Justin Ruggiano, who has been starting in left much of the last three weeks in place of veteran Juan Pierre, has become a power-hitting force whenever the Marlins venture away from Marlins Park. In the 72 games he appeared in entering Saturday afternoon's contest, he had hit 12 home runs. Each of them have come on the road.
Fernandez, the hard-throwing right-hander, on Saturday was selected to represent the Miami Marlins at the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field on July 16. It's the latest monumental achievement for the 20-year-old, who has already overcome so many obstacles. His first big league start came against the Mets at Citi Field, and he is eager to head back. "I've been thinking about it, too," Fernandez said. "My first start in the big leagues was in New York. The All-Star Game is going to be there. It's going to be really exciting and really fun to go back there. A lot of memories are going to come back there."
First-year Marlins manager Mike Redmond collected his second ejection on Saturday after disputing an out call at home plate. Redmond protested a bang-bang play at the plate in which Adeiny Hechavarria was called out by umpire Bill Welke in the fourth inning against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. It turned out being crucial in Miami's 5-4 loss to the Cardinals. Hechavarria, who reached on shortstop Daniel Descalso's throwing error, was on third with one out and Nathan Eovaldi at the plate. St. Louis played its infield in, and Eovaldi tapped Joe Kelly's offering to second base. Hechavarria raced home, as Matt Carpenter threw to the plate. Hechavarria didn't have the cleanest slide to the back of the plate, and he was tagged on the back by catcher Tony Cruz. Welke ruled out, and Redmond sprinted from the dugout in protest.
The Marlins announced Thursday that catcher Miguel Olivo has cleared waivers and elected free agency. Olivo, 34, was taken off the restricted list Wednesday and designated him for assignment. Olivo was placed on the restricted list June 15 a day after he left the team after the first inning of a game against the Cardinals at Marlins Park. Olivo was unhappy about his lack of playing time with the Marlins choosing to go more often to a rotation of 23-year old Rob Brantly and 30-year old Jeff Mathis, who had recently returned from the disabled list.
To make room for Henderson Alvarez on the roster and in the team’s starting rotation, the Marlins optioned rookie Tom Koehler to Triple-A New Orleans. Alvarez was expected to make his first start of the season Thursday after returning from the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Koehler had been in the rotation since May 12 and made 10 starts going 1-5 with a 4.70 ERA. In his last start Tuesday, Koehler finished with a no-decision after pitching five innings and allowing three runs (two earned). Marlins manager Mike Redmond said Koehler would continue to start for the time being at New Orleans.
Marlins infielder Donovan Solano finds himself in a different role since returning from a muscle strain near his ribs that sidelined him for two months. The former starting second baseman now finds himself on the bench, studying pitchers, wondering when and if he will get into the game. "It’s very tough," Solano said. "You have to prepare your mind and your body for only one chance, one good swing. You can’t put too much pressure on yourself. "But it’s not my decision. You want to play every day. I’m not, so I’ve prepared myself for any chance, any opportunity. My mind now is getting ready every day for whatever opportunity they give me, whatever time of the game, late in the game, starter, I’ll be ready."
Around The League
View the complete American and National League rosters for the All-Star Game to be held July 16 at Citi Field in New York.
Ben Revere has played over two years in the majors. In over 1,300 plate appearances, he has yet to homer. How far can he take this lack-of-power threat? Will he surpass the all-time records? If he homers tomorrow, maybe that just makes him less interesting.
From now through Thursday at 4 p.m. ET, fans can choose between NL candidates Yasiel Puig, Ian Desmond, Freddie Freeman, Adrian Gonzalez and Hunter Pence and AL candidates Joaquin Benoit, Steve Delabar, David Robertson, Tanner Scheppers and Koji Uehara in the Final Vote.
The Baltimore Orioles, locked in a tight race in the American League East, placed three starters on the American League All-Star team, while the Reds, Cardinals and Nationals have two starters apiece on the National League squad.
At Fish Stripes
The Miami Marlins have been winning plenty of games since the end of May, and it has confused many Marlins fans. What happened this past month-plus and can the Fish keep it going?
The Miami Marlins have a number of relievers who could be traded, but none are as appealing as closer Steve Cishek. But would the Fish give up Cishek while he is still under significant team control, and what would he be worth?