What's new

Notes: Roster close to being finalized

miamibaseball

Muckdog
Joined
Apr 11, 2006
Messages
9,974
Reaction score
16
JUPITER, Fla. -- Rosters officially have to be set by Sunday, but Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez plans on having his team in place well before that.
Gonzalez is hopeful to announce the 25-man roster that will open the season on Wednesday.

"I think it's important for the team to know who their teammates are," Gonzalez said Monday. "It's important for them to come together."

One unanswered question was resolved on Monday, when the Marlins acquired closer Jorge Julio and cash from the Diamondbacks for Yusmeiro Petit.

With the closer issue resolved, the spotlight turns to center field.

The center-field battle is down to three candidates, with the other two not likely to make the club.

Non-roster invitee Alex Sanchez is believed to be have the inside edge based on his previous Major League experience. But Eric Reed has had a solid spring, and he remains in the mix, as does prospect Alejandro De Aza.

Reed has one more option, so if he doesn't win the job, he can be sent to Triple-A for more grooming.

De Aza is the intriguing third choice. The 22-year-old who projected to begin in Double-A has been the surprise of camp. According to a number of scouts who have observed the Marlins all spring, De Aza clearly has the most upside and talent.

The initial plan had been not to rush De Aza, who shows he may end up being the long-term answer in center. So the team had been thinking of having De Aza open in Double-A for more seasoning. Then, if he is performing in a few months, the club could promote him.

Because of De Aza's progression, the club is less inclined to explore center field trade options.

Gonzalez said he is leaning toward a platoon situation in right field until Jeremy Hermida is ready.

Hermida is out with a bone bruise on his right kneecap.

Joe Borchard, a switch-hitter who is more effective against right-handed pitching, is viewed as the front-runner while facing righties. Either Cody Ross or John Gall could get the nod against lefties.

As of now, the Marlins are not viewing backup infielder Alfredo Amezaga as an outfield option. Amezaga isn't expected to play any outfield for the remainder of Spring Training. The switch-hitter saw considerable time in center field a year ago.

Tankersley update: Lefty reliever Taylor Tankersley will likely open the season on the disabled list, retroactive to March 23.

Health-wise, Tankersley is feeling fine. The 24-year-old, who was bothered early in Spring Training by shoulder inflammation, threw batting practice on Sunday, and that session went smoothly. On Wednesday, he will pitch in a Double-A game.

With Opening Day set for April 2, there doesn't appear to be enough time for the lefty to regain his command in game action before the season begins.

To keep him eligible to be retroactive to March 23 on the disabled list, Tankersley will not pitch in any Grapefruit League games. Players who open the season on the DL, retroactive to March 23, are eligible to play on April 8, or after the first six days of the regular season.

"Physically, there is no pain," Tankersley said. "It's a matter of time before I'm ready."

An eighth-inning and closer candidate, Tankersley is being counted on to be a key part of the bullpen.

"I feel like can get guys out right now," he said. "I don't have eight to 10 outings under my belt breaking camp, which is normal."

Gonzalez noted that the key is to make sure that whenever Tankersley is ready, he will be back for the long haul.

Mitre wins fifth spot: By trading Petit to Arizona, Sergio Mitre officially has been named the fifth starter. Because of an April 5 off-day, Mitre's first start will be April 10 at home against the Brewers.

Mitre threw five shutout innings on Monday in a 3-1 loss to the Cardinals. He scattered three hits, walked one and struck out two, logging 68 pitches with 46 strikes.

Mitre opened the 2006 season as the No. 2 starter, but he missed most of the year with a shoulder problem. So now, he looks at it as he's winning back a spot that he lost because of injury.

"I'm throwing strikes and I'm attacking the zone," Mitre said. "My arm feels good."

Nolasco's outing: While Mitre was making the start on Monday against the Cardinals, Ricky Nolasco was throwing three innings in a Minor League game on a backfield at Roger Dean Stadium.

Nolasco, the team's fourth starter, threw 64 pitches in extremely windy conditions while facing St. Louis' Minor Leaguers.

Nolasco will pitch in Florida's first home game, April 6, against the Phillies.

The team is deciding whether to start Nolasco on Saturday in Dayton, Ohio, when the Marlins face the Reds in the final Spring Training game. Mitre is the other choice to start in Dayton.

Ramirez returning: Shortstop Hanley Ramirez went 1-for-3 on Sunday afternoon against the Red Sox, and then later in the day he flew out of Fort Myers to his home in the Dominican Republic to take care of personal issues.

Ramirez went back to the Dominican to sign some visa-related paperwork for his wife. He is expected to be in the starting lineup on Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale.

Fish bites: Mike Jacobs flipped with Josh Willingham in the cleanup spot on Monday. Willingham had been batting fourth much of spring. ... New first base/infield coach Andy Fox is expected to be in uniform on Tuesday. Fox, a former infielder with the Marlins, replaces Perry Hill, who retired last Friday. ... Lefty reliever Renyel Pinto got some work on Monday throwing in a Minor League game and outfielder Cody Ross got five at-bats in the same game. ... Guests of Cardinals manager Tony La Russa on Monday included Bill Parcells and Bob Knight. ... In the eighth inning, De Aza, in left field, tripped over shortstop Alfredo Amezaga on a flare single by Adam Kennedy. Both were shaken up but remained in the game. ... Dontrelle Willis will throw a Minor League game on Wednesday rather than face the Nationals, the team he will face on Opening Day. Willis' pitch count will be scaled back to about 70 in his final spring start.

