Results tagged ‘ Edwin Rodriguez ’

JJ-Koehler pitching in simulated game

Some highlights from manager Edwin Rodriguez’s morning press session:

* Josh Johnson and prospect Tom Koehler are throwing a two-inning simulated game at 10:20 a.m. on a back field at Roger Dean Stadium.

* Matt Dominguez likely will get three at-bats in the exhibition against the University of Miami, while most of the regulars will each get two. The plan is to play Dominguez as much as possible in Spring Training games. Look for him to go full games well before the rest of the regulars.

* Rodriguez says the team is pulling for Dominguez to win the third base job, because “I really believe if he makes the club that we will be a better team. Then we can keep [Omar] Infante at second base.” The preference is for Infante to play second, not third.

* Ricky Nolasco continues to throw on flat ground. The team is hopeful he can throw off the mound sometime next week. Nolasco is nursing a sore right thumb.

* After Johnson pitches his sim game on Sunday, the Marlins’ Opening Day starter will throw his first Grapefruit League game on Wednesday at Viera against the Nationals. Javier Vazquez, who is pitching against UM on Sunday, is slotted to throw again on Friday against the Mets.

* Donnie Murphy will be backing up Hanley Ramirez at shortstop. The hope is to play Emilio Bonifacio mostly in the outfield and second base in Spring Training games.

* The upcoming rotation: Vazquez (Sunday), Anibal Sanchez (Monday), Chris Volstad (Tuesday), JJ (Wednesday), Alex Sanabia (Thursday), Vazquez (Friday).

– Joe Frisaro

Lineup for Sunday vs. UM

Manager Edwin Rodriguez set the Marlins’ batting order for Sunday’s exhibition against the University of Miami.

In the 1:05 p.m. ET game at Roger Dean Stadium, the Marlins will start Javier Vazquez, who will pitch no more than two innings. Chad James, Brad Hand and Jhan Marinez also are expected to pitch.

Lineup:

1) Chris Coghlan, CF

2) Omar Infante, 2B

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Mike Stanton, RF

5) Logan Morrison, LF

6) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

7) John Buck, C

8) Wes Helms, DH

9) Matt Dominguez, 3B

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

 

Coghlan set to lead off

JUPITER, Fla. — Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez has pretty much settled on a leadoff hitter.

Look for Chris Coghlan to bat first in the April 1 season opener against the Mets.

Rodriguez has been weighing two options for leadoff — Coghlan and Omar Infante. On Friday, the manager noted that Coghlan is expected to hit first in the season opener, as well as Sunday’s exhibition opener against the University of Miami at Roger Dean Stadium.

Infante is projected to bat second.

Now, because Coghlan is recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, look for the 25-year-old to have scheduled off days throughout Spring Training. For instance, after he plays on Sunday against UM, he likely will be out of the lineup on Monday in the Marlins’ Grapefruit League opener against the Cardinals. Infante is a likely leadoff choice in those games.

For the first couple of weeks of games, the Marlins will shy away from playing Coghlan in back-to-back games.

Other items of note from Friday:

* Javier Vazquez will be the starting pitcher on Sunday against the Miami Hurricanes. He will throw two innings. In the morning that day, Josh Johnson will throw a two inning simulated game on a back field at Roger Dean Stadium. The start time will be about 10:30 a.m.

* The starting lineup will play a couple of innings against the Hurricanes. For the most part, the regulars — like Hanley Ramirez and Mike Stanton — will get two at-bats. That could change for Matt Dominguez, who likely will get three at-bats. Catcher John Buck may just get one at-bat.

* Josh Johnson’s first Grapefruit League start is scheduled for Wednesday against the Nationals in Viera.

* Alex Sanabia is scheduled to start on Thursday against the Astros in Kissimmee.

* Ricky Nolasco has been throwing long toss as he recovers from a sore right thumb. As long as Nolasco is throwing in games by March 13-14, the right-hander should have enough time to be ready for the season. Now, where Nolasco is slotted to pitch may change. Even though he is projected to be the No. 2 starter, he could be pushed back to the fourth or fifth slot. Because the Marlins have a scheduled off day on April 4, they could go with a four-man rotation for a little while until Nolasco is ready.

– Joe Frisaro

Nolasco begins light throwing

Ricky Nolasco is not yet ready to throw off the mound, but the past two days, the right-hander has played catch.

The plan is to continue doing so, while not yet pushing the sore thumb that has set him back since the start of Spring Training.

Nolasco began a light tossing routine on Tuesday and on Wednesday he was throwing at 60 feet.

“I’m being optimistic,” said Nolasco, who hopes to throw at 100 feet in the next day or so. “I have a little bit more to go.”

Nolasco jammed his thumb about three weeks ago while doing some conditioning.

Expected to be Florida’s No. 2 starter behind Josh Johnson, Nolasco is hopeful to throw off the mound sometime next week. The team isn’t pushing it.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez says that as long as Nolasco is ready to pitch by mid-March, he should be fine to open the season.

Here’s a run down of what took place at camp on Wednesday.

