Results tagged ‘ Mike Lowell ’

Full-squad workouts to begin

JUPITER, Fla. — Over the past few days, position players have gradually filtered into the Marlins complex at Roger Dean Stadium.

hanley2-21.jpgWhile pitchers and catchers have been working out since last Friday, several position players have been getting ready on their own. On Monday, for instance, Hanley Ramirez and Gaby Sanchez were in the batting cages late in the morning.

On Tuesday, full-squad workouts will begin with the players taking the field at 12:30 p.m. ET, after they take their physicals in the morning.

The workouts are open to the public.

What fans can expect to see on the back fields are plenty of drills, and an emphasis on improving defensively. Pitchers will also be throwing to hitters.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez is stressing the fundamentals, and challenging his players and the coaching staff to do the little things that result in victories.

Ramirez on Monday told reporters that he is ready to take on the challenge of doing his part to lead the team to the postseason.

The first full-squad workouts will give the team its first look at Chris Coghlan in center field, and Matt Dominguez at third base. Those two spots will be closely watched all spring.

Coghlan, who is recovering from a meniscus tear to his left knee, has never played center field at the professional level. Also, because of the surgery, he will be eased back into playing shape.

Dominguez, meanwhile, is a 21-year-old who is striving to make the leap from Double-A to the big leagues. His overall game has drawn comparisons to Mike Lowell. Defensively, he is special. Whether he can handle hitting in the big leagues will be his greatest challenge.

Tuesday also will be the first time the organization sees Omar Infante in a Marlins’ uniform. Acquired from the Braves as part of the Dan Uggla trade, Infante is the probable Opening Day second baseman.

Many questions have been asked about the roster during the offseason. Beginning on Tuesday, the organization will start to get some answers.

— Joe Frisaro


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


Uggla on brink of 100 RBIs

Dan Uggla is on the brink of joining an exclusive Marlins’ club.

With his next RBI, he will place himself on the franchise’s 100 RBI list. In their history, the benchmark has been reached 14 times.

Uggla1z2.jpgUggla has been stuck on 99 since his run-scoring single in the seventh inning last Thursday at Milwaukee. He has gone four games without driving in a run heading into Tuesday night at Atlanta.

The 99 RBIs by Uggla are the most of any National League second baseman. Robinson Cano of the Yankees has 105, which tops all MLB second basemen.

Uggla is having a career season across the board, and he’s already topped his season best for RBIs. Previously it was 92 in 2008.

Preston Wilson holds the franchise record with 121, posted in 2000. A year ago, Hanley Ramirez (106) and Jorge Cantu (100) reached the century mark.

Florida’s season RBI leaders:

* Preston Wilson, 121, 2000
* Gary Sheffield, 120, 1996
* Miguel Cabrera, 119, 2007
* Miguel Cabrera, 116, 2005
* Moises Alou, 115, 1997
* Carlos Delgado, 115, 2005
* Miguel Cabrera, 114, 2006
* Miguel Cabrera, 112, 2004
* Hanley Ramirez, 106, 2009
* Jeff Conine, 105, 1995
* Mike Lowell, 105, 2003
* Cliff Floyd, 103, 2001
* Jorge Cantu, 100, 2009
* Mike Lowell, 100, 2001
* Dan Uggla, 99, 2010

— Joe Frisaro

Uggla keeps slugging away

Home runs, Dan Uggla likes to say, come in bunches.

They certainly have for the Marlins second baseman. Leading off the second inning on Tuesday, Uggla belted a solo shot off Roy Halladay.

Halladay, of course, threw a perfect game on May 29 at Sun Life Stadium, The Phillies right-hander retired the side in order in the first inning, meaning he had retired 30 straight in Miami before Uggla’s homer.

For Uggla, it was his eighth home run in the last 11 games. The hot streak began on July 23 against the Braves, and on July 27 at San Francisco, he enjoyed a two-homer day.

Last Saturday at San Diego,Uggla’s homer was the 144th of his career, making him the Marlins all-time home run leader. Mike Lowell previously held the mark with 143.

Uggla now has 145 homers in his career, and 24 on the season. He is on pace to top 30 homers for the fourth straight season.

— 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

Uggla climbing up HR ladder

Dan Uggla homered in the third inning on Sunday, giving him 13 on the season. It was his first home run since May 23 at the White Sox.

Now with 134 career home runs, Uggla is closing in on Miguel Cabrera (138) for second place all-time in Marlins history. The franchise leader is Mike Lowell (143).

As part of a lineup shuffle, Uggla was batting third for the second time this season. In his other appearance, he also homered. Those are the only two home runs he’s ever hit batting third.

