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Marlins interested in Bobby Higginson?


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Notes: Pierre's return still up in air

McKeon hopeful speedster will be ready for Opening Day

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com?

 

Juan Pierre has appeared in just five Spring Training games due to his strained right calf that he suffered on March 7.

 

JUPITER, Fla. -- Pinpointing when Juan Pierre will return to the Marlins' lineup remains a guess. But manager Jack McKeon said Friday he wouldn't be surprised if the speedy center fielder is ready for Opening Day.

Out since March 7 with a right calf strain, Pierre had an MRI taken on Tuesday. The results were encouraging as they didn't reveal any significant damage or muscle tear.

 

"Knowing him, I would be willing to bet he'd be ready," McKeon said.

 

Initially, the Marlins were hopeful to have Pierre back on Friday, when they faced the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium. But Pierre isn't ready to push the calf by running full speed, so it is doubtful he will play in a Grapefruit League game before Tuesday, at the earliest.

 

McKeon ruled out a possible return before Tuesday.

 

The Marlins open on April 5 against the Braves at Dolphins Stadium.

 

Pierre, who hit .326 last year and led the National League with 221 hits, was the only player in either league to see action in every inning of every game.

 

Pierre has stopped talking to reporters about his injury, and he rested on Wednesday and Thursday.

 

He has taken batting practice and shagged fly balls in the outfield. He's just not ready yet to go full speed.

 

More roster moves: Two of the organization's top prospects were sent down to minor league camp on Friday. Neither was surprised, and both are looked upon as having bright big league futures.

 

Outfielder Jeremy Hermida, the top-rated prospect in the system, and shortstop Robert Andino were among the seven players reassigned to minor league camp.

 

Also sent down are infielder Admin Barnes, outfielder Mike Colangelo, catcher Ryan Jorgensen and pitchers Bryan Corey and Frank Castillo.

 

Hermida and Andino were the first- and second-round picks in the 2002 draft. Hermida, a lefty-hitting right fielder, will open the season at Double-A. Andino, a slick-fielding shortstop, may open in Class A Jupiter, but he also could go to Double-A.

 

"The whole experience was like a dream come true," said Hermida, recently named the 18th-best prospect in the league by Baseball America. "I got the chance to play with Carlos Delgado and Mike Lowell. That experience is going to help me for this season."

 

Hermida and Andino both were surprised they saw as much action in Grapefruit League games as they did.

 

In 16 games, Hermida had 37 at-bats. His average was .189 with three doubles and an RBI.

 

"I got a lot more at-bats than I thought," he said.

 

Some of the lessons he learned from talking with stars like Lowell and Delgado is how pitchers try to get batters out. "There is more precision at the big league level, and it is more of a mental game," he said.

 

"I wasn't expecting to stay up this long," said Andino, who hit .200 in 20 at-bats. "This has been a fun experience."

 

Riedling throws: After throwing a 15-minute bullpen session on Friday, John Riedling remains upbeat about being healthy for Opening Day.

 

Bothered by a teres minor strain to the lower part of his right shoulder, Riedling has not pitched since March 15 against the Yankees in Tampa. Riedling threw off the mound Friday for the first time since that game.

 

The right-hander, who is expected to be a significant addition to the bullpen, will long toss on Saturday and he is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game on Sunday.

 

"I had no pain," Riedling said of his throwing session Friday. "I'm trying to get back into form."

 

Players Association meeting: For about two hours Friday afternoon, the Marlins met with MLB Players Association Executive Director Donald Fehr.

 

The hot-button steroid issue, and a briefing on the recent hearings with Congress, were among the topics being discussed.

 

Fehr didn't get into specifics on what was discussed with the players, but he briefed the Marlins on feedback from Congress.

 

"I can't say anything more except that we've begun the process of acquainting the players with the views of the committee, and we're consulting with them," Fehr said.

 

Also brought to light is the fact current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and management expires after the 2006 season.

 

Able to avoid a work stoppage in 2002, Fehr acknowledges that both sides have grown closer in recent years.

 

"We've had developing relationships with Major League Baseball over the last several years, and we were able to avoid a stoppage last time," he said. "We're doing more things together, and our offices are in much more frequent contact than they were eight or 12 years ago. Maybe that will help us next time. Whether it's the international stuff or planning for a World Cup, some of the Internet stuff. We hope that that will help us next time. ... Hopeful is not a word I'm used to, but I would like to believe we will have a successful negotiation. But you never know until you get there."

 

Interest in Higginson? According to a league source, the Marlins have shown interest in Tigers outfielder Bobby Higginson, a left-handed hitter who is battling for a roster spot.

 

Before the Marlins faced the Mets on Friday night at Roger Dean Stadium, the Tigers took on the Cardinals in Jupiter.

 

The Tigers' outfield includes Magglio Ordonez, Rondell White and either Craig Monroe or Nook Logan. Marcus Thames appears slated as the fifth outfielder.

 

Higginson would provide the Marlins with depth and a lefty bat off the bench.

 

Coming up: Josh Beckett, the Opening Day starter, makes his fifth spring start Saturday when the Orioles visit Roger Dean Stadium. Dominant throughout the Grapefruit League schedule, Beckett has an ERA of 0.96, yielding three runs (two earned) in 18 2/3 innings. Beckett has struck out 18, while walking 5.

 

 

 

http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/...t=.jsp&c_id=fla

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Guest Juanky

Why would we want this? Enc isn't going anywhere, Aguila is also here, and with Niner that's 3 guys who can aid to fill Pierre's void while he's gone. Stick either Enc or Aguila in center, and Niner in right (or Aguila if you so choose) and you have a covered OF. Hell Enc's range in Center isn't that much less than Juanpy's believe it or not, and he'll give the Fish a solid arm from there. It's not worth trading for someone absolutely unnecessary, also considering the regular CF will be back soon.

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I would guess that Higginson would only be an option if Encarnacion was dealt and the Tigers pay the majority of his contract. I can see what the thinking would be. Having a lefty/righty right field platoon with Higginson and Conine wouldn't be a bad thing.

 

But can Higginson play center? Unless Aguila makes the team, we would not have a capable backup CF if Encarnacion is dealt.

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Why would we want this? Enc isn't going anywhere, Aguila is also here, and with Niner that's 3 guys who can aid to fill Pierre's void while he's gone. Stick either Enc or Aguila in center, and Niner in right (or Aguila if you so choose) and you have a covered OF. Hell Enc's range in Center isn't that much less than Juanpy's believe it or not, and he'll give the Fish a solid arm from there. It's not worth trading for someone absolutely unnecessary, also considering the regular CF will be back soon.

720903[/snapback]

 

Juanky is absolutely right.

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Enc caught a ball in deep center last night with a runner on 2nd. The throw he made was damn surprising, and just about got the runner as he advanced to 3rd. JP would have only been able to throw the ball into 2nd from that spot.

720969[/snapback]

....on a bounce

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