Results tagged ‘ Josh Beckett ’

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


History repeating itself

If it seems like we’re watching something special right now, it’s because we are.

The first few days of the playoffs have not only been entertaining, they’ve been historical. At least, from a pitching standpoint.

As a fitting followup to Roy Halladay’s no-hitter for the Phillies over the Reds on Wednesday, Tim Lincecum turned in one of the more dominating playoff performances ever on Thursday. The two-time Cy Young Award winner struck out 14 while allowing two hits in the Giants’ 1-0 win over the Braves.

Halladay’s effort had more histocial meaning because he tossed the second no-hitter in postseason history. Prior to Doc taking the mound at Citizens Bank Park, Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series had stood alone as the only no-hit postseason effort.

Still, Lincecum placed himself in elite company.

For just the 22nd time in playoff history a pitcher has logged a complete-game shutout while allowing two or fewer hits. It’s already happened twice in the first two days of the playoffs.

There is a Marlins’ connection to this piece of postseason history. Josh Beckett is one of the 22 to have a complete-game, shutout win in the playoffs with two or less hits.

In Game 5 of the 2003 NL Championship Series, Beckett blanked the Cubs on two-hits while he struck out 11.

All-time playoff nine-inning, complete-game, shutout wins with pitchers allowing two or less hits.

* Josh Beckett, 10/12/2003, Florida v. Chicago Cubs, 2 H, 1 BB, 11 K
* Vida Blue, 10/8/1974, Oakland v. Baltimore, 2 H, 0 BB, 7 K
* Nelson Briles, 10/14/1971, Pittsburgh v. Baltimore, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K
* Mordecai Brown, 10/12/1906, Cubs v. White Sox, 2 H, 2 BB, 5 K
* Roger Clemens, 10/14/2000, New York Yankees v. Seattle, 1 H, 2 BB, 15 K
* Dave Dravecky, 10/7/1987, San Francisco v. St. Louis, 2 H, 4 BB, 6 K
* George Earnshaw, 10/6/1931, Philadelphia v. St. Louis, 2 H, 1 BB, 8 K
* Whitey Ford, 10/4/1961, Yankees v. Cincinnati, 2 H, 1 BB, 6 K
* Roy Halladay, 10/6/2010, Philadelphia v. Cincinnati, 0 H, 1 BB, 8 K
* Waite Hoyt, 10/6/1921, Yankees v. New York Giants, 2 H, 5 BB, 5 K
* Bill James, 10/10/1914, Boston v. Philadelphia, 2 H, 3 BB, 8 K
* Bobby Jones, 10/8/2000, New York Mets v. San Francisco, 1 H, 2 BB, 5 K
* Don Larsen, 10/8/1956, Yankees v. Brooklyn, 0 H, 0 BB, 7 K
* Tim Lincecum, 10/7/2010, San Francisco v. Atlanta, 2 H, 1 BB, 14 K
* Jim Lonborg, 10/5/1967, Boston v. St. Louis, 1 H, 1 BB, 4 K
* Jon Matlack, 10/7/1973, Mets v. Cincinnati, 2 H, 3 BB, 9 K
* Claude Passeau, 10/5/1945, Cubs v. Detroit, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K
* Monte Pearson, 10/5/1939, Yankees v. Cincinnati, 2 H, 1 BB, 8 K
* Vic Raschi, 10/4/1950, Yankees v. Philadelphia, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K
* Allie Reynolds, 10/5/1949, Yankees v. Brooklyn, 2 H 4 BB, 9 K
* Warren Spahn, 10/5/1958, Milwaukee Braves v. Yankees, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K
* Ed Walsh, 10/11/1906, White Sox v. Cubs, 2 H, 1 BB, 12 K

— 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

Even a bit off, Nolasco wins

Call it a sign of maturity, or perhaps Ricky Nolasco is just that good.

Maybe it’s a bit of both.