Nine of Uggla’s homers this year have come when he’s hit fifth. He has two from the No. 4 spot.

The only two spots in the order where Uggla has never hit home runs at are No. 1 and No. 9. He has 61 career shots while batting second, where he primarily hit his first three seasons. He has 45 total hitting fifth, and 19th sixth.

— Joe Frisaro


Uggla ties D-Lee

With two swings of the bat on Friday night, Dan Uggla gained a piece of Marlins history.

Batting cleanup with Jorge Cantu getting the night off, Uggla connected on two home runs off Mets lefty Oliver Perez.

uggla1b.jpgNow with 129 for his career, Uggla tied Derrek Lee for third place all-time in Marlins history.

The Marlins went on to win, 7-2, and Uggla finished with four RBIs.

Prior to Friday, Uggla had never homered from the cleanup spot. Not that he had a lot of opportunity there. He entered the game with 11 at-bats while hitting fourth. Now, he has two homers in the prime power spot. The two-time All-Star second baseman has hit primarily fifth all season.

Uggla has 61 career homers while batting No. 2, where he hit first few seasons. In his first two years, Uggla primary batted between Hanley Ramirez, who led off back then, and Miguel Cabrera.

The past few years he has batted mostly in the fifth spot, where he has 42 career homers.

Friday marked the 10th time in his career that Uggla has hit two homers in the game. He last did it on June 20, 2008 at Oakland.

Marlins All-Time HR leaders:

Mike Lowell 143

Miguel Cabrera 138

Dan Uggla 129

Derrek Lee 129

Jeff Conine 120

— Joe Frisaro

(Photo courtesy of Kelly Gavin/Florida Marlins) 



Lates on Lowell, rumors

All of his credentials speak for themselves.

Mike Lowell is a three-time All-Star, a two-time World Series champion, a World Series MVP. But is the 36-year-old a fit for the Marlins?

The question was raised again on Thursday when the Marlins visited the Red Sox at City of Palms Park.

mike-lowell-rounds.jpgAs popular a move it would be to bring back Lowell, there continues to be strong indications that there is minimal Marlins interest, at best.

In fact, the interest is said to be “barely above zero.”

In recent weeks, there has been speculation about the Marlins showing interest in acquiring Lowell in a trade. A scout from Florida recently watched him work out.

“I know it’s a feel good story,” Lowell said on Thursday. “But they’re rumors. That’s about it.”

Miami-raised, Lowell is one of the most popular players in Marlins history. He is Florida’s all-time home run leader with 143.

Lowell was a Marlin from 1999-2005, and he was a key member of the Marlins 2003 World Series title team.

Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez was Florida’s third base coach in 1999, Lowell’s first year in the big leagues.

“For me, he was always one of those guys who only needed an opportunity,” Gonzalez said. “He came to the right place to get that opportunity. If he had stayed with the Yankees, he might now even have gotten that opportunity. The Marlins gave him an opportunity to play.”

Lowell was drafted in the 20th round by the Yankees in 1995.

“He’d be a good addition for any ball club, including the Red Sox,” Gonzalez said.

Health-wise, Lowell says: “I feel good. Better than last year.”

A career third baseman, Lowell has been taking ground balls at first base. He may have to make the switch to prolong his career.

— Joe Frisaro


Lowell returning? Maybe not

Mention the name Mike Lowell, and there automatically is intrigue.

Raised in Miami, and one of the most popular Marlins ever, Lowell’s name has been floated in trade talks for months. To some degree, the Marlins have interest. The team had a scout on hand to watch Lowell recently, as he is recovering from injury with the Red Sox.

mike-lowell-on-rt.jpgThe question is how much interest do the Marlins have.

There are strong indications, the level isn’t that strong at this point. From what the 36-year-old third baseman has shown is he is a ways from physically being his old self.

The Marlins are in no rush to part with a prospect or more to bring Lowell back. In fact, there may not be a fit, even though he is getting some work at first base.

Gaby Sanchez appears to be the front runner to being the Marlins first baseman. But it is too early to count out Logan Morrison.

Lowell would provide leadership. Bringing him back would be popular. For now, based on what the veteran has shown, the team would need to see more before making a trade happen.

The Marlins are in the process of figuring out their infield, and reserves. In the mix are Rule 5 pick Jorge Jimenez, who may wind up playing third if he makes the club. Jimenez’s strong arm and solid fielding have stood out.

So if Sanchez or Morrison aren’t at first, Cantu may wind up there.

There also are strong indications that Brian Barden will make the club as a utility infielder. Emilio Bonifacio also is expected to make the team.

— 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)