* Donnie Murphy took live batting practice for the first time. Recovering from surgery to repair a dislocated right wrist, Murphy faced Tom Koehler, and he said his wrist was fine. On Tuesday, Murphy stepped in against a pitcher, but he was tracking pitches and not swinging. He plans on continuing to take live BP.

* A few pitchers have already caught the eye of their manager. Rodriguez noted that relievers Ryan Webb, Mike Dunn and Edward Mujica have all looked impressive while facing hitters.

* The plan is to have Josh Johnson throw in a Grapefruit League game sometime next week. Johnson will not pitch the exhibition opener on Sunday against the University of Miami. Javier Vazquez will pitch two innings on that day. Also on Sunday, Johnson will throw in a simulated game on a back field, but he won’t face UM. JJ’s first Grapefruit League game will be either March 2 or March 3. If he starts on March 2 against the Nationals at Viera, he would be lined up throwing every fifth day up until Opening Day.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Rodriguez delivers motivational speech

For eight years, Edwin Rodriguez replayed his introductory speech in his head. He even rehearsed it with his wife. “After the first time, she didn’t pay attention,” the Marlins manager quipped.

On Tuesday, it was no laughing matter. At age 50, Rodriguez finally gave the speech he had long dreamed about.

It was his first talk to start off Spring Training as a Major League manager.

The high point in addressing a full room of more than 60 players, was when he revealed his gut feeling.

“I have a feeling we’re going to be the last team standing in October,” Rodriguez told his club. “I really believe that. That was not the end, but that was pretty much in the middle.”

Rodriguez worked in the Marlins’ Minor League system for eight years before replacing Fredi Gonzalez last June. The first Puerto Rican-born manager in MLB history, Rodriguez is in his first year big league camp as a big league manager.

During his 15-minute speech with the club, Rodriguez informed the club of his expectations.

“It was a very good situation and a very good experience,” Rodriguez said of his team meeting before Tuesday’s workout. “We told them what we expected of them, not only for Spring Training, but for the season. It was nothing fancy. I didn’t deliver nothing fancy.”

Make the routine plays, and “master the obvious” are a couple of themes he has preached to the team.

“We’re going to learn to play the close games, and we are going to have to be accountable for our actions,” Rodriguez said.

– 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

 

Hanley ready for fresh start

JUPITER, Fla. — A healthy and happy Hanley Ramirez took some swings in the batting cage on Monday morning, the day before the Marlins begin full-squad workouts at Roger Dean Stadium.

H2RST11a.jpgThe three-time All-Star shortstop is ready to put a rough 2010 behind him, and regain the form that resulted in him being the NL batting champion in 2009.

Entering his sixth season with the Marlins, Ramirez noted the goal is to reach the playoffs.

“I want to know what it feels like,” Ramirez said of reaching the postseason. “I’m tired of watching it on TV. I want to be in there. It’s different. A lot of motivation.”

Reminded that his former teammate, Cody Ross, was part of the Giants’ World Series team, Ramirez said: “Good for him. He deserves it.”

Ramirez said he was pleased to see a lot of happy faces in the Marlins clubhouse.

After missing the final few weeks of 2010 with a left elbow strain, Ramirez enters camp healthy and eager to improve on a self proclaimed down year.

“I did more lower body [work] this year,” Ramirez said. “I want to have my legs at the end of the season. I did light weights to make me stronger.”

Ramirez said he would like to steal more bases, building on the 32 he swiped a year ago.

“I don’t have a number, but I want to get more than I got last year,” he said. “I’ve got to get in scoring position for those guys hitting behind me. That’s one thing I can do, steal a base and get in scoring position.”

In the offseason, Ramirez became a father again, as his wife gave birth to a girl – Hailey.

Ramirez also was asked about his relationship with former manager Fredi Gonzalez, who is now with Atlanta.

“That’s in the past. Fredi and me, we get along,” Ramirez said. “He’s a good person. He just tried to help me. Now, we got a new manager. I’ve got a good relationship with Edwin [Rodriguez]. I want to show I respect everybody.”

– Joe Frisaro

Back to basics for Marlins

JUPITER, Fla. — Perfect the basics is the way the youthful Marlins plan on competing in the competitive NL East.

With such a young squad, manager Edwin Rodriguez is stressing the obvious in Spring Training.

“Master the obvious,” Rodriguez said on Thursday morning. “We’ve got to throw strikes and make the routine plays.”

Marlins pitchers and catchers begin their Spring Training workouts about 1 p.m. ET on Friday at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. The first day of camp is open to the public.

For eight seasons, Rodriguez was a Minor League instructor and manager in the Marlins’ organization. In his first Spring Training as a big league manager, Rodriguez is emphasizing the little things.

Also, the routines that will be in big league camp will also filter down to the Minor League levels.

Another objective in Spring Training is to teach players how to win close ballgames. Rodriguez said about 80 percent of all big league games last year were decided by one or two runs.

“Aggressive baserunning. Good situational hitting. Pitchers understanding the game situations,” Rodriguez said.”The outfielders throwing to the right bases. Keeping the double play in order.”

Rodriguez also said he has given all the coaches in the organization some homework over the next few days. He is asking them to write down ways to win ballgames.

