Results tagged ‘ Marlins ’

JJ to get first Spring swings

There will be no designated hitter in Monday’s Grapefruit League game at Roger Dean Stadium. So that means, Josh Johnson will be taking his first swings of Spring Training.

The Marlins are starting Johnson, and looking to throw him three or four innings. Atlanta is countering with Tim Hudson in the 1:05 p.m. ET start.

Before Johnson was shut down last year due to a back injury and sore right shoulder, he was instructed only to swing the bat when necessary. So frequently, he would take pitches rather than risk tweaking his back.

The Marlins pitchers have been hitting in the cages of late.

Monday is an exception on the Marlins’ pitchers hitting. The team plans on having them hit regularly beginning on March 22.

Marlins lineup:

1) Chris Coghlan, CF

2) Omar Infante, 2B

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) John Buck, C

5) Logan Morrison, LF

6) Wes Helms, 1B

7) Scott Cousins, RF

8) Donnie Murphy, 3B

9) Josh Johnson, P

Joe Frisaro


Short takes from Edwin

From manager Edwin Rodriguez’s morning media session:

* Mike Stanton is taking live batting practice on the main field at Roger Dean Stadium. Stanton still isn’t doing any running drills, as he recovers from his strained right quad.

* Chris Coghlan is making his first back-to-back start of Spring Training, as he was in center field for the second straight day. The team is in the process of increasing Coghlan’s workload as he gets into playing shape after missing the second half of 2010 with a torn meniscus in his left knee.

* Closer Leo Nunez continues to impress. Rodriguez said that Nunez’s slider is becoming a plus pitch, to go along with his fastball and changeup.

* The pitching rotation for the next few days: Elih Villanueva will be starting against the Tigers in Lakeland on Tuesday. Javier Vazquez will face the Nationals on Wednesday in Jupiter. The Marlins play in the day and night on Thursday at Roger Dean Stadium. Anibal Sanchez will pitch in the afternoon against the Mets, and Sean West will make his first start at night against the Tigers.

* Rodriguez on Matt Dominguez, the frontrunner for the starting third base job: “He is walking and playing like he belongs here. That’s good to see.”

Joe Frisaro

Edwin and Fredi reunite

Last June, Edwin Rodriguez was placed in the difficult position of replacing Fredi Gonzalez as manager of the Marlins.

Even after the decision was made, Rodriguez and Gonzalez have maintained a close friendship.

On Monday morning, before the Marlins faced the Braves at Roger Dean Stadium, Rodriguez shed some light on how the transition period went.

“I think it was the first three or four mornings, he was calling me every day,” Rodriguez said. “Obviously, he was trying to help me out about the whole situation. He did call me for those three or four first days.

“It was mainly about how to use the bullpen and the lineup, and all that. He was more asking me, if I needed any help. He wasn’t trying to tell me anything. He was asking me if I had any problems with anything. It was very nice of him. He understood what this situation was that I was coming into.”

Gonzalez, now the Braves manager, and Rodriguez more recently kept in touch during the NFL playoffs, courtesy of a Spanish-language radio show in Miami.

For a few weeks, the two managers made NFL playoff picks on Jerry Del Castillo’s show on AM 670.

Rodriguez, who doesn’t watch much of the NFL, agreed to go on with the current Braves manager.

It was all in good fun, and Rodriguez played along that he was an NFL expert, even though he didn’t follow the season. In fact, Rodriguez said he didn’t watch the Super Bowl.

But he agreed to do the radio show because he didn’t want to appear like he was ducking the challenge of picking the games.

Joe Frisaro

Prospects excel vs. Italy

With little fanfare, the Marlins played a B Game scrimmage against Team Italy on Field 2 of the Roger Dean Stadium complex on Sunday morning.
The hitting coach for the Italian Team is Mike Piazza, the former All-Star catcher and likely future Hall of Famer.

The scrimmage was a good chance for a number of Marlins prospects to get some game action. In the victory for Florida, right-hander Omar Poveda tossed two innings, giving up one run. It was his first game action since he underwent Tommy John surgery.

Poveda was obtained from the Rangers as part of the Jorge Cantu trade last July.

