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Allison to Start For Greensboro Tonight


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Allison: long-awaited start




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Jeff Allison, the Marlins' top pick in the 2003 amateur draft, is scheduled to pitch for the first time in nearly two years tonight when he starts for the Marlins' Single A team in Greensboro (N.C.) against Delmarva (Del.), the Baltimore Orioles' South Atlantic League affiliate.


Allison, who pitched nine innings in the Gulf Coast League before being sidelined with shoulder tendinitis two months after the draft, has been on the Marlins' inactive list for more than a year while he dealt with a number of personal issues, including an addiction to the prescription painkiller OxyContin.


Allison, 20, was Baseball America's High School Player of the Year as a senior at Peabody (Mass.) High, where he went 9-0 and did not allow an earned run in 64 innings, striking out 142.


In coming off the inactive list, Allison will fill the spot in the Greensboro rotation vacated by left-hander Jason Vargas, the Marlins' No. 2 pick last year.


Vargas was promoted this week to the organization's Florida State League team in Jupiter after going 4-1 with an 0.80 ERA in five starts for the Grasshoppers.




Jeff Conine is one of 11 players featured on the recently released CD Oh Say Can You Sing, in which players perform original songs or covers of hits by their favorite artists with the proceeds going to charity.


Conine's contribution is his version of the Stone Temple Pilots' hit Plush, which he recorded, karaoke-style, in a makeshift studio set up in the memorabilia room of his Weston home in January.


''I went through a lot of songs before I found one I could sing. I have a very limited range,'' Conine said. ``I wanted to do Metallica, but I couldn't [sing] it.''


Others performers include Tampa Bay's Aubrey Huff, Cincinnati's Sean Casey and the Dodgers' Kelly Wunsch. Cleveland's Coco Crisp and the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins, who do rap songs, are the only players who actually wrote the lyrics they perform.


The CD, which was released Sunday, can be ordered online at www.good sportsrecordings.com or purchased at selected Borders Books and Music.


Conine, whose tireless charity work earned him the Marlins' nomination for baseball's Roberto Clemente Award last year, will donate his CD earnings to the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood.




Marlins manager Jack McKeon sat in the dugout before Wednesday's game and watched images of his team taking batting practice on the Braves' new $12 million center field scoreboard, at eight stories tall the world's largest high-definition television screen.


''I like it,'' McKeon said as a 60-foot-high Carlos Delgado took his cuts. ``It makes the players look bigger.''


? The Marlins, tied for second in the majors with 29 double plays before Wednesday's games, turned three more against the Braves to give them 32 in 25 games.

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Here's what friend had to say about Vargas and Allison...


"I was surprised the Marlins started Vargas off in the South Atlantic League this season, but at least his stay was a short one. Vargas is a bulldog on the mound. He goes right after hitters with a low-90s fastball, a good slider, and a solid change-up. He's pretty fearless.


The Marlins have some nice arms in their system right now in Vargas, Allison, Scott Olsen, Josh Johnson, Logan Kensing, Yorman Bazardo, Taylor Tankersley, Rick Vanden Hurk, Adam Bostick, Ronald Belisario, and Allen Baxter. Allison is the big, big, big X-factor. I think he has the talent to be the Marlins' best pitching prospect, which is saying a lot when you consider how well Scott Olsen and Josh Johnson are pitching at Double-A."


that last part is a mouth full

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Allison struggling a bit already 2-0 Delmarva, 2 outs none on. 1st inning.




i just want to see improvement from one start to another.


exactly, I'm not expecting much from Allison, it's going to take him a while to get back to his old self, if he ever does.

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Just got back from the game


After the first inning I thought it was going to be a completely disastrous start. He was hanging his curve and his fastball had no movement whatsoever on it.


Being his first start I would definitely call it successful. He surprisingly had pretty good control. Probably left a lot more over the plate than he wanted to. Were a ton of hard hit balls that just didn't find holes. He fastball topped out at 92 in the second, but was mostly 89-90 mph fastball. Had a pretty good changeup workin towards the end too. He settled a bunch. That third run should have never scored. Outfielder missed a pretty easy diving catch then the SS had a liner about head high and it popped out of his glove. His fastball had a little bit of movement on it as the game went on. He still hung a bunch of curves though. The team was sittin on them.


There were a lot scouts there. I counted 14 radar guns all around me. (sat 2nd row right behind homeplate)


Obviously there were a couple Marlin guys and an Oriole scout. The other teams that were there were the Reds, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers. They were there to see Allison obviously because they stopped really doing anything after he went out.


Oh yeah Grasshoppers won with a 6 run 7th inning. Final score 7-6. Grasshoppers only had 4 hits :plain. Game was basically handed over.

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Zero walks means (at least to me) it's just a matter of getting the arm strength back, and getting back into the flow of the game situations...I, like others here, think that just having Jeff pitching again is a huge plus. I'm pleasantly surprised that in his first game back he was able to go for 5 solid innings.

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