#MarlinsMonday – March 30, 2015

Marcell Ozuna continues to have a strong spring for the Marlins. Photo Courtesy: Miami Herald.

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

Only two days are left in March, and with a major league exhibition game looming on Saturday between the Miami Marlins and the Jacksonville Suns, you can officially call this a game week!

Bragan Field at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville will be a busy place over the next few days. First of all one of the best crowds of the year will be on hand tomorrow night as the Florida Gators and Florida State Seminoles meet here at 6 p.m.

Last year the Gators topped the Seminoles 4-1, in one of the more memorable meetings in series history:

The Miami Marlins are in their final week of spring training games, starting today with a 1:05 p.m. match-up against the New York Mets at Tradition Field. Darn Haren starts for Miami against New York’s Rafael Montero.

Yesterday I had the chance along with several members of the Suns front office to see the Marlins face the Nationals in Viera. While the Nationals won 11-7, the Marlins had a good game at the plate with former Suns Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton blasting home runs.

The Marlins made two more roster cuts today, sending right-hander Preston Claiborne to Triple-A New Orelans and releasing veteran Reed Johnson. 34 players remain in camp, and while the Opening Day lineup (including just announced starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez) looks to be set, this is still a crucial week in determining which players make the club to start the season providing depth on the bench and in the bullpen.

Here are today’s #MarlinsMonday links, BASEBALL is coming soon to Jacksonville!

Marlins.com: Marlins give unconditional release to veteran Johnson
Marlins.com: Q&A: Marlins broadcaster Geffner talks 2015
Palm Beach Post Five players vying for Marlins’ final two roster spots
Miami Herald: Henderson Alvarez named Marlins’ Opening Day starter
Sun Sentinel: Walks keeping Ramos from gaining elite reliever status
Fish Stripes: Morning news: Cosart not expected to miss time
Ballpark Digest: Pace of play: A huge change for 2015
ESPN: Reds set to debut nursery inside stadium
Yankees.com: Eovaldi praised by hometown legend Ryan
NBC Sports Hardball Talk: Video: Seahawks QB Russell Wilson talks baseball

#FishFriday – March 27, 2015

Former Sun Giancarlo Stanton blasted his second spring training home run on Thursday against the Cardinals. Photo Courtesy: Fox Sports

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

A week from tomorrow, the Miami Marlins will be in Jacksonville preparing to face the Suns at Bragan Field.

While the Suns staff is busy preparing for the arrival of the Marlins, the big league club continues rolling along through the Grapefruit League schedule.

Yesterday the Marlins topped the St. Louis Cardinals 5-3 in a game that featured a mammoth home run from former Sun Giancarlo Stanton.

This weekend the Marlins will face the Astros in back-to-back games on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, before facing the Nationals on Sunday in Viera.

Here are today’s #FishFriday links, enjoy the last weekend without Suns baseball until September!

Marlins.com: Alvarez avoids injury; Marlins want to keep it that way
Marlins.com: Mammoth shot shows Stanton’s nearly season-ready
Marlins.com: Hand to start Friday with Cosart nursing blister
New Miami Times: MLB Investigating Claims Tying Marlins Pitcher Jarred Cosart to Gambling
Miami Herald: Ex-Royals reliever Aaron Crow battling for Miami Marlins bullpen spot
Sun Sentinel: Friday: Marlins at Astros, 6:05 p.m.
Fish Stripes: Marlins release Donnie Joseph
Ballpark Digest: Lookouts unveil 2015 changes, ballpark upgrades
Yahoo! Big League Stew: David Ortiz sounds off on his PED critics: ‘Nobody has been tested more than me’
Deadspin: Former No. 1 Pick Brady Aiken Had Tommy John Surgery
ESPN: Infield shift: Indians park car at shortstop
The New York Times: Jason Heyward’s Ability Seems Boundless. Soon, So May His Contract.


Suns Ink Radio Partnership with AM 600 The Answer

BOB releaseBy Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Suns are proud to announce a new partnership with the Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting Corporation, with all Suns Baseball Network radio broadcasts airing on either AM 600 & FM 100.3 The Answer (night games) or FM 102.3 The Beach (day games).

For the third straight season, all Suns games including the Miami Marlins exhibition on April 4 and any possible playoff dates will air live on the radio.

“From the pop of the mitt to the crack of bat, baseball is back and as the new radio partner of the Jacksonville Suns we couldn’t be more excited to bring all the sounds of the Suns 2015 season to AM 600 The Answer and 102.3 FM The Beach,” said David Oglesby, Director of Promotions for The Answer and The Beach. “We are proud to be partnering with the Suns on the heels of their 2014 Southern League Championship and are particularly honored to be broadcasting the ‘swan song’ season of the Bragan Family’s ownership/management of the Suns.  Here’s to another great season.  Play Ball!!”

