Results tagged ‘ Josh Johnson ’

Nolasco has that winning edge

Ricky Nolasco once again is getting better as the season progresses.

The Marlins right-hander improved to 14-8 with a win over the Pirates on Tuesday night at PNC Park.

nolasco1.JPGOver his last 11 starts, he is 9-2 with a 3.45 ERA. And since June 23, when his hot streak started, his nine wins are the most in the National League, ahead of Roy Halladay and Tim Hudson, who each have seven.

Winning is a trait Nolasco has shown throughout his professional career. Groomed in the Cubs’ system, Nolasco has a career Minor League record of 37-18.

The 27-year-old is steadily moving up the Marlins ladder for victories. With 54 wins, the right-hander ranks second only to Dontrelle Willis’ 68.

Since breaking in with the Marlins in 2006, Nolasco has the 11th most wins among National League pitchers. Derek Lowe has an NL most of 68 in that span.

Nolasco has a career 54-38 record, which compares favorably to the pitcher just ahead of him. Cole Hamels is 55-43 since 2006 and he has the 10th most wins since 2006. Consider, Matt Cain has a 51-59 record in those seasons, and Cain is tied for the 13th most victories.

In his second season of arbitration, Nolasco would be eligible for free agency after the 2011 season.

He might not reach that point because the Marlins have expressed interest in signing Nolasco to a multi-year contract. Currently, the lines of communication are open between the club and the pitcher, but they are very preliminary.

Retaining Nolasco has been a priority for a while. In fact, after the Marlins signed Josh Johnson to a four-year deal in January, the team expressed to Nolasco that they were open to a long-term contract.

— Joe Frisaro

Giving starters some relief

Playing 17 straight games since the All-Star Break is a main reason the Marlins opted to give all of their starting pitchers another day of rest.

Josh Johnson, who has logged 147 innings on the season, also threw two scoreless innings in the All-Star Game. Perhaps he is showing a little fatigue after giving up five runs in 5 1/3 innings in Sunday’s loss at San Diego.

The Marlins are off on Monday before taking on the Phillies in the first of three games at Sun Life Stadium on Tuesday. Sean West, who has spent the season in Triple-A, will get the start.

The team could have opted to keep four starters going on their normal fifth day. If that were the case, Ricky Nolasco could have thrown on Thursday against the Phillies, and Johnson could have gone on Friday against St. Louis.

But manager Edwin Rodriguez decided to push everybody back a day. So the Marlins will face the Phillies without at least one of their top two starters. Nolasco and JJ will throw on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

“That’s one more reason why we need that one day more of extra rest for the starters. I think that all the starters can use that extra day off,” Rodriguez said. “We had a very long stretch since the All-Star Break.”

Johnson has been the workhorse all season. But since the All-Star Break, the right-hander is 1-1 in four starts with a 3.24 ERA.

JJ had a string of 19 straight quality starts snapped on Sunday. The right-hander had gone at least six innings without giving up more than three earned runs in 19 straight starts.

“He didn’t have his best stuff, but then again, I think he pitched well,” Rodriguez said. “They made adjustment on all three of his pitches. They stayed back. They were laying off on his sliders in the dirt.”

— Joe Frisaro

Marlins eyeing sweep

The Marlins send Josh Johnson to the mound on Sunday with a chance for a sweep. The task won’t be easy as the Padres counter with Jon Garland at PETCO Park.

Johnson has a string of 19 straight quality starts. And his 19 total quality starts matches Seattle’s Felix Hernandez for the most in the Major Leagues this season.








1) Hanley Ramirez, SS

2) Logan Morrison, LF

3) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

4) Dan Uggla, 2B

5) Cody Ross, CF

6) Mike Stanton, RF

7) Wes Helms, 3B

8) Ronny Paulino, C

9) Josh Johnson, P

— Joe Frisaro



Marlins revamped lineup

With Chris Coghlan on the disabled list, the Marlins lineup has been reshuffled.

Hanley Ramirez is leading off on Tuesday, for the second time this season. Ramirez led off previously on June 6 at New York Mets. Logan Morrison, who is making his MLB debut, is batting second, and Gaby Sanchez is assuming the third spot.

