07/16/12 7:10 PM ET
Sprained UCL makes Oviedo's status uncertain
By David Villavicencio / Special to MLB.com
The Marlins reliever had an MRI exam in Miami by team physicians, who determined the right-hander has a sprained right ulnar collateral ligament. There is no timetable for his return.
The injury occurred while Oviedo was pitching on a rehab assignment with Triple-A New Orleans. The right-hander left Saturday's game in the seventh inning after feeling some discomfort in his right elbow.
The 30-year-old is serving an eight-week suspension for playing under a false identity. Formerly known as Leo Nuñez, Oviedo has been preparing to return to the big leagues. He began his rehab assignment on July 9 with Class A Jupiter. His first appearance with New Orleans was cut short by the elbow discomfort.
Prior to learning the results of Oviedo's MRI, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen hoped the 30-year-old was just experiencing "Spring Training fatigue." But now Guillen knows that Oviedo will have another obstacle to overcome before he can pitch again this season.
"I hope it's nothing bad," Guillen said. "This kid went through [a lot] for the last year, and if something happens to his arm, that's very sad. I think about him first and the team later. This kid has gone through a lot of bad stuff in order to come back."
Oviedo, who saved a career-high 36 games in 2011, is eligible to return to the Majors on July 23, but his UCL sprain will likely delay his arrival. Once he rejoins the big league club, he will join Heath Bell and Steve Cishek as late-inning options.
Ruggiano sits again against Nationals righty
MIAMI -- Justin Ruggiano was not in the lineup for the second consecutive game Monday, but the 30-year-old is not missing time due to injury.
Even though Ruggiano is one of the Marlins' hottest hitters, manager Ozzie Guillen decided to give the left-handed-hitting Greg Dobbs the start against Nationals right-hander Edwin Jackson.
"Tomorrow we're going to face a lefty," Guillen said, referring to Cubs southpaw Travis Wood. "I'm just giving some at-bats to a lefty against Jackson. He'll be ready to play tomorrow."
Ruggiano assured that he is perfectly healthy and looking forward to whenever Guillen calls on him to enter the game.
"I'm fine," Ruggiano said. "I think putting Dobbs in right field is good. Dobbs is handling right-handers really well, and I think Ozzie is just going with what he feels gives us the best opportunity. I'm just trying to stay ready for a big situation."
Acquired by the Marlins in late May, Ruggiano went on a tear almost immediately and earned more playing time with every successful at-bat.
"I think that's the difference between a Major Leaguer and a Minor Leaguer," Ruggiano said. "It's someone who has been given a chance and it's not just a two- or three-day chance. Sometimes when you first get called up, you have to get acclimated and get that heart rate down. It's your dream, and then when you get here, you've got all kind of emotions flowing. It takes a while to settle down. I still get butterflies every game. I hope they never leave."
Ruggiano has hit .378 with six homers and 17 RBIs since joining the Marlins. While he acknowledges his success so far, the outfielder is still appreciative of the opportunity Guillen and the Marlins have given him this year.
"Ozzie's given me a chance and I'm just very grateful for it," Ruggiano said.
Marlins hitters putting in work, but results not there
MIAMI -- The Marlins' offense has struggled to score runs for most of the season, and the trend has continued early in the second half.
Miami has mustered just three runs in the first three games since the All-Star break, and outfielder Justin Ruggiano feels frustration is starting to spread in the clubhouse.
"It eats at you a little bit, but I don't think we can sit here and dwell on it," Ruggiano said. "We just need to go out there and play and stay positive."
Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen believes his team has the ability to perform better offensively, but he knows that it is up to the players to execute.
"What can we do? Nothing," Guillen said. "We do everything we can on our end, but we don't play. At the end of the day, it's about them. We hit early every day, we work on it and we have a great video room. We have everything they ask us to have, but when you're up at the plate, the video room is not going to help you, the coach can't help and your manager can't help. You are on your own, and you have to resolve you own problems."
Hitting coach Eduardo Perez can be seen working with his players well before every game. But Guillen knows that a coach can only do his part and the players are the ones who can make that coach look like good or bad.
"I think they can help with the mental part," Guillen said. "The hitting coach can give them something to work with and believe in. They help you prepare on what a guy might throw you, but in the end, it's all about them. They have to do it."
Beyond working with Perez, Marlins players are also routinely analyzing their swings on video. The Marlins have a state-of-the-art video room at Marlins Park, but Guillen does not put as much emphasis on technology as his players do.
"I don't watch video much," Guillen said. "I don't believe in that, because that's from like 10 years ago. There was a lot of much better hitters before 10 years ago. They believe in video and they watch, but I think approach is mental."
Guillen is not seeing the results he would like from his players' work, but he knows they are trying to snap out of their struggles. When that changes, he guarantees that it will not last as long as their slump has.
"The day I don't see them fighting, you guys will be the second to know it," Guillen said. "They will be the first. They fight, but we're just not getting it done."
Giancarlo Stanton had stitches removed from his surgically repaired knee on Monday, but manager Ozzie Guillen did not have much to add on his injured All-Star. "Stanton, I'm not thinking about Stanton for the next month," Guillen said. Stanton underwent surgery to remove loose bodies from his right knee over the All-Star break. He is expected to return sometime in August.
David Villavicencio is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.