Miami Marlins closer Steve Cishek already has a funky sidearm delivery. He’s hoping to enhance his effectiveness with a refined changeup, which he is working on in the final days of camp. "I think it’s always good to have another weapon," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "He may not need it right now, but over the course of time sometimes you need another pitch."
In 2008, the San Francisco Giants selected catcher Buster Posey with the fifth pick of the June draft. One pick later, the Marlins took catcher Kyle Skipworth. Skipworth has played in 444 minor-league games, and could break camp with the Marlins. "The beauty of baseball is you never know when a guy is going to figure it out," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Sometimes in this game we expect such things immediately. We forget these guys are 22, 23 years old. They’re young players. Sometimes we have to be more patient. He’s one of those guys. Maybe it’s a little bit later than some guys. But that’s fine."
The Marlins on Friday sent center fielder Christian Yelich, who is ranked as the No. 13 prospect in baseball, to Minor League camp. "You come in here with realistic expectations," the left-handed-hitting outfielder said. "I came in here not expecting to make the team, but with the idea of, go have fun, make a good impression and just enjoy the time you're up here."
In the final stretch of Spring Training, the Marlins and Mets each threw their Opening Day starters on Friday. Both teams also got a feel for playing at night, performing in front of a crowd of 4,758 at Roger Dean Stadium. "It was good to get to that barrier of more than 90 pitches," Nolasco said. "It's not easy doing it for the first time. I had to battle myself a little more on my fastball than I wanted to. I was able to make the pitch with the fastball when I had to. Everything else was OK. It was good to stretch it out and keep the ball down in the zone."
Manager Mike Redmond said Saturday that the Marlins were leaning toward starting Wade LeBlanc on April 4 at Washington, the third game of the season. "As of right now, it would go Eovaldi [second] and LeBlanc, who is set up to pitch that last game," Redmond said. "That could change. We're still trying to piece it together."
The Marlins signed Wilson Valdez to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training as they weigh their utility infield options. "Obviously, we'd love to have a guy who can really hit, too," manager Mike Redmond said. "But at the same time, having our pitching staff as young as it is, we're going to have to play defense. We're going to have to get every out. That's probably going to be the No. 1 thing."
Nathan Eovaldi turned in another strong spring showing Saturday, giving up three runs in six innings in Miami's 6-5 win over the Cardinals. "He did a good job, again," manager Mike Redmond said. "He gave up that early run, but settled in, and made his pitches. I think he kind of ran out of gas in that last inning. I'm very happy, once again, with his performance, and the way he pitched -- great tempo. He pounded the strike zone and gave us a chance."
Nathan Eovaldi gave up three runs on nine hits in six innings, and the Marlins rallied to a 6-5 win over the Cardinals in front of 4,851 at Roger Dean Stadium.
Around The League
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Although late March might not bring the same excitement as July's non-waiver Trade Deadline or December's Winter Meetings, it's still a time for a flurry of movement throughout Major League Baseball.
Hanley Ramirez, who had surgery to repair a torn right thumb ligament on Friday, rejoined the Dodgers on Saturday. The shortstop will be able to partially participate in drills, but he won't return to full baseball activities for three weeks.
Battling soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter -- whom the club confirmed will not play in a Minor League game on Sunday -- is likely to be on the disabled list when the team opens the regular season on April 1 against the Red Sox, general manager Brian Cashman said on Sunday.
At Fish Stripes
2013 Miami Marlins Season Preview: Henderson Alvarez - Fish Stripes
The Miami Marlins are hoping a move down south will resolve Henderson Alvarez's problems with the home run. Can he return to being an effective pitcher without the strikeout?
Though Opening Day is just over a week away, the Miami Marlins still have several decisions to make in terms of personnel at many different positions. Among the more noticeable battles are in center field and the rotation.
We knew it was inevitable, and it finally happened today. The Miami Marlins have sent down top prospect Christian Yelich to minor league camp.