Morning Suns – March 31, 2014

Morning Suns

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

It’s here. Major League Baseball Opening Day is upon us, and even though the season is a few games in, there’s nothing that can diminish the excitement of the true start of the season.

The Miami Marlins, parent club of the Jacksonville Suns, begin their season at home at Marlins Park by facing the Colorado Rockies at 7:05 p.m. 2013 National League Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez will make his first-ever Opening Day start for the Marlins against Colorado’s Jorge De La Rosa.

While excitement is in the air for the beginning of the MLB season, there is also growing enthusiasm for the start of Minor League Baseball and the Jacksonville Suns.

The Marlins minor league Spring Training ended on Saturday, and already most players and coaches have made their way to the First Coast.

The Suns will work out in closed practices at Bragan Field on Monday and Tuesday, along with a Wednesday afternoon practice that will be open to media only.

Wednesday will be a busy night, with a Suns Kickoff Party at the Jacksonville Landing courtyard at 7 p.m. This event will give fans a chance to meet the players and enjoy Opening Day Eve.

And then Thursday? Baseball returns to Jacksonville.

Here are today’s #MorningSuns links, enjoy MLB Opening Day!

The Florida Times-Union:Pitchers are expected to shine for the Jacksonville Suns this season
Marlins.com:Opener offers fresh outlook for Marlins, Rockies
Marlins.com: Fernandez: Opening Day start ‘means everything’
Miami Herald: Miami Marlins change it up, hope for more wins and larger crowds in 2014
MLB.com: Play ball! Opening Day finally arrives
Yahoo! Big League Stew: Opening Day primer: 30 things you need to know after baseball’s busy offseason
The New York Times: A Season Opens. But Who Closes?

Watch Suns Preview Show on CW17 Tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Breaking News

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

Jacksonville’s CW17 will air a Jacksonville Suns season preview show tonight at 7:30 p.m.

The show will get fans ready for baseball season, which begins on Thursday April 3 as the Suns host the Huntsville Stars at Bragan Field at 7:05 p.m.

The show will include segments from: Suns President and Owner Peter Bragan, Jr., General Manager Chris Peters, and Director of Broadcasting Roger Hoover.

For more information on Jacksonville’s CW17, visit the official website here: http://www.yourjax.com/home.

Barkett Discusses End of Spring Training

Breaking News, Videos

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

I spent a couple days in Jupiter at Marlins camp as Spring Training comes to a close. After watching the AA Marlins face the AA Mets in St. Lucie on Friday, I asked manager Andy Barkett a few questions in the video above.

The players and coaches are traveling north to Jacksonville today, and the first on-field workout at Bragan Field will be on Monday.

Morning Suns – March 26, 2014

Morning Suns

 

2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston signs autographs for Jacksonville fans at Bragan Field. Photo Courtesy: Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

#MorningSuns has returned! It’s been a busy stretch for me between wrapping up my time in Arizona doing some producing for the Chicago Cubs Spring Training webcasts and then moving from Tennessee back to Jacksonville. I got to town on Sunday night, and it’s been a great couple days already at Bragan Field.

Last night featured over 10,000 fans at Bragan Field as the Florida Gators beat the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles 4-1 in a wild contest. There was a benches-clearing brawl in the seventh inning, and the Seminoles had the tying run at the plate in the top of the ninth, only to see the Gators hold on for the victory.

“Famous” Jameis Winston didn’t pitch for FSU but did sign autographs before the game, and was also at the center of the fracas down the right field line as you’ll see here.

Here’s how the fight looked, it’s been a while since we’ve seen something like this with the Suns!

Spring Training continues to wind down, and yesterday the Marlins topped the Cardinals 6-5 at Roger Dean Stadium. Former Sun Marcell Ozuna made the difference with the go-ahead RBI double in the seventh inning.

Today the Marlins face the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium at 1:05 p.m. Former Sun Nathan Eovaldi starts for Miami against Braves right-hander Julio Teheran.