The Marlins will send Josh Johnson to the mound against San Francisco’s Matt Cain.







1) Hanley Ramirez, SS

2) Logan Morrison, LF

3) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

4) Dan Uggla, 2B

5) Wes Helms, 3B

6) Cody Ross, CF

7) Mike Stanton, RF

8) Ronny Paulino, C

9) Josh Johnson, P









1) Andres Torres, RF

2) Freddy Sanchez, 2B

3) Aubrey Huff, LF

4) Buster Posey, C

5) Juan Uribe, 3B

6) Travis Ishikawa, 1B

7) Aaron Rowand, CF

8) Edgar Renteria, SS

9) Matt Cain, P


— Joe Frisaro


Marlins future payroll projections

For less, the Marlins have had success generating more.

The organization has found a way to maximize its dollars and still field a competitive product.

The 2010 Opening Day payroll, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, was $47,429,719, roughly a $10 million increase from 2009.

uggla.jpgThe Marlins have new ballpark opening in 2012. With the security of the building, along with new revenue streams, payroll projections are expected to climb in the upcoming years.

But just how much will the increase be?

Indications are the 2011 payroll will be slightly higher in 2011. So look for the figure to be in the $50 million range.

In 2012, the first year of the new ballpark, the climb is expected to be in the $55-$60 million range.

Key for the payrolls the next couple of years is the cost of the retractable-roof building in the Little Havana section of Miami. Thus far, everything has been on budget and on schedule. There always is a chance for some unforeseen costs.

If everything runs smoothly, the most dramatic jump in payroll should come as early as 2013. Then, there is a chance the leap in payroll could be towards the middle of the MLB pack. So in three years, the payroll could escalate to about $80 million, a figure the franchise has never seen.

The two big salaries the club already has for 2011 are Hanley Ramirez ($11 million) and Josh Johnson ($7.75 million). So those two are taking up $18.75 million of the expected $50 million payroll next year.

In 2012, Ramirez and Johnson will combine to make $28.75 million.

The Marlins have the flexibility to offer Dan Uggla and Ricky Nolasco multi-year contracts. The organization is expected to pursue locking both of them up after the season.

Uggla, who has 139 career homers, is closing in on Mike Lowell’s all-time home run record of 143. He should achieve that by September, and build on it in the future. Nolasco, who has 50 career wins, is second on the Marlins’ all-time list behind Dontrelle Willis (68). 

— Joe Frisaro

JJ streak on brink of history

Josh Johnson now stands among the elite, but not just for this season.

The Marlins ace has placed himself into a historical conversation.

After limiting the Rockies to one run in 6 1/3 innings on Thursday afternoon, Johnson ran his string of throwing at least six innings while not allowing more than two runs to 13 straight games.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Johnson is now one shy of the longest such streak since the Live Ball Era began in 1920.

Mike Scott rolled off 14 in a row for the Astros in 1986. Johnson is currently second since then, matching Greg Maddux (1995) and Tom Seaver (1971).

Over his last 10 games, JJ has given up seven earned runs in 71 1/3 innings (0.88 ERA).

Johnson’s 1.61 ERA is the best in the Major Leagues.

Streaks since Live Ball Era begane in 1920

1986: Mike Scott, 14
2010: Josh Johnson, 13
1995: Greg Maddux, 13
1971: Tom Seaver, 13
2010: Ubaldo Jimenez, 12
2009: Adam Wainwright, 12

— Joe Frisaro





Hanley gets day off

The Marlins wrap up their four-game set with the Rockies on Thursday afternoon. The start time is 12:10 p.m. at Sun Life Stadium.

All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez is getting the day off.







1) Chris Coghlan, LF

2) Donnie Murphy, SS

3) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

4) Dan Uggla, 2B

5) Jorge Cantu, 3B

6) Cody Ross, CF

7) Mike Stanton, RF

8) Ronny Paulino, C

9) Josh Johnson, P

— Joe Frisaro


2011 opener likely at home

Josh Johnson vs. Johan Santana.

