Results tagged ‘ Rick VandenHurk ’

McClung released

The Marlins bullpen situation is almost figured out.

On Tuesday, veteran Seth McClung, who was in camp on a Minor League deal, was released.

The move narrows down the final bullpen spot to either Tim Wood or Rick VandenHurk, according to manager Fredi Gonzalez.

The last bench reserve spot is between Brian Barden, Donnie Murphy or Hector Luna.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Odds and ends for Sunday

Some interesting items to digest after meeting with manager Fredi Gonzalez on Sunday morning.

* The manager pointed out that Gaby Sanchez, who has caught in the Minor Leagues, gives flexibility as an emergency third catcher.

Stopping short of declaring Sanchez as the starting first baseman, Gonzalez noted that if Sanchez is an emergency third catcher option, it frees up the team to use either John Baker or Ronny Paulino as a pinch-hitter.

* The Marlins feel their final bullpen slot will be filled from pitchers who are in camp. Recently, Gonzalez declared Leo Nunez, Dan Meyer, Renyel Pinto, Brian Sanches, Burke Badenhop and Jose Veras as frontrunners to make the squad. That leaves one spot open. If the Marlins take another long reliever, Rick VandenHurk is an option. Otherwise, Seth McClung, Scott Strickland and Tim Wood are choices.

* The projected bench is — backup catcher, Wes Helms, Emilio Bonifacio, Brian Barden and Mike Lamb, who also has caught in his career.

* Cody Ross on Sunday was the DH in a Minor League game for the second straight day. Ross had a good day, going 2-for-4 with a double and home run. The double was off Scott Strickland in the intrasquad scrimmage. The homer was off Jeff Allison. Ross is expected to play six innings in the outfield of a Minor League game.

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

Sim Game in the Rain

They started off throwing in a light drizzle. About 30 minutes later, when the conditions worsened under a steady rain, they were shut down.

Bottom line for Clay Hensley and Andrew Miller is they both got their work in on a day that didn’t seem possible.

hensley23ag.jpgWith the Marlins having their lone off day of Spring Training, Hensley and Miller were scheduled to pitch. Initially, they were called in on Monday to throw in a scrimmage on Field 2 of the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

Because of the rain, the scrimmage didn’t take place, and instead, the two threw to batters in a simulated game that lasted about 30 minutes. Batters were hitting under a cage, and the two pitchers dealt with messy conditions. There weren’t any fielders.

Hensley, a non-roster invitee, continues to improve his chances of winning a rotation spot. In three innings — including a four-out inning due to a low pitch count — he didn’t allow a run. Of his 32 pitches, 18 were for strikes.

On a couple of occasions the right-hander slipped after throwing a pitch. A sinker-ball pitcher, Hensley induced nine groundballs out of the 11 batters he faced. He struck out two. His fastball topped out at 88 mph, and he was mainly throwing in the 85-86 mph range. Velocity isn’t a major issue with him, as long as his sinker is breaking downward, which it has all camp.

“He commands all his pitches,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He’s putting himself into position where he can fill a role easy.”

The Marlins are looking for two remaining rotation spots. Miller and Hensley are candidates, along with Chris Volstad, Rick VandenHurk and Hayden Penn.

Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco have been named the Nos. 1 and 2 starters, and Anibal Sanchez is regarded as the No. 3 starter, although that hasn’t been announced. Volstad is a frontrunner to be the No. 4 starter.

Gonzalez added that Hensley, if he is not in the rotation, could still win a bullpen spot.

The left-handed Miller threw 43 pitches with 23 strikes, and he had four strikeouts and two walks in the sim game.

Miller’s velocity was 92-93 mph in wet conditions on Monday.

When they were done throwing on the field, Miller and Hensley threw some more pitches under a covered bullpen. 

Either Henlsey or Miller could start on Saturday against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Johnson, meanwhile, will face the Mets on Friday at Roger Dean Stadium. Because Johnson will pitch against New York on the April 5 opener at Citi Field, the team doesn’t want to showcase him too much to the Mets before Opening Day.

The way Johnson’s rotation schedule is shaping up, however, he was in face them on Friday and on March 31 at Port St. Lucie.

Gonzalez said on Monday that Johnson will not face the Mets twice to close out Spring Training. But he will see them once, on Friday in Jupiter. On March 31, Johnson most likely will throw in a Minor League game.

