Results tagged ‘ Rangers ’

Not in market for third baseman

JUPITER, Fla. — Sending Matt Dominguez down to the Minor Leagues has opened the door for possible trade speculation involving the Marlins.

According to a league source, the Marlins are not actively seeking a trade for a third baseman. The team isn’t initiating talks with other clubs.

There has been speculation linking Texas veteran Michael Young being on the Marlins’ radar, but the club doesn’t have any interest.

A while back, the Marlins did explore what it would take to acquire Young, but Texas’ asking price in terms of prospects was much higher than Florida is willing to part with. It is believed that the Rangers were looking for Dominguez in any possible deal, but that hasn’t been confirmed.

The feeling within the Marlins is that, with some time in Triple-A, Dominguez will eventually be ready to contribute this year. It just may take a month or two, but the Marlins appear to be willing to stay with what they have in camp.

Donnie Murphy and Emilio Bonifacio are the main candidates for the job.

Joe Frisaro

Season-high eight walks wasted

The pitch that will be remembered is Leo Nunez’s 94 mph fastball that ran back over the plate and Matt Treanor drove to deep center for a two-run triple.

It was the decisive hit in the Rangers’ 3-2 comeback victory over the Marlins on Tuesday night.

leo-nunez-46-2009-mlb-florida-marlins.jpgThe sequence that is being lost in the outcome is the two-out walk to Julio Borbon, setting up Treanor’s game-changing pinch-hit. The Rangers had Josh Hamilton on third in a one-run game. The free pass to Borbon, the Ranger’s eighth hitter, put the potential go-ahead run on base. Treanor’s triple did the rest.

Perhaps Nunez was being more careful with a base open and Borbon being a left-handed hitter. Treanor bats from the right side, so the matchup seemed to favor Nunez. Regardless, the walk resulted in the winning run scoring.

Because Treanor’s hit ultimately decided the outcome, it overshadowed another significant fact on the night.

The Marlins were one out away from securing a victory on a night in which they had just three hits, including a two-run homer from Hanley Ramirez.

Even with a smattering of hits, the Marlins had a number of baserunners, courtesy of the Rangers staff. In all, the Marlins drew a season-high eight walks. Yet, only one of them scored. Setting up Ramirez’s home run in the sixth inning was a walk to Gaby Sanchez.

This season, the Marlins have drawn as many as six walks seven times. They are now 5-2 in those games. The other setback came on June 6 at the Mets, when they collected six walks in a 7-6 loss. On that day, however, the Marlins pitchers also walked six.

Capitalizing on free passes is crucial for any team. During the season, the Marlins offense has had as many as five walks in 17 games, and they are 10-7 in those contests. A reason their result isn’t better is because five times in those games, their own pitchers have walked at least five.

Perhaps if the Marlins had taken care of their free passes on Tuesday, Nunez wouldn’t have had to work with just a one-run lead in the ninth.

– Joe Frisaro

Blalock on Marlins radar

Mike Lamb and Jorge Jimenez are in Marlins camp as contenders to being the left-handed bat off the bench.

Another name to keep an eye on is Hank Blalock.

Jon Heyman of SI.com and the MLB Network reports the Marlins are interested in Blalock. MLB.com confirmed that the left-handed hitting veteran is on their radar. But the team is only looking at him as a role player.

The Marlins are seeking a lefty bat off the bench, not a regular. So Blalock isn’t being looked at to play either third base or first base, positions he commonly was at throughout his career with the Rangers.

Jorge Cantu is the Marlins third baseman, while Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison are battling for the first base job.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins home attendance increase

A story in USA Today on Wednesday outlined how Major League Baseball overall is experiencing a 6.5 percent drop in attendance, based on numbers obtained through Baseball-reference.com.

The Marlins, however, enjoyed a 9.7 percent increase, averaging 18,075 in 78 dates at Land Shark Stadium. Instead of 81 dates, that number was down three due to three doubleheaders, two caused by rainouts.

The Marlins wrapped up their home schedule on Sunday against the Mets, and the team drew more than 30,000 in its final four home dates.

“Our attendance is up,” Marlins president David Samson said in a recent interview.

If not for rain delays, the team feels the crowds would have been bigger. In all, the Marlins attracted more than 1.4 million fans.

