”

Hensley, signed to a Minor League deal, is making a case to win a rotation spot.

broadcaster_fla_waltz_90x135.jpg“In other cases, you look at certain guys who are trying to make the team,” Hutton said. “This is always one of those Catch 22 areas — The young guy who is trying to make the team has to have a good spring. And he may play for 15 years and never have a good spring. It just might not be his time.

“Dan Uggla never has a good spring. I just talked to Dan. He said, wait until the bell rings. I’ll be ready.”

The Marlins first base battle between Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison is something being closely monitored.

“You look at Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez at first base. I think Gaby looks more comfortable at first base this year, after what he went through last year,” Hutton said. “Cameron Maybin is coming around. That’s another little story. I hope he gets enough at-bats, and gets himself ready for Opening Day.”

– 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

  

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