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Minor Leaguers update from Mike Berardino


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Dominguez has surgery

> Posted by Mike Berardino at 11:53:19 AM


Just talked with Marlins scouting and development czar Jim Fleming. Some highlights:


() Class A Greensboro 3B Matt Dominguez, the Marlins' first-rounder in 2007, had arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone chips from his left (non-throwing) elbow. Dominguez, who missed the early part of the year with mononucleosis, was bothered at times by the bone chips during the regular season. When they caused his elbow to lock up on him during the fall minicamp in Jupiter, the decision was made to remove them. The rehab period is 3-4 weeks, after which he can return to baseball activities.


() John Raynor, who just hit for the cycle in the Arizona Fall League, and fellow Mesa Solar Sox Scott Cousins will come to spring camp with a chance to fight for a big-league outfield job. Cousins can play all three outfield spots, while Raynor is better in center and left due to a slightly weaker arm. It's interesting to note Raynor turns 25 on Jan. 4, while Cousins turns 24 on Jan. 22. Both were college players who are more than ready to take the next big step in their development after showing they can handle Double-A.


() Other winter ball thoughts: OF Brett Carroll has decided to play in the Dominican after missing much of the year with a shoulder injury suffered while running into a wall. ... 3B Dallas McPherson is considering a stint in the Dominican but hasn't made up his mind. .... Triple-A C Brett Hayes could wind up playing half a season in the Dominican if the Marlins can secure a job for him. ... OF Alejandro De Aza is "almost ready" in his endless return from ankle surgery. He, too, could win up playing some in his native Dominican Republic. I'll believe that when I see it.


() At the Marlins' request, big LHP Sean West will pitch out of the Mesa rotation while Double-A LHP Aaron Thompson will work out the 'pen. The Marlins are seeking to emulate the old Orioles Way of the '70s and early '80s when they would break in their young pitchers as relievers before easing them into the rotation. The Marlins did exactly this with Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco in 2006. Said Fleming: "We're just trying to provide options for the good arms that we have. At the same time we don't want to hurt them or put them in a situation they haven't handled at the minor-league level." Thompson, a changeup specialist with an average fastball, could break camp as a situational lefty next April.


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