In Thursday's 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, starter Henderon Alvarez slowly made a throw to first base with hopes of retiring Dominic Brown. But after Alvarez's throw pulled first baseman Jeff Baker off of the bag which led to a collision between Brown and Baker, Baker called the throw "foolish."
Baker bruised his right shoulder after he collided with Domonic Brown, who hit a hard comebacker to the mound Alvarez stopped easily but took his sweet time throwing over to the bag for the putout.
"We lucked out he wasn't running as hard or he could have separated my shoulder," said Baker.
Baker was available to pinch hit on Friday night, and came off the bench on Saturday night and delivered a pinch hit RBI single that gave the Marlins a two run advantage. Baker isn't known as an outspoken player, notably because he isn't in the starting lineup on a daily basis.
Infield coach Perry Hill works with Miami's position players in order to get them in the right spot for each opposing hitter. But with Alvarez taking his time to field the slow comebacker, the collision could have been avoided.
With several veterans in the clubhouse, there have been few comments by Marlins players commenting on the work ethic or decision making of a teammate. Baker's belief that such a situation "can't happen" is justified, but it could have been handled in a private manner.
Manager MIke Redmond supported Baker's comments, with hopes of altering the decision making of Alvarez when fielding what should be a simple out.
"I think we got to do a better job fielding the ball and getting rid of it," Redmond said. "It should never come to that -- that that's a close a play. Nobody should get hurt on a comebacker. Henderson obviously understands that and hopefully that will be it."
Since Baker was healthy for the weekend series with Milwaukee, the incident wasn't considered significant. But with Hill at the helm, such an incident shouldn't occur again for the rest of the season.