07/27/12 8:20 PM ET
Marlins like LoMo's work ethic, not production
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
There is no questioning Morrison's work ethic, desire and toughness. What the Marlins are counting on now is performance.
Trading Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers on Wednesday creates the need for some of the everyday players to step up.
Morrison, a highly regarded talent, has struggled with a .234 batting average, 11 home runs and 36 RBIs in 91 games.
"We expect a lot from him, a lot," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We worked with him. We've talked to him. He don't give me the right answer. He tells me he's OK. I hope he says, 'No, I'm not.'"
Guillen's point is if Morrison is hurt or something is off, that may explain the lack of production.
Still, the Marlins are focusing on getting Morrison to fulfill expectations.
"We're working through it," Guillen said. "The one thing about LoMo is he plays the game right. He's a bulldog. He's going to play through pain. He's going to [run into] walls. He's going to do everything. When you have the type of player like that, you've got to give him the most opportunity that you can to work out of slumps. I hope in the next couple of days he gets better."
Morrison's message to himself and the team is, the season starts today.
On Friday, he took early batting practice, working on staying back on the ball and not lunging.
"Just having better at-bats and barreling balls," Morrison said. "That's how you turn things around. There is no secret to it. Keep working, and it will come."
Before Wednesday's trade, Ramirez was the centerpiece of the franchise. Now is an opportunity for Morrison to make more of an impact, in the clubhouse and on the field.
"I think the reason Ozzie says that I'm a leader on the team is because of the way that I play," Morrison said. "Not the numbers; those come. But the way you play every day. You play through pain, you play through soreness. I think all of that stuff is why he looks at me as a leader."
Trade rumors continue to hover over JJ, Marlins
MIAMI -- The Marlins have already made two major moves in a week. So the question remains: Are more deals set to come before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline?
Manager Ozzie Guillen said he met with team officials on Friday, and nothing about trades was mentioned.
There is widespread speculation surrounding Josh Johnson, who is scheduled to pitch on Sunday in the series finale with the Padres.
The Marlins are fielding calls on Johnson, but will only move their ace for a substantial package of big-league-ready players. The Rangers, Angels, Blue Jays, Dodgers and Orioles all have been mentioned, with Texas making the strongest push.
The Rangers have had strong interest in Johnson for a few seasons, while their American League West rivals, the Angels, are likely out of the Johnson sweepstakes after trading for Zack Greinke on Friday.
"It will be JJ. The next day, it will be Carlos [Lee]," Guillen said of the trade rumors. "Every day it's going to be on and on and on and on. That's the way baseball is. They like JJ because he pitched well. If JJ had a bad outing, they'd be, 'Don't talk about JJ.'"
Guillen says the Trade Deadline is good for baseball.
"The Trade Deadline keeps baseball alive," the manager said. "Because this time, baseball gets boring. The Trade Deadline, it's like, 'Let's talk about baseball because football is coming, basketball is coming.' That's the good thing about baseball, the Trade Deadline. Everybody is talking about baseball, talking about trades."
Reyes slides down to third in Miami lineup
MIAMI -- Get on base and make things happen has been what's expected of Jose Reyes. The Marlins also are counting on their veteran shortstop to drive in some runs.
On Friday, Reyes was moved to the third spot in the order for the first time this year.
Reyes, batting .333 with two doubles and three home runs since the All-Star break entering Friday, is not being counted on to hit home runs. But if he can help drive in a few runs and then create havoc on the bases, he will fill a valuable role. Reyes hit an RBI triple in the fourth inning Friday, extending his hit streak to 14 games.
"I don't expect him to hit 40 home runs," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Hopefully, he can drive those guys in. We're missing a couple of key people, and LoMo [Logan Morrison] isn't hitting the ball well. We've got to take advantage, get some guys who can drive some guys in. I think Reyes is the best guy who can do that."
The lineup is without Hanley Ramirez, who was traded on Wednesday to the Dodgers. And Giancarlo Stanton had right knee surgery on July 8, and he will be out at least two more weeks.
Stanton did some jogging on Friday after testing the knee on an anti-gravity treadmill.
With Reyes hitting third, the Marlins have tremendous speed at the top of the order. Emilio Bonifacio and Donovan Solano are ahead of Reyes.
"We're going to try to making things happen," Guillen said. "I have to try to push buttons. We're going to try to make some plays."
In Wednesday's 7-1 loss to the Braves on Wednesday, Miami stole seven bases. Minus power, the team will be banking on speed to help jump-start the offense.
"Sometimes it's going to work, and sometimes it doesn't," Guillen said. "I'm going to take advantage of the type of team we have. I'm going to take advantage of the speed that we have. Hopefully that helps us win games."
Donnie Murphy rejoined the Marlins after having his contract selected from Triple-A New Orleans on Friday.
Murphy was on the Opening Day roster, but in 24 games, he was batting .133. On June 9, Murphy was designated for assignment. He provides depth in the infield and could see some time at third base.