Stanton comeback 'right on track'

Reigning NL home run champ plays first game since getting hit by pitch last September

Stanton comeback 'right on track'

JUPITER, Fla. -- Fill in another check box on Giancarlo Stanton's comeback list. On Thursday, the two-time All-Star played four innings and had two at-bats in his first game action since being struck by a pitch in the face last September.

Stanton flied out twice, and made a few nice plays to run balls down in right field in Miami's 4-1 loss to the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Ichiro in hot pursuit of 3,000 hits

Veteran Marlins outfielder stands 156 short of milestone

Ichiro in hot pursuit of 3,000 hits

JUPITER, Fla. -- Make no mistake about it, for Ichiro Suzuki, the foreseeable future is all about 3,000 hits. The Magic Number is 156 and the Marlins have gladly given him the platform to pursue that goal.

There's no reason to look back. His days with the Mariners and Yankees are well behind him. So are the years in Japan with the Orix Blue Wave, with whom he accumulated 1,278 of his 4,122 hits on two continents. He has 2,844 playing 14 seasons in Major League Baseball.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stanton returns to action in Marlins' spring debut

Slugger goes 0-for-2 in four innings; Phelps tosses two hitless frames

Stanton returns to action in Marlins' spring debut

JUPITER, Fla. -- Carlos Martinez was dominant in two perfect innings, and Matt Adams delivered a two-run single in the first that lifted the Cardinals to a 4-1 win over the Marlins on Thursday at Roger Dean Stadium.

The significant news for Miami was that Giancarlo Stanton played four innings in right field, and in two at-bats, he lifted a pair of fly-ball outs. It was the two-time All-Star's first game action since he was struck in the face by a pitch at Milwaukee on Sept. 11.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Staying in box will be challenge for Marlins hitters

Staying in box will be challenge for Marlins hitters

JUPITER, Fla. -- Hitters will be adjusting to more than just facing pitchers this Spring Training. As part of MLB's pace-of-play initiative, they'll also have to be mindful of keeping at least one foot in the batter's box after a pitch is thrown.

The start of Grapefruit and Cactus League games gives the Marlins, and the rest of the teams, a trial run to test out the new rules.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins promptly putting regular lineup to work

Redmond pencils in projected regulars for first Grapefruit League game this spring

Marlins promptly putting regular lineup to work

JUPITER, Fla. -- Marlins manager Mike Redmond is wasting little time testing out his new-look lineup. All the projected regulars started in Miami's Grapefruit League debut on Thursday against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Aside from using Ichiro Suzuki as the designated hitter, the batting order also could closely resemble what the club rolls out on Opening Day. Giancarlo Stanton is batting third, and getting his first playing time in a game situation since being struck in the face by a pitch last September.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hill using myriad resources to produce winning product

Marlins president of baseball ops discusses personnel, philosophy in sit-down with MLB.com

Hill using myriad resources to produce winning product

JUPITER, Fla. -- Throughout their history, the Marlins have tended to be either all in or out. There's been little middle ground for a franchise with two World Series titles that is currently riding a string of five straight losing seasons.

Under president of baseball operations Michael Hill, the organization finally feels that it is establishing stability. It started with the contract extension of manager Mike Redmond through 2017, and the foundation was cemented in November with the signing of slugger Giancarlo Stanton to the richest contract in North American sports history.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rule 5 lefty McKirahan makes quite the first impression

While it was vs. college hitters, rookie opens bid to earn bullpen spot by striking out side

Rule 5 lefty McKirahan makes quite the first impression

JUPITER, Fla. -- Carrying a second lefty in the bullpen isn't a necessity, but the Marlins ideally would like to have one. If first impressions mean anything, Andrew McKirahan clearly caught the eyes of the organization on Tuesday afternoon.

The 25-year-old southpaw made quick work in the eighth inning, striking out the side in order in the Marlins' 7-1 win over the University of Miami at Roger Dean Stadium.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Getting feet wet, Urena, Nicolino ticketed for Triple-A

Marlins stick with incremental plan for prospects, who make spring debuts vs. colleges

Getting feet wet, Urena, Nicolino ticketed for Triple-A

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Marlins like what they see in pitching prospects Jose Urena and Justin Nicolino. But the organization is in no rush to see either one in the big leagues before they're ready.

