03/20/2013 4:45 PM ET
Marlins release utility infielder Figgins
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
JUPITER, Fla. -- On a youthful Marlins' squad, Chone Figgins was viewed as a candidate to bring the team a veteran presence.
The 35-year-old super utility player is widely respected for his work ethic and ability to play pretty much any position on the field.
But at a time when the team is making tough decisions, Figgins had his hopes of becoming a Marlin end on Wednesday afternoon.
After the Marlins' 7-5 loss to the Nationals on Wednesday, the team released Figgins, reducing its number of players in camp to 42.
Figgins signed as a non-roster invitee on Feb. 8. A switch-hitter, Figgins has been competing for a backup spot.
In Grapefruit League play, Figgins batted .308 (8-for-26).
Releasing Figgins enhances Nick Green's chances of making the team as the primary middle infielder. Green also is a non-roster invitee. The fact that Green plays a solid defensive shortstop is working to his advantage.
Other middle infield candidates are Chris Valaika and Matt Downs, both non-roster invitees.
Figgins broke in with the Angels in 2002, and he's a .277 career hitter.
In 2007, he batted .330.
Figgins was with the Mariners from 2010-12, and he's struggled the past two years, batting .181 in 166 at-bats a year ago.
Solano scratched due to stiff lower back
JUPITER, Fla. -- With little fuss, Donovan Solano has quietly been one of the Marlins' most productive players in Spring Training. That's why when he isn't on the field, it raises big questions in camp.
On Wednesday morning, Solano was noticeably absent in batting practice.
Why? Solano was scratched from the lineup due to a stiff lower back. The steady second baseman tweaked something while working out in the weight room in the morning.
"We'll see how I feel tomorrow," the 25-year-old said.
Solano became a regular in the second half last year, and he's continued to impress since camp opened. In 15 Grapefruit League games, the Colombia native is batting .409 (18-for-44).
Initially, Solano was penciled in to bat fifth against the Nationals on Wednesday at Roger Dean Stadium. He was replaced by Chris Valaika.
"Give him a day and see how he feels," manager Mike Redmond said. "I just hope it's a one-day thing."
As of Wednesday morning, it wasn't determined if Solano would have an MRI. The Marlins are off on Thursday and they have a night game against the Mets on Friday.
With Solano out, Nick Green and Valaika are options at second base.
"We've talked about the depth," Redmond said. "We need to keep all of these guys healthy. Hopefully, it's just a temporary thing."
Turner continues battle for spot on Marlins' staff
JUPITER, Fla. -- More than one spot is open in the Marlins' rotation. The organization is using the final days of Spring Training to decide on the final two spots.
Jacob Turner, who entered camp as a favorite for one of the five spots, is competing for a spot. He's in the mix with Wade LeBlanc, Kevin Slowey and John Maine.
Two of the four are expected to fill the fourth and fifth slots. Slowey and Maine are non-roster invitees.
Turner, 21, has had an up-and-down Spring Training.
"It's still up in the air," manager Mike Redmond said. "He's still fighting for the fifth spot."
Turner has made three Grapefruit League starts, and he's 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA (10 runs in 8 1/3 innings). On Tuesday, the right-hander gave up four runs in five innings to the Cardinals. There was encouragement by his first three innings, which were scoreless.
The Marlins acquired Turner from the Tigers last July as part of the Omar Infante/Anibal Sanchez trade. The right-hander showed promise in 10 big league starts in 2012. In September, he posted a 2.63 ERA, and in his final start of the season, he gave up one run in 7 2/3 innings in a no-decision against the Mets.
Turner's next start is Sunday against the Astros in Kissimmee.
"We've got to make sure he's ready and prepared to do the things it takes to make him successful in the big leagues," Redmond said.
Hechavarria adapting to new environment
JUPITER, Fla. -- In assessing Adeiny Hechavarria, the Marlins are looking at the big picture instead of strictly Spring Training numbers.
Hechavarria is making the adjustment to a new team and a new league. The smooth-fielding 23-year-old shortstop entered Wednesday afternoon batting .175 (7-for-40) in 15 Grapefruit League games.
No one questions Hechavarria's ability to field. It's his hitting that has raised the most questions. In 2012, he appeared in 41 games for the Blue Jays, batting .254 with two home runs and 15 RBIs.
"Everybody looks at the batting average or whatever," manager Mike Redmond said. "I look at the quality of the at-bats. He's put together some good at-bats and has some hard-hit balls. Obviously, you come into a new situation, and it's a little bit of trying to impress everybody. And he has with his glove."
Hechavarria was acquired by the Marlins as part of the blockbuster 12-player trade with the Blue Jays in November. He is filling the shortstop spot vacated by Jose Reyes, included in the deal.
"We all feel like he's going to hit," Redmond said. "We're excited about him and what he brings to the ballclub."
Born in Cuba, Hechavarria is a gifted talent who turns 24 on April 15. The general feeling is he will develop into a standout big leaguer. He's drawn comparisons to Edgar Renteria.
As he is making the transition to the Marlins and the National League, Hechavarria will be closely monitored.
"New league, young guy, we'll keep an eye on him," Redmond said. "He brings so much to this team defensively. It's going to be fun to watch him play every day."
In time, Hechavarria's offense is expected to match his defense.
"I see the way he plays, he brings some energy to our lineup," Redmond said. "I know that he's excited about the opportunity he has to be an everyday player in the big leagues.
"I'm excited for when the lights come on, to see what he can do, when the games really count and the pressure is on. That's what I'm excited about."
• On Wednesday morning, right-hander Doug Mathis, right-hander Mitch Talbot, infielder Ed Lucas and catcher J.T. Realmuto were reassigned to Minor League camp.
• To get extra at-bats, Justin Ruggiano on Wednesday played seven innings in center field and had seven at-bats in a Minor League game. Ruggiano missed most of Spring Training with a back strain, and he is playing catch-up to get ready for the season. Austin Kearns and Casey Kotchman also played in the Minor League game, only to get at-bats.