Here are today’s #MorningSuns links:

The Florida Times-Union: Watch: Florida beats Florida State at Baseball Grounds after benches-clearing brawl
Deadspin: FSU-Florida Fight Generates More Jameis Winston Rumors Than Punches
Marlins.com: Ozuna delivers as Marlins rally for Jose after delay
Miami Herald: Miami Marlins’ Jose Fernandez has rough start but vows to be ready for opener
Miami Herald: Dan Marino to throw out ceremonial first pitch for Marlins on Opening Night
Sun Sentinel: Marlins make tough call, demote Caminero to minors
Yahoo! Big League Stew: Shane Victorino dislikes new MLB rule: Only 15 seconds of intro music allowed
Yahoo! Big League Stew: Indians broadcaster tears up watching his son’s first MLB at-bat (Video)
ESPN: D-backs’ Corbin has season-ending surgery

Former Suns & Marlins Wrap: March 18

Spring Training Wrap

Former Sun Giancarlo Stanton’s three run homer in the first inning was the difference in the Marlins’ win over the Astros. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

JUPITER, Fla. – The Miami Marlins defeated the Houston Astros 8-1 at Roger Dean Stadium on Friday afternoon.

The Marlins scored the game’s first seven runs in the first two innings en route to the club’s 13th win this Grapefruit League season.

After the Astros took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, former Sun Giancarlo Stanton smashed a three-run homer over the left field wall to give the Marlins a 3-1 lead. Stanton finished the game 2-for-3 with a run scored and his three RBI.

Derek Dietrich added an RBI double for the Marlins in the eighth inning, and went 3-for-4 with a triple.

On the mound, all three Marlins out of the bullpen were former Suns, and all had scoreless innings. Steve Cishek worked two scoreless innings after Jacob Turner’s strong start, and Dan Jennings and A.J. Ramos finished off the Astros in the eighth and ninth respectively.

Tomorrow the Marlins will face the Washington Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium at 1:05 p.m. It is a matchup of aces, with Jose Fernandez pitching for the Marlins against Washington’s Stephen Strasburg.

For the latest Suns news this offseason, fans are encouraged to visit www.jaxsuns.com and can keep up with the Jacksonville Suns on the club’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram social media platforms, as well as the “Tales from Bragan Field” blog: www.sunsradio.com.

Former Suns & Marlins Wrap: March 14

Spring Training Wrap

Former Sun Tom Koehler earned the win by working five scoreless innings on Friday, striking out five batters. (UPI/Pat Benic)

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

JUPITER, Fla. – The Miami Marlins defeated the New York Mets 1-0 at Roger Dean Stadium on Friday afternoon.

The game’s lone run came on a solo homer by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the bottom of the second off Mets starter Zach Wheeler.

Former Sun Tom Koehler got the win by working five scoreless innings as he competes for the fifth spot in the Miami rotation. Koehler gave up three hits, walked a batter, but recorded five strikeouts in his sharpest outing of the spring.

Chris Hatcher picked up the save by working a scoreless ninth where he struck out two batters.

No former Suns had a hit in the game, with Saltalamacchia going 2-for-3, and the other Marlins hit came from Brian Bogusevic.

Marcell Ozuna was the only former Sun to start in the game, and he went 0-for-2.

Tomorrow the Marlins will face the Washington Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium at 1:05 p.m. It is a matchup of aces, with Jose Fernandez pitching for the Marlins against Washington’s Stephen Strasburg.

For the latest Suns news this offseason, fans are encouraged to visit www.jaxsuns.com and can keep up with the Jacksonville Suns on the club’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram social media platforms, as well as the “Tales from Bragan Field” blog: www.sunsradio.com.

Morning Suns – March 13, 2014

Morning Suns
Former Suns and Marlins teammates Logan Morrison and Chris Coghlan meet in the Cactus League with the Mariners and Cubs. Photo Courtesy: Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

Former Suns and Marlins teammates Logan Morrison and Chris Coghlan meet in the Cactus League with the Mariners and Cubs. Photo Courtesy: Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

The Marlins saw their two game winning streak snapped on Wednesday, falling to the Atlanta Braves 3-1.

The biggest news that impacts the Suns was the first round of cuts from big league camp.

Pitchers Angel Sanchez, Grant Dayton, Jose Urena, catcher J.T. Realmuto, outfielder Brent Keys were all optioned to Double-A Jacksonville.

