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Three candidates for center job

Fish4Life

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Notes: Three candidates for center job
Abercrombie, Reed and Sanchez all have shot at starting
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

JUPITER, Fla. -- Settling center field is one of the top priorities of Spring Training. Right now, the Marlins are eyeing three primary candidates to win the job.

Reggie Abercrombie, Eric Reed and Alex Sanchez are getting the longest looks for the starting job. Cody Ross and Joe Borchard are in the mix, but both seem to be viewed as versatile backups who can play all threw outfield spots.

Abercrombie started Tuesday's exhibition against the University of Miami. But manager Fredi Gonzalez says don't read too much into that making Abercrombie the frontrunner.

"Reggie started today because he was there the longest," Gonzalez said. "That was my flip of the coin, or whatever you want to call it. He was up here a full year, that's the only reason he got up there. He has no edge over the other two guys."

Abercrombie spent the entire 2006 season with the Marlins, appearing in 111 games and batting .212 with five home runs and 24 RBIs. He has tremendous athletic ability and is capable of monstrous home runs. However, he has yet to show the plate discipline or instincts in the field to become an everyday player.

Reed is an excellent defensive player who has tremendous speed. But at the plate, he hit .098 (4-for-41) in 42 games a year ago. He spent the majority of the season in Triple-A, batting .303 in 390 at-bats with 20 stolen bases.

Sanchez, a non-roster invitee, is striving to get back into the big leagues. He appeared in 58 Minor League games a year ago, and was last in the Major Leagues with the Giants in 2005.

"I think it's everybody's job to win," Gonzalez said. "I don't think it's anybody to lose it. Everybody is equal in my eyes. I spoke to each of them about it. The plate is clean with Reed and Reggie in my eyes. I haven't seen Sanchez in two years."

Gonzalez says the center field battle could last all the way until Opening Day on April 2 at Washington.

"It could," he said. "That may go down to the wire. I think center field may go down to the wire more than the bullpen."

Closer and setup roles are also up for grabs. Gonzalez has said he would like to establish a closer roughly 10 days before the season begins.

Kevin Gregg is the frontrunner to close. But he will be challenged by Taylor Tankersley, Matt Lindstrom and Henry Owens.

Cabrera-Hermida go deep: Miguel Cabrera and Jeremy Hermida both showcased their power in Tuesday's exhibition against the University of Miami.

Cabrera homered to left field in the third inning, and Hermida added a solo shot in the fourth.

Cabrera didn't think the ball was gone, claiming there was "a lot of wind."

Used as the designated hitter, Cabrera is focusing on being ready for Opening Day.

"I talked to Fredi Gonzalez and he asked me how many at-bats I wanted, and I said as many as I need," Cabrera said. "I want to be ready for the season. I don't want to start slow. I want to be ready."

Cabrera had 86 at-bats playing winter ball in Venezuela.

"That helped me a lot to play in Venezuela," Cabrera said. "So I don't have any excuses to say my bat is slow or I don't feel good right now. I can say, 'I feel good right now.'"

Hermida is trying to get his timing down. He homered in his second plate appearance. He was hit by a pitch the first time up.

"I could have waited a little longer for that one," said Hermida, who was plunked on the back by an offspeed pitch.

Volstad, Hernandez perform: Two of the top pitching prospects turned in scoreless outings on Tuesday.

Volstad, who started, worked 1 2/3 innings, giving up two hits while striking out two. Hernandez needed seven pitches to work through a perfect fourth inning.

Both right-handers are South Florida products. Volstad, from nearby Palm Beach Gardens, left about 15 tickets for family and friends. Hernandez, from Miami, had his father, Gabriel, and a couple of friends on hand.

Volstad is expected to open the season at Class A Jupiter, while Hernandez is likely headed to Double-A Carolina.

Opportunity for Owens: Owens is being given every chance to win a job in the back end of the bullpen. A closer candidate, Owens is a hard-throwing right-hander who came to the Marlins from the Mets in a trade last November.

A Miami native, Owens is a converted catcher whose fastball ranges in the high 90s. He said while throwing winter ball in Puerto Rico he was clocked at 100 mph.

"Obviously, I'm one of the new guys," Owens said. "Nobody here knows me that well. So every single time you go out, you've got to do your thing and show them what you're all about."

Owens attended his first big-league game when he was 14, the Marlins' inaugural 1993 season. What stood out was watching knuckleball pitcher Charlie Hough.

"I still remember Charlie Hough throwing those knuckleballs," Owens said. "Those were so cool. Every pitching coach I have, I say, 'How about teaching me a knuckleball?' They just start laughing."

