ESPN The Magazine’s annual "The Body" issue dated July 12 will be out next week, and word has leaked that this year’s parade of nudies will include Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, among an eclectic array of athletes also including 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, tennis star Agnieszka Radwanska and a man I’d pay big money to not see naked, 77-year-old golfer Gary Player.
With the Miami Marlins seemingly closing in on a trade for long time starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco, I urge you not to discount any prospect that the Marlins get in return. With all the negativity always surrounding the team, something that has gone under the radar as of late has been President Larry Beinfest and GM Michael Hill’s ability to sneak in a throw in prospect that has a chance to make a potential impact on the Marlins roster in the down the road.
Sad news out of Pinellas County, where former Marlins reliever Justin Miller was found dead near his home in Palm Harbor. The cause of death is unknown. Miller, 35, appeared in 108 games for the Marlins in 2007 and '08, going 9-2 with a 3.90 ERA. He last pitched in the majors in 2010 with the Dodgers. In seven major league seasons, Miller went 24-14 with a 4.82 ERA.
Outfielder Alfredo Silverio, the Marlins' top Rule 5 draft pick in December, on Wednesday underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow for the second time in 14 months, according to Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest. The latest setback for Silverio places his future with the Marlins in doubt. It's possible the Marlins will return Silverio to the Dodgers. "I don't know what we're going to do," Beinfest said.
It is taking until July for the Marlins' rotation to shape up the way the club anticipated at the end of Spring Training. Manager Mike Redmond said Saturday afternoon that Henderson Alvarez, who has been on the disabled list all season, would join the rotation during next week's road trip. Alvarez, recovering from right shoulder inflammation, threw his last rehab assignment start Friday night. The Venezuela native threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits while striking out seven for Double-A Jacksonville in a win over Mobile.
As July approaches, trade talk escalates. Who may be staying or going are hot topics, and the business of the game comes into play. With the Marlins restructuring and not currently in contention, they are being closely monitored on the trade front. Right now, Ricky Nolasco is the most prominent Miami name being dangled. He could be moved before his next scheduled start, which would be Wednesday at Atlanta. Henderson Alvarez, on the 60-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, is primed to be reinstated and is lined up to pitch Wednesday as well.
This year the organization is recognizing the 20th anniversary of the franchise, as well as 10 years since winning the World Series. Past players were at Marlins Park on Sunday to commemorate the anniversary. The giveaway before Miami faced the Padres in Game 3 of a four-game set was a Juan Pierre bobblehead. Pierre was a key part of the '03 World Series title team. He is now a veteran presence on this year's youthful club. "It's been great," Pierre said of the history of the franchise. "They have two World Series in 20 years. Stuff happened quickly. They did it two ways. They had a lot of high-priced guys the first time. The second one, a bunch of misfits won it. I think it's a good organization."
Charles Johnson, a former All-Star and Gold Glove-winning catcher with the Marlins, was once a teammate of Redmond. Johnson, a member of the Marlins' 1997 World Series title team, was at Marlins Park on Sunday to take part in honoring the 20th anniversary of the organization. With a young roster this year, the Marlins got off to a rough first two months, and they still have the worst record in the Majors. However, the team enjoyed a winning month of June while showing signs of improvement. "It was a rough start definitely to the season," said Johnson, who makes his home in Plantation, Fla. "But I've got a lot of confidence in Redmond. Playing with Redmond for a lot of years, and knowing the kind of character that this guy has. I'm sure he is hanging tough with them. I'm pretty sure that Redmond is going to do very well."
Around The League
When Hall of Famer George Brett took over as the Royals' interim hitting coach, he said he'd give it a try for at least a month and then talk it over with general manager Dayton Moore. Well, Sunday was the one-month anniversary of that day.
Teams, organizations, teammates, even the prospects themselves have been busy talking about the Futures Finalists vote, as, for the first time, fans are determining the final player on both the U.S. and World team rosters by casting their votes in the online ballot.
At Fish Stripes
Ricky Nolasco has been the subject of many trade rumors in the last few days, but has he really improved? Has a shift on the mound helped him rebound as a pitcher? Let's take a look at his Pitch F/X scouting report for this season.
Despite spending ten years in the minor leagues, Miami Marlins utility infielder Ed Lucas is making the best of the opportunity the Marlins have given him. Lucas’ presence has led to Giancarlo Stanton seeing better pitches to hit.
Henderson Alvarez dominated in his fourth rehab start, striking out seven batters. Newly signed Marlins draft picks K.J. Woods and Iramis Olivencia helped power the GCL Marlins to a convincing win.
SB Nation and Jeep know that baseball can be a dirty job, so they sent one of the best of the business to get his hands dirty at all of the major ballparks. Hall of Famer Wade Boggs first tackles the aquarium at Marlins Park!
In three starts, Ricky Nolasco shows ace quality and bumpy pitching. The Marlins pitchers have been uncharacteristically stingy recently.