2/13/2013 3:32 P.M. ET
Nothing like hitting for catcher Brantly
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
JUPITER, Fla. -- Defense and handling the pitching staff may be the highest priorities for any regular catcher.
Still, to Miami catcher Rob Brantly, there is nothing like hitting.
Brantly is a promising hitter who has a solid approach, and he's willing to take his walks. A left-handed hitter, he batted .290 with three homers and eight RBIs in 100 at-bats for the Marlins last year. Brantly spent most of the season in the Minor Leagues, where he combined to hit .298 with five homers and 41 RBIs.
"I love to hit," Brantly said. "I'd be lying if I didn't say it wasn't a lot of players' favorite part of the game -- to get out there and take their hacks. I trust my process. I trust my abilities to hit. My swing, even now, is good. It feels like it's in a good place."
Brantly is excited to have the chance to work with hitting coach Tino Martinez.
"I think he has a lot of good things to bring to my game offensively," the 23-year-old catcher said. "It's only going to help me grow there and become a better hitter. I definitely trust my ability to hit."
Redmond impressed with Stanton's raw power
JUPITER, Fla. -- Full-squad workouts don't get under way until Friday, but already baseballs were flying over the fence on the back fields at the Roger Dean Stadium complex. In shorts and a T-shirt, All-Star Giancarlo Stanton took batting practice on Wednesday morning.
"I watched him hit," first-year manager Mike Redmond said. "I know we lost a lot of balls out there on that field."
Stanton's presence is definitely felt, even during informal batting practice. Redmond is just now seeing the 23-year-old slugger's raw power firsthand. A former big league catcher, Redmond compared Stanton's force with that of Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire.
"I don't know if I've seen a ball jump off a bat like that since watching those guys play," Redmond said. "He gets that extension and leverage that very few guys are able to do. That's why everybody talks about him the way that they do. He's one of those special guys."
Stanton finished second in the National League in home runs last year with 37, which also is the second most by a Marlins player in a season.
Stanton hit in a group that also had Juan Pierre, Placido Polanco and Chris Coghlan.
Besides Stanton, Miami's lineup doesn't possess tremendous power. Who bats behind the slugger has yet to be determined.
"He's a monster in that lineup," Redmond said. "He's definitely that guy in the middle of that lineup, if you are on the other team, you can't let that guy beat you. It's going to be a tremendous opportunity for one of these guys to step up and hit behind him and have a chance to drive in a lot of runs. We'll see who that will be."
Classic pitchers' schedules won't change much
JUPITER, Fla. -- In the first couple of days of March, a couple of Marlins pitchers will be leaving Spring Training to enter the World Baseball Classic.
Steve Cishek will be pitching in relief for Team USA, and Henderson Alvarez is hopeful to be in the rotation for Venezuela. All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton also will be playing for the United States.
Regarding the pitchers and their scheduled throwing sessions, manager Mike Redmond says not much will change.
"We're going to try to get them to a progression and build them up, and try to see them as much as we can," Redmond said. "But we're not going to schedule more bullpens to get a better look at them.
"We're just trying to make sure they get their throwing in, and make sure they're ready to go when they leave here. So they'll be fine."
Cishek took over as closer in the second half of 2012, and Redmond said the job is his to lose with the Marlins. For Team USA, Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel is expected to close.
Cishek was Miami's best reliever a year ago, and a big part of his success comes from a deceptive sidearm delivery.
"I watched him pitch on video," Redmond said. "It's a funky little delivery. He did a nice job. I'm looking forward to seeing him pitch. He's the guy. He's definitely the front-runner for the closer job."
Marlins have plenty of pitching jobs up for grabs
JUPITER, Fla. -- Two days into Spring Training, all 38 pitchers in Marlins camp have already thrown off the mound.
There are bullpen jobs and the fifth-starter role up for grabs, and there is no shortage of candidates.
"I'm impressed with a lot of arms, a lot of different guys," manager Mike Redmond said. "You try not to get too excited about a bullpen session the first day of Spring Training. Like I've said, it's impressive. Trying to put names to faces, and trying to see these guys out there, and how they work and how they go about their business. For a lot of young guys, this is very impressive. They've handled themselves really well."
Workouts resume around 10 a.m. ET on Thursday, and they are open and free to the public.