“We want everybody on the same page,” Rodriguez said. “Especially playing in a division that is loaded with good pitching. You’re not going to see those guys in Philadelphia allowing a three-run home run too often. So whenever they give us a chance, we’ve got to score runs. A big inning off those guys is two runs.”

* From an injury standpoint, no Marlins are entering Spring Training with restrictions. Center fielder Chris Coghlan, who is recovering from surgery to his left knee, is full-go. But because he missed half of the 2010 season, he will be closely monitored.

“We have to be very careful,” Rodriguez said. “He’s in very good shape. But then again, it’s not the same as being in the game for six, seven, eight innings.”

John Baker (Tommy John surgery) will be active hitting in Spring Training, but he may not be ready to catch until sometime in May, Rodriguez said.

Brett Hayes (separated left shoulder) is fully ready to go. Donnie Murphy (dislocated right wrist) has been fielding, running and hitting. “We don’t want to overload him [hitting] early in the spring,” Rodriguez said.

* Being manager has its perks. Rodriguez now has two parking spaces. “I have two parking spots, and I only have one car,” he said. As a Minor League manager last year, he would get rides to camp.

– Joe Frisaro

Cousins in outfield bench mix

When the Marlins head to Spring Training in mid-February, most of their regular position spots will be set. Pretty much the only job unsettled is third base, where prospect Matt Dominguez still must show he is big league ready. If the 21-year-old is, there will be little drama when manager Edwin Rodriguez fills out his lineup card.

What will be up for grabs are a few bench spot, particularly in the outfield. Heading into Spring Training, the Marlins are planning on going with Logan Morrison in left, Chris Coghlan in center and Mike Stanton in right.

A candidate to keep a close eye on is Scott Cousins.

Typically, the Marlins prefer their prospects who aren’t in the lineup every day to get steady playing time in the Minor Leagues. Cousins may be an exception. A third-round pick in 2006, he will turn 26 on Jan. 22.

A left-handed batter and thrower, Cousins has the strongest outfield arm in the organization. He is a plus defender in all three outfield spots.

Cousins has had plenty of Minor League seasoning, including 118 games at Triple-A New Orleans in 2010, where he batted .285 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs.

Late in the season, Cousins also saw action in 27 games with the Marlins, and he hit .297 with two doubles, two triples and two RBIs. His first big league hit was a walk-off, game winner to beat Atlanta. He also came through with some timely pinch-hits, going 5-for-17 (.294) in that role.

Even though he is seeking his first MLB homer, he has 55 as a Minor Leaguer. Also as a Minor Leaguer, he did something yet to be accomplished by a Florida player — hit for the cycle.

Entering Spring Training, Cousins will be looked upon as a fourth outfielder. But that doesn’t mean he won’t eventually develop into a quality every day player. In 2006, the Marlins acquired a player from the Reds who was a similar type of player. Back then, Cody Ross was an unheralded 26-year-old who was looking to prove he could play every day.

– Joe Frisaro
 

 

Winter Meetings leftovers

It’s no secret the Marlins are exploring lefty relief help. Randy Choate has been added to the mix of possibilities. Also on Florida’s radar is Joe Beimel.

In all likelihood, the team will add a veteran lefty, who projects to join Mike Dunn on the Opening Day roster.

As the lefty search continues, don’t rule out the Marlins eventually exploring the possibility of landing an experienced closer. At the Winter Meetings, which wrapped up last Thursday in Lake Buena Vista, representatives of the organization inquired about the availability of Padres All-Star Heath Bell.

After Adrian Gonzalez was traded to the Red Sox, the Marlins checked to see if San Diego has more big moves ahead. For now, it appears Bell will be staying with the Padres. But that could change over the course of the next few months, and into the season.

The Marlins are planning on giving Leo Nunez the first shot at closing when Spring Training opens. Clay Hensley is a backup option.

* Manager Edwin Rodriguez offered a preliminary batting order for upcoming Grapefruit League games in March — Chris Coghlan (CF), Omar Infante (2B), Hanley Ramirez (SS), Mike Stanton (RF), Logan Morrison (LF), Gaby Sanchez (1B), John Buck (C) and Matt Dominguez (3B).

* Recently, Rodriguez came to terms on an endorsement deal with New Balance. “Edwin is honored as the first Puerto Rican-born Major League manager to be with New Balance,” said Burton Rocks, Rodriguez’s New York-based agent.

* Here are some contract details of recently signed Marlins. Burke Badenhop will earn $750,000 in 2011 after he avoided arbitration. John Buck’s three-year, $17,943,787 million contract includes base salaries of $4.5 million in ’11, $6 million in ’12 and $6 million in ’13. There also is a $1.5 million signing bonus, and incentives of $25,000 if he makes the All-Star Game and winning the Silver Slugger Award. He has a $50,000 Gold Glove bonus. Javier Vazquez’s one-year, $7 million deal includes a $25,000 All-Star bonus and a $100,000 bonus if he wins the Cy Young Award. Buck and Vazquez also can earn bonuses if the Marlins reach the playoffs and they are named MVP of either the League Championship Series or the World Series.

– Joe Frisaro
 

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