Typically, in their last Spring Training appearance, starting pitchers have their pitch count scaled back to about three innings. Johnson threw 80 pitches on Sunday against the Nationals. He could go to about 100 pitches on Friday.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Bullpen shaping up

Perhaps there is just one bullpen spot left to fill at Marlins camp.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez shed some light on some of the relievers who are moving closer to winning spots on the Opening Day roster.

 
pinto4a.JPGThe Marlins anticipate carrying 12 relievers, and Leo Nunez is locked in as the closer. The team anticipates carrying two lefties. They are expected to be Renyel Pinto and Dan Meyer. Both are out of options.

Also strong possibilities to make the team are right-handers Brian Sanches and Jose Veras, in camp on a Minor League contract. Burke Badenhop is a frontrunner to be the long reliever.

“This can change,” said Gonzalez, noting that other candidates may pop across the waiver wire.

If these five hold true, there will be one reliever spot open.

Candidates include Mike MacDougal, Seth McClung, Tim Wood, Chris Leroux and Scott Strickland. 

The team may also decide to keep someone like Clay Hensley, who is in the mix for a rotation spot. If Hensley isn’t in the rotation, he could be an option in relief. The same would hold true for Rick VandenHurk and Hayden Penn, who are currently being used as starters.

– Joe Frisaro

  

Marlins lineups for Tuesday

The Marlins have a split-squad day on Tuesday, with half the team in Viera to face the Nationals, and the other half in Lake Buena Vista to take on the Braves.

Hanley Ramirez, who missed Monday due to a tight right groin, was in the lineup against the Braves.

Jorge Cantu, who has been recovering from flu-like symptoms, stayed back in Jupiter.

Mike Lamb, meanwhile, was scheduled to start at first base against the Braves. But he was scratched with an upset stomach. Gaby Sanchez instead made the start.

Lineup vs. Nationals:

 

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1) Jai Miller, CF

2) Brian Barden, SS

3) Dan Uggla, 2B

4) Logan Morrison, 1B

5) Cody Ross, RF

6) Brett Carroll, LF

7) Jorge Jimenez, 3B

8) Brett Hayes, C

9) Rick VandenHurk, P

 

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1) Willy Taveras, CF

2) Willie Harris, RF

3) Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4) Adam Dunn, 1B

5) Kevin Mench, LF

6) Pete Orr, 2B

7) Danny Espinosa, SS

8) Wil Nieves, C

9) Craig Stammen, P

 

 

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1) Chris Coghlan, LF

2) Brian Petersen, CF

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

5) Ronny Paulino, C

6) Wes Helms, 3B

7) Scott Cousins, RF

8) Emilio Bonifacio, 2B

9) Josh Johnson, P

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

 

 

West, Ceda optioned

The Marlins rotation is coming a little more into focus.

Left-hander Sean West, who has struggled with his command, on Monday was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.

Sending West down trims a candidate for a rotation spot.

seanwest5a3.jpgIn another move, right-handed reliever Jose Ceda, who missed all of last year with a shoulder injury, was optioned to Double-A Jacksonville.

West has had difficulties throwing strikes. In a B Game on Saturday against the Orioles in Sarasota, the 23-year-old walked seven.

“[We want West to] just pitch and get his command down,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He came up and won eight games as a young pitcher last year. He will be back. There is no question in my mind. He’s going to be a big part of our rotation.”

Subtracting West from the mix, means the Marlins now have Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad, Andrew Miller, Rick VandenHurk and Hayden Penn fighting for spots. Another name to keep an eye on is Clay Hensley, who has big league experience.

The way the Marlins are talking, it appears Sanchez is a lock to be the No. 3 starter. Sanchez threw four scoreless innings on Sunday against the Mets.

“If Sanchez pitches the way we’ve seen in ’06 [his rookie year], you’ve got something to work with,’ Gonzalez said.

Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco are the Nos. 1 and 2 starters.

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

Broadcast schedule begins

Marlins baseball is back, and beginning on Thursday, so are the voices of the organization.

The opening of the Grapefruit League season matches the Marlins against the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter. Thursday also marks the first radio broadcast of Spring Training.

Dave Van Horne and Glenn Geffner will call the action of the 1:05 p.m. ET contest.

“It’s an exciting time for baseball, and it’s an exciting time for the Marlins,” said Van Horne, who has broadcasted MLB games for more than 40 years. “I feel very strongly that if the Marlins can get good production out of the third and fourth spots in their starting rotation that they can really do some damage in the East Division.”

dvh.jpgAfter winning 87 games a year ago, the Marlins are talking playoffs in 2010.