That's why the organization is moving each one up one level at a time. Urena and Nicolino were anchors on Double-A Jacksonville's Southern League title team last year, and they are projected to start this season off at Triple-A New Orleans.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins opt to hold Stanton out of UM exhibition

Slugger gets at-bats in sim game, should be 'ready to roll' for Grapefruit opener

Marlins opt to hold Stanton out of UM exhibition

JUPITER, Fla. -- After consideration, the Marlins decided to keep Giancarlo Stanton out of the lineup on Tuesday against the University of Miami. Instead, the 25-year-old slugger participated in simulated games on the back fields at the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

The initial plan was for Stanton to be the designated hitter and get one at-bat against the Hurricanes on the main field.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Out of options, Hand keeping it simple

Lefty, who could be traded if he doesn't crack rotation, stays focused, opens with perfect frame

Out of options, Hand keeping it simple

JUPITER, Fla. -- By choice, Brad Hand didn't give himself much of a honeymoon period. In fact, the Marlins' left-hander is literally going to take his honeymoon sometime in the offseason.

For now, it's all business for the 24-year-old. On Monday, two days after getting married, Hand started Miami's spring season off by throwing a scoreless first inning at Roger Dean Stadium in a 7-2 win over Florida International University.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Marlins' formula makes quick turnaround feasible

As players from 100-loss team developed, club signed Stanton, added complementary pieces

Marlins' formula makes quick turnaround feasible

JUPITER, Fla. -- Two years ago, the Miami Marlins lost 100 games. Now, without a hint of exaggeration, they can be projected as a postseason team.

What happened? This was a winning combination that started with a talented young core of players developing as hoped. That made possible a series of extremely astute acquisitions this winter.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins get first taste of pace of play clock

Rules in effect in exhibition vs. FIU; roster hopeful Kelly plates pair in win

Marlins get first taste of pace of play clock

JUPITER, Fla. -- Picking up the pace was not an issue for the Marlins in their exhibition opener on Monday at Roger Dean Stadium. What surprised the team was that the between-innings clock was implemented for a game against Florida International University.

Marlins manager Mike Redmond became aware the clock was in play when it immediately started the two-minute, 25-second countdown after the third out of the top of the first.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Recently retired Pierre visits Marlins 'family'

Catalyst on 2003 World Series title team, former outfielder has open invitation to serve as coach

Recently retired Pierre visits Marlins 'family'

JUPITER, Fla. -- A couple of days after announcing his retirement, Juan Pierre couldn't stay away from the ballfield. The Marlins couldn't be happier.

Pierre stopped by the Roger Dean Stadium complex on Monday, sporting a Miami Heat T-shirt and his mild-mannered enthusiasm.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fernandez throws first session since Tommy John surgery

'Just like riding a bike,' Marlins ace pleased with latest step in rehab from May operation

Fernandez throws first session since Tommy John surgery

JUPITER, Fla. -- Marlins ace Jose Fernandez took another step in his rehab from Tommy John surgery on Sunday, when the right-hander threw a short bullpen session off the mound for the first time since last May.

Fernandez, who was diagnosed with a torn UCL after his eighth start last season and had surgery May 16, warmed up on flat ground for several minutes Sunday morning before heading to the mound at the Roger Dean Stadium complex. He threw 10 warmup pitches, then fired 15 fastballs to bullpen coordinator Jeff Urgelles as pitching coach Chuck Hernandez watched from the side.

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Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Haren likely to start first Grapefruit League tilt Thursday

Haren likely to start first Grapefruit League tilt Thursday

JUPITER, Fla. -- Marlins manager Mike Redmond said Sunday that veteran right-hander Dan Haren likely will be the starting pitcher for the Grapefruit League opener on Thursday against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

Haren, 34, was acquired from the Dodgers in December, but he took about a month to announce whether he would join the Marlins or retire after expressing his preference to pitch for a West Coast team. The native Californian told Redmond and the media on the first day of Spring Training that he was committed to the Marlins and that the reports of his indecision were "probably overblown."

