Results tagged ‘ Ricky Nolasco ’

Nolasco polishing up delivery

For Ricky Nolasco, getting season ready is coming in two stages.

First, the 28-year-old had to show he is healthy. He’s done that, recovering from a sprained right thumb, to get back on the mound. The injury caused him to miss the first half of Spring Training. He’s also recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.

Now, Nolasco is working on getting sharp. The off time set him back in terms of polishing up his delivery and getting hitters out. The rust showed in his first two Grapefruit League starts, where he’s allowed 11 runs on 12 hits in four innings.

Nolasco is back on the mound on Wednesday when the Marlins face the Braves in Lake Buena Vista. Atlanta is starting Tim Hudson.

Between his last start and now, Nolasco has worked with pitching coach Randy St. Claire. The two have watched video and detected some glitches in his delivery.

“Just stuff that Randy and I saw,” Nolasco said. “I felt like I was flying open early, which the video obviously showed. He wanted to point that out to me, to stay closed a little bit longer.”

Nolasco also is looking to get his legs more into his delivery.

“I wasn’t really using my legs as much, which is another thing that we noticed,” he said. “It was causing me, instead of going directly to the plate, I was falling off. Those little things will come with the more that I throw.

“It’s nothing we’re worried about, but it’s something we’re working on. When I’m using my lower half a little more, it helps me stay in line through the ball and through the target.”

MARLINS

1) Dewayne Wise, CF
2) Ozzie Martinez, 2B
3) Logan Morrison, LF
4) Gaby Sanchez, 1B
5) Donnie Murphy, SS
6) Scott Cousins, RF
7) Brett Hayes, C
8) Matt Dominguez, 3B
9) Ricky Nolasco, P

Joe Frisaro

Rotation order not quite set

JUPITER, Fla. — There are no real openings in the Marlins rotation. But the order of the five starters may not yet be set in stone.

Aside from Josh Johnson starting on Opening Night (April 1) against the Mets, the rest of the order is subject to change.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez said on Saturday morning that Johnson is locked in at No. 1, but the team wants to make sure Ricky Nolasco is ready to pitch the second game.

Key for Nolasco is how he does in his third start, which is March 23 against the Braves.

“If Ricky feels good after his third outing, he should be ready to go,” Rodriguez said.

Nolasco is recovered from a sprained right thumb and surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The right-hander has had two rough outings, including giving up seven runs in 2 1/3 innings on Friday to the Astros.

Nolasco feels fine, health wise. Rodriguez noted that it isn’t the health of his 28-year-old right-hander, “it’s the quality of his pitches.”

The Marlins would like their rotation to be Johnson, Nolasco, Javier Vazquez, Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad.

Rodriguez says more will be known on the order of the rotation after Nolasco’s next start.

Joe Frisaro

Marlins have unanswered questions

JUPITER, Fla. — With Opening Day just 2 1/2 weeks away, the Marlins still have a number of unanswered questions, including a couple they had entering Spring Training.

Here’s a quick list of issues that remain unresolved:

1) Chris Coghlan’s transition to center field remains unclear, simply because he hasn’t had much game time at the position. Initially, the team eased him back from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. As his leg continued to heal, Coghlan also dealt with a sore right shoulder.

The ailments have limited Coghlan to playing center field in just four Grapefruit League games, the last one coming on March 7. He also played a couple of innings in center in the Feb. 27 exhibition with the University of Miami.

Coghlan is in the starting lineup in center field on Wednesday.

2) Will Mike Stanton be ready for Opening Night? The strained right quad has kept him out of all the Grapefruit League games. He suffered the injury on Feb. 27 in the scrimmages with UM.

If the 21-year-old can be back for the final seven or so Grapefruit League games, he probably would be fine for the April 1 opener. Even so, you have to wonder how effective will he be early due to lost time.

Foremost they need Stanton healthy. The reason they aren’t rushing things is the team doesn’t want the injury to linger throughout the year.

3) How are Ricky Nolasco and Josh Johnson doing? Johnson missed the final few weeks of 2010 with back/shoulder problems. He’s healthy, and the life is returning to his fastball. But JJ hasn’t been particularly sharp so far. Not to worry, right now he is working on his changeup, a pitch he will count on to keep hitters honest.

Johnson’s slider remains nasty, and he can use it as an out-pitch on a regular basis. So he is working in a changeup, as he did in an effective start last Saturday against the Red Sox. JJ was throwing his changeup in hitters’ counts, and situations that he wouldn’t use it during the regular season.

As for Nolasco, he’s missed the final month of ’10 with a torn meniscus in his right knee, which required surgery. The right-hander also missed the first half of Spring Training with a sprained right thumb. He was wild in his March 13 debut with the Nationals. His velocity was about 89 mph.

