The Marlins trimmed down their roster by sending 8 players down to the minors. Leading the way is top prospect SS Pablo Ozuna. Ozuna proved this spring that he is all the experts are saying, but still needs a little more seasoning. During the season, the Marlins will try him out at 2B for Portland. Two starters from last year, Ryan Dempster and Joe Fontenot, Were send down to Calgary along with left-hander Michael Tejera and right-handed reliever Justin Speier, who was acquired with Kevin Orie from the Cubs last year in the Heredia trade. Rob Stanifer, Dario Perez, and Lionel Hastings (C), were assigned to minor-league camp. Perez was considered an underdog for the 5th spot in the rotation, and he struggled. Vetern knuckleballer Dennis Springer or Rookie phenom A.J. Burnett will be the 5th starter. The team must still make 12 more cuts.
A split squad of the Marlins countered another Mark McGuire home run with a seven run eigth inning, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 10-4. Luis Castillo had 3 hits and Matt Mantei earned a save with 2 scoreless innings. The other split squad beat the New York Mets 6-3. Livan Hernandez outpiched Al Leiter in that game. Derrek Lee hit a home run and Jorge Fabergas drove in two runs.
Scott Pose, who started in centerfield in the Marlins’ first ever game, scored 2 runs to lead his current club, Kansas City, to a 7-3 win over the Marlins. Jeff Conine, Mr. Marlin, who started in left field in that same inaugural game, hit a home runs and scored twice. For the current Marlins, Alex Fernandez came back from a bad outing with 5 strong innings, allowing only two hits and a run.
The Marlins lose to the Cardinals 11-7 despite a 4-4 effort from Preston Wilson, whol also hit a home run and drove in 3. Dennis Springer, who is battling with A.J. Burnett for the Marlins’ fifth spot in the rotation allowed 6 runs in 2-2/3 innings.
Dave Berg’s solo home run in the top of the eight snapped a tie to give the Marlins a 5-4 win against Baltimore in Fort Lauderdale. This is the third consecutive win for the Marlins and the second against Baltimore.
Kevin Orie doubled home a run in the top of the 9th to give the Marlins a 4-3 victory over Baltimore in Fort Lauderdale.
Louis Castillo, Mark Kotsay, and Bruce Aven each went 3-4 and Derrek Lee hit a three-run homerun as the Marlins beat the Dodgers 7-3.
The Marlins lose again, this time to Cleveland 13-2. Alex Fernandez allowed 6 runs on seven hits in only 1-2/3 innings. Jorge Fabergas hit a homerun.
Up 2-0 in the ninth, the Vic Darensbourg blows the lead and the Marlins lose 3-2 to the Mets.
12 players were reassigned: Hector Almonte (P), Bobby Rodgers (P), Chris Norton (C), Ryan Robertson(C) and Fletcher Bates(OF), and DaRond Stovall (OF) were reassigned to the Minor League camp. Nelson Lara (P) and Julio Ramirez (CF) was assigned to Double A Portland. Nate Rolison (1B), Amaury Garcia (2B), Ramon Castro (C), and Jaime Jones (OF) were assigned to Triple A Calgary.
A Marlins splite squad exploded for 20 runs on 23 hits beating Houston 20-14. Ramon Castro hit two home runs. Craig Counsel a home run w RBI and 4 runs scored. Ryan Dempster, Joe Fontenot, and Armando Almanza allowed 14 runs. Almanza has now allowed 10 runs in 1 inning pitched this year. The other split squad lost to Kansas City 7-5 in 7 innings.
Marlins are held to one hit and lose 5-0 to Houston.
Todd Dunwoddy continued his hitting streak going 3-4 with 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, and 3 runs scored in a 9-5 split squad victory over Montreal. In the other split squad game, Kansas City hit 5 homeruns, 3 off Minor Leaguer Bobby Rodgers to beat the Marlins 13-6. Once more, the Marlins’ minor leaguer pitchers failed to perform. Alex Gonazalez hit a home run in the ninth inning.
Another loss for the Grapefruit Leage Marlins. This time, 5-3 to the Dodgers. Major Leaguers Kotsay, Gonzalez, Floyd, Wilson and Counsel combined 0-11. Derrek Lee went 2-2 with a run. Dennis Springer pitched three shutout innings. His competitor for the 5th spot in the pitching rotation, Dario Perez, allowed three runs on seven hits in two innings.
In an early and concerning trend, the Marlins have lost their third game in a row, this time to Kansas City, 8-4. The Marlins have now allowed 22 runs in the past three games. John Roskos hit a home run and Joe Fontenot took the loss.