Coming up: The Marlins travel to Fort Lauderdale Stadium on Tuesday to take on the Orioles at 1:05 p.m. ET. Minor Leaguer Rick Vanden Hurk, who has not been in big-league camp, will get the start. Henry Owens, Matt Lindstrom, Nate Field, Felix Rodriguez and Roy Corcoran also are slated to pitch. Steve Trachsel also is slotted to pitch for Baltimore.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20...rtnered=rss_fla
 

miamibaseball

Muckdog
Joined
Apr 11, 2006
Messages
9,974
Reaction score
16
Surprising Wild Card contenders with a predominantly rookie lineup in 2006, the Marlins are a year older, but the jury is out as to whether they actually will be better. There is talent to compete in the tough National League East. Staying healthy will be crucial since there isn't much experienced depth.
Once again, their two most recognized leaders are ace Dontrelle Willis and three-time All-Star Miguel Cabrera at third base. Toss in defending NL Rookie of the Year, Hanley Ramirez, at shortstop, and the nucleus is in place for another successful campaign.

Team strength: The infield, especially the left side, is among the best in the game. Cabrera and Ramirez form a left-side that ranks up there with anybody in the game. The foursome of Cabrera, Ramirez, second baseman Dan Uggla and first baseman Mike Jacobs combined for 90 home runs a year ago. Tack on another year of experience, and this group may easily generate more than 100 home runs. Cabrera finished second in the batting title race a year ago, and he has shown he is a .340-caliber hitter, who is riding a string of three straight years with more than 110 RBIs. While he delivered 26 home runs a year ago, twice in his young career he has topped the 30-homer mark. Ramirez, who leads off, went deep 17 times as a rookie, and he projects to be more than a 20-homer player.

Achilles' heel: Bullpen woes have plagued the team since the 2003 World Series championship season. There are several talented young arms. Ideally, the club has had success with a veteran to close. We saw that with Armando Benitez (2004), Todd Jones (2005) and Joe Borowski (2006). On Monday, the Marlins landed Jorge Julio from the D-backs to be their closer in 2007.

Top newcomers: What seemed like a minor deal last November may turn out to have a major impact. Acquiring hard-throwers Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens from the Mets for lefties Jason Vargas and Adam Bostick gives the Marlins two relievers capable of closing. Lindstrom is the hardest thrower on the roster. He's already reached 98 mph this spring. Owens throws in the mid-to-upper 90s.
Ready to make The Leap: Jacobs now has a full big-league season under his belt, and equally important, the lefty-hitting first baseman is healthy. An injured right ankle hampered Jacobs' production at the plate and mobility in the field a year ago. Now moving around better, he won't likely be pulled for defensive reasons in the late innings. Jacobs, however, must do a better job against lefty pitchers. He hit .182 with two home runs and 11 RBIs against them a year ago.

On the hot seat: Center fielder Eric Reed has one more option left, and the team may use it should he not seize the starting job. A year ago, Reggie Abercrombie, already sent down to Minor Leagues, received the bulk of the playing time in the first half, but he never got going either at the plate or in the field. Reed is a terrific defender, but his offensive is a big question mark, although he has had a productive spring. He has hit at the Triple-A level, but he doesn't have much power.

You can bank on: Willis throwing 200-plus innings. The past two years the D-Train has ranked among the league leaders in innings pitched. Now 25, and still the ace of the young staff, Willis' primary goal is to eat up innings. Topping the 200-inning plateau means he is getting his 30-plus starts. Willis' ability to eat up innings will be extremely important in preserving the bullpen.

Litmus test: Spring-boarding from a 78-win season to a winning record is the next challenge for this youthful squad and first year manager Fredi Gonzalez. To do so, the starting pitching must hold up. Already, Josh Johnson is expected to miss at least two months because of an irritated nerve in his right biceps. Any more setbacks to the rotation will make it more difficult to achieve a winning record.

Games you don't want to miss

Phillies vs. Marlins, April 6-8: The first home series immediately tests the club against the team many are predicting will win the NL East. Ryan Howard has emerged as a must-see performer.

Indians vs. Marlins, June 12-14: In the 10th anniversary of the Marlins' 1997 World Series championship season, it is fitting that there is an Interleague series with the Indians at Dolphin Stadium. On June 14, the Marlins will wear throwback uniforms to what the team wore in Game 7 of the '97 World Series.

Giants vs. Marlins, Aug. 17-20: Barry Bonds is chasing legendary Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. He projects to be closing in about this time.

http://www.marlinbaseball.com/forums/index...showtopic=71919
 

Ramp

Muckdog
Joined
Aug 21, 2002
Messages
38,437
Reaction score
0
lol that link goes to this thread
 

Flamarlins3

Muckdog
Joined
Mar 11, 2004
Messages
7,717
Reaction score
0
Non-roster invitee Alex Sanchez is believed to be have the inside edge based on his previous Major League experience.


:blink:

Is that a bad joke?
 

poptart

Muckdog
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
5,683
Reaction score
1
yeah, i'm hoping for anyone except Sanchez.
 

BroncoBob27

Muckdog
Joined
Jun 22, 2004
Messages
5,853
Reaction score
0
Non-roster invitee Alex Sanchez is believed to be have the inside edge based on his previous Major League experience.


:blink:

Is that a bad joke?


I keep seeing others write that and say it. But I just do not see how. I predict Reed starting and De Aza getting some playing/work time in AA. But we will find out soon enough.
 

Top Bottom