2/19/2013 4:05 P.M. ET
Trader Jack makes his first spring appearance
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
JUPITER, Fla. -- A familiar face was back in uniform on Tuesday afternoon.
Former Marlins manager Jack McKeon, who remains a special adviser in the organization, made his first appearance in Spring Training.
McKeon, who makes Elon, N.C., home, typically visits Spring Training camp for a couple of weeks.
The 82-year-old, of course, managed the franchise to the 2003 World Series championship.
Current Miami manager Mike Redmond was part of that team, and he played two seasons for McKeon.
Early Tuesday, McKeon walked into Redmond's office and proclaimed: "I'm reporting for duty."
McKeon was supportive of the Marlins hiring Redmond, who replaced Ozzie Guillen.
Redmond finds a benefit to having McKeon, and his 60-plus years of professional experience, around the youthful team.
Redmond noted that as a manager, McKeon had loyalty to his players.
"He played those guys. He stuck with them," Redmond said. "It didn't matter if you were struggling, and you were 0-for-20, he'd run you out there. He'd keep running you out there until you figured it out.
"At the same time, too, he was able to get the bench guys all on board with what we were trying to do. He made everybody accountable. Everybody was accountable for their job, and their role on the team. And it worked. He had a lot of success."
Kotchman sidelined after popup machine mishap
JUPITER, Fla. -- In hindsight, Casey Kotchman probably should have just let the machine crash to the ground.
If he had, he may have reduced the damage incurred by his freakish injury that occurred on Monday at Marlins camp.
Kotchman sliced his left ring finger when he ran into the machine that was flinging infield popups. By clutching the machine to prevent it from falling, the veteran first baseman may have caused more damage.
On Monday, he received four stitches on his ring finger, as well as scraped his left middle finger. Both fingers were taped on Tuesday.
"He's going to be out a few days," manager Mike Redmond said. "I guess we list him as day to day, but he's got some stitches. We'll let that thing heal up. Hopefully, it won't be too long."
Kotchman joked about the bizarre circumstances that led to the injury.
"It's probably not every day where you get your hand caught in a pitching machine, on a pop fly," he said.
Teammate Greg Dobbs interjected that Kotchman should have let the machine topple over.
"I'm trying to be a gentleman to the machine, and not throw it down to the ground," Kotchman replied.
Until the stitches are removed, it is unclear how much time he will miss.
"I just got some stitches in it, and we'll see how it feels," Kotchman said Tuesday morning. "I think the tentative plan is to let it calm down for now, and see how it progresses."
Kotchman signed a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training on Feb. 15, the first day of full-squad workouts. He was brought in to provide depth at first base.
"When I hit the pitching machine, I grabbed it," Kotchman said. "When I grabbed it, the wheel was kind of cutting my finger. I guess, instead of hitting it over, I held onto it, and kind of picked it up, and it just kept slicing.
"I didn't even realize it was bleeding at first. When I walked back to first base, I was, like, 'Ok, it is bleeding.' "
One reason the Marlins signed Kotchman is because Logan Morrison's status for Opening Day remains in question.
Just got cleared to run.. on a treadmill.. In a anti gravity bubble.Baby step, but I'll take it. Never thought I was going to this excited- Logan Morrison (@LoMoMarlins) February 19, 2013
On Tuesday, Morrison, who had surgery on his right knee last September, was examined by Dr. Richard Steadman, who performed the surgery, in Vail, Colo.
Morrison, via his @LoMoMarlins Twitter account, said he was cleared to start running on a treadmill.
"Just got cleared to run.. on a treadmill.. In a anti gravity bubble," Morrison tweeted. "Baby step, but I'll take it. Never thought I was going to this excited."
It could be a few more weeks before he is cleared to run on grass.
Marlins feeling a need for speed on offense
JUPITER, Fla. -- Minus substantial power, the Marlins will be relying more heavily on speed in hopes of generating runs.
"Guys who can run, we're going to let them go," manager Mike Redmond said. "I've always liked to be aggressive. Now, it's not going to be crazy running."
At the top of the order, the team features Juan Pierre, who leads all active MLB players with 591 career stolen bases.
The 35-year-old, expected to lead off, swiped 37 bases while with the Phillies a year ago.
The 2012 Marlins were active in the running game, stealing 149 bases, the third most in the Major Leagues. But from that squad, Jose Reyes (40) and Emilio Bonifacio (30) have since been traded. And Hanley Ramirez, dealt to the Dodgers last July, chipped in with 14 before being moved. Omar Infante, traded to the Tigers in July, added 10.
Justin Ruggiano stole 14 bases, and Giancarlo Stanton is capable of reaching double-digits.
"We're going to have to find ways to put pressure on defenses," Redmond said. "That's going to have to be part of our game."
• The Marlins will spice up their workout on Wednesday by playing simulated games on the back fields at the Roger Dean Stadium complex. Rather than do a third straight day of hitting live against the pitchers behind screens and covered cages, there will be the introduction of game situations.
Pitchers will face hitters, and there will be defenders in the field. But hitters will not be running. Miami opens its Grapefruit League schedule on Saturday against the Cardinals. The Marlins will be on the field at 10 a.m. ET.
• Placido Polanco was back in camp working out. On Monday, the projected starting third baseman was at the dentist. In a week or two, he will have a root canal procedure.
• On Tuesday, the Marlins announced they've reached contracts with nine players they have under club control. Agreeing to contracts for the 2013 season are RHP Steve Cishek, RHP Tom Koehler, LHP Scott Maine, LHP Edgar Olmos, RHP Evan Reed, C Kyle Skipworth, 1B Joe Mahoney, OF Kyle Jensen, and OF Alfredo Silverio.