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Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins get crash course on pace-of-play changes

MLB officials visit with Redmond, Hill; adjustments to begin in Thursday's Grapefruit League opener

Marlins get crash course on pace-of-play changes

JUPITER, Fla. -- With Grapefruit League action set to begin for the Marlins on Thursday, the club has been reminded that picking up the pace of games is a high Major League Baseball priority. MLB officials met with manager Mike Redmond and president of baseball operations Michael Hill this weekend to go over the changes that will be in place in 2015.

The Marlins, like the rest of the teams, will be able to practice the hurry-up measures during Spring Training games. Miami opens its Grapefruit League schedule on Thursday against St. Louis.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stanton hit by pitch in sim game, continues to play

Marlins ace Alvarez plunks slugger in left hip during first spring contest

Stanton hit by pitch in sim game, continues to play

JUPITER, Fla. -- It was bound to happen sometime. For Giancarlo Stanton, it happened to be on his third plate appearance in the Marlins' first simulated game.

The two-time All-Star was plunked on the left hip by a Henderson Alvarez two-seam fastball on Saturday morning on field 4 of the Roger Dean Stadium complex. The pitch caused no damage, nor did it spoil an otherwise productive day that featured game action.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

New-look Marlins excited to begin season

Offseason acquisitions have put Miami in position to compete for postseason berth

New-look Marlins excited to begin season

JUPITER, Fla. -- This is where the fun stuff begins for the Miami Marlins. Dee Gordon on one side of the spring clubhouse, Michael Morse on the other.

Martin Prado is here, too, over there by Giancarlo Stanton. Mat Latos and Dan Haren and David Phelps are new Marlins, too.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ichiro ready to play his way into Marlins' lineup

In great shape, 41-year-old is contending for time behind young outfield

Ichiro ready to play his way into Marlins' lineup

JUPITER, Fla. -- Finding enough at-bats for Ichiro Suzuki is going to be one of Marlins manager Mike Redmond's challenges this season. But if the early signs of Spring Training are any indicator, the 41-year-old outfielder appears primed to make a case to be on the field.

Ichiro, as expected, is in tremendous shape, and he's already impressed the organization with his preparation, bat speed and overall skills. There isn't much noticeable decline as he enters his 15th MLB season.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pierre imparted wisdom on young Marlins at career's end

Speedster announces retirement after having served as role model in Miami

Pierre imparted wisdom on young Marlins at career's end

JUPITER, Fla. -- The work ethic, preparation and professionalism Juan Pierre displayed on a daily basis certainly rubbed off on his former Marlins teammates. Pierre's second stint with Miami was in 2013, and his influence is felt today.

Now that Pierre has announced his retirement after 14 big league seasons, Marlins players praised the veteran outfielder for making a difference.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Morse impressed with Marlins' energy, enthusiasm

'Camaraderie is telling' for World Series-winning first baseman

Morse impressed with Marlins' energy, enthusiasm

JUPITER, Fla. -- Spring Training games may not have started yet, but the energy level has already picked up at the Marlins' camp. New first baseman Michael Morse, who knows something about winning cultures, can sense the excitement building.

Morse, who won a World Series with the Giants last year, is impressed with the work ethic and enthusiasm the youthful club is showing in even the most routine drills.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rain may delay Fernandez's debut off mound

Marlins tap Hand to start Monday vs. Florida International; eight others slated to pitch

Rain may delay Fernandez's debut off mound

JUPITER, Fla. -- Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez could be throwing off the mound as early as Sunday, but the team hasn't publicly finalized an exact date.