Encouraging for Nolasco and the Marlins on Sunday was the right-hander was able to piece together a quality start when he didn’t have his quality stuff.

ricky-nolasco.jpgThe box score from the Marlins’ 10-8 victory over the Mets will read that Nolasco gave up three runs (two earned) in six innings. He allowed six hits, struck out three and walked two.

Overall, not bad numbers. They were good enough for Nolasco to improve to 4-2 while lowering his ERA to 3.59.

What the linescore didn’t reveal was his fastball velocity was down a little bit. He was at 88-89 mph for most of the game, occasionally reaching 91. Once he topped at 92 mph.

“I felt terrible,” Nolasco said.

Over the course of 30-plus starts in a season, pitchers will have good and bad days. Nolasco’s velocity, on a good day, is between 92-94 mph. There is nothing physically wrong with Nolasco. It was his eighth start, in a day game, and he wasn’t at his sharpest. That was clear by the fact he threw 95 pitches with 54 for strikes.

In his previous start — at Chicago on May 11 — he threw 95 pitches with 69 strikes in seven innings.

“This is one of those games where I pretty much had to go out there and battle,” Nolasco said. “What I’m proud of myself is I battled. The offense did a great job.

“I’m not very happy with how I threw the ball. That’s going to happen. I move on to my next start.”

Another positive from Sunday’s win is it was another outing where the Marlins starting pitcher worked deep into the game. In the month of May, only once has a Florida starter given up more than four runs in an outing.

The rotation’s record in May is 9-3 with a 2.97 ERA.


Dontrelle Willis 68

A.J. Burnett, 49

Brad Penny 48

Ricky Nolasco 44

Ryan Dempster 42

Josh Beckett 41

Josh Johnson 37

Pat Rapp 37

— Joe Frisaro

Hermida returns as a Red Sox

As the Marlins were warming up on the back field at Roger Dean Stadium, a familiar face popped his head out of the weight room.

Jeremy Hermida, traded from the Marlins to Boston in the offseason, made the trip to Jupiter, Fla., on Tuesday to play against his former club.

hermida1a.jpgSeveral players called out to Hermida, Florida’s first-round pick in 2002. And he spent a few minutes talking to some old friends.

“You definitely miss those guys,” Hermida said. “That’s the first time I’ve ever done this in my career, changing teams. You definitely miss those guys, you build relationships with them, no matter what. It’s tough to leave guys, but that’s part of the job. You meet some new guys here, and build new relationships.”

Hermida drove into Jupiter on Monday, and he spent the night at Cody Ross’s apartment.

Hermida said he received a warm reception the first time he stepped into the Boston clubhouse. In 2005, he was a September callup with Florida, and the roster then had Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett.

“It’s exciting being a part of this, playing for the Red Sox,” Hermida said. “A lot of kids grow up dreaming of playing in Fenway and putting a Boston uniform on. To get that opportunity is exciting.”

Hermida is sporting a full beard these days.

The Marlins have a more strict facial hair policy.

“That’s what you’re supposed to do in Boston, isn’t it?” Hermida quipped.

Ross said of Hermida: “He’s got that hair going, and the beard going.” 

— Joe Frisaro

(photo credit to Kelly Gavin/Florida Marlins)


Similarities to 2003?

WStrophy.jpgWhen the Marlins entered Spring Training in 2003, many thought it would be a stretch if the team posted a winning record.

Yet, magic happened that year. As Juan Pierre said after the parade: “We shocked the world!”

The ’03 Marlins certainly did. They went on to win 91 games and capture the second World Series title in franchise history. That squad featured Ivan Rodriguez, Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, Luis Castillo, Derrek Lee, and a core of players who had been together a few seasons.

They won with pitching, speed and defense.

Marlins management and players have entered Spring Training this year openly talking playoffs. The nucleus of the squad has been together since 2006. Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco are building-block-type players who have raised hopes in camp.

