Jump to content

Notes: Redmond makes first start

Recommended Posts

Notes: Redmond makes first start

Catching duties to be split unless someone gets hot

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com




MIAMI -- Until someone wins the job outright, the Marlins will juggle playing time behind the plate.

After backing up Ramon Castro the first two games, Mike Redmond makes his first start on Thursday against the Expos.


Castro is off to a 1-for-6 start, striking out three times and drawing a walk in Wednesday's 3-2 loss. In the ninth inning, the Puerto Rican native blasted a long foul that missed tying the gane up by several feet.


Expos closer Rocky Biddle regrouped and struck Castro out looking.


But early performance isn't the reason Redmond is starting.


"I've got to keep Red fresh," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said.


Most likely, the job will be split pretty evenly unless someone gets hot. And throughout the course of the season, both could be used in the same game more often than the Marlins did last year.


"He knows I'm ready to go," says Redmond, a consummate team player. "Jack knows he will never hear me complain about playing time."


In Tuesday's opener, after Castro singled in the seventh inning and went to second on Alex Gonzalez's single, the Marlins used a pinch-runner. Damion Easley ran for Castro, and Redmond filled in the final two innings.


Redmond came through in the eighth inning with an RBI single that proved to be the winning run in a 4-3 game.


Pinch-running for the catcher last year wasn't an option because Ivan Rodriguez has good speed.


McKeon said in the late innings of a close game, the team will do what it takes to get the run home.


Perhaps the slowest runner on the team, Redmond has never stolen a base in his five-year career. He thought he had his first on Tuesday, but defensive indifference was called because the Expos didn't hold him on in the eighth inning. And while no throw to second was made by Montreal's Brian Schneider, second baseman Jose Vidro covered second.


The Expos weren't holding Redmond on, but first baseman Brad Wilkerson wasn't completely behind the bag either.


McKeon disagreed with the official scorer's ruling, saying with the Marlins up 4-2 at the time, the Expos didn't want a runner in scoring position. But afterwards, McKeon had a good laugh with Redmond.


When McKeon saw Redmond, he quipped: "How you doing, Lou Brock?"


Bump getting on track: In crunch time, Nate Bump wants the ball. But the right-hander realizes he has to earn it with consistency.


Bump is being counted on as a right-handed reliever in the late innings.


He had a solid first appearance on Wednesday, inducing Tony Batista to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play to get out of the ninth inning after the Expos had runners on first and second.


Bump is working on getting better command of his two-seam sinking fastball.


"I've been inconsistent as far as movement," he said. "I was not getting that good down movement I normally have."


His sinker got him to the Major Leagues and it is crucial for him to get ground balls.


Gonzalez getting closer: After a tough 0-for-4 Wednesday with three ripped line drives that resulted into outs, Alex Gonzalez was given a little bit of advice from hitting coach Bill Robinson.


"Don't change a thing," Robinson told the Marlins shortstop. "Sometimes when a guy has tough luck, he may try to tweak something."


Robinson has worked with Gonzalez on adjusting his stance and approach.


"He was swinging at too many bad pitches," Robinson said of Gonzalez's previous struggles.


Prayers answered: A devout Catholic who goes to church every day, McKeon once again carries a small case of religious emblems in his back pocket during games.


In a small plastic case are St. Teresa rosary beads, a crucifix and a "baseball angel."


"It worked for us last year, so I'm bringing it back," McKeon said.


Choi to rest Friday: With the Marlins scheduled to face Phillies left-hander Eric Milton on Friday, McKeon is deciding to give left-handed first baseman Hee Seop Choi his first off day.


McKeon wants to keep his bench sharp so Wil Cordero will likely start.


Ideally, McKeon likes to give bench players two straight days of playing. That could be possible with Cordero in the series with the Phillies. The veteran Cordero is expected to start Friday and on Saturday he could be in the lineup in the outfield.


Over the weekend, McKeon says he likely will start Damion Easley one game at second base to give Luis Castillo a day off. And outfielder Abraham Nunez may get a start in the series with the Phillies.



Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...