In his first spring outing, Owens struck out the side in order in the eighth inning.

Fish bites: Owens and Lindstrom each were overpowering in their respective innings against the University of Miami on Tuesday. Owens' fastball topped out at 94 mph, while Lindstrom was clocked as high as 98 mph. ... Anibal Sanchez turned 23 on Tuesday. ... The only tickets remaining for the March 16 game against the Mets, which starts at 7:05 p.m. ET, are standing room only.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
 
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My pick is Reed. He has hit everywhere he's been. Reed can be a poor man's Juan Pierre but can actually steal more bases for a higher percentage. I like Borchard and Ross but they are not starting calibar CFers. Obviously, these 3 players Abercrombie, Sanchez, and Reed have the most upside of any of the starting CF candidates. I like what Fredi is thinking so far!


Day 1-

1) Alex Sanchez- Was limited to pinch running role, therefore just an average game (GRADE: C)

2) Reggie Abercrombie- Misplayed a few balls but went 1-2, double (GRADE: B+)

3) Eric Reed- Had an error but usually has a sure glove. He made up for the E with a 2-3 performance with an RBI and a SB (GRADE: A)
 

TSwift25

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My pick is Reed. He has hit everywhere he's been. Reed can be a poor man's Juan Pierre but can actually steal more bases for a higher percentage. I like Borchard and Ross but they are not starting calibar CFers. Obviously, these 3 players Abercrombie, Sanchez, and Reed have the most upside of any of the starting CF candidates. I like what Fredi is thinking so far!


Day 1-

1) Alex Sanchez- Was limited to pinch running role, therefore just an average game (GRADE: C)

2) Reggie Abercrombie- Misplayed a few balls but went 1-2, double (GRADE: B+)

3) Eric Reed- Had an error but usually has a sure glove. He made up for the E with a 2-3 performance with an RBI and a SB (GRADE: A)

Everywhere except the majors. :thumbup
 

The_Punisher

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I am hoping Reggie's strong work ethic pays off but if it's the same story as last year I'd start Sanchez over both in a minute. I am not too high on Reed, never was, always seemed like a worse version of Ben Grieve to me.
 

Fishfan79

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My pick is Reed. He has hit everywhere he's been. Reed can be a poor man's Juan Pierre but can actually steal more bases for a higher percentage. I like Borchard and Ross but they are not starting calibar CFers. Obviously, these 3 players Abercrombie, Sanchez, and Reed have the most upside of any of the starting CF candidates. I like what Fredi is thinking so far!


Day 1-

1) Alex Sanchez- Was limited to pinch running role, therefore just an average game (GRADE: D)

2) Reggie Abercrombie- Misplayed a few balls but went 1-2, double (GRADE: D+)

3) Eric Reed- Had an error but usually has a sure glove. He made up for the E with a 2-3 performance with an RBI and a SB (GRADE: C)


your ratings were curved for the class before. Lets put them to standard.
 

Ramp

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I am hoping Reggie's strong work ethic pays off but if it's the same story as last year I'd start Sanchez over both in a minute. I am not too high on Reed, never was, always seemed like a worse version of Ben Grieve to me.
except that Ben Grieve actually showed power, to go along with a much better eye
 

Shamrock

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problem with Reed is his contact skills. He doesnt make enough consistent contact to hit with the averages Pierre would usually produce...if he could that's a good stopgap and maybe even an average CF with the defense and speed on the basepaths.
 

marlinsfan75

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My pick is Reed. He has hit everywhere he's been. Reed can be a poor man's Juan Pierre but can actually steal more bases for a higher percentage. I like Borchard and Ross but they are not starting calibar CFers. Obviously, these 3 players Abercrombie, Sanchez, and Reed have the most upside of any of the starting CF candidates. I like what Fredi is thinking so far!


Day 1-

1) Alex Sanchez- Was limited to pinch running role, therefore just an average game (GRADE: C)

2) Reggie Abercrombie- Misplayed a few balls but went 1-2, double (GRADE: B+)

3) Eric Reed- Had an error but usually has a sure glove. He made up for the E with a 2-3 performance with an RBI and a SB (GRADE: A)

Everywhere except the majors. :thumbup
No doubt. Plus he looks like he can use about 15 lbs of muscle. Looks like he has trouble holding the bat. I would take Sanchez without even seeing him in a Fish uniform over Reed.
 
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My pick is Reed. He has hit everywhere he's been. Reed can be a poor man's Juan Pierre but can actually steal more bases for a higher percentage. I like Borchard and Ross but they are not starting calibar CFers. Obviously, these 3 players Abercrombie, Sanchez, and Reed have the most upside of any of the starting CF candidates. I like what Fredi is thinking so far!


