With the Miami Marlins scheduled to have its first full-squad workout at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter in just over a month, outfielder Logan Morrison said on Saturday that he is yet to hit, run, or throw.
"I'm not going to be able to run until the middle of February," Morrison said. "It'll take a week into spring training, then it will be a progression to lead up to bases at some point. I don't know when that will be."
Morrison has been plagued by a knee injury since 2011. In December of that year, Morrison had debridement surgery and hoped to make a strong comeback. Shortly after that surgery, though, Morrison said that his knee didn't feel right, leading to a second stint on the disabled list in 2012. In September, he underwent a more extensive procedure, which he was told would keep him out for four to six months.
"I knew it was going to be a while," Morrison said. "As far as knowing exactly when I'll be ready, I don't think anybody knows...I'm optimistic in the fact it doesn't hurt like it did last year. There's no pain like there was last year. There's no aching like there was last year."
Although he is not in pain, there must be some concern within the Marlins' front office. Morrison was expected to make the move from left field to first base, his primary position, in 2013.
Despite the fact that Morrison might be out to begin the season, Miami has several internal candidates that could temporarily play the position. Kevin Kouzmanoff and Joe Mahoney, who was acquired off of waivers from Baltimore, could play first, assuming they make the team.
Carlos Lee, who the Marlins traded for prior to the trade deadline last season, is a free agent possibility. Lee is a veteran, something this young Marlins team lacks, and is a consistent hitter that has had success against left-handed pitching.
Greg Dobbs could play first while Morrison rehabs, though if Lee was re-signed and plays first, he could be a pinch-hitter and a candidate to enter during a double switch, as Morrison won't likely be playing all nine innings upon returning.
As for Morrison, his focus continues to be getting healthy.
"I'll start that as soon as they let me," Morrison said. "That will be a progression as well. That won't hold me back from starting the season though...There's always that, ‘Am I ever going to be the same' type deal in the back of my mind. It's a little scary, but at the same time I'm doing everything I can to help it out and if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. At least I know I went all out."
- Though Miami had five of the first 44 picks in the 2005 draft, none of the Marlins' picks is still in the organization. Left-handed pitcher Sean West, who made his major league debut with the Marlins in 2009, was declared a minor league free agent and was signed by the Washington Nationals last week.
- Giancarlo Stanton announced late last week that he is going to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. When asked in September is he would ever consider playing in the classic, Stanton responded "absolutely". "You never know how long a career can be, and you want to get that experience," Stanton added. "You never know how your health will be. In three years, something could go wrong. I'm able to do it now, and have no reason not to."
- Nathan Eovaldi, whom the Marlins acquired in the Hanley Ramirez-Randy Choate trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, is excited to have the opportunity to pitch for the Marlins in 2013. "The whole experience last year helped a lot, getting all that experience under my belt," Eovaldi said Saturday afternoon. "Just being able to compete at the big league level for almost a year was huge for me."
- The Marlins announced on Friday that the first day of Spring Training will be February 12. February 11 was the initial date. Miami will play 32 exhibition games in Spring Training, with the first coming against the Cardinals on February 23.
- During a Q&A with Milb.com, prospect Jose Fernandez, who if he continues to progress could make his major league debut at some point in 2013, said that although the traveling was a bit hard, he was satisfied with his 2012 performance. My year was great. Hopefully I can do it again. The first full year, there were a lot of expectations. A lot of people say, "Oh, this was good, this wasn't good." But it's fun, just pitching every fifth day. It's good work, and trying to get better every time out is fun for me," Fernandez said.
- Just hours after the blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays, Logan Morrison received a call from owner Jeffery Loria. Morrison thought he might have been traded, but eventually learned that Loria was calling to thank him for not saying anything negative about the organization using social media sites such as Twitter. "It's not like I was doing that for (Loria),'' Morrison said of his self-imposed censorship. "It was just I'm not going to talk about it. (Stanton) already said something. I hit .230 last year - what am I going to say?
- The Marlins are expected to resign Austin Kearns to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Kearns complemented Greg Dobbs as a pinch hitter off of the bench last season. Matt Capps, who earned 14 saves with Minnesota but missed time in the second half of the season due to an injury, is reportedly high on the Marlins' wish list.
Around The League
- The Toronto Blue Jays signed catcher Henry Blanco to a one-year contract worth $750,000 on Friday. Blanco batted .188 in 2012 with Arizona.
- According to a report, outfielder Justin Upton declined a trade that would have sent him to Seattle. The Arizona Republic claims that the Diamondbacks and Mariners had a deal finalized but Upton invoked his limited no-trade clause.
- The Baltimore Orioles signed outfielder Nolan Reimold to a one-year contract on Friday. Reimold played in just 16 gamed in 2012 because of an injury.
- After the Texas Rangers considered moving second baseman Ian Kinsler to first base, the team announced that he will be the opening day second baseman. "That's where I'm most comfortable at," Kinsler said. "Ultimately it's not my decision. If they want me to play first base, what can I do? I could ask for a trade or be mad, what other options do I have?
At Fish Stripes
- Who has the better prospects, the Marlins or the Braves?
- Although nobody was inducted into the Hall of Fame, here is the Fish Stripes view of the outcome.
- According to several sources, the Marlins are looking for bullpen help.
- Giancarlo Stanton is drawing interest, causing new rumors to be released by the day.