Suns Director of Broadcasting Roger Hoover returns for his fourth season as the play-by-play voice of Suns baseball and will announce each game this season.

“I’m very excited about our new partnership with The Answer and The Beach,” Hoover said. “This is going to be a great year for the Suns and we’re thrilled to have a new radio home as we continue to find innovative ways to connect the fans to the broadcast and ball club.”

In addition to comprehensive pregame and postgame shows, The Jacksonville Suns Podcast will debut this season, along with video and written features on the Suns Baseball Network website, www.sunsradio.com.

Joining Hoover on the radio this season will be Suns communications assistant Kyle Crooks, reporter Allison Banko, and games will be produced by Joe Kuczynski from the Suns Baseball Network studios.

The first 2015 Suns Baseball Network broadcast will air on FM 102.3 The Beach when the Suns host their parent club the Miami Marlins for an exhibition game on Saturday April 4 at 2:05 p.m., with pregame radio coverage starting at 1:50 p.m. Opening Night at Bragan Field will be on Thursday April 9 against the Jackson Generals at 7:05 p.m., and that broadcast will air on AM 600 & FM 100.3 The Answer starting at 6:50 p.m.

The 2015 season of Suns baseball is presented by EverBank, the official banking partner of the Jacksonville Suns. Sponsorships, group outings, and season/individual game tickets are currently available by calling the Suns front office at (904) 358-2846.

Former Suns and Marlins Wrap – March 19, 2015

Ichiro Suzuki had an RBI double as part of a big day at the plate against Atlanta on Thursday. Photo: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

While your NCAA Tournament brackets were getting busted, the Miami marlins fell to the Atlanta Braves 6-3 at Champion Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

Former Sun Tom Koehler took the loss for the Marlins, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits with three walks during his four innings on the mound.

Former Sun Jeff Mathis was one of two Marlins with multi-hit days at the plate, going 2-4 with an RBI. Veteran outfielder Ichiro Suzuki continued a solid Spring Training by going 2-3 with an RBI double and two runs scored.

Yosmany Guerra, who briefly played with the Suns in 2014, collected a single in his lone at-bat.

Tomorrow the Marlins will also face the Braves, playing a rare game under the lights at Roger Dean Stadium at 7:05 p.m. Right-hander Dan Haren will pitch for Miami against Atlanta southpaw Wandy Rodriguez.

Former Suns and Marlins Wrap – March 18, 2015

Former Sun Giancarlo Stanton hit his first homer of the spring on Wednesday as the Marlins beat the Nationals.

Former Sun Giancarlo Stanton hit his first homer of the spring on Wednesday as the Marlins beat the Nationals.










By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

The Miami Marlins got back on the winning track by defeating the Washington Nationals 5-4 at Roger Dean Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Former Sun Giancarlo Stanton blasted his first home run of the spring, a solo shot over the right field wall in the bottom of the sixth that tied the game at three.  Stanton also had an RBI single in the bottom of the third, and finished the day 3-for-3 with a double, a home run, two RBI and a run scored.

After Staton tied the game in the sixth, the Marlins took the lead in the last of the eighth thanks to RBI singles from Jhonathan Solano and Reed Johnson that gave Miami a 5-3 lead entering the ninth.

Washington’s Matt Skole homered in the ninth off Andrew McKirahan, but the former Tennessee Smoky got the final outs to preserve the 5-4 win as he collected the save.

Former Sun Marcell Ozuna was the other Sun to collect a base hit, and Ichiro Suzuki provided a thrill when he hit a pinch-hit triple in the fifth inning.

On the mound, Sam Dyson was the only former Sun to pitch, working in the fifth inning where he allowed a run on a Clint Robinson home run.

The Marlins return to action tomorrow, traveling to face the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium at 1:05 p.m. Former Sun Tom Koehler will start for the Marlins, while the Braves have not announced a starter for tomorrow’s game.

Former Suns and Marlins Wrap – March 17, 2015

Marlins legend Mike Lowell was back in uniform Tuesday as part of the Miami coaching staff against the St. Louis Cardinals. Photo Courtesy: Miami Marlins

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

After an off day yesterday, the Miami Marlins returned to action with a split-squad day of action in the Grapefruit League today. At Roger Dean Stadium, the Marlins fell to the St. Louis Cardinals 7-1, and in Port St. Lucie the New York Mets came out on top with a 6-4 win over Miami.

Here are recaps from those games along with reports on how former Suns performed for the Marlins.

St. Louis Cardinals 7, Miami Marlins 1

The Cardinals bats were hot as St. Louis topped Miami 7-1 at Roger Dean Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

Miami’s lone run was scored in the bottom of the third when Dee Gordon drove home Don Kelly on an RBI single that at the time tied the game. The Cardinals scored the game’s next six runs to earn the victory.

