Results tagged ‘ Cubs ’

Ceda, James among roster moves

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Before facing the Mets on Friday afternoon at Digital Domain Park, the Marlins made six roster moves.

Right-hander Jose Ceda was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans, while right-handers Chris Hatcher, Evan Reed and Omar Poveda were optioned to Double-A Jacksonville. Right-hander Arquimedes Caminero was optioned to Class A Jupiter, and lefty Chad James was reassigned to Minor League camp.

The Marlins now have 53 players in camp, including 25 pitchers.

Ceda is a hard-throwing right-hander obtained from the Cubs for Kevin Gregg a couple of years ago, and James is a former first-round pick.

Joe Frisaro

Managerial movement picking up

Vacancies are starting to be filled, and some of the decisions may factor into who is named the Marlins next manager.

For instance, the Cubs on Tuesday announced that they have hired Mike Quade over Ryne Sandberg.

The move also means that Chicago won’t make a pitch for Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who now is all but guaranteed to remain in New York.

So what does this mean for the Marlins?

For one, it means the Marlins will likely talk internally about the merits of Sandberg, and whether it makes sense for them to seek permission to talk with the Hall of Famer.

Andre Dawson, a Marlins special assistant, is a former teammate of Sandberg. He knows him well.

So expect the Marlins to talk among themselves about Sandberg. Whether it leads to anything more remains to be seen.

The Marlins are getting close to starting their interviewing process to see who will direct the club in 2011.

Had Quade not been hired in Chicago, the Marlins likely would have considered him because he is so highly regarded.

Over the past few days we’ve seen some jobs being filled.

Seattle recently hired Eric Wedge. And any doubts about Tony La Russa leaving St. Louis were put to rest on Monday when the Cardinals announced his return.

Of course, high on Florida’s list is Bo Porter, who has past history with the organization. Sources have noted that Porter has an inside edge for the job, but that doesn’t mean the team hasn’t ruled out all its options.

Retaining Edwin Rodriguez also is under consideration.

More answers should be known in the upcoming days as the front office begins its interviewing process.

— Joe Frisaro


Postseason pitching flashbacks

After more than five decades, Don Larsen finally has company, and baseball has another game for the ages.

beckett.jpgRoy Halladay placed himself in exclusive company on Wednesday by tossing the second no-hitter in MLB playoff history. Halladay and the Phillies blanked the Reds, 4-0, in Game 1 of their NationaL League Division Series.

Before Halladay’s historical performance, Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series stood as the lone no-hitter in MLB postseason history. Standing in the way of perfection for Halladay was a lone walk.

The Marlins can certainly feel the Reds’ pain. On May 29, they were shut down by Halladay, who tossed the 20th perfect game in MLB history that day.

In their history, the Marlins have gone to the postseason twice, and in each year captured the World Series title.

While no Marlin has ever tossed a no-hitter in the playoffs, there have been a few masterful pitching performances.

Florida’s most memorable complete game shutout in the playoffs was turned in by Josh Beckett, when he closed out the Yankees in Game 6 of the 2003 World Series at Yankee Stadium.

Beckett allowed five hits in a 2-0 victory that day, on his way to winning MVP honors. But an argument can be made that it wasn’t Beckett’s best playoff performance of that season.

In the NL Championship Series against the Cubs, Florida was trailing 3-1 in games heading into Game 5 in Miami. Beckett tossed a two-hit shutout, striking out 11. That performance set the stage for the Marlins to return to Chicago, where they took care of the Cubs in Games 6 and 7 at Wrigley Field.

The Marlins have had four complete games in their playoff history. Livan Hernandez striking out 15 Braves in the 1997 NLCS also remains one of the top pitching performances ever by a Marlin.

Postseason Marlins’ complete games:

* Josh Beckett, 10/12/03: 2 hits, 0 runs, 11 strikeouts, vs Cubs, NLCS
* Josh Beckett, 10/25/02: 5 hits, 0 runs, 9 strikeouts, vs Yankees, WS
* Kevin Brown, 10/14/97: 11 hits, 4 runs, 8 strikeouts, vs Braves, NLCS
* Livan Hernandez, 10/12/97: 3 hits, 1 run, 15 strikeouts, vs Braves, NLCS

— Joe Frisaro

Morrison sets team rookie record

Logan Morrison appeared in his 47 MLB game on Saturday night, and already the 23-year-old has set a Marlins’ rookie record.

With his first-inning double off Chicago’s Casey Coleman, Morrison extended his streak of reaching base safely to 37 games. It tops the previous mark of 36 set by Hanley Ramirez in 2006.

The streak is reaching either by hit, walk or hit by pitch.

The franchise record is 46 set by Luis Castillo during 2002, the year he set a franchise record with his 35-game hitting streak.

Marlins consecutive games reaching safely

* Luis Castillo, 46 (4/25/02-6/21/02)
* Kevin Millar, 43 (8/10/02-9/28/02)
* Logan Morrison, 37 (8/7/10-current)
* Cliff Floyd, 37 (4/30/00-6/11/00)
* Hanley Ramirez, 36 (7/27/06-9/3/06)

— Joe Frisaro

Amezaga agrees with Dodgers

One of the most versatile players to wear a Marlins uniform in recent years has found another job.

Alfredo Amezaga has reached agreement on a Minor League deal with the Dodgers. The 31-year-old utility player has an invitation to big league camp.

If Amezaga makes the Dodgers, he will earn $650,000, and if he meets all his incentives, he can earn another $800,000.

The 31-year-old has been with the Marlins since 2006. A switch-hitter, Amezaga has a career batting average of .251 with a .311 on-base percentage. A knee injury limited him to 27 games last year, and over the summer he underwent microfracture surgery after experiencing a bone bruise.