The right-hander showed a good changeup, and his fastball had some movement. It was an encouraging first trip back to the mound. Poveda is expected to open the season in Double-A, and then move up to Triple-A, .

A starting pitcher, he could be a candidate later in the season if the Marlins have a need for a long reliever or emergency starter.

Also in the scrimmage, Kyle Skipworth and Josh Kroeger each homered.

Joe Frisaro
(photo by Amy Glanzman)

Nolasco throws live BP

JUPITER, Fla. — The initial plan was for Ricky Nolasco to throw off the mound in the bullpen on Sunday, leading into a live batting practice session in a couple of days.

But since the Marlins’ right-hander is eager to return, the team is taking a more aggressive approach. Nolasco threw live batting practice to hitters on Sunday on a back field at the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

Recovering from a jammed right thumb, Nolasco is on pace to make his Grapefruit League debut on March 13. If he takes the mound that day, as expected, and avoids any setbacks, he will fall in line to pitch on April 2, Florida’s second game.

Nolasco will throw another live batting practice on Tuesday, and if that goes well, he will have a simulated game on Thursday.

The Marlins face the Nationals on March 13.

Joe Frisaro

Marlins facing Italy in B Game

On Sunday afternoon, the Marlins will be taking on the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Chris Volstad will make the start for Florida, while St. Louis goes with Kevin Thomas in the 1:05 p.m. ET start.

Before the scheduled Grapefruit League game on the main field at the complex, on Field 2, the Marlins will be playing Italy in a B Game that starts at 10:30 a.m.

The exhibition gives the Marlins a chance to throw a few of their pitching prospects. Omar Poveda is scheduled to start. Brad Hand, Chad James, Rob Rasmussen, Chris Hatcher and Dan Jennings are lined up to pitch.

Joe Frisaro

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

Stanton swinging off the tee

Mike Stanton is doing some limited baseball activities.

The past two days the Marlins’ right fielder has taken swings off the tee in the batting cages.

“Everything is fine,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said.

Stanton strained his right quad in the exhibition opener against the University of Miami last Sunday. He expects to miss at least two weeks of games, but that time table is tentative.

Stanton began taking some swings on Thursday, and he was back in the cages on Friday morning. The next step is to take batting practice on the field, which could be on Sunday.

For now, he isn’t doing any running drills.

Other items of note from Rodriguez’s morning session with the media:

* John Baker is in the lineup on Friday as the designated hitter. It’s his first game action of the spring. Baker is recovering from Tommy John surgery.

* Greg Dobbs (knee) also took swings in the cages on Friday, and he could be game ready by Sunday.

* Chris Coghlan was in the starting lineup playing center field on Friday. But Coghlan is not making any long bus rides until the middle of Spring Training. He won’t be traveling to Fort Myers on Saturday.

* Ricky Nolasco is throwing another bullpen session on Friday.

* On Sunday, the Marlins will play Italy in a scrimmage on Field 2 at Roger Dean Stadium. Mike Piazza is a coach on the Italian staff. The start time is 10:30 a.m., before the team plays the Cardinals on the main field.

Joe Frisaro

Coghlan in lineup vs. Mets

Javier Vazquez makes his first Grapefruit League start, and his second Spring Training appearance on Friday. The right-hander tossed two perfect innings this past Sunday against the University of Miami.

Vazquez will be facing the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium.


1) Chris Coghlan, CF

2) Omar Infante, 2B

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

5) Logan Morrison, LF

6) John Buck, C

7) John Baker, DH

8) Matt Dominguez, 3B

9) Bryan Petersen, RF

Joe Frisaro

Sanabia makes first start

As Ricky Nolasco recovers from a sore right thumb, Alex Sanabia is getting a chance in the starting rotation.

Sanabia, who projects to open the year at Triple-A New Orleans, will make his first appearance of Spring Training on Thursday against the Astros in Kissimmee, Fla.


1) Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2) Ozzie Martinez, SS

3) Scott Cousins, RF

4) Logan Morrison, DH

5) Joe Thurston, 2B

6) Matt Dominguez, 3B

7) Bryan Petersen, LF

8) Josh Kroeger, 1B

9) Brad Davis, C

Joe Frisaro