No Marlins had multi-hit games, while Christian Yelich was the only former Sun to record a base hit.

On the mound, former Sun Steve Cishek worked two innings in relief where he allowed a run on a pair of hits with a walk and he also struck out five Cardinals. Starter Jared Cosart took the loss, giving up four runs on eight hits with three walks in three and two-thirds innings of work.

New York Mets 6, Miami Marlins 4

A five-run bottom of the eighth powered the New York Mets past the Miami Marlins 6-4 at Tradition Field on Tuesday afternoon.

Former Suns Marcell Ozuna and J.T. Realmuto collected RBI for Miami. Ozuna had an RBI groundout that tied the game at one in the seventh, before Realmuto had an RBI single in the eighth that at the time gave Miami a 4-1 lead.

Former Met Jordany Valdespin had the best day at the plate for Miami, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. He was the only Marlin with a multi-hit effort, and Realmuto was the only former Sun to record a base hit.

Michael Morse hit his second homer of the spring, sending a towering fly ball over the centerfield wall in the top of the 7th, a two-run shot that put Miami ahead 3-1.

Former Sun Brad Hand was Miami’s starter and he had a no decision. Hand worked four scoreless innings, scattering two hits with three walks and he struck out two batters. Former Sun A.J. Ramos was next on the mound for the Marlins, and in his two innings he allowed a run on a hit with a walk and two strikeouts.

Mike Dunn took the loss and Preston Claiborne had the blown save as the Mets collected the 6-4 win.

Next Up

Tomorrow the Marlins return to action at home, welcoming the Washington Nationals to Roger Dean Stadium at 1:05 p.m. Right-hander Mat Latos will start for the Marlins against Nationals right-hander Doug Fister.

#MarlinsMonday – March 16, 2015

Marlins manager Mike Redmond is all smiles so far during 2015 Spring Training. Photo Courtesy: David Santiago El Nuevo Herald

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

The Miami Marlins continue to roll along in Spring Training, and the weekend provided three wins for Miami.

The Marlins topped the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 on Friday, in a game that featured an RBI double from Derek Dietrich and J.T. Realmuto went 1-for-1.

On Saturday the Marlins blanked the Washington Nationals 4-0 where former Sun Marcel Ozuna did most of the damage at the plate. Ozuna gave the Marlins a first inning 2-0 lead on his 2-run double, then later added an RBI single to put Miami up 3-0 in the third. Ozuna finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBI in one of his best spring games to date.

Yesterday the Marlins earned their third straight win with a 4-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Former Sun Sam Dyson earned the save with a perfect ninth where he struck out two batters. Ozuna continued his hot hitting with a home run, and Giancarlo Stanton drove in a pair of runs in the Marlins victory.

Today the Marlins have one of their only off days of the Spring Training slate. Tomorrow will be busy, with the Marlins having a split quad day. Half of the squad will stay at home in Jupiter to face the Cardinals, while the other have will make the trip to Port St. Lucie to face the New York Mets at Tradition Field. Former Sun Brad Hand will start against New York, while Jared Cosart gets the nod at Roger Dean Stadium against the Cardinals.

In Jacksonville, preparations continue for the start of baseball season. Suns Director of Field Operations Christian Galen and his staff worked hard over the weekend to convert the playing surface of Bragan Field back to a baseball set up after a pair of Jacksonville Armada FC soccer games. It was exciting to see the diamond back at the Baseball Grounds this morning!

Here are today’s #MarlinsMonday links, plus some stories from last week about the sale of the Suns from the Bragan family to Ken Babby:

The Florida Times-Union: Proud city tradition to enter new era with sale of Jacksonville Suns
The Florida Times-Union: Gene Frenette: Before RubberDucks owner takes over, Bragan family gets swan song with Jacksonville Suns
Marlins.com: Prospect Urena has tools to make big league impact
Marlins.com: McKirahan doing his part to nail down bullpen spot
Miami Herald: Former Marlins fan favorite Dontrelle Willis retires
Sun Sentinel: Yelich took steep road to Gold Glove award
Fish Stripes: Marlins could trade starting pitcher
Yahoo! Big League Stew: Minor league team to wear Dorothy-themed ‘Wizard of Oz’ jerseys
ESPN New York: Mets’ Wheeler has elbow tear, needs surgery
NBC Sports Hardball Talk: The Brewers ban high-fives because of a pinkeye outbreak
TwinCities.com: Twins tell Miguel Sano he’ll open the year in Double-A
The New York Times: Al Rosen, Who Missed Triple Crown by a Step, Dies at 91