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Marlins looking at Shannon Stewart, Sanchez/Johnson talk


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Posted on Tue, Jan. 30, 2007

Pitchers Sanchez, Johnson slowed by sore arms

BY CLARK SPENCER

cspencer@MiamiHerald.com

WAIT AND SEE: Josh Johnson, 12-7 in his rookie season, has shut down his throwing program after experiencing pain in his lower biceps.

JOE RIMKUS JR. / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

WAIT AND SEE: Josh Johnson, 12-7 in his rookie season, has shut down his throwing program after experiencing pain in his lower biceps.

 

JUPITER - noweb

 

Two of the five members of the Marlins' starting rotation, right-handers Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez, are dealing with throwing arm injuries that could put a crimp in their spring training plans.

 

Though the injuries aren't considered serious, there is a good chance neither will be prepared to throw off a mound when camp opens Feb. 17.

 

Sanchez, who compiled a 10-3 record and no-hit Arizona after making his major-league debut in late June, had an MRI on his right shoulder earlier this month after complaining of discomfort.

 

The tests revealed no structural damage, and Sanchez threw soft toss on Monday at Roger Dean Stadium, the team's spring training facility, where he was one of several players to show up for voluntary workouts.

 

''Right now I don't feel nothing,'' Sanchez said. ``I'm going to be better soon.''

 

Johnson, who went 12-7 last year in his rookie season, has shut down his throwing program after experiencing pain in his lower biceps, near his right elbow. But the Marlins didn't think it serious enough to order an MRI, and he is optimistic he will be able to resume throwing in the not-too-distant future.

 

''I might be a little behind. We'll see,'' Johnson said. ``It depends on how fast this goes away. They [the training staff] say it's tough to tell.''

 

Johnson said he doesn't think the injury, which he first felt about a week ago, is related to the strained right forearm he sustained after returning from a lengthy rain delay against the Mets on Sept. 12. He didn't pitch again the rest of the season.

 

''I think I've just got to wait,'' Johnson said. ``My shoulder and everything else is ready to go.''

 

Johnson and Sanchez each have grown beards, which would have been a violation under former manager Joe Girardi's edict on facial hair. Johnson said he was thinking about maintaining it.

 

New manager Fredi Gonzalez said he will not prohibit beards or mustaches.

 

But first baseman Mike Jacobs, one of the few position players on hand for the informal workouts Monday, said he had no intention of growing either.

 

''I can't even grow facial hair now if I tried. What are you talking about?'' Jacobs said. ``Are you kidding me? No chance.''

 

THIS AND THAT

 

? The Marlins were one of several teams on hand to watch outfielder Shannon Stewart provide a private workout Friday at Miami-Dade Community College.

 

Stewart, who turns 33 next month, could be considered an option to play center field. But he has played just 98 games at the position during a career that began with Toronto in 1995, none since 2000. And he has been plagued by ailments in both feet in recent years.

 

A career .299 hitter with 102 home runs, Stewart was limited to 44 games last season with the Minnesota Twins. He also was being scouted by the Mariners, A's, Rangers, Angels, Reds, Padres and White Sox.

 

? In addition to Johnson, Sanchez and Jacobs, others of note working out Monday in Jupiter included left-handed reliever Taylor Tankersley and center fielder Eric Reed

 

All in all, not bad news, would be nicer if JJ were further along since he doesn't need an MRI, but it is what it is, and hopefully, it will all be over soon.

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I wouldn't mind him as the fourth outfielder even if that means Ross and Borchard are both dealt/released which wouldn't be my first choice. My assumption is that Sanchez is somewhere in the mix. Of course I'm assuming Stewart showed the Fish enough to interest them in him and medically there's evidence he can in fact play regularly.

 

We could have Willingham, Mr. X, Hermida, Stewart and Sanchez as our five outfielders. Not a bad grouping.

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Geez, quite a bit of optimism here for someone who's more injury prone than Williams AND has played a TOTAL of 98 games in CF in his CAREER!!!! Plus, his injuries have consisted of problems with his feet. Where's everybody who was ragging on Bernie for not being able to cover CF in Dolphins Park? Heck, Stewart probably doesn't even know where CF is located. The last time he played CF was 6 years ago!!! I think it is absolutely BIZARRE that there are so many more people being open-minded to him playing CF than there were for Bernie or Erstad!!

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Personally, I think there is a huge "IF" there as far as Stewart's ability to play a significant portion of a 162 game season and still have something left (again) if the Marlins were in the playoffs. Frankly, I rather doubt it, but were it to come to pass, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

 

I do think however, playing Stewart everyday in CF is out of the question. But I think the same is true of Bernie.

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Very positive news on Anibal and JJ... They need to take it easy with these guys, but I anticipate they will.... As for Stewart, if the Marlins see something in him great, if not, then I won't lose any sleep over it. But I'm really hoping they do something, cause all the guys battling for the CF job belong on our bench. Nothing against them, but guys like Ross, Borchard, and Amezaga would make our bench very strong.... But like I've said before, if nothing is done, I want to see Cody out there.

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