The pitching matchup attracted 41,245 at Citi Field on Opening Day when the Marlins took on the Mets.

The two All-Star pitchers are fixtures on their respective teams. Chances are, they will be matched up again on Opening Day in 2011. This time in Miami.

Nothing is official, as schedules for next season have yet to be released, but indications are the Marlins will face the Mets in the ’11 opener. The game most likely will be on a Friday night.

The 2011 season will be the Marlins last at Sun Life Stadium, their home since their inaugural 1993 campaign.

Recently, the Marlins worked out a one-year lease extension to play at Sun Life Stadium in 2011.

There was some speculation a few weeks ago that the Marlins would open against the Mets, but with the series being played in San Juan, Puerto Rico. While the Marlins are expected to play three games in Puerto Rico in ’11, it won’t be their first series.

In 2012, the Marlins are moving into their new retractable-roof ballpark in the Little Havana section of Miami.

— Joe Frisaro



Internal talks underway to keep Uggla

Can the Marlins afford Dan Uggla?

Perhaps the bigger question is can they afford not to sign their power-hitting second baseman?

Mentioned in trade rumors for more than a year, Uggla remains a core player on the Marlins. The organization knows what it has in the gritty 30-year-old. They also are not in any rush to move him.

uggla.jpgWhile teams covet Uggla, the Marlins are not likely to trade him before the end of the season.

In fact, the front office already is talking internally about signing him to a multi-year contract this fall. They have yet to approach Uggla or his agent, Jeff Borris, about a long-term deal. But those conversations are underway.

The Marlins have tested the trade market on a number of players, including Uggla. What teams have offered in return for one of the top slugging second baseman in the game has not been worth making a move.

The Marlins could see themselves having Hanley Ramirez, Josh Johnson and Uggla signed to multi-year contracts when they head into their new ballpark in 2012.

For a team like the Marlins, who are overly cautious when signing multi-year contracts, they want to make as safe an investment as possible.

An argument can be made that since his rookie season in 2006, no other Marlin has been more consistent than Uggla. Once again he is on pace for 30 homers and 90 RBIs. Later this season, he will become the team’s all-time home run leader. He has 137, which is third highest. Mike Lowell holds the mark with 143.

Uggla is making $7.8 million this season, and his salary figure will jump again in 2011, his final season of arbitration. If the Marlins consider say, a three-year contract, they might be able to work something out in the $27 million range. That would average $9 million a season.

Now, if Uggla’s demands are well over $10 million a season, something likely won’t get done. But if there is willingness from both sides, something can be worked out.

It would seem in the best interest of both parties to make that happen. If Uggla is traded or signs as a free agent after 2011, he may have a limited market to play second base. Several clubs that have coveted him in the past — Rockies, Giants, Red Sox — all talked about moving him to third base, first base or left field.

From the Marlins standpoint, rewarding the two-time All-Star would show a sign of loyalty. Consider the bargain he was before he reached arbitration in 2009. From 2006-08, Uggla collected 90 homers and he drove in 270 runs. Over that span, Florida paid him $1.136 million.

By giving Uggla a minimum three-years means he and Ramirez would solidify the middle infield for the foreseeable future, as well as keep a power bat in the middle of the order. 

— Joe Frisaro

Marlins happy for Heat

Civic pride is running high in South Florida over news that the Miami Heat have lured in three of the NBA’s top players.

The excitement raised to a new level on Thursday when LeBron James announced on ESPN that he will be signing with the Heat. The arrival of James makes the Heat immediate championship contenders.

Enthusiasm is high over the Heat building a team around James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

There will certainly be a buzz around the AmericanAirlines Arena in downtown, which is only a few miles away from where the Marlins new retractable-roof ballpark is building built.

The Marlins feature some of baseball’s rising stars, like Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson. Rookie Mike Stanton promises to be a standout in the years to come.

Marlins president David Samson is a strong supporter for all the local sports teams, as he feels it enriches the community.

“We are very pleased that Wade, Bosh and James agree that Miami is a great Major League city, and we are excited for all sports fans in Miami,” Samson said. “We hope that there will be many championships in the future for all our local teams.”

— Joe Frisaro