Mattingly: Ichiro, Gordon close to returning

Mattingly: Ichiro, Gordon close to returning

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With his brother, Nick Gordon, one of Minnesota's top prospects, second baseman Dee Gordon heavily lobbied manager Don Mattingly to make the cross-state trip to play the Twins on Monday. Mattingly, though, vetoed that, choosing the cautious route to leave Gordon, who has an eye infection, behind.

"Dee's doing better. He's going to be fine. I'm pretty sure he'll play [Tuesday]," Mattingly said. "It's nothing that's going to linger. It's just more of a contagious thing. We've had three or four eye things going on. So we're trying to keep it from taking off on us."

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

Tazawa impresses with forkball in debut

Tazawa impresses with forkball in debut

JUPITER, Fla. -- The walk was the sticking point on Sunday for Junichi Tazawa, but the telling pitch for the Marlins' right-hander against the Cardinals was his forkball. Twice the 30-year-old executed the pitch for strikeouts in a scoreless third inning of Sunday's 7-4 loss at Roger Dean Stadium.

Tazawa was a significant free-agent signing for the Marlins, and the veteran adds depth in the late innings. His forkball also offers a different look to hitters.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stanton picks up 1st RBI; Straily, Tazawa debut

Stanton picks up 1st RBI; Straily, Tazawa debut

JUPITER, Fla. -- Cardinals catchers drove in four runs to help the team to its first Grapefruit League victory, a 7-4 win over the Marlins on Sunday at Roger Dean Stadium.

Yadier Molina, who started as St. Louis' designated hitter, capped a four-run second inning against Marlins lefty Adam Conley with a two-run double, his first hit this spring.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Straily going through learning curve with new club

Straily going through learning curve with new club

JUPITER, Fla. -- The getting-acquainted process for Marlins right-hander Dan Straily is more than just interacting and practicing daily with his new teammates. Game experience builds an entirely different bond.

Straily entered that setting for the first time on Sunday, throwing a scoreless first inning in the Marlins' 7-4 loss to the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flamethrower doesn't faze Stanton's timing

Flamethrower doesn't faze Stanton's timing

JUPITER, Fla. -- When a pitcher throws 100 mph, he tends to get a hitter's attention in a hurry. In the fifth inning of Sunday's 7-4 loss to the Cardinals, the Marlins received a wakeup call when hard-throwing prospect Sandy Alcantara took the mound.

The lanky right-hander has thrown 102 mph in the past, so Miami's batters braced themselves to be ready to swing. The Marlins were able to do damage, striking for four runs in the inning, with Giancarlo Stanton making a big impact.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yelich, Bour go deep in victory to begin spring

Yelich, Bour go deep in victory to begin spring

JUPITER, Fla. -- The ball was flying out of Roger Dean Stadium on Saturday afternoon, and Tyler Moore's drive in the seventh inning ended up being the difference in the Marlins' 8-7 victory over the Cardinals in the Grapefruit League opener.

On the sunny day, five home runs were hit, with Miami collecting three. Matt Carpenter belted a two-run shot, and Harrison Bader delivered a solo shot for the Cardinals. Christian Yelich and Justin Bour each went deep in the third inning off Seung Hwan Oh. Moore's two-out shot in the seventh inning reclaimed the lead for the Marlins.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins show left-handed power potential

Yelich hits two-run blast, Bour adds solo homer off Cards righty Oh

Marlins show left-handed power potential

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Marlins showed a glimpse of the left-handed power potential they have in the middle of the order on Saturday in an 8-7 win over the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. In the third inning on Saturday, Christian Yelich blasted a two-run home run off Seung Hwan Oh, and two batters later, Justin Bour followed with a solo shot.

Two swings, three runs at Roger Dean Stadium in the Grapefruit League opener. It's the kind of production Miami is expecting to see from their two most dangerous left-handed hitters.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

9 Oscar-nominated movies we wish were about baseball

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9 Oscar-nominated movies we wish were about baseball

It's always fun to speculate about which films will win Academy Awards, but today we're going to indulge in an entirely different set of speculations. What if we lived in an alternate universe where all of the nominated movies were baseball-themed? Sounds pretty great, right? Lucky for you, we've chosen some possible winners from that different and better reality.

