Results tagged ‘ Phillies ’

Dobbs, Hill sign Minor League deals

The Marlins have another candidate to challenge for the left-handed bat off the bench role.

Greg Dobbs, who has spent the past four seasons with the Phillies, has signed a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

The 32-year-old also is a candidate to play either first or third base. In 88 games with the Phillies last year, Dobbs batted .196 with five homers and 15 RBIs.

Dobbs’ best seasons were in 2007 and 2008. In ’07, he batted .272 with 10 homers and 55 RBIs in 142 games. On Philadelphia’s 2008 World Series title team, Dobbs appeared in 128 games and he belted nine homers while driving in 40 runs. He batted .301 that season.

Dobbs has 292 career pinch-hit at-bats, and he has a .250 average in that role. But last year, he struggled and was 6-for-49 as a pinch-hitter.

The Marlins on Monday also officially announced the signing of right-hander Shawn Hill to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

– Joe Frisaro

Encore Game on Fox Sports Florida

History will note that on May 29, 2010, Roy Halladay tossed the 20th perfect game ever in the Major Leagues. Halladay’s performance for the ages came at the expense of the Marlins, as the Phillies won 1-0.

What occurred the next day has pretty much been forgotten. There wasn’t anything historical, but what took place still was impressive.

The Marlins rebounded from being blanked by Halladay by posting a 1-0 win of their own.  Anibal Sanchez, who no-hit Arizona as a rookie in 2006, combined with Taylor Tankersley, Clay Hensley and Leo Nunez for the shutout. Sanchez scattered three hits, and the Phillies managed just four all afternoon. 

Marlins fans have a chance to revisit that gem at noon on Wednesday as part of Fox Sports Florida’s Encore Games package.

This May 30 game matched Sanchez against veteran Jamie Moyer, who has enjoyed years of success against Florida.

The Marlins needed six hits to win the game.

The Encore Games package is a reminder that Spring Training is swiftly approaching. Marlins pitchers and catchers begin workouts at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla., on Feb. 18. Full-squad workouts start on Feb. 22.

Joe Frisaro

 

Would pursuing Greinke make sense?

Speculation at the Winter Meetings had the Marlins expressing trade interest in Royals’ ace Zack Greinke. There was little substance to the rumors, and the story faded as fast as it surfaced.

But now that the Phillies have assembled their dream rotation by adding Cliff Lee, should the Marlins counter and make a run at Greinke? Such a move would create a formidable one-two punch with Josh Johnson and Greinke. It certainly would stack up with Philadelphia’s duo of Roy Halladay and Lee.

South Florida already has the “Big Three” with Wade, LeBron and Bosh in basketball. So the possibility of having Greinke in the Marlins’ rotation would clearly stir plenty of excitement in a big-event market. For Internet sites, newspapers, blogs and talk radio, this would give the fans and the media plenty to talk and write about.

But at what cost could making a “dream rotation” happen? This is the sticking point, and the major reason why it is highly doubtful that Zack Greinke will  become a Marlin in 2011.

To even get the Royals seriously to engage in trade talks for Greinke, the Marlins would have to be willing to part with Mike Stanton. Foremost, the now 21-year-old slugger would be the centerpiece. The asking price may also include Logan Morrison. Then, the Marlins would likely have to be prepared to include Ricky Nolasco as well a prospect or two. In all, it would take about four or five players, including major parts of the current club, to land the former Cy Young award winning right-hander.

Some have speculated that Nolasco and Leo Nunez could get the deal going. It wouldn’t even pique Kansas City’s interest.

Considering the Marlins already have a formidable rotation with Johnson, Nolasco, Javier Vazquez, Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad, there isn’t the urgency to acquire Greinke. At least not at the price of trading perhaps the best young power hitter in the game, who is under club control through 2016.

As the Marlins front office has repeatedly stated, the price of quality starting pitching is extremely high. It is either costly in terms of contracts (Lee will make $120 million over five years), or players offered to obtain a true ace. Grooming your own starting pitching — like the Giants have done — remains the most effective way to build a rotation.

When you look at the possible return for someone like Greinke, it also shows why the Marlins have no intentions of trading Johnson to the Yankees or anywhere else.