Also non-roster players Anthony DeSclafini, Justin Nicolino, Jesus Sanchez, Colby Suggs & Avery Romero were reassigned to minor league camp. Some projections have DeSclafani, Nicolino, and Suggs beginning the year in Jacksonville.

Now these players will get to work more with the coaches and players they will begin 2014 with, which is a positive as the Suns try and get off to a good start in 2014.

Today the Marlins will face the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland. Right-hander Jacob Turner will start for the Marlins against Detroit southpaw Drew Smyly.

Photo Of The Day is above, great to see Logan Morrison and Chris Coghlan back on the same diamond last night as the Mariners faced the Cubs in Peoria, Ariz.

Here are today’s #MorningSuns links:

Marlins.com: Brantly homers late after first Alvarez spring blemish
Marlins.com: Depth has Marlins better equipped to handle injuries
Marlins.com: Jensen one of young Marlins sent down
Sun Sentinel: Marlins ready for replay amid unknowns
Miami Herald: Miami Marlins’ A.J. Ramos tuning up for regular season
Fish Stripes: The Marlins and managing prospects the right way
Yahoo! Big League Stew: Ryan Braun is back — endorsing products
ESPN: Mets pitching coach apologizes for Asian slur
The New York Times: Australia, Baseball’s Diamond in Rough
Joe Posnanski: The Dutch Leonard Affair

Former Suns & Marlins Wrap: March 12

Spring Training Wrap

A.J. Ramos worked a perfect ninth for the Marlins in Wednesday’s loss to the Braves. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

JUPITER, Fla. – The Miami Marlins fell to the Atlanta Braves by a 3-1 score at Roger Dean Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

The loss snaps a two-game winning streak for the Marlins, who still sport one of the Grapefruit League’s best records at 8-4.

Former Sun Henderson Alvarez allowed his first hit and run of the spring, giving up a solo homer to Evan Gattis in the fourth inning. Overall Alvarez worked three and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on five hits, no walks, and one strikeout.

The last two Marlins pitchers were former Suns, as Steve Cishek gave up two unearned runs in the eighth, and A.J. Ramos worked a perfect ninth.

The Marlins didn’t score any runs until the ninth inning when Rob Brantly hit a solo home run. Miami only had five hits in the loss, with Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna the only former Suns that collected base hits.

Tomorrow the Marlins will face the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland. Right-hander Jacob Turner will start for the Marlins against Detroit southpaw Drew Smyly.

For the latest Suns news this offseason, fans are encouraged to visit www.jaxsuns.com and can keep up with the Jacksonville Suns on the club’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram social media platforms, as well as the “Tales from Bragan Field” blog: www.sunsradio.com.

Morning Suns – March 12, 2014

Morning Suns

Can Henderson Alvarez keep his no-hit streak going? Photo Courtesy USA Today

By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns

The Marlins keep winning. Yesterday it was a 5-4 victory over the Red Sox in Fort Meyers, with Kyle Jensen providing the game-winning two-run homer in the ninth inning.

Brian Flynn pitched well, going three scoreless innings in his first start of the spring, as he continues to battle for the fifth spot in the Marlins rotation.

Today the Marlins will face the Atlanta Braves at Roger Dean Stadium at 1:05 p.m. Former Sun Henderson Alvarez will start for the Marlins against Braves right-hander Yunesky Maya.

Alvarez, after tossing a no-hitter in his last start of the 2013 regular season, began his spring with three perfect innings last week against the Cardinals.

Tweet / Picture of the Day

Here are today’s #MorningSuns links:

Marlins.com: Jensen goes deep as Marlins rally past Red Sox
Marlins.com: Flynn pleased with first Grapefruit League start
Sun Sentinel: Marlins notes: Lucas goes around the horn
Miami Herald: Miami Marlins catcher Rob Brantly remains a work in progress
Palm Beach Post: Marlins to send a representable lineup to Fort Myers Tuesday to face Red Sox
Yahoo! Big League Stew: Glove day! Red Sox’s Dustin Pedroia and others get leather delivered by Wilson
Minneapolis City Pages: Kent Hrbek: I had tears watching them blow the Metrodome up
ESPN: Orioles’ Machado disappointed by new deal
The New York Times: A Cardinal’s Inspiration to Move Ahead