07/07/12 3:55 PM ET
LoMo shakes off bumps, bruises to help Marlins
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
And toss in a couple of hyperextended fingers to his right hand.
Those were the latest bumps and bruises that the Marlins left fielder endured in Friday's 3-2 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
Some additional discomfort, however, is not coming close to keeping the 24-year-old out of the lineup.
"I want to win," Morrison said. "So, what I want to do personally is get 90 wins. I don't really care how it happens. Whatever I have to do to help the team win, that's what I want to do. To hit .300 would be awesome, but I want to help the team win, I don't care."
Friday's bruises, however, don't come close to the discomfort he is dealing with on an everyday basis with his right knee. Morrison had surgery on the knee last December, and he's been gutting it out on a daily basis.
Although his overall numbers are modest -- .248 with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs -- his production is on the rise at a time his body is beaten up. In July, he is 8-for-19 (.421) with three homers and nine RBIs.
On Friday night, after being twice hit by pitches, Morrison belted a home run that proved to be the game-winner. In the field, fingers in his right hand bent backwards when he tried to make a sliding catch on Carlos Beltran's single to left.
Still, he is fine.
Manager Ozzie Guillen a few days ago praised Morrison's toughness.
"I'm glad he thinks that highly of me," Morrison said. "But I'm sure there are guys playing in a lot more pain than me. If I feel I can help my team win, I'll be out there. If I can't swing the bat, or throw or walk, then I will have to say, 'Don't put me out there.' If I can help the team, I'm going to tell him I want to be out there."
Guillen sees Morrison showing more aggressiveness at the plate.
"Now he doesn't have the mentality of a leadoff hitter," the manager said. "That's what I thought, LoMo had the mentality of a [6-foot-5] leadoff hitter. He'd try to hit the ball to left field, looking for a great count to hit. Now, little by little he is hitting the ball harder."
Guillen credited hitting coach Eduardo Perez with Morrison's approach.
"I think he is more aggressive now swinging the bat than he was earlier in the season," Guillen said.
Oviedo set to begin throwing in Minors games
ST. LOUIS -- You have to go back to Sept. 21, 2011, to find the last time Juan Carlos Oviedo pitched in a professional game.
On Saturday, the 30-year-old right-hander was cleared to compete in Minor League games. He will start off at Class A Jupiter in the Florida State League on Monday.
Oviedo, formerly Leo Nunez, is winding down his eight-week suspension stemming from playing under a false identity.
The terms of the MLB-mandated punishment allowed him to begin pitching in Minor League games 16 days prior to the end of the suspension. The Dominican Republic native is eligible to join the Marlins on July 23.
"It's going to be like the biggest trade of the year," manager Ozzie Guillen said of Oviedo's return. "I will view that like a big trade that we make for the run. That kid is going to help the bullpen."
When he does, Oviedo will provide immediate help in the back end of the bullpen. No longer going by the name Nunez, Oviedo will commonly be called J.C.
He was the Marlins' closer from 2009-11, compiling 92 saves in 117 opportunities. He was 36-for-42 a year ago.
In his final year of being arbitration-eligible, he signed a one-year, $6 million deal in the offseason. But he's only being paid the prorated portion of his salary, which will be less than $3 million.
Having Oviedo gives depth at closer, as well. For instance, on Saturday, Heath Bell was not available because he pitched in four straight games. Oviedo would be the closer option on those days.
"That kid is going to be a big lift," Guillen said.
Solano spells Infante at second in St. Louis
ST. LOUIS -- A day after making a game-saving defensive play, Omar Infante was given Saturday off.
With Infante taking a breather, the Marlins started Donovan Solano at second base.
Solano was a non-drafted free-agent signing for the Cardinals in 2005. He played in the Minors with current St. Louis players such as Jon Jay, Tyler Greene and Allen Craig.
But the Cardinals felt the infielder didn't have a spot in their system, so he was set free, and the Marlins signed him to a Minor League deal on Nov. 22, 2011.
The 24-year-old Colombia native is making the most of limited opportunities, batting .349 in 22 games entering Saturday.
"I talked to a couple of their coaches, and they said it was a shame they had to lose this kid because they didn't have the space for him," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "This kid, from the first day we played him in Spring Training, opened a lot of people's eyes. He played well."
Guillen is glad to give Solano a chance to play against his former organization.
"This kid, he should be proud," the manager said. "All of a sudden, he goes from one organization to the other, and you are invited to Spring Training, just in case something happens."