3/12/2013 5:11 P.M. ET
Polanco steady, Dobbs to return on Saturday
By Joey Nowak / MLB.com
JUPITER, Fla. -- Marlins manager Mike Redmond said Placido Polanco is "still the same" in his recovery from a right oblique strain and his third-base backup Greg Dobbs is on track to return to game action on Saturday after battling a calf injury.
Dobbs has appeared in one Grapefruit League game, going 1-for-3. He took grounders, ran the bases and took batting practice on Tuesday.
"I guess he can't really make his Grapefruit League debut twice, but it'll be good to get him back," Redmond said of Dobbs. "I know he's feeling good. He's been able to hit and stuff, but he just wants to feel like he's 100 percent to run."
Polanco has appeared in four games this spring, going 4-for-10 with an RBI, a walk and a strikeout. He was signed as a free agent to a one-year contract on Dec. 20 to play third base.
"It's just kind of on him now," Redmond said. "He's able to hit and all that stuff, so it's just a matter of when he's able to feel good enough to throw."
With Polanco and Dobbs on the mend, it's meant more reps for non-roster invitees Chone Figgins and Kevin Kouzmanoff at third base. Kouzmanoff hit his third home run of the spring on Tuesday, a two-run shot in the third.
Nolasco roughed up by Astros
JUPITER, Fla. -- Ricky Nolasco had a short message for the Astros when he spoke after his Tuesday outing against Houston at Roger Dean Stadium.
"Batting practice is over," the-right-hander joked after his brutal start.
Miami's Opening Day starter was roughed up to the tune of seven runs (all earned) on eight hits, including four home runs, in three innings.
"I just couldn't command the ball anywhere," Nolasco said. "Just all over the place. It felt actually really weird, but the arm actually felt pretty good warming up and long-tossing. I was kind of excited because my arm was feeling pretty good, it was just my body wasn't cooperating with my arm in terms of rhythm and timing and all that stuff."
Nolasco clarified, saying the weirdness was just the way the ball was staying so far up in the zone.
"I normally don't miss by so much," he said. "Just yanking my front side and stuff."
He did strike out four, but walked two. He threw 68 pitches, 40 for strikes.
"It was a good way to know what not to feel," Nolasco said. "So if I ever feel that again, I can know to make the adjustment."
When asked how he may have approached the start differently had it been a regular-season game, Nolasco said: "I probably averaged like two pitches per hitter because they were just hacking. So obviously I'm not gonna be sitting there trying to work on first-pitch fastball location. If I see a team coming out hacking like that in the first inning, I'm gonna start throwing a lot of off-speed first pitches and not letting them sit there and tee off."
• Manager Mike Redmond said Austin Kearns' slow start this spring -- he's gone 2-for-21 with one run, three walks and nine strikeouts in seven games this spring -- isn't something worth being overly concerned about at this point.
"He's a veteran guy, a veteran player, a veteran bat off the bench," Redmond said. "We know that, number one, he's used to hitting off the bench, which is tough for young guys to do. It's not easy to take a young guy who's used to playing every single day and getting consistent at-bats and put him on the bench in the big leagues and ask him to pinch-hit every 3-4 days, maybe get a start once a week, maybe not. That's tough."
Kearns appeared in 87 games for the Marlins last year, his first with the club, and played first base, left field and right field, designated hitter and had 52 pinch-hit plate appearances.
"It is nice to have a guy like Kearns out there that you can play him once a week, you can pinch-hit him against a tough righty, you can start him against a tough lefty," Redmond said. "He gives us some flexibility."
• Marlins reliever Steve Cishek and outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, will face Puerto Rico on Tuesday night in Miami.
Stanton is 0-for-7 with two walks and two strikeouts in the tournament, while Cishek has pitched one full inning, spanning two appearances, walking two.
• Hall of Famer and Marlins special assistant to the general manager Tony Perez exchanged the lineup cards before Tuesday's game with his son, Eduardo, the Astros' bench coach.