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Article about JJ and update on Hermida.


Hollyberry
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PHILADELPHIA -- As a standout pitching for Double-A Carolina last year, Marlins right-hander Josh Johnson impressed a number of scouts when his fastball was topping out at 94 mph.

 

For much of Spring Training and early into the season, Johnson's fastball was in the 91 mph range. In his last outing, three innings of relief at Philadelphia, Johnson again was touching 94.

 

More than the velocity, Johnson was getting results, seemingly easy outs. The Oklahoma native didn't allow a run or hit in that April 18 stint against the Reds.

 

A key pitch for Johnson is spotting his two-seamer down and in on right-handed hitters and down and away on lefties.

 

"Everything else will come off that," Johnson said.

 

A talented 22-year-old, Johnson currently is throwing relief. In his first five games, he is 1-1 with a 1.04 ERA, allowing one earned run in 8 2/3 innings.

 

"J.J. seems to be the guy that when he pitches, we win," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's always down in the zone."

 

Johnson provides some versatility. A starter throughout his Minor League career, Johnson is being used as a long or setup reliever.

 

Because of his size, he still projects to be a starter capable of logging 200 innings. But he pretty much could handle any pitching role. If needed, he also could be groomed to be a closer.

 

"He's a nice guy to have," Girardi said. "He can do a lot of things."

 

Uggla steals home: When he crossed the plate, Dan Uggla had no idea he actually was awarded a stolen base. It turned into another first for the rookie second baseman.

 

On Friday night, Uggla indeed swiped home as part of a double steal. With runners on the corners in the sixth inning, Miguel Cabrera broke for second on a full-count pitch to Josh Willingham. Willingham swung and missed, and Sal Fasano made a high throw to second.

 

Seeing the ball headed to second, Uggla sprinted home and scored standing up. In his first 15 big-league games, Uggla experienced his first hit, first home run and now his first stolen base.

 

The last time someone's first big-league steal was of home came on Sept. 27, 2001. Corky Miller of the Reds did it that day.

 

Uggla is the first Marlin to steal home since Juan Pierre on July 23, 2004, at Montreal. Pierre raced home as part of a double steal with Luis Castillo.

 

Hermida improving: Right fielder Jeremy Hermida is making steady progress and the rookie did some running in the stadium tunnel on Saturday.

 

Eligible to come off the disabled list on April 27 (which is an off-day), Hermida is hampered by a right hip flexor problem.

 

Hermida has been taking batting practice the past few days, and on Friday, he did some agility drills. The 22-year-old last played on April 11. He expects to be ready when his DL stint ends, which means he could be in the lineup as soon as April 28 at home against the Rockies.

 

Fish bites: Saturday's rainout hasn't altered who will pitch Tuesday and Wednesday in Chicago. Dontrelle Willis remains in line to face the Cubs on Tuesday and Scott Olsen is slated for Wednesday, the final day of the road trip. Monday's starter has not be determined. It could be Brian Moehler, initially slated to go Monday, or Jason Vargas, who was in line to throw Sunday in Philadelphia. ... Despite Saturday's rain, Willis threw a bullpen session indoors at the stadium. ... About half the team was at Citizens Bank Park when Saturday's game was called. A number of them hit in the cages, while some pitchers tossed a few minutes on the field. On deck: Sunday concludes a soggy first trip to Philadelphia this season. The same pitching matchup that was set to go Saturday will go on Sunday. Sergio Mitre gets the call for Florida, while the Phillies counter with Brett Myers in the 1:35 p.m. ET contest.

 

 

 

Oh I forgot to mention. Its from Floridamarlins.com. I know some people are going to ask :mischief .

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