Results tagged ‘ Leo Nunez ’

Lindstrom's road to recovery

There is a chance Matt Lindstrom could begin a throwing routine as early as Friday.

Lindstrom had his right elbow re-examined by the Marlins medical staff on Monday, and some of the inflammation in his throwing arm is subsiding. He is encouraged by his progress thus far.

The Marlins placed Lindstrom on the disabled list on June 24 with a right elbow sprain. He is expected to be out four to six weeks. When he starts throwing, it will be basically catch off flat ground, and eventually he’d progress back to throwing off the mound.

Lindstrom has appeared in 32 games, and he has 14 saves in 16 chances. However, of late, he’s struggled with his command. In 29 innings pitched, he’s struck out 26 while walking 20.

For about three weeks prior to going on the DL, he felt some discomfort in his forearm and elbow.

With Lindstrom on the disabled list, manager Fredi Gonzalez is mixing and matching on his closer.

Leo Nunez collected the save in Monday’s 4-2 win over Washington. Nunez, however, faced one batter in the inning, but he recorded the final out when Josh Willingham lined a fly ball to center field.

Dan Meyer opened the ninth inning, and the left-hander recorded two outs, but also yielded two singles. Meyer has one save on the season, while Nunez has two.

— Joe Frisaro



Nunez will get closer look

Dan Meyer got to experience the thrill of closing on Wednesday night. But what about Thursday? What if a save situation arises again, would the left-hander get the ball?

Maybe not, because that would mean he is throwing in three straight games. Also, the Marlins are leaning toward giving right-hander Leo Nunez, who has been regularly working the eighth inning, the chance to close.

“When Nunez is ready to go, I think we’ll give him an opportunity to do it,” Gonzalez said. “Or Meyer. Maybe Nunie goes two days in a row, and Danny goes the next day. We’ve got at least four weeks to figure it out and use both of those guys.”

Nunez was unavailable in Wednesday’s 5-2 win over the Orioles because of a right ankle sprain. The team is being cautious with him. But all things being equal, Nunez should get most of the saves chances now that Matt Lindstrom is on the disabled list with a right elbow sprain.

Lindstrom has been told not to throw for about four weeks, and he could be out as long as six weeks.

— Joe Frisaro


Lindstrom on disabled list

The Marlins on Wednesday afternoon placed right-hander Matt Lindstrom on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow sprain.

The hard-throwing right-hander is on a no-throw status for four weeks. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the team would mix and match the closer spot. Leo Nunez, Dan Meyer and Brian Sanches are closer options.

Replacing Lindstrom is right-hander Chris Leroux, who was called up from Double-A Jacksonville.

Late after Tuesday night’s 7-6 win in 12 innings over the Orioles, Lindstrom said he felt soreness in his forearm area, and it affected the command of his slider. Lindstrom was throwing 98 mph.

Lindstrom struggled in the ninth inning on Tuesday. He entered with Florida ahead, 6-3, but with two outs and no one on, he allowed four straight singles. Lindstrom was relieved by Sanches, who allowed the game-tying single.

Nunez also is dealing with a sprained ankle, but he said on Wednesday that he is ready to pitch.

— Joe Frisaro


Lindstrom dealing with adversity

No one can accuse Matt Lindstrom of ducking the issues.

After he allowed four straight singles with two outs and no one on in the ninth inning on Tuesday, the Marlins closer was sitting at his locker waiting for reporters.

The hard-throwing right-hander has been a standup player from the time he joined the Marlins in 2007. Right now, he’s going through a difficult stretch.

In the month of June, Lindstrom’s ERA is 7.56 — seven earned runs in 8 1/3 innings. While the Marlins beat the Orioles, 7-6, in 12 innings on Tuesday, Lindstrom was upset at himself for not being able to record the final out in the ninth inning.

He entered with a three-run lead, but the Orioles did all their damage with two outs. Manager Fredi Gonzalez replaced Lindstrom with Brian Sanches with a runner on third. Sanches was seeking his first MLB save, but he allowed the game-tying single, setting up extra innings.

“It’s difficult to get that 27th out,” Gonzalez said. “We’re going to keep running [Lindstrom] out there.”

