5/18/2013 7:35 P.M. ET
Trio of first basemen nearing rehab stints
By Joe Frisaro and Joe Morgan / MLB.com
MIAMI -- Class A Jupiter is about to load up on first basemen.
Three could be joining the Hammerheads next week.
The Marlins are expecting Logan Morrison to begin his rehab assignment with Jupiter on Monday. A day or two later, Casey Kotchman and Joe Mahoney are projected to join the club.
Morrison, who opened the season on the 60-day disabled list, has been playing in extended spring training games. The left-handed-hitting first baseman is recovering from right knee surgery.
"LoMo, they're planning on him going out in rehab on Monday," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "We'll see how that goes."
Kotchman strained his right hamstring in the second game of the season, and on May 8 he was transferred to the 60-day DL. Mahoney went on the 15-day disabled list on April 30 with a strained right hamstring.
By rule, position players can spend a maximum of 20 days on rehab assignment.
Morrison is eligible to be reinstated on May 30, but June 1 is a more realistic date.
All three will be splitting time either playing first base or designated hitter.
Also on Monday, Nathan Eovaldi, on the 60-day DL with right shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to throw about 45 pitches in a simulated game.
"It looks like hopefully all those guys will be right around the same time [back]," Redmond said.
Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, out with a right hamstring strain, has been playing catch and hitting off a tee. Sometime next week, the All-Star may start some light jogging.
Donovan Solano, on the disabled list since May 7 with a left oblique strain, has been throwing, but he hasn't swung a bat.
Redmond envisions long-relief role for Below
MIAMI -- Duane Below is the newest member of an overworked Marlins' bullpen. Nine Miami relievers have combined to throw 16 innings through the first four games of the current homestand.
Manager Mike Redmond aims to insert the left-handed Below into a long-relief role similar to that of fellow lefty Wade LeBlanc. LeBlanc will likely require a day or two of rest after throwing four innings in Miami's 9-2 loss to Arizona on Friday night. Below arrived at Marlins Park shortly before Saturday's game.
"We need, right now, guys that can throw multiple innings," Redmond said. "We were just at a point in time where it was time to move on and get a guy who could throw some more innings. … It's nice to have another lefty in there, a guy that can throw multiple innings."
Below was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans late Friday night after right-hander Jon Rauch was designated for assignment.
Miami claimed Below off waivers from the Tigers on April 25. Below has pitched predominantly as a starter during his Minor League career, making 124 starts since 2006, including four with New Orleans this season. But his time in the Majors has come mostly in the bullpen.
Twenty-six of his 27 appearances for the Tigers last season came in relief. Below finished 2012 with a 2-1 record and a 3.88 ERA in 46 1/3 innings. He struck out 29 batters, walked eight and recorded a 1.23 WHIP.
In addition to eating innings out of the bullpen, Redmond sees Below as a potential situational reliever against left-handed hitters. Lefties hit .304 against Below last season, but he managed to overcome the hits with a 2.21 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.
"Having a guy like [Below] is beneficial to the staff, because now [we] have another guy that you can run out there who's been starting, who's built up, can throw multiple innings," Redmond said. "That just gives us more flexibility."
Marlins hope to rebound like 2006 squad
MIAMI -- After the Marlins' transitioned to a young, inexperienced team in the offseason, comparisons were made to the 2006 team, which also was filled with rookies.
Like the current club, the '06 Marlins started the season 11-31.
Now, the question is whether the Marlins can make a turnaround that is similar to what took place seven years ago.
Miami's backup catcher Miguel Olivo was part of both teams. Olivo was the Opening Day starter in '06.
"I know everybody got together, and we started playing more together as a team," Olivo said.
With Joe Girardi managing, the Marlins in '06 made a big improvement, finishing 78-84. In early September of that year, they were two games over .500 before stumbling at the end of the season.
"Nobody's giving up here," manager Mike Redmond said. "Nobody's quitting. Like I said, these guys are a resilient bunch. Obviously, nobody's happy with the losses and the six-game losing streak. But at the same time, too, guys are coming out here, they're competing, they're battling. And that's all we can ask."
Mounting losses increase pressure to produce
MIAMI -- The mounting number of losses raises the sense of urgency around the Marlins for players to produce.
The more the team struggles, the greater chance that changes could be made.
Several players who are on the disabled list could be back in a few weeks. And by mid-June, prospects like Christian Yelich, the Marlins' No. 2 prospect and No. 13 overall prospect, are expected to be promoted to the big leagues.
"There is always a sense of urgency in the big leagues, at least there should be," manager Mike Redmond said. "It's all about producing and production. If you don't produce, you don't stick around, that's just the way it is. It's been like that forever."
With the team 20-games under .500, the Marlins are finding themselves being targeted by contending clubs regarding potential trades. Relievers Steve Cishek, Ryan Webb and Mike Dunn are probable targets.
"These guys understand guys are hurt, and guys are coming back, and they're reading the newspapers and know everything that is being written," Redmond said. "They know the situation. It really comes down to where guys have to go out there and play and produce."
• During batting practice on Saturday, Miami's extended spring training squad was at Marlins Park, watching from field level. A few of these young prospects to keep an eye on are outfielder Wildert Pujols and right-hander Jorgan Cavaner from the Dominican Republic, and shortstop Rehiner Corova from Venezuela.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.