Day 1-

1) Alex Sanchez- Was limited to pinch running role, therefore just an average game (GRADE: D)

2) Reggie Abercrombie- Misplayed a few balls but went 1-2, double (GRADE: D+)

3) Eric Reed- Had an error but usually has a sure glove. He made up for the E with a 2-3 performance with an RBI and a SB (GRADE: C)


your ratings were curved for the class before. Lets put them to standard.


Maybe they were curved towards last year's pathetic platoon however, 2-3, RBI, SB is a great day for anyone. I hope he'll keep it up.
 

Ramp

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yesterday's numbers don't matter, considering it was off college pitching
 

catchoftheday

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My pick is Reed. He has hit everywhere he's been. Reed can be a poor man's Juan Pierre but can actually steal more bases for a higher percentage. I like Borchard and Ross but they are not starting calibar CFers. Obviously, these 3 players Abercrombie, Sanchez, and Reed have the most upside of any of the starting CF candidates. I like what Fredi is thinking so far!


Day 1-

1) Alex Sanchez- Was limited to pinch running role, therefore just an average game (GRADE: D)

2) Reggie Abercrombie- Misplayed a few balls but went 1-2, double (GRADE: D+)

3) Eric Reed- Had an error but usually has a sure glove. He made up for the E with a 2-3 performance with an RBI and a SB (GRADE: C)


your ratings were curved for the class before. Lets put them to standard.

phew

thank you
 

Hotcorner

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disappointing that this was the biggest hole last season and it's no closer to being filled.
 

Iowa

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I just threw up in my mouth

That makes twice in one night.




But seriously.. how can Fredi eliminate the best two power hitters and also someone who did a commendable job in his first season as a CF? I mean, if youre going with Reed, its obviously for defense.. and if youre going for Sanchez, its obviously for average.. and if youre going with Reggie, youre retarded.. so whats the standard? I guess I just dont understand the mindset that Borchard/Ross/Amezaga have no chance to get it this early in ST. I can see Amezaga not getting it so he can fill his role as UT but why not give Borchard/Ross the chance?
 

Ramp

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why not give Borchard/Ross the chance?
yep... it's unfortunate they won't be given a legit chance..

that being said, I hope Reggie wins the job. If he can somehow manage .250, we'll all take the 15+ homers and 15+ stolen bases from the 8th spot
 

PBCMarlinsFan

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why not give Borchard/Ross the chance?
yep... it's unfortunate they won't be given a legit chance..

that being said, I hope Reggie wins the job. If he can somehow manage .250, we'll all take the 15+ homers and 15+ stolen bases from the 8th spot

Thats a big if. And 15+ homers is a stretch. But we would definitely be taking 15+ misplayed balls in CF if he wins the job.
 

BroncoBob27

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Wow, talk about choosing the lessest of three evils.


If all you are going to do is slam, at "lessest" do it correctly. The word is "least."
 

Bucklin12

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In reply to the Orlando Magic signature... Vince won't be coming to Orlando, we won't pay for him. We would've already done it. And besides wouldn't we rather have Rashard Lewis for half the price, so we can have a big, tall, effective, and younger shooting guard.

I know this isn't a Magic board, and no one probably cares...

PG Jameer Nelson
SG Rashard Lewis
SF Trevor Ariza
PF Dwight Howard
C Darko Milicic

Beautiful
 

Ramp

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why not give Borchard/Ross the chance?
yep... it's unfortunate they won't be given a legit chance..

that being said, I hope Reggie wins the job. If he can somehow manage .250, we'll all take the 15+ homers and 15+ stolen bases from the 8th spot

Thats a big if. And 15+ homers is a stretch. But we would definitely be taking 15+ misplayed balls in CF if he wins the job.
IF, and I realize that's a huge if, Reggie gets 450abs and hits .250, there is no doubt in my mind that he would hit 15 homers or more.
 

prinmemito

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In reply to the Orlando Magic signature... Vince won't be coming to Orlando, we won't pay for him. We would've already done it. And besides wouldn't we rather have Rashard Lewis for half the price, so we can have a big, tall, effective, and younger shooting guard.

I know this isn't a Magic board, and no one probably cares...

PG Jameer Nelson
SG Rashard Lewis
SF Trevor Ariza
PF Dwight Howard
C Darko Milicic

Beautiful

Huh? Why didn't you just send him a PM? Doesn't make sense to post about the Magic and Vince Carter in a thread about the three candidates for Marlins CF.
 

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