Results tagged ‘ John Raynor ’

Dominguez sent to Minor League camp

JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins third base job is wide open.

On Thursday morning, the team announced that prospect Matt Dominguez has been reassigned to Minor League camp.

Dominguez, the 21-year-old prospect, has struggled at the plate, hitting .190 (8-for-42) with a .292 on base percentage.

The Marlins made five other moves on Thursday, reassigning to Minor League camp — Josh Kroeger, Frank Mata, Joe Thurston and Ruben Gotay. After the game, they sent lefty reliever Victor Garate down.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez said he will give Donnie Murphy and Emilio Bonifacio most of the work at third base, and there could be a bit of a platoon situation.

Bonifacio also may be in center field because Chris Coghlan’s right shoulder is a concern.

Rodriguez repeated that he is not going to move second baseman Omar Infante to third base.

The roster is down to 31.

The team also may be trying to explore trade options, but the asking price is higher than they may be willing to part with.

In another move, outfielder John Raynor, who was sent down a few days ago, asked for and received his release from the organization.

Joe Frisaro

Marlins roster moves

JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins made four roster moves on Sunday morning, reducing their number in camp down to 37.

Pitcher Elih Villanueva, outfielder Tim Torres, outfielder John Raynor and catcher Clint Sammons were reassigned to Minor League camp.

Villanueva made a strong impression in his first big league camp, and he will be in Triple-A New Orleans’ rotation.

In 13 Grapefruit League innings, the right-hander gave up two runs, and he struck out seven while walking three.

“I’ve been very impressed with Elih,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “He made a very good impression with everybody here. He’s going to be in the big leagues for a long time.”

Joe Frisaro

Leadoff options? Maybe Bonifacio

On May 8, 2009, the Marlins promoted Chris Coghlan from Triple-A New Orleans in an attempt to upgrade production at the top of their order.

From an organizational standpoint, the decision was an easy one. Coghlan was batting .344 with a .418 on-base percentage after 96 at-bats for New Orleans. He initially slid into the No. 2 spot, but eventually secured the leadoff spot.

emilio-bonifacio-p1.jpgThe rest of the story, you already know. Coghlan became a terrific story. He caught fire in the second half, and won the N.L. Rookie of the Year, batting .321.

Almost a year later, the Marlins find themselves in a similar situation. Once again, theys are struggling to find consistency at the top of the order.

Coghlan opened the year in the leadoff spot, but he struggle and was swapped to second for Cameron Maybin. The trouble now is both Maybin and Coghlan are scuffling.

Maybin is batting .238 with a .304 on-base percentage. He’s having trouble with strikeouts, having fanned at least once in 16 straight games. He struck out twice on Wednesday night, and was pinch-hit for by Wes Helms in the late innings.

Coghlan, meanwhile, is hitting .180 with a .240 on-base percentage in 89 at-bats. Of late, he has not started against left-handed pitching, with Brett Carroll getting the nod. And manager Fredi Gonzalez has said it isn’t automatic that he will bat second when he is playing.

Gaby Sanchez may get more of a look at that spot.

The problem facing the Marlins is, what are the alternatives? Unlike last May, the organization doesn’t have a natural leadoff-type hitter tearing it up in the Minor Leagues.

One alternative is Emilio Bonifacio. Actually, bringing back Boni and playing him every day for a while leading off may be what the team decides. Bonifacio was optioned to Triple-A a few weeks back. He’s hit leadoff for the Zephyrs, playing a number of different positions.

On Wednesday night, Bonifacio started in center field, which may be a sign of what the Marlins are thinking. Boni, though, has struggled getting on base consistently in 18 games and 74 at-bats. His batting average is .257 with a .286 on-base percentage.

What works in Boni’s favor is his game-changing speed, and the fact the Marlins want to see if he can turn it around. So promoting him and giving him an opportunity may be what the team decides. That move may be coming quickly.

The Marlins have Minor League outfield depth, especially now that John Raynor was returned to the organization after he was released by the Pirates. Last December, Pittsburgh selected Raynor in the Rule 5 Draft. Since he was designated recently, he once again rejoins Florida. The Marlins did explore a trade with Pittsburgh, but nothing could be worked out.

Bryan Petersen is a talented speedster who someday projects to be in the mix to lead off for the Marlins. Petersen is enjoying a strong first half for New Orleans. But not being on the 40-man roster hurts his chances of a quick promotion. Bonifacio, on the 40-man roster, is more likely to get the call than Petersen or Raynor, who also isn’t on the 40-man roster.

The way Mike Stanton has been dominating at Double-A Jacksonville makes it highly likely he will get called up in early June. At that point, the organization will have to create space on the 40-man roster for Stanton.

With so many talented outfielders in their Minor League system, a trade is quite possible after June. Raynor, Petersen, Stanton and Scott Cousins are close to being big league ready.

Some have speculated that Dan Uggla could be dealt by the July 31 deadline. That is highly doubtful, because the Marlins are expecting to contend. Uggla is having a strong season, and it is unlikely he would be moved during the season. Now, after the year is over, that is certainly possible.