Having a bad outing or two is nothing new to anyone in the big leagues. On Sunday, Lindstrom faced a similar situation in a 6-5 win over the Yankees. He recorded two quick outs to New York, and then gave up two runs, before working out of the jam, stranding a runner at third.

“It’s a tough growing process, that’s for sure, especially when you get the first two outs like that,” Lindstrom said.

Typically, when a player struggles as much as Lindstrom, it makes one wonder if he is healthy. Thus far, no one has said Lindstrom is not, and his velocity was at 98 mph on Tuesday. Still, he had no command of his offspeed pitches, and threw a number of four-seam fastballs, which are less stressful to his arm. 

It doesn’t take hitters long to realize that only fastballs are coming.

Lindstrom has appeared in 32 games this year, and he’s 2-1 with a 6.52 ERA. He is 14 of 16 in save chances. He didn’t get the missed save on Tuesday, that went to Sanches.

In Spring Training, Lindstrom dealt with a rotator cuff strain at the World Baseball Classic, and he missed almost all of the preseason games.

The Marlins bullpen already is dealing with some injury issues. Kiko Calero is on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. On Wednesday afternoon, he was throwing catch on flat ground with Anibal Sanchez, who is on the DL with a shoulder injury.

And Leo Nunez, a fallback closer option, has an injury concern. Nunez left Tuesday’s game after facing two batters in the eighth inning due to a sprained right ankle. He is day-to-day.

If Lindstrom is indeed feeling some discomfort, the Marlins bullpen be even more shorthanded.

A possible option in the Minor Leagues is right-hander Rick VandenHurk, who is in the rotation for Triple-A New Orleans.

— Joe Frisaro  

Nunez sprains right ankle

Marlins reliever Leo Nunez was removed in the eighth inning on Tuesday night with a right ankle sprain.

Florida’s primary setup right-hander, Nunez faced two Orioles’ batters, surrendering a home run to Matt Wieters and a single to Robert Andino. Immediately, trainer Sean Cunningham and manager Fredi Gonzalez came to the mound.

Nunez has appeared in 37 games, and he’s been the bridge reliever to closer Matt Lindstrom. Nunez was replaced by left-hander Dan Meyer.

— Joe Frisaro


Lindstrom still closing … for now

It wasn’t a ringing endorsement, but it was an endorsement, just the same.

Marlins closer Matt Lindstrom was relieved with the bases loaded and two outs on Saturday night, and ultimately Leo Nunez worked out of the jam in a 5-4 win over the Giants at Land Shark Stadium.

Even though Lindstrom is 11 of 13 in save chances, and he’s recorded eight straight saves, the hard-throwing right-hander has struggled with command.

He walked two and filled the bases before handing the ball over to Nunez, who now has two saves this year.

Asked afterwards if there were a save situation on Sunday, who would get the ball? Gonzalez answered at that specific time — after 11 p.m. ET on Saturday — it likely would be Lindstrom.

Obviously, that is subject to change. And there is a catch with the question.

Gonzalez directly answered the specific question — who would close on Sunday? Well, Nunez likely won’t be available on Sunday because he’s pitched in three straight games. So that could play in Lindstrom’s favor. 

The unanswered question is: What happens if all things are equal?

Another possibility is Kiko Calero, who has been heavily used in a seventh inning setup role.

Ultimately, Gonzalez may play the matchups or who has the hot hand. The Marlins could have the makings of a committee situation.  

Lindstrom clearly has the talent to close. It’s a matter of him finding the consistency.

Gonzalez made this much clear after the game: “My responsibility as a manager is to 25 guys, and the Florida Marlins, not just one guy. We’re trying to get the win for the club.”

— Joe Frisaro

Hayes gets called up

Another day, another roster move for the Marlins.

On Friday afternoon, catcher Brett Hayes was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans, taking the roster spot vacated when right-hander Cristhian Martinez was optioned to Double-A Jacksonville.

It’s the first time Hayes has been on a big league roster.

After having 14 pitchers and 11 position players on Thursday, Florida opens the series with the Rays at Land Shark Stadium with 12 position players and 13 pitchers.

The reason Hayes got the nod, manager Fredi Gonzalez said, is because he can catch, play first base, third base and left field, in case of an emergency.

