Results tagged ‘ Reds ’
When the Marlins head to Spring Training in mid-February, most of their regular position spots will be set. Pretty much the only job unsettled is third base, where prospect Matt Dominguez still must show he is big league ready. If the 21-year-old is, there will be little drama when manager Edwin Rodriguez fills out his lineup card.
What will be up for grabs are a few bench spot, particularly in the outfield. Heading into Spring Training, the Marlins are planning on going with Logan Morrison in left, Chris Coghlan in center and Mike Stanton in right.
A candidate to keep a close eye on is Scott Cousins.
Typically, the Marlins prefer their prospects who aren’t in the lineup every day to get steady playing time in the Minor Leagues. Cousins may be an exception. A third-round pick in 2006, he will turn 26 on Jan. 22.
A left-handed batter and thrower, Cousins has the strongest outfield arm in the organization. He is a plus defender in all three outfield spots.
Cousins has had plenty of Minor League seasoning, including 118 games at Triple-A New Orleans in 2010, where he batted .285 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs.
Late in the season, Cousins also saw action in 27 games with the Marlins, and he hit .297 with two doubles, two triples and two RBIs. His first big league hit was a walk-off, game winner to beat Atlanta. He also came through with some timely pinch-hits, going 5-for-17 (.294) in that role.
Even though he is seeking his first MLB homer, he has 55 as a Minor Leaguer. Also as a Minor Leaguer, he did something yet to be accomplished by a Florida player — hit for the cycle.
Entering Spring Training, Cousins will be looked upon as a fourth outfielder. But that doesn’t mean he won’t eventually develop into a quality every day player. In 2006, the Marlins acquired a player from the Reds who was a similar type of player. Back then, Cody Ross was an unheralded 26-year-old who was looking to prove he could play every day.
– Joe Frisaro
Mike Stanton now has something in common with Hall of Famer Tony Perez.
Stanton belted his first MLB homer on Friday night, and it was a grand slam off Tampa Bay’s Matt Garza.
Perez, a special assistant in the Marlins organization, belted 339 home runs in his career. Like Stanton, Perez’s first home run was a grand slam.
“April 13, 1965 off Denny Lemaster,” Perez said Saturday, remembering the day as if it were yesterday.
Then a 22-year-old, Perez connected at Crosley Field in Cincinnati.
“I never got the ball,” Perez said. “It went to center field, and there was an expressway out there.”
Stanton’s blast came at age 20, and it was in his ninth game. Perez’s slam came in the second game of the 1965 season. A crowd of 4,236 was on hand to see the Reds play the Milwaukee Brewers.
Perez was hitting sixth and playing first base. Among his teammates then were Pete Rose, who played second base, and Frank Robinson was in right field.
The Brewers lineup that day included Joe Torre, Eddie Mathews, Felipe Alou and Sandy Alomar.
Stanton is the sixth Marlin in team history to hit a grand slam for his first MLB homer.
“He’s never going to forget that,” Perez said. “It was his first hit at home. All he has to do is keep playing. He will get better.”
– Joe Frisaro
If Alfredo Amezaga opts to sign with another club, the Marlins have another possible all-purpose utility replacement.
The Marlins recently signed Danny Richar to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. The 26-year-old is signed for a basic Minor League contract. He will make $12,000 a month if he is in the Minor Leagues, and $410,000 if he makes the big league club.
A natural middle infielder, Richar is versatile enough to also play third base and outfield.
In 2009, he appeared in seven games for the Reds, and he has 79 big league games of experience over three seasons. In 2007, he saw action in 56 games with the White Sox.
– Joe Frisaro
From time to time on his daily show — Live! With Regis and Kelly — Regis Philbin talks up the Marlins.
On May 4, Philbin will give some of his time to the club. That day, Philbin will toss out the ceremonial first pitch at Dolphin Stadium before Florida’s game with the Reds.
A year ago, Philbin jumped on the Marlins bandwagon early, saying they would be a team to watch. Florida responded with an 84-77 season, and a third place finish. The Marlins last year sent the celebrity host a package of team items, including a cap and a customized jersey.
– Joe Frisaro