The Marlins traditionally have made their trades based on depth in the organization. There isn’t an automatic replacement for Uggla at second right now. Some say Coghlan, but he has one game at second since joining the big leagues. The team wouldn’t switch him there in midseason.

Cody Ross may become a trade option, if the team hopes to put Stanton in right field. Again, the Marlins are trying to win this year. Ross is a proven player.

The way things are shaping up now, Stanton would project to replace either Maybin or Coghlan, if neither has turned it around by June.

– Joe Frisaro
 

Could Raynor return to Marlins?

When the Pirates purchased the contract of pitcher Jeff Karstens on Tuesday, they were forced to make a difficult roster decision. They ended up designating outfielder John Raynor for assignment.

Since Raynor was a Rule 5 claim by the Pirates off the Marlins’ Minor League roster, there is a chance the speedster will return to Florida.

Last December, Raynor was not protected on the Marlins’ 40-man roster, and the Pirates picked him in the Rule 5 Draft. The stipulation with Rule 5 claims is they must stay on the 25-man roster the entire season.

Technically, Raynor is going through waivers. The Marlins have first dibs to bring him back. If they do so, he could be sent to Triple-A New Orleans and not be on the 40-man roster.

The question the Marlins are asking themselves is whether they have a need for Raynor.

At Triple-A New Orleans, the outfield has Scott Cousins, Bryan Petersen and Jason Lane. Emilio Bonifacio also is seeing time in the outfield.

If the Marlins decide they don’t have a fit for Raynor, they could attempt to trade him back to the Pirates for a prospect.

– Joe Frisaro

 

White Sox claim De Aza

With so many outfield prospects in their system, Alejandro De Aza got caught in a numbers game.

The Marlins didn’t have a priority to retain the 25-year-old, who now will be getting an opportunity to play elsewhere.

The White Sox on Wednesday claimed De Aza off waivers.

At Triple-A New Orleans, De Aza batted .300 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs. He also appeared in 22 games for the Marlins, and he had 20 at-bats, batting .250 with a double and three RBIs.

Injuries hurt De Aza in recent years.

De Aza won the starting center field job in Spring Training of 2007, but early in the season he suffered an ankle injury that limited him to 45 games that year. He missed all of 2008 due to injury.

The Marlins are projecting Cameron Maybin will be their Opening Day center fielder. The team also has Rookie of the Year candidate Chris Coghlan in left field.

The Marlins also have outfield prospects John Raynor, Scott Cousins, Jai Miller and Bryan Petersen, who is in the Arizona Fall League.

Florida’s top prospect is outfielder Michael Stanton, a 19-year-old also getting some extra work this fall in Arizona.

– Joe Frisaro

Roster moves

Three more players were sent down on Friday.

Reassigned to Minor League camp were reliever Henry Owens, outfielder John Raynor and catcher Brad Davis.

With Davis being sent down, that leaves three catchers in camp.

John Baker will handle the starting role. Manager Fredi Gonzalez says the backup position remains wide open. Mike Rabelo and Brett Hayes are in contention.

– Joe Frisaro

B Game vs. Italy

At first glance, you would have thought the Marlins were taking on the Dodgers. But the team in blue on Wednesday morning on Field 2 behind the main field at Roger Dean Stadium was the Italian World Baseball Classic squad.

The B Game led into Florida’s first Grapefruit League contest, at 1:05 p.m. ET at Roger Dean Stadium.

Italy won the scrimmage, 4-1. The Italian hitting coach is former MLB catching great Mike Piazza.

Burke Badenhop started and threw one inning for Florida. It was his first game situation since last June. The right-hander spent more than half the season injured. It was an encouraging first step back for the 26-year-old, who struck out one and allowed one infield hit in one inning. Dallas Trahern and Frankie De La Cruz each followed with scoreless innings for Florida.

Badenhop, Trahern and De La Cruz all were acquired by the Marlins from Detroit as part of the Miguel Cabrera/Dontrelle Willis trade.

In the third inning, Manny Mayorson singled for Florida, stole second and scored on John Raynor’s RBI single.

– Joe Frisaro 

Camping out Wednesday

Some of happenings at camp on Wednesday:

* Reliever Jose Ceda’s sore right shoulder is preventing him from throwing for four or five days.

* Cody Ross will be away from the team for a couple of days because his wife is slated to have labor induced on their second child. The baby is scheduled to be born on Thursday, and Ross expects to be out Thursday and Friday, and perhaps Saturday.

* A couple of sleepers to keep an eye on are outfielder John Raynor and reliever Tim Wood.

* Third baseman Matt Dominguez, the 19-year-old first-round pick from 2007, is showing why he is so highly regarded. Dominguez is a slick fielder, and he draws comparisons to Mike Lowell.

* Jay Gibbons in drills is working in left field with Jeremy Hermida, and Brett Carroll is backing up Ross in right field.

– Joe Frisaro

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