While center fielder Cameron Maybin is getting his timing down at the plate at New Orleans, Gonzalez said the organization wanted to give the 22-year-old more seasoning.

“It makes more sense to keep him back there, and get some at-bats,” Gonzalez said.

Had Maybin been brought in, there was a chance he would only stay through the weekend series with Tampa Bay, and then be optioned back to New Orleans.

Hayes was in big league camp with the Marlins, and in 29 games with New Orleans, he’s hitting .277 with one home run and 16 RBIs.

It’s been a trying week for the Marlins. A rainout on Monday forced a doubleheader on Wednesday, and the bullpen that day was heavily used. Four relievers threw in both games — Matt Lindstrom, Leo Nunez, Kiko Calero and Dan Meyer.

Nunez and Calero are not available on Friday.

Nunez was disappointed in himself for giving up a three-run homer to Arizona’s Justin Upton in the 13th inning.

“He was upset at himself because he couldn’t give us any more than he had,” Gonzalez said.

The Marlins are hopeful Nunez will be available on Saturday.

— Joe Frisaro

Lindstrom not available Saturday

Matt Lindstrom still is the Marlins closer. But not for Saturday night.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez is staying away from using Lindstrom on Saturday because he threw 38 pitches in the ninth inning in Friday’s 7-3 loss to the Phillies.

Lindstrom was tagged for all seven runs in the ninth inning, including a grand slam to Shane Victorino and a solo shot to Chase Utley.

Because of the high pitch count, Lindstrom was given Saturday off. Still, Gonzalez says about Lindstrom, “There’s something special there.”

A closer for the first time, Lindstrom is 3-for-5 this season in save chances, and he’s converted eight of 13 in his career.

The Marlins are being patient with Lindstrom, letting him grow into the role.

“You can’t simulate that seventh inning,” Gonzalez said. “I looked it up. He’s only had 13 opportunities.”

The pressures of the ninth inning just aren’t the same as in the seventh or eighth. Gonzalez notes that starting pitchers feel the same heat while trying to get through the necessary five innings to qualify for a win.

“It’s the ninth inning for the closers and the teams, and it’s the fifth inning for the starters,” Gonzalez said. “How many times do you see the starters go out there, and all a sudden they say, ‘If I get one more hitter, I get the W?’ Then all of a sudden, it’s like base on balls, and 25 pitches later.”

Lindstrom watched some video of his performance on Friday, because he wanted to see the location of his pitches. He admitted to having a rough night of sleep.

“I’ve got to stop getting behind hitters,” Lindstrom said. “I’ve never had an inning like that. Never like that. Not even in the Minor Leagues.

“There were quite a few pitches I’d want back from last night. Pitches I threw with not a lot of conviction, just because my stuff was a little more difficult to harnass last night.”

Lindstrom said his fastball was cutting five or six pitches away from the plate.

“Then I’d have to ease one in there to throw a strike,” Lindstrom said. “That’s not going to cut it, especially when these guys are timing it, timing it and timing it.”

Leo Nunez is the strongest candidate to close, but Gonzalez said he would play matchups.


Bullpen sets record

History was made, but not extended for Florida’s bullpen on Sunday afternoon.

In the Marlins’ dramatic 7-4 victory over the Nationals, the bullpen extended its scoreless-innings streak to 24 straight innings, which establishes a franchise record.

Twice before the pen had logged 23 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

But as soon as the record was set, the streak snapped in the following frame. Leo Nunez in the bottom of the eighth inning allowed one run. At the time, it put the Nationals ahead 4-3.

— Joe Frisaro

Proctor set to throw

A good day for the Marlins got even better with news on Scott Proctor’s elbow.

After seeing the results of an MRI on Monday, Proctor has been cleared to begin throwing again off flat ground on Tuesday. The veteran reliever opened the season on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation.

To make sure there was no additional damage a follow-up MRI was taken on Monday, and it revealed that he is dealing with inflammation.

Proctor has a target date of May 1 to return. More on that will be determined by how quickly he builds up his arm strength.

Proctor projects to be a valuable setup reliever. Leo Nunez and Logan Kensing are assuming his role right now.

— Joe Frisaro