With Lee going to the Phillies, it didn’t take long for reports out of New York to suggest the Yankees inquire about JJ. For the record, the Marlins’ ace is not on the market. But if he were, Florida wouldn’t narrow its trade partner to exclusively the Yankees. A player like Johnson would generate wide appeal, and even the best package the Yankees may be able to offer might not stand up to other clubs.

The bottom line for the Marlins on the Greinke front is — is it worth overpaying for a right-hander they’d have under contract for two years?

– Joe Frisaro

How Lee decision impacts Marlins

Landing Cliff Lee gives the Phillies the strongest rotation in the game.

The pending signing also reinforces what the Marlins have been preaching for a long time — Pitching and defense wins.

“A good team just got better,” Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said of Lee joining Philadelphia. “Our plan has been to build a team to win, and to do that, you have to beat the best teams. So, we’re planning to do just that.”

Well before Lee picked Philadelphia, Florida’s front office has been working towards crafting a formidable starting rotation. The recent free agent signing of Javier Vazquez was another step in piecing together a top-flight starting five.

The Marlins certainly like their rotation of Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Vazquez, Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad. The team feels they can match up favorably on most nights. It’s just a matter of these young starters gaining consistency, along with staying healthy.

With Lee off the market, the Marlins certainly aren’t looking to trade away their top starters. There will be speculation about Nolasco, who has a three-year contract offer on the table that hasn’t been agreed upon.

But Nolasco has two more years left in arbitration, and the Marlins certainly value him as either their No. 2 or No. 3 starter, depending on the competition in Spring Training shapes up.

Florida is prepared to go year-to-year with Nolasco, who remains a highly valued right-hander for the cost. The team has no urgency to move him.

Obviously, the Marlins would listen to offers, but to trade Nolasco, Florida would covet pitching in return. Because the team is trying to compete in 2011, they would seek a big league-ready starter in any trade.

Johnson, who has three-years remaining on his contract, is a franchise player who isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Marlins are looking for Johnson to be their Opening Day starter in the first game in their new ballpark, which opens in 2012.

In order to contend in the NL East, the Marlins will be banking on their rotation. They won’t be looking to break it up.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Cody made pitch for Ferrari

After joining the Giants, Cody Ross cashed in with a World Series championship.

In the aftermath of celebrating a title, the former Marlin wondered if he also was due a red Ferrari.

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald blogs that Ross made a stab at trying to collect on an incentive thrown out by Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria prior to the 2009 season. Hoping to pep up the team, Loria stated that he would give his red Ferrari to the player voted MVP of the NL Championship Series.

Ross was named the NLCS MVP in San Francisco’s win over the Phillies.

At the GM Meetings in Orlando, Loria clarified the situation: “I said whoever wins the MVP in the World Series and playing for us can have my car. The whole concept was to get to the World Series.”

On Wednesday, Ross responded in a text message to MLB.com: “The deal was made back in ’09. He said whoever was the NLCS MVP he would give his Ferrari. … So I texted him wondering if the deal was still valid.”

No, the red Ferrari offer was off the table since Ross didn’t win it as a Marlin. Ross certainly isn’t walking away empty handed. He is receiving a World Series ring.

– Joe Frisaro
 
 

Postseason pitching flashbacks

After more than five decades, Don Larsen finally has company, and baseball has another game for the ages.

beckett.jpgRoy Halladay placed himself in exclusive company on Wednesday by tossing the second no-hitter in MLB playoff history. Halladay and the Phillies blanked the Reds, 4-0, in Game 1 of their NationaL League Division Series.

Before Halladay’s historical performance, Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series stood as the lone no-hitter in MLB postseason history. Standing in the way of perfection for Halladay was a lone walk.

The Marlins can certainly feel the Reds’ pain. On May 29, they were shut down by Halladay, who tossed the 20th perfect game in MLB history that day.

In their history, the Marlins have gone to the postseason twice, and in each year captured the World Series title.

While no Marlin has ever tossed a no-hitter in the playoffs, there have been a few masterful pitching performances.

Florida’s most memorable complete game shutout in the playoffs was turned in by Josh Beckett, when he closed out the Yankees in Game 6 of the 2003 World Series at Yankee Stadium.