“They can not only contend with all the powers in the division, and even the Phillies, deemed by most peoples’ estimations the team to beat in the division,” Van Horne said. “It’s a very exciting time for the Marlins and the Marlins fans.”

In all, the Marlins flagship station, 790 The Ticket, will broadcast 15 Grapefruit League games.

“We’re back on our same keystone station, of course, 790 The Ticket, in Miami,” Van Horne said. “Glenn Geffner and I begin our third year working together on the broadcast. We have made a pact. We’ve talked about it all winter long. We have promised our listeners that we will broadcast more winning games this year than last year.”

The intimacy of Spring Training is an attraction for fans.

glenngeffner.jpg“It’s a great time for the fans because they can get close to the players,” Van Horne said. “They can get down on the field, and watch a team work out. They are close to the batting cages, the pitching mounds, and watch all these things in person that are tougher to see when the regular season begins. It’s a great time fans, but I’ve got to admit, it’s a great time for broadcasters, too.”

The Marlins opened their exhibition season with an impressive 19-3 win over the University of Miami on Wednesday.

In their Grapefruit League opener, Anibal Sanchez will get the start. Rick VandenHurk will pitch in relief.

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

Marlins line up their pitching

Grapefruit League play will get going on Thursday when the Marlins face the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Start time is 1:05 p.m. ET, with the gates opening around 11:30 a.m.

Anibal Sanchez will make the start for Florida, and throw about 35 pitches (or two innings). Also slated to pitch on Thursday are Rick VandenHurk, Taylor Tankersley, Seth McClung, Scott Strickland and Dan Meyer.

On Friday, the Marlins will visit the Mets at Port St. Lucie. Chris Volstad is scheduled to start, followed by Hayden Penn, Chris Leroux, Cristhian Martinez, Brian Sanches and Derrick Turnbow.

On Saturday, the Marlins are back in Jupiter, taking on the Cardinals in the first of two meetings over the weekend.

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Josh Johnson will make his Grapefruit League debut on Saturday, with the start time set at 1:05 p.m. ET. Clay Hensley, Brett Sinkbeil, Chris Schroder, Renyel Pinto and Leo Nunez also are lined up to pitch.

Tickets for all Marlins home games at Roger Dean Stadium are available on www.marlins.com. Gates open 90 minutes before the scheduled first pitch.

 

– Joe Frisaro

Marlins announce signings

The number of Marlins not under contract keeps dwindling.

On Saturday, the team announced they’ve signed 12 players to deals for 2010. All are under club control, and their deals are a formality.

Signing were OF Scott Cousins, RHP Kris Harvey, LHP Hunter Jones, RHP Cristhian Martinez, RHP Hayden Penn, RHP Rick VandenHurk, RHP Brian Sanches, RHP Chris Volstad, LHP Sean West, RHP Burke Badenhop, LHP Dan Meyer and INF Emilio Bonifacio.

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

Early Spring rotation set

Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez on Saturday set his early Grapefruit League rotation.

The team opens its exhibition season on Wednesday against the University of Miami. Ricky Nolasco will start that game, and Ryan Tucker will enter in relief. John Baker will catch.

Florida’s Grapefruit League season begins on Thursday against the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium. Anibal Sanchez will take the mound that game, and he will be backed by Rick VandenHurk.

On Friday, against the Mets at Port St. Lucie, Chris Volstad will get the nod, followed by Hayden Penn.

Josh Johnson, who will be the Opening Day starter, will make his Grapefruit League debut on March 6 against the Cardinals. Clay Hensley will follow.

On March 7 against the Cardinals, Sean West will get the start. Andrew Miller also will pitch in that game.

The first time around, the starters will pitch about two innings, or 35 total pitches.

Nolasco will make his first Grapefruit League start on March 8 in a split squad game against the Nationals in Viera. Tucker will face the Mets that day in Jupiter.

Early on, Baker and Ronny Paulino will alternate at catcher.

The Marlins have yet to solidify their rotation for the regular season. There is open competition for three spots. Only Johnson and Nolasco are locked into the rotation.

The candidates who are starting off first will flip-flop in their next scheduled appearances. For instance, while, Sanchez is starting on Thursday, and VandenHurk will enter in relief, the next time around, VandenHurk will start the following week, with Sanchez coming in relief. The same holds true for the games that Volstad and West will start.

– Joe Frisaro

 

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