Results tagged ‘ Javier Vazquez ’

Starting pitching stepping up

It’s hard to draw too much from early exhibition game starts. But so far, so good when it comes to Florida’s starting pitchers.

Anibal Sanchez was effective in his two-inning stint on Monday in a 6-3 win over the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Sanchez gave up a solo homer to Lance Berkman, but the way he was throwing the ball was encouraging. His fastball was regularly at 92 mph, and he topped out at 93 mph at a time pitchers are building up arm strength.

“Anibal Sanchez threw some very good pitches,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “I think he hung two breaking balls. But other than that, Anibal Sanchez was very good. He was hitting his spots.”

Sanchez said he objective was to concentrate on first-pitch strikes.

“I got behind a couple of batters,” the right-hander said. “I was just working on keeping the ball down. My changeup was working good today. My curveball was a little bit off. My fastball had good location.”

Sanchez’s solid start followed up a strong two-inning performance on Sunday by Javier Vazquez, who retired all six batters he faced against the University of Miami.

Because Vazquez’s velocity dipped in 2010 when he was with the Yankees, his arm strength is being closely monitored in Spring Training.

Vazquez was clocked at 88 mph on Sunday, and that’s where he was regularly throwing a year ago in New York.

The team has no cause for alarm because Vazquez is still building up his arm strength, which takes several weeks in Spring Training. 

More than velocity, the team was impressed with the movement on his pitches, and the veteran’s ability to change speeds. In his 14th big league season, Vazquez likely will rely on pitching savvy in 2011.

Vazquez needed 21 pitches, with 15 strikes to retired the side in order twice on Sunday. To get some extra work, he threw another 15 pitches in the bullpen.

– Joe Frisaro

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

Finding a winning formula

Finding ways to win close games is one of the Marlins’ objectives in Spring Training.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez asked his staff on the first day of camp to come up with ways the team could pull out one and two run games.

leo1a.jpgAmong the suggestions was squeeze bunting and slap hitting. On Sunday, outfield coach Joe Espada worked with the pitchers on situational hitting. Specifically, they practiced squeeze bunting and slapping ground balls.

On the slap hit drills, the pitchers would turn to bunt, then bring the bat back and attempt to swat a grounder up the middle.

Some other highlights from Sunday:

* Josh Johnson, Javier Vazquez and Leo Nunez each threw their second bullpen sessions since camp opened on Friday. Johnson, who missed the final month of last year with back and shoulder problems, is fine. He already is impressing with how well he’s throwing. Nunez is working on his slider, and Vazquez is building back up his arm strength.

* A number of position players filtered into camp early Sunday afternoon, including Hanley Ramirez. Mike Stanton, Omar Infante, Chris Coghlan, Emilio Bonifacio and Gaby Sanchez were among the players getting settled. Full-squad workouts begin on Tuesday.

* Pitchers and catchers will be on the field at 10 a.m. Monday morning.

– 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

 

Marlins updated roster numbers

A new season means some new faces in Spring Training along with some new numbers.

As a refresher for the upcoming season, Marlins fans may want to check out the roster page on marlins.com for the latest updates. For instance, first baseman Gaby Sanchez no longer is wearing No. 14. Instead, he has switched to No. 15.

John Buck, the club’s new catcher, will be wearing No. 14.

In the offseason, the Marlins made several significant free agent signings as well as trades.

Omar Infante, obtained from Atlanta in the Dan Uggla trade, will be wearing No. 13. Uggla’s old No. 6 is now being worn by catcher Brad Davis.

Javier Vazquez will be No. 23, while Randy Choate is No. 35. Other newcomers and their numbers are Edward Mujica (34), Ryan Webb (58) and Dustin Richardson (24).

Along with new numbers, one Marlin on the 40-man roster will be at a new position. Chris Hatcher, formerly a catcher, is switching to pitching.

Hatcher, the Marlins’ fifth-round pick in 2006, pitched a little in college at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He also has thrown a couple of innings at the Minor League level.

At Double-A Jacksonville last year, Hatcher made one appearance, and he collected the win.

The Marlins also have signed two players with previous big league experience to Minor League deals — outfielders Jorge Padilla and Alex Romero.

– Joe Frisaro
 

Marlins payroll projects at $58 million

The Marlins aren’t waiting until moving into their new ballpark to bump up payroll.

After taking care of all their arbitration business on Tuesday, the Marlins’ have already allocated more than $52 million on 13 players. By the time their 25-man roster is completed, their Opening Day number projects to be about $58 million.

It’s the franchise’s highest payroll since it opened 2005 with a $60.4 million figure. That squad featured Carlos Delgado, Mike Lowell, Luis Castillo, Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis, Paul Lo Duca and Juan Pierre.

In 2010, the Marlins’ payroll to start the season was $47.4 million, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Hanley Ramirez will be the highest paid player on the team with a base salary of $11 million. Josh Johnson will be making $7.75 million, while Javier Vazquez is signed for $7 million, and Ricky Nolasco is set to earn $6 million.

Payroll increases are expected over the next few seasons, after the team moves into their new retractable-roof ballpark, which is set to open in 2012.

– Joe Frisaro

 

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