Results tagged ‘ Josh Johnson ’

Still weighing rotation options

JUPITER, Fla. — Javier Vazquez pitched effectively on Friday, but did the veteran secure the No. 3 spot in the Marlins’ rotation?

It’s still too early to tell.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez says the team has an idea on how they will line up their starting five, but the exact order is still subject to change.

Aside from Josh Johnson pitching on Opening Night against the Mets, there still is uncertainty.

Ricky Nolasco projects to be the No. 2 starter, going on April 2 at Sun Life Stadium. But Nolasco has yet to pitch in a Grapefruit League game because of a bruised right thumb. The right-hander threw off the mound on Friday, and the session went well. He next will have a bullpen session on Sunday.

The target date for Nolasco to be in a game is March 13 versus the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium. If he makes that start, he would be lined up to pitch on April 2.

Should Nolasco not be ready to open the season, then Vazquez appears to be the frontrunner to pitch the second game. Otherwise, Vazquez and Anibal Sanchez are choices for the third and fourth spots, with Chris Volstad as the fifth starter.

If Johnson and Nolasco line up one and two, then Vazquez is the likely candidate to pitch the third game.

“We’re going to wait and see,” Rodriguez said. “We keep saying we have an idea. But we’re going to wait and see how everything develops in Spring Training. Right now, we have an idea. We haven’t seen Ricky on the mound yet. As soon as we see Ricky on the mound and how he feels, we’ll have a better idea.”

Joe Frisaro

Nolasco likely No. 2 starter

VIERA, Fla. — All signs are pointing to Ricky Nolasco being ready to be Florida’s No. 2 starter when the season opens.

Nolasco has been nursing a sore right thumb, but the right-hander still projects to be ready for the April 2 game against the Mets at Sun Life Stadium.

Josh Johnson will be pitching on Opening Night on April 1.

Nolasco threw a 55-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday, and he is expected to throw off the mound again on Friday. The plan is two more bullpen sessions, a live batting practice and a simulated game before he takes the mound in a Spring Training game.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez says Nolasco likely will be throwing in a game on March 13.

“[Game Two] is very realistic if everything stays in order,” Rodriguez said. “He should be fine for that.”

Rodriguez says Nolasco’s body language of late has shown he is ready to pitch.

“He’s been bouncing around, and he was having fun, which is always good,” Rodriguez said.

Other items of note from Rodriguez’s morning press briefing:

* Mike Stanton continues to feel better and walk with limited discomfort. But the right quad will keep him out at least two weeks.

* Greg Dobbs was shaken up after being in a mild collision at first base on Tuesday. Dobbs bruised his knee. He was to be the designated hitter on Wednesday, but he was scratched from the lineup.

* Josh Johnson will throw 55 pitches or three innings on Wednesday.

* The Marlins renewed the contracts of Stanton, Logan Morrison, Ryan Webb and Gaby Sanchez.

Joe Frisaro

JJ to throw three innings

VIERA, Fla. — Marlins ace Josh Johnson, who will pitch in the April 1 season opener, is expected to throw three innings or around 55 pitches on Wednesday against the Nationals at Space Coast Stadium.

Greg Dobbs was supposed to be the designated hitter, but he was scratched because of a sore knee. Dobbs was shaken up on Tuesday when he had a collision at first base. He should be fine.

The Nationals are starting lefty John Lannan.

MARLINS

1) Omar Infante, 2B

2) Dewayne Wise, CF

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

5) John Buck, C

6) Wes Helms, 3B

7) Scott Cousins, RF

8) Bryan Petersen, LF

9) John Raynor, DH

NATIONALS

1) Roger Bernadina, CF

2) Rick Ankiel, LF

3) Laynce Nix, RF

4) Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

5) Adam LaRoche, DH

6) Jesus Flores, C

7) Jerry Hairston, 2B

8) Alex Cora, SS

9) Michael Aubrey, 1B

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

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

 

Stanton puts on a show

JUPITER, Fla. — Josh Johnson faced Hanley Ramirez. Matt Dominguez ran with the first team in a number of infield drills, and Chris Coghlan got his first taste of playing center field.

stanton2-22.jpgThere were plenty of storylines to follow in the Marlins first full-squad workouts on Tuesday afternoon at the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

But the most jaw-dropping part of the day came on a back field during batting practice. Mike Stanton launched a number of mammoth drives well past the left field wall and near the town homes across the street.

In a group with Logan Morrison and Coghlan, Stanton put on a show for a small gathering. A couple of fans positioned outside the walls ran down the baseballs. One fan had at least three baseballs in each hand as he ran to gather even more Stanton drives.

Catcher Brett Hayes, who was in the group that followed Stanton, joked: “Save some baseballs for us, Mike.”

Other notable moments from Day One:

* In live batting practice, Johnson pitched to a group that included Ramirez. The two All-Stars faced each other, but it was pretty basic stuff as Johnson is working on his pitches, and Ramirez is getting his timing down. Johnson, like all the pitchers, was throwing behind a screen, while the hitters were under the “turtle” batting cage.

* Former Marlins bullpen coordinator Pierre Arsenault is now a scout in the organization. Arsenault, who was on Florida’s staff from 2002-10, watched Tuesday’s workouts.

* During infield drills, the starting unit was Gaby Sanchez at first, Omar Infante at second, Ramirez at short and Dominguez at third. Backing up at each position were Wes Helms (first), Emilio Bonifacio (second), Donnie Murphy (shortstop) and Greg Dobbs (third).

* Johnson, Chris Volstad and Javier Vazquez all threw live batting practice on Tuesday.

* Murphy, who is recovering from surgery to repair a dislocated right wrist, participated in field drills, and he faced live pitching. The team still plans on not overload Murphy in hitting too much early in camp.

* John Baker, returning from Tommy John surgery to his throwing arm, took part in live batting practice. Baker is on a throwing program, tossing off flat ground at 90 feet, and he is building up to 120 feet.

* Wednesday’s workouts begin at 10 a.m. ET, and they are open to the public.

– 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

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 98 other followers