The outing was a rough one, which isn’t totally unexpected. It may take him several starts in Spring Training, and even the early part of the regular season, to get the feel of all his pitches.

4) Who will bat cleanup is Stanton is out? It looks like Gaby Sanchez would get the first call. Sanchez had a strong rookie year in 2010, and he would be a prime candidate to bat fourth until Stanton is ready to return.

5) Has the defense improved? For a few weeks, it looked like it had. Then there was a collective breakdown last Friday in Port St. Lucie. There were more defensive lapses on Tuesday in Port Charlotte.

The organization has gone through great strides to improve in the field. Highly respected infield coach Perry Hill was brought back to get the defense on track. Now it’s up to the players to make the plays that should be outs.

6) Is the rotation healthy? Javier Vazquez (mild right elbow soreness) and Anibal Sanchez (right shin) were each scratched from their scheduled starts on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.

Both should be back this weekend.

Joe Frisaro

Marlins-Nationals lineups

Chris Coghlan will be the designated hitter, and Ricky Nolasco will make his first Grapefruit League start on Sunday against the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Jordan Zimmerman is pitching for Washington in the 1:05 p.m. contest.

NATIONALS

1) Nyjer Morgan, CF
2) Alex Cora, SS
3) Jayson Werth, RF
4) Adam LaRoche, 1B
5) Rick Ankiel, LF
6) Roger Bernadina, DH
7) Danny Espinosa, 2B
8) Jesus Flores, C
9) Alberto Gonzalez, 3B

MARLINS

1) Chris Coghlan, DH
2) Omar Infante, 2B
3) Hanley Ramirez, SS
4) Gaby Sanchez, 1B
5) Logan Morrison, LF
6) Donnie Murphy, 3B
7) Dewayne Wise, CF
8) Bryan Petersen, RF
9) Brad Davis, C

Joe Frisaro
 

Short takes from Sunday

JUPITER, Fla. — Ricky Nolasco will make his first Spring Training start on Sunday against the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium. The Grapefruit League game is set to start at 1:05 p.m., and it will be televised on MLB.TV and it is the first of four games being aired by Fox Sports Florida.
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Before the game, Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez met briefly with the beat writers to preview the day.

Nolasco is expected to throw about 55-60 pitches, or three innings. If all goes well, he remains on pace to be the No. 2 starter behind Josh Johnson.

The Marlins open on April 1 against the Mets at Sun Life Stadium. Nolasco is on pace to pitch on April 2.

Worth noting:

* Anibal Sanchez threw his bullpen session on Saturday, and all went well with his bruised right shin/calf area. Sanchez was struck by a comeback grounder on Thursday. Initially, he was supposed to test the leg on Sunday, but he threw on Saturday instead.

Sanchez has been cleared to start against the Rays on Tuesday in Port Charlotte. If for some reason he can’t make the start, Sean West is a likely fallback option. But the team fully expects Sanchez to be ready to go.

* Mike Stanton did some light running with the team on Sunday morning. He still isn’t pushing his strained right quad. The hope is Stanton can be used as a designated hitter later this week in Minor League games. Rodriguez is hopeful Stanton can play in Grapefruit League games the final week of Spring Training. So it may be doubtful the 21-year-old is playing with the big league club before March 26.

* Wes Helms (sore shoulder) is available to be a designated hitter, but he isn’t doing much throwing.

Joe Frisaro

Nolasco set for Sunday

Midway through Spring Training, Ricky Nolasco at last is ready for some game action.

The Marlins announced on Thursday that the 28-year-old right-hander would indeed make his Grapefruit League debut on Sunday against the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium. He is expected to throw three innings or about 55-60 pitches.

Barring any setbacks, Nolasco should make four Grapefruit League starts, and he is lined up to pitch Florida’s second game of the season, on April 2 against the Mets at Sun Life Stadium.

Nolasco jammed his right thumb prior to Spring Training, and he has been working his way back. He was given the green light to start on Sunday after he threw an encouraging live batting practice session on Thursday.

“By the time that first start comes around on April 2, I should be at 90 pitches,” Nolasco said.

The Marlins will start Josh Johnson in the season opener on April 1, and Nolasco is on course to be the No. 2 starter.

Mechanically, Nolasco is still refining things.

“I feel good. There are things I could work on, but those come with innings,” he said. “I’m not really concerned about it.

“I’m not really concerned with the results right now. Obviously, I want to pitch well every time I go out. But as long as my finger doesn’t hurt, and I’m getting my pitch count up is all that matters right now.”