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Marlins depending on durability from starters

Volquez, Koehler each struck out a batter in one inning of spring opener

Marlins depending on durability from starters

JUPITER, Fla. -- On paper, the void is obvious. The Marlins have a rotation without a true ace. What's often overlooked, in the eyes of the organization, is the projected starting five has a track record of durability.

Two of the mainstays each threw an inning on Saturday in Miami's 8-7 win over the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Edinson Volquez started and gave up a run on no hits, and Tom Koehler followed with a scoreless inning. Each righty struck out one.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ichiro improving; Locke won't throw for 7 days

Ichiro improving; Locke won't throw for 7 days

JUPITER, Fla. -- An MRI didn't reveal any structural damage, but Marlins left-hander Jeff Locke is on no-throw status for the next seven days.

Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, meanwhile, is progressing from back tightness and a bruised right quadriceps. The 43-year-old outfielder is playing catch and doing some light hitting.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ozuna's training partners: Cano, Puig, more

At M's star's baseball academy, Marlins outfielder got down to business

Ozuna's training partners: Cano, Puig, more

JUPITER, Fla. -- On any given day in the offseason, it's basically a "who's who" of big league talent that gathers at Robinson Cano's baseball academy in San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic.

Cano -- the All-Star second baseman with the Mariners -- opens his place up to his friends, and there's no shortage of star power that trains in his gym and on his field. Among the regulars is Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna, a fellow Dominican.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flash letting a challenging 2016 go

Flash letting a challenging 2016 go

JUPITER, Fla. -- Whether he's taking part in drills on a back field in Spring Training or at the plate in a big league ballpark, Dee Gordon plays with the same passion.

No matter the venue, the Marlins' second baseman is ready to go. He arrives early to camp with a clear focus on what's ahead, and not rehashing the events of 2016.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mattingly all for increasing pace of play

Marlins manager supports new IBB rule, exploring ways to boost action

Mattingly all for increasing pace of play

JUPITER, Fla. -- Initiatives aimed at speeding up the action are fine with Marlins manager Don Mattingly. One step Major League Baseball is taking in 2017 is to modify the intentional walk rule.

For the upcoming season, batters will simply take the base, rather than pitchers throwing four consecutive balls. Mattingly is all for exploring ways to pick up the pace, and increase action.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bonilla caps 10-pitch AB with walk-off slam

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Bonilla caps 10-pitch AB with walk-off slam

Just five seasons into their existence, the Florida Marlins were enjoying a Cinderella-type year in 1997. With veteran leader Jeff Conine, a young Gary Sheffield and rookie sensation Livan Hernandez, the Fish found themselves just 5 1/2 games back of the NL East-leading Braves and 5 games up on the Mets and Giants in the Wild Card. Room for error was slim. Close losses were unacceptable.

Bobby Bonilla, who celebrates his 55th birthday today, knew these things.

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Ziegler's game built from the ground up

Ziegler's game built from the ground up

JUPITER, Fla. -- As a submarine-style pitcher, Marlins right-hander Brad Ziegler basically gives batters an upside-down view. His unorthodox delivery often causes his throwing hand to nearly scrape the mound before he flings sinkerball pitches that regularly find their mark down in the zone.

"He gives a different angle," manager Don Mattingly said. "It's a different view. You don't see it very often. It's kind of like the knuckleballer. Coming up with a game plan for a guy like that is different than 98 percent of the guys."

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mattingly confident Tazawa will deliver results

Marlins manager likes the variety the Miami bullpen now boasts

Mattingly confident Tazawa will deliver results

JUPITER, Fla. -- Finding consistency with the bullpen from year to year is a task, but Marlins manager Don Mattingly has all the confidence that former Boston Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa can fit in with a new team in 2017.

After spending all seven of his previous seasons in a Red Sox uniform, the right-hander is attempting to bolster the Marlins' bullpen. He signed with the club as a free agent in December.

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

Breaking down the Marlins' Top 30 Prospects

Miami's list features 20 players the franchise has drafted in recent years

Breaking down the Marlins' Top 30 Prospects

The tragic death of Marlins ace and franchise cornerstone Jose Fernandez on Sept. 25 sent shockwaves not just across Major League Baseball, but throughout the entire sporting world. It also overshadowed what had been a promising season for Miami, which, despite finishing with a 79-82 record, contended for a Wild Card spot for much of the year before fading down the stretch.