“There is no question, I think it would have been closer to 1.8 [million],” Samson said if not for the weather. “We [were] in the race until the final week. The definition of in the race is when there is no ‘x’ next to our name.”

That Marlins were officially eliminated on Tuesday night.

Other teams to see a dramatic increase in attendance are the Royals (13.9 percent) and Rangers (10.8 percent).

Teams on the decline are the Nationals (22.8 percent), Blue Jays (21.8) and Padres (21.6).

Overall, however, the league projects more than 75.2 million fans, the fourth most in baseball history, according to USA Today.

“Given that we are in the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, it’s stunning,” commissioner Bud Selig told USA Today of still attracting more than 75 million people. “This year is a great testament to the huge popularity of our sport.”

– Joe Frisaro

 

Penny an option?

Are the Marlins considering turning to their past to help them at the moment?

According to the Miami Herald, the Marlins are one of a handful of teams interested in veteran right-hander Brad Penny.

A member of Florida’s 2003 World Series title team, Penny has been released by the Red Sox. He will become a free agent after clearing waivers on Monday.

The Rockies, Rays, White Sox and Rangers also have been mentioned as possible suitors for Penny.

Indications are the Marlins not be the frontrunner for Penny, who played for Rockies manager Jim Tracy when they were both with the Dodgers.

Also, it is not clear if Florida feels Penny would help in the rotation. His best fit could be in the bullpen.

According to a league insider, Penny still can help a team, and returning to the National League would likely help the veteran.

– Joe Frisaro

Marlins considering Smoltz

As expected, John Smoltz was released by the Red Sox on Monday afternoon. Once he clears unconditional waivers on Wednesday, the 42-year-old right-hander will become a free agent.

Strong indications are the Marlins are interested in Smoltz to be a starter in their rotation. It is believed that about six teams are weighing the prospect of signing Smoltz. The Cardinals, Dodgers, Rangers and Astros also have been mentioned.

The Red Sox designated Smoltz for assignment on Aug. 7. With Boston, the veteran was 2-5 with an 8.33 ERA.

In 20 years with the Braves, Smoltz won 210 games and had 154 saves.

The Marlins are looking for bullpen depth, but it appears they are interested in Smoltz to start.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Smoltz-Marlins update

The Marlins are looking for pitching help, and John Smoltz is exploring new job opportunities.

Whether the two sides come together remains a long-shot at this point. But that doesn’t mean the organization isn’t considering the prospect of adding the veteran right-hander, who was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Aug. 7.

If he is not traded before 2 p.m. ET on Monday, Smoltz becomes a free agent. If the Marlins swing a deal for Smoltz, they’d be looking at picking up the remainder of his salary. The daily breakdown would be about $35,000, unless the Red Sox agree to pick up a large bulk of the remaining contract.

According to a source, teams believed to have interest in Smoltz are the Marlins, Cardinals, Dodgers and Rangers.

The 42-year-old right-hander could be open to either starting or pitching out of the bullpen. The Marlins have a need for both.

Smoltz last pitched on Aug. 6 in the Red Sox’s loss to the Yankees. He threw 3 1/3 innings that day, giving up eight runs while walking four. He was 2-5 with an 8.33 ERA in eight starts for Boston.

In his stellar career, which started in Atlanta in 1988, Smoltz has a 212-152 record with a 3.32 ERA. He also has 154 saves.

In Atlanta, he worked closely with Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez, who formerly was the Braves third base coach.

“I think he’s a tremendous competitor and a good guy,” Gonzalez said of Smoltz, noting that he couldn’t say anything regarding the Marlins possibily acquiring the veteran.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Courting Catalanotto?

Are more moves on the horizon for the Marlins? Maybe.

One possibility that was explored looks like it won’t happen. The latest is the Marlins had interest in outfielder Frank Catalanotto of the Rangers. But once Florida finalized the deal on Wednesday to acquire Ross Gload, talks with Texas ended.

The Marlins had a busy Wednesday, picking up right-hander Hayden Penn from the Orioles and Gload from Kansas City. 

Catalanotto, who played for Italy in the World Baseball Classic, is not expected to make the Rangers, who are going with veteran Andruw Jones. So he would be available as a veteran left-handed bat off the bench.

Gload is a lefty bat off the bench, which was a higher priority for Florida.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 87 other followers