Beckett allowed five hits in a 2-0 victory that day, on his way to winning MVP honors. But an argument can be made that it wasn’t Beckett’s best playoff performance of that season.

In the NL Championship Series against the Cubs, Florida was trailing 3-1 in games heading into Game 5 in Miami. Beckett tossed a two-hit shutout, striking out 11. That performance set the stage for the Marlins to return to Chicago, where they took care of the Cubs in Games 6 and 7 at Wrigley Field.

The Marlins have had four complete games in their playoff history. Livan Hernandez striking out 15 Braves in the 1997 NLCS also remains one of the top pitching performances ever by a Marlin.

Postseason Marlins’ complete games:

* Josh Beckett, 10/12/03: 2 hits, 0 runs, 11 strikeouts, vs Cubs, NLCS
* Josh Beckett, 10/25/02: 5 hits, 0 runs, 9 strikeouts, vs Yankees, WS
* Kevin Brown, 10/14/97: 11 hits, 4 runs, 8 strikeouts, vs Braves, NLCS
* Livan Hernandez, 10/12/97: 3 hits, 1 run, 15 strikeouts, vs Braves, NLCS

– Joe Frisaro

Sanabia scratched for Saturday

Due to some right elbow stiffness, rookie Alex Sanabia was scratched from his scheduled start on Saturday.

The Marlins are now going with Jorge Sosa against the Pirates at Sun Life Stadium. Charlie Morton is throwing for Pittsburgh.

Sanabia experienced a tingle in his right arm in his previous start, when he tossed seven innings at Atlanta on Monday, Sept. 27.

The rookie has logged 72 1/3 innings for the Marlins this season. Counting his Minor League totals, Sanabia has logged 170 2/3 innings, by far the most in the 22-year-old’s professional career.

A year ago for Class A Jupiter, Sanabia threw 104 1/3 innings.

Sanabia has enjoyed a strong rookie season, posting a 5-3 record with a 3.73 ERA in 15 appearances, including 12 starts. He is expected to challenge for a rotation spot in Spring Training.

The right-hander made 16 Minor League starts and was 6-1 with a 1.92 ERA.

Sosa is making his second start for Florida. The veteran worked 2 1/3 innings on Sept. 15 in a loss to the Phillies.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Mendez starts, strains quad

Adalberto Mendez had everything going for him in his Major League debut. That is, until the time he collected his first MLB hit.

After slapping a single to right field in the seventh inning, Mendez pulled up as he approached the bag. He stumbled a few steps and was immediately treated. He exited with a right quad strain and is listed as day to day.

Mendez said he cramped and that he is fine. The team hasn’t ruled out him making his next start.

Mendez, 28, was enjoying a stellar day until the time he was helped off the field.

Promoted from Triple-A New Orleans, the 28-year-old limited the Phillies to one hit over six scoreless innings. He struck out six, walked two and hit a batter.

Having thrown 89 pitches with 55 strikes, Mendez was expected to go back out for the seventh inning.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Ceda, Buente get called up

In preparation for a day/night doubleheader on Monday, the Marlins have loaded up on pitchers.

The team announced that right-handed relievers Jose Ceda and Jay Buente have been recalled from Double-A Jacksonville.

The Marlins and Phillies will play two games at Citizens Bank Park. The first game makes up a rainout on June 9.

Ceda will be in a big league uniform for the first time. And the organization will get its first glimpse at the hard-throwing right-hander who potentially can be a big part of their future.

At 6-foot-4, 275-pounds, he is an imposing figure. But Ceda has dealt with shoulder problems since he was obtained from the Cubs for Kevin Gregg on Nov. 13, 2008.

Ceda appeared in 27 games for Jacksonville, and he’s struck out 45 and walked 20 in 32 1/3 innings.

If healthy, Ceda may emerge as a factor in the bullpen, not just for the rest of the season but into the upcoming years.

Ceda posted a 4-1 record and 1.39 ERA for the Suns.

Buente, meanwhile, appeared earlier this season with the Marlins. He’s pitched in four games and logged 5 1/3 innings.

Buente has also seen action in 34 Minor League games, and he’s logged 48 2/3 innings, and he has a 3.14 ERA.

After the season, Buente is expected to pitch in the Arizona Fall League.

– 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

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