He was cleared to run in January, and worked out recently for four clubs. 

The Marlins maintained interest in bringing Amezaga back. While Amezaga enjoyed his tenure with Florida, he felt this was his best opportunity.

Because Amezaga is recovering from microfracture surgery to his left knee, the Marlins felt it was too risky to tender him a contract in December. A natural middle infielder who is an above average defensive center fielder, Amezaga made $1.3 million this past year and he appeared in just 27 games.

At the Winter Meetings in December, the Dodgers and Cubs explored acquiring Amezaga in a trade. But Amezaga wasn’t medically cleared at that time.

A natural middle infielder, Amezaga saw substantial time in center field. And he played every position but pitcher and catcher as a Marlin.

Emilio Bonifacio is the frontrunner to assume Amezaga’s utlity role.

— Joe Frisaro




Marlins interested in Gregg

A former Marlins reliever could be returning to Florida.

The Marlins have made a contract offer to veteran Kevin Gregg, according to Ken Rosenthal of has confirmed the Marlins indeed have interest in Gregg as an eighth-inning setup reliever for closer Leo Nunez.

After spending 2007 and 2008 as the Marlins closer, Florida traded Gregg to the Cubs for reliever Jose Ceda, who was injured for all of 2009.

The Marlins are seeking veteran relievers.

A free agent, Gregg has appeared in at least 70 games in three straight seasons. With the Cubs last year, he was 5-6 with a 4.72 ERA in 72 games. He added 23 saves in 30 chances before losing his position.

With the Marlins in 2007, Gregg saved 32 games in 36 chances. The right-hander had his struggles in the role in 2008, posting 29 saves in 38 opportunities. He was bothered by a left knee injury late in that season.

On Friday, the Marlins announced they signed Derrick Turnbow and Jose Veras to a Minor League contracts with a Spring Training invitations.

— Joe Frisaro


Gload heading to Phillies

Add left-handed bat off the bench to the Marlins’ needs.

Late Tuesday night, veteran Ross Gload agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Phillies.

A free agent, the 33-year-old first baseman was an effective pinch-hitter and spot starter in his lone season with the Marlins. Gload had 21 pinch-hits and 15 pinch-hit RBIs, both Marlins records for a season.

The left-handed hitting Gload was also a strong defensive first baseman, and he can also play both corner outfield spots.

In 125 games, Gload batted .261 with six home runs and 30 RBIs. He even was an emergency pitcher on May 22, tossing one scoreless inning against Tampa Bay.

The Marlins acquired Gload and cash from the Royals on April 1 for a player to be named, who became right-hand prospect Eric Basurto.

Gload broke in with the Cubs in 2000, and he also played for the Rockies and White Sox.

In Philadelphia, the likely will fill the pinch-hit role that Matt Stairs held.

The Marlins had a two-year, $1.9 million offer on the table for Gload, who also attracted interest from the Braves.

In early November, the Marlins turned down a $2.6 million club option on Gload, making him a free agent.

— Joe Frisaro


Market for Hermida

Speculation continues to run high that the Marlins will trade outfielder Jeremy Hermida this offseason.

The 25-year-old former first-round pick in 2002, came off a rough season, batting .259 with 13 home runs and 47 RBIs. A strained right oblique on Sept. 2, limited him to one pinch-hit appearance in the final weeks of the season.

Hermida will be entering his second season of arbitration. He made $2.25 million this year, and by the nature of the system, he’d be in line for a raise.

The Marlins are hopeful Cameron Maybin will win the center field position, and Cody Ross is expected to return. Ross, also in his second season of arbitration, could be earmarked for right field, making Hermida expendable.

Some teams believed to be interested in Hermida are the Mariners, Rays, Mets and Blue Jays. The Cubs also could have interest.

Even though Hermida has yet to perform as so many envisioned, he does have value on the open market. He still would be a more affordable option than many soon-to-be free agent outfielders. Also, in arbitration, a team could control his rights for two seasons.

Several scouts feel Hermida may be one of those players who benefits by a change of scenery.

— Joe Frisaro



Billy goat moment


Photo credit to Denis Bancroft/Florida Marlins


Part of Friday’s game was a between innings on-field skit where a mock trivia question prize wa a billy goat, playing off the billy goat curse in Chicago.

— Joe Frisaro

Rotation possibilities

The Marlins have yet to announce their starting pitcher for July 20 at San Diego. One reason is the team is weighing a number of possibilities.

“It all depends on the next three days,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “We’re looking at different scenarios.”

One option is to stay with what the team already has. Long reliever Burke Badenhop has made one start this season, but he’s been effective in a long relief role. The Marlins like him in that role, but this could be a one-start situation. The team could go with Badenhop in the opener with the Padres on Monday.

A second option is to dip into the Minor League system. Rick VandenHurk, at Triple-A New Orleans, had an abbreviated three-inning start on Thursday. If the team wanted, it could bring up the right-hander, who has big league experience in the past.

At New Orleans, VandenHurk is 4-1 with a 2.77 ERA in nine starts.

There is another factor in play, too. The Marlins have off days on July 23 and July 27. Because of those two days, besides Monday, they wouldn’t need a fifth starter until Aug. 1 at home against the Cubs.

Chris Volstad is lined up for Tuesday in San Diego, and the order after the 6-foot-8 right-hander is Ricky Nolasco, Josh Johnson and Andrew Miller. Those four could stay in order through July 31, a Friday night home game with the Cubs.

If the team waits until Aug. 1 for the fifth starter, Sean West, optioned to Double-A after last Saturday’s game in Arizona, could work himself back into the mix.

— Joe Frisaro