But do the two teams compare? The 2010 Marlins have more power potential, and Ramirez is on his way to being the greatest player in franchise history. The ’03 squad was better defensively, and the starting pitching was deeper and it clicked at the right time that year.

“I think all teams are different,” Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said. “I wouldn’t compare them. But I would say, the talent pool, having been together for all these years is very similar. They [2010 Marlins] are about ready to break out now.”

Full-squad workouts began for the Marlins on Wednesday, and practices are open free to the public.

Loria envisions a big season for his maturing roster.

“I think you can compare some aspects of it,” the owner said, referring to 2003 and now. “You’ve got guys who can do certain things. You’ve got guys who can hit home runs. You’ve got pitchers now who have been together for a couple of years. That’s where we were in ’03 when the pitchers started to turn. After all, this game is a lot about pitching, bullpen. We think we have a strong bullpen.

“I think we’re in really good shape. I just hope that we stay healthy. I think what’s here is quite capable of getting it done.”

— Joe Frisaro


Record day at Fenway



Wednesday night was historic for the Red Sox Nation, and the Marlins became part of history.

On hand for the 6-1 Boston win were 38,196 fans, marking the 500th consecutive sellout at Fenway Park.

The No. 500 was written into the outfield grass (as seen from the photo I took from the press box).

The streak started on May 15, 2003, which happened to be the 23rd birthday of Josh Beckett.

Beckett, now with Boston, of course was the Marlins World Series MVP in 2003.

— Joe Frisaro  


Johnson wows 'em

Mention the name Josh Johnson to MLB scouts, and the praises start to flow.

Johnson certainly didn’t disappoint on Tuesday night, as the right-hander threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings,striking out eight with no walks.

For the sake of discussion, I asked a few scouts what the Marlins could get in return if they put J.J. name on the trade market. Now, before anyone gets too excited, the Marlins ARE NOT doing that. I anticiapte Florida will try signing Johnson long-term at some point.

But for the sake of measuring what his value would be, I threw out the question.

Here is feedback, I received: “The best of the best.”

The Marlins obtained Hanley Ramirez in return for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. Johnson will bring back a player in the class of Hanley, one scout said.

“He’s a true ace,” another scout said. “You’d get two established big leaguers and a couple of top prospects.”

— Joe Frisaro

Volstad picks up a tip

During his start against the Red Sox on Friday in Fort Myers, it was pointed out that Chris Volstad was tipping a few pitches.

Making sure not to telegraph what is about to be thrown is something pitchers are constantly on alert about. It wasn’t something major, and Volstad realizes what he was doing.

“It was something real simple,” he said. “It’s a reminder to keep everything the same in my delivery. Nothing big.”

Volstad, 22, is a promising right-hander who looks to pick up pointers from other pitchers. On Friday, he was matched against Josh Beckett.

From Beckett, Volstad watched his mound presence and how the former Marlin sets up hitters.

“You can see those guys think out there on the mound, and what they’re trying to do,” Volstad said. “You see their pitching sequences.”

Growing up, Volstad was a fan of Greg Maddux.

“Watching the game, in general, you can always learn,” Volstad said.

— Joe Frisaro




Camping out Wednesday

Worth noting from camp on Wednesday:

* Because Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco were scheduled to throw four innings each on Wednesday against Italy, relievers got in their work on the back fields. Logan Kensing threw to batters on the back field Wednesday morning to get in his work.

* In Saturday’s B Game against the Orioles on field two at Roger Dean Stadium, Ryan Tucker will start.

* Upcoming rotation: Andrew Miller (Thursday) against Orioles at Fort Lauderdale; Chris Volstad (Friday) against Red Sox in Fort Myers, and Sean West (Saturday) against Orioles at Roger Dean Stadium. Former Marlin Josh Beckett is starting for Boston on Friday.

* Minor League camp opens on March 9, which is around the time the team will begin making some cuts.

— Joe Frisaro