The possibility of a return to the postseason for the first time since 2003, when the Marlins defeated the Yankees in the World Series, made Miami a buyer at the Trade Deadline. But with few tradable pieces on its big league roster, the club was forced to part with two of its better prospects in 2015 first-rounder (No. 12 overall) Josh Naylor and right-hander Chris Paddack, both of whom the Marlins dealt to the Padres in separate deals prior to the Deadline.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ellis fitting in among familiar Marlins faces

Veteran catcher also providing guidance for Realmuto

Ellis fitting in among familiar Marlins faces

JUPITER, Fla. -- A.J. Ellis may be a newcomer to the Marlins, but the veteran catcher is certainly no stranger to the organization.

Coming up through the Dodgers' system, Ellis previously played for Miami manager Don Mattingly, formerly his hitting coach and manager in Los Angeles. He's also been coached and managed at the big league and Minor League levels by bench coach Tim Wallach and outfield coach Lorenzo Bundy. Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon also is a former teammate of Ellis in Los Angeles.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins boss excited about events, new arms

Marlins boss excited about events, new arms

JUPITER, Fla. -- Presidents Day falls on the week the Marlins are scheduled to open their Grapefruit League schedule on Saturday against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

As the players and coaches gear up for game action, president of baseball operations Michael Hill sees plenty of reasons for optimism in 2017.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stanton prioritizing consistency, staying on field

Marlins slugger hopes injuries behind him

Stanton prioritizing consistency, staying on field

JUPITER, Fla. -- When it comes to expectations, Giancarlo Stanton sticks to the basics. The Marlins right fielder's primary objectives for 2017 are to stay healthy and show consistency.

It's really that simple for the three-time All-Star who has yet to have that signature season where everything comes together. There's always been something that arises to derail even his most promising years.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tall order for Volquez in first live BP session

Pitcher faces Stanton, Yelich in Spring Training

Tall order for Volquez in first live BP session

JUPITER, Fla. -- After seeing the list of hitters he would be facing on Sunday morning, Marlins right-hander Edinson Volquez joked that the coaching staff may not like him.

On the first day of live batting practice, Volquez drew a difficult assignment. The veteran threw to a formidable foursome -- Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Ichiro Suzuki.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ichiro shows no signs of stopping after 3,000

Ichiro shows no signs of stopping after 3,000

JUPITER, Fla. -- A new batch of novelty license plates were made after Ichiro Suzuki became the 30th player in Major League history to reach 3,000 hits. It's just part of "Ichiro Mania" that still exists in his native Japan.

Over the years, fans have recognized Ichiro in a variety of ways. Many do so with customized plates. Some sport Ichiro's No. 51 jersey. Others use 262 for his MLB single-season hits record.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Glove is all Gordon, teammates need

Glove is all Gordon, teammates need

JUPITER, Fla. -- Early Saturday morning, Dee Gordon ripped open the package with the same enthusiasm he exudes after receiving a birthday present. His new infield gloves arriving is reason for the Marlins' second baseman to rejoice.

Gordon and three of his teammates who wear mitts made by Wilson Sporting Goods celebrated Glove Day.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Donnie Baseball steps up to the plate during camp

Donnie Baseball steps up to the plate during camp

JUPITER, Fla. -- Images of Donnie Baseball are back.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly, a career .307 hitter during his 14-year career with the Yankees, takes a hands-on approach in Spring Training. To get a better feel for how a pitcher is throwing, the former All-Star first baseman occasionally steps up to the plate.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

All the small things for Marlins in 2017

Organization preaching importance of consistent focus

All the small things for Marlins in 2017

JUPITER, Fla. -- An attention-to-detail message is already being engrained in the Marlins. It's all part of the "Little Things Matter" theme that manager Don Mattingly and his staff are preaching.

Before its first full-squad workouts on Friday, the club held a meeting. And after the position players wrapped up their drills, they gathered again, in the outfield of Field 2, where outfield coach Lorenzo Bundy and third-base coach Fredi Gonzalez spoke to the players about executing.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.