Joe Frisaro
  

Short takes from morning workout

It looks like it may take at least another week before Mike Stanton is game ready. Even then, the Marlins’ slugger won’t necessarily be playing in Grapefruit League contests.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez said on Wednesday morning that Stanton likely will play in some Minor League games before facing big league pitchers.

“He took BP [Tuesday] and he did a little bit more,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t know when he will be in a Spring Training game for us.”

Asked if he would be surprised if Stanton played in games next week, Rodriguez said: “I’d be surprised.”

Stanton strained his right quad in the Feb. 27 exhibition against the University of Miami. Initially, he estimated two weeks to recover. So it looks like it will be at least three before he is back in games.

If Stanton can play in the final seven to 10 Grapefruit League games, he should be ready for the April 1 opener with the Mets at Sun Life Stadium.

* Ricky Nolasco remains on schedule to pitch on March 13.

* Josh Johnson’s velocity is increasing. On Monday, the Marlins’ ace reached 93 mph in the first inning, and his fastball topped at 95 mph. His slider was at 88 mph. “Sounds like I’m getting pretty close,” Johnson said.

* Matt Dominguez continues impress after hitting a home run on Tuesday against the Tigers. Dominguez is back in the lineup at third base on Wednesday, and he thus far is in strong position to make the team.

Joe Frisaro

Nolasco throws live BP

JUPITER, Fla. — The initial plan was for Ricky Nolasco to throw off the mound in the bullpen on Sunday, leading into a live batting practice session in a couple of days.

But since the Marlins’ right-hander is eager to return, the team is taking a more aggressive approach. Nolasco threw live batting practice to hitters on Sunday on a back field at the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

Recovering from a jammed right thumb, Nolasco is on pace to make his Grapefruit League debut on March 13. If he takes the mound that day, as expected, and avoids any setbacks, he will fall in line to pitch on April 2, Florida’s second game.

Nolasco will throw another live batting practice on Tuesday, and if that goes well, he will have a simulated game on Thursday.

The Marlins face the Nationals on March 13.

Joe Frisaro

Still weighing rotation options

JUPITER, Fla. — Javier Vazquez pitched effectively on Friday, but did the veteran secure the No. 3 spot in the Marlins’ rotation?

It’s still too early to tell.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez says the team has an idea on how they will line up their starting five, but the exact order is still subject to change.

Aside from Josh Johnson pitching on Opening Night against the Mets, there still is uncertainty.

Ricky Nolasco projects to be the No. 2 starter, going on April 2 at Sun Life Stadium. But Nolasco has yet to pitch in a Grapefruit League game because of a bruised right thumb. The right-hander threw off the mound on Friday, and the session went well. He next will have a bullpen session on Sunday.

The target date for Nolasco to be in a game is March 13 versus the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium. If he makes that start, he would be lined up to pitch on April 2.

Should Nolasco not be ready to open the season, then Vazquez appears to be the frontrunner to pitch the second game. Otherwise, Vazquez and Anibal Sanchez are choices for the third and fourth spots, with Chris Volstad as the fifth starter.

If Johnson and Nolasco line up one and two, then Vazquez is the likely candidate to pitch the third game.

“We’re going to wait and see,” Rodriguez said. “We keep saying we have an idea. But we’re going to wait and see how everything develops in Spring Training. Right now, we have an idea. We haven’t seen Ricky on the mound yet. As soon as we see Ricky on the mound and how he feels, we’ll have a better idea.”

Joe Frisaro

Stanton swinging off the tee

Mike Stanton is doing some limited baseball activities.

The past two days the Marlins’ right fielder has taken swings off the tee in the batting cages.

“Everything is fine,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said.

Stanton strained his right quad in the exhibition opener against the University of Miami last Sunday. He expects to miss at least two weeks of games, but that time table is tentative.

Stanton began taking some swings on Thursday, and he was back in the cages on Friday morning. The next step is to take batting practice on the field, which could be on Sunday.

For now, he isn’t doing any running drills.

Other items of note from Rodriguez’s morning session with the media:

* John Baker is in the lineup on Friday as the designated hitter. It’s his first game action of the spring. Baker is recovering from Tommy John surgery.

* Greg Dobbs (knee) also took swings in the cages on Friday, and he could be game ready by Sunday.

* Chris Coghlan was in the starting lineup playing center field on Friday. But Coghlan is not making any long bus rides until the middle of Spring Training. He won’t be traveling to Fort Myers on Saturday.

* Ricky Nolasco is throwing another bullpen session on Friday.

* On Sunday, the Marlins will play Italy in a scrimmage on Field 2 at Roger Dean Stadium. Mike Piazza is a coach on the Italian staff. The start time is 10:30 a.m., before the team plays the Cardinals on the main field.

Joe Frisaro

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