The plan has been to get the 22-year-old throwing off the mound around March 1. Other factors could come into play, perhaps even the weather.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prolific base-stealer Pierre retires after 14-year career

Outfielder, who played for six teams, is not ready to coach

Prolific base-stealer Pierre retires after 14-year career

JUPITER, Fla. -- Juan Pierre, the catalyst of the Marlins' 2003 World Series title team and one of the most prolific base-stealers of his generation, has announced his retirement. The 37-year-old speedster is walking away from the game after an impressive 14-year career.

Pierre, who lives in south Florida, is now a self-proclaimed "stay-at-home dad." He also isn't ready to accept a coaching position at this point.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fireballer Capps searching for consistency, 'pen spot

Marlins right-hander must overcome elbow sprain that cut 2014 season short

Fireballer Capps searching for consistency, 'pen spot

JUPITER, Fla. -- If the pure velocity doesn't get your attention, the quirky delivery will. Carter Capps certainly brings a level of intrigue every time he gets on the mound.

The hardest thrower in the Marlins' camp, Capps is competing for a bullpen spot. There still is a matter of consistency, but if he gains it, he could become a force in the late innings.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Before donning special helmet, Stanton takes first live BP

Having not faced a pitcher since being hit in face, slugger tracks pitches, but doesn't swing

Before donning special helmet, Stanton takes first live BP

JUPITER, Fla. -- The result wasn't very eventful, but the occasion was monumental for the Marlins. Giancarlo Stanton stepped into the batter's box on Thursday morning and saw live pitching for the first time since being struck in the face by a pitch at Milwaukee last September.

It was a significant step, but it wasn't very exciting, as Stanton tracked all 10 pitches he saw. The slugger didn't swing at any of the five offerings from right-hander Henderson Alvarez in his first round and lefty Brad Hand in his second.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stolen-base king Gordon focused on runs, not running

Stolen-base king Gordon focused on runs, not running

JUPITER, Fla. -- Swiping a Major League-most 64 bases in 2014 doesn't have Dee Gordon thirsting for more. You won't hear the Marlins second baseman boasting that he is aiming for some astronomical number like 100.

What matters most to Gordon is getting on base, and ultimately scoring runs. As much attention as he received for being the stolen-base king a year ago with the Dodgers, the fleet-footed second baseman brings up the fact he also scored 92 runs.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins hitters get chance to step into box against pitchers

Marlins hitters get chance to step into box against pitchers

JUPITER, Fla. -- After two days of going through the fundamentals, the Marlins took things up a notch Thursday. For the first time this spring, pitchers faced hitters in live batting practice.

It's not typically a fun day for hitters, because pitchers already have had a head start in their preparations. But it represents a big step for batters to get tuned up for Spring Training games, which start next week.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Redmond working to keep Stanton, outfielders fresh

Marlins manager to discuss plan with slugger; addition of Ichiro offers options

Redmond working to keep Stanton, outfielders fresh

JUPITER, Fla. -- Keeping Giancarlo Stanton healthy and productive over the long haul is the Marlins' main objective over simply making sure the slugger appears in all 162 games. Having Ichiro Suzuki as a fourth outfielder gives manager Mike Redmond flexibility in setting his lineup.

One of Stanton's goals in 2014 was to play in every game, and he was on pace to do so before being struck on the face by a pitch on Sept. 11.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stanton first athlete on SI cover in body paint

Stanton first athlete on SI cover in body paint

JUPITER, Fla. -- Add another first to Giancarlo Stanton's growing legacy. The Marlins' All-Star right fielder is now the first athlete to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated adorned in body paint.

Featured under the headline "Model Slugger" is the defined torso of Stanton, arms folded, sporting an expertly painted Miami uniform. The detail is so precise, and it includes his trademark compression sleeve.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Comeback candidate Masset could carve niche in Miami

Comeback candidate Masset could carve niche in Miami

JUPITER, Fla. -- The life on his fastball is back, and so is his confidence. Now, it's just a matter of seeing if Nick Masset can regain his old form.

With the Reds from 2009-11, Masset was one of the most durable and dependable setup relievers in the game. But injuries and bad luck derailed his career, and now the 32-year-old from St. Petersburg is hoping to latch on with the Marlins as a non-roster invitee.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.