4/2/2014 7:10 P.M. ET
Strides in bullpen tested early against Rockies
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
MIAMI-- All of those close calls that went against Marlins relievers a year ago have taught them a lesson the hard way.
The club was involved in 89 games that were decided by two runs or fewer, and it won 34 of them.
The bullpen knows it will play a major role if the club is to reverse that trend this season.
"We've got guys out there who can come after anybody and clean up a situation," setup right-hander A.J. Ramos said. "It's a good feeling. It's reassuring. It shows we're a different team this year."
Ramos was involved in one of those situations in Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Rockies. In the eighth inning, after the Rockies scored off Mike Dunn to pull within a run, Ramos inherited a two-out scenario with the potential tying run at third base. He ended up walking Wilin Rosario after he got ahead in the count.
But marking a change from last year, Ramos did not give in to Rosario after getting ahead in the count. Rather than throw him a two-strike fastball, Ramos hoped the batter would chase a slider. With a base open, Ramos did not care if he walked the power-hitting catcher.
Ramos ended up walking Rosario, but it would not matter, as he struck out Nolan Arenado to end the threat.
"The feeling is last year has passed us, and we were really close in a lot of games," Ramos said. "It took one hit or getting one more out. This year, we're making it a point that as a team we're going to get these wins, and as a team we're going to pick each other up. That's why.
"Dunn struggled a little bit; I came in and got the guy out. I'm going to struggle, and someone else is going to come in and get me out of a situation. It's just knowing that the team is all buying in, and we have to play as a team. That's what we're doing right now. I know it's a cliché, but sometimes clichés are the truth."
Marlins prospect Moran to miss three weeks
MIAMI -- Marlins prospect Colin Moran, the sixth overall pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, is expected to miss about three weeks because of a left knee injury.
While the left-handed-hitting third baseman will open the season on the Minor League disabled list with a medial collateral ligament sprain, it appears he has avoided a more serious situation. Initially, there was fear he may have sustained structural damage to a ligament or his meniscus. He now anticipates two weeks of rest, plus another week of rehab before he is game ready.
Moran, rated the Marlins' No. 2 prospect behind lefty Andrew Heaney according to MLB.com, is scheduled to open the season at Class A Jupiter.
A standout at the University of North Carolina last year, Moran gained some experience in big league Spring Training camp with the Marlins.
Play at plate elicits strategy, if not challenge
MIAMI -- Plays at home plate will be closely watched now that Major League Baseball has changed its rule on collisions.
One play in particular could have turned controversial in Miami's 4-3 win over the Rockies on Tuesday night. In the second inning, Garrett Jones was able to slide home safely after Troy Tulowitzki's relay throw wasn't handled by catcher Wilin Rosario.
But as Jones ran toward home, manager Mike Redmond was prepared to argue, with the contention that Rosario was blocking the plate without the ball. In the Marlins' judgment, Jones would have been denied a lane to slide.
"I would have gone out there for that, absolutely," Redmond said. "It just looked like a normal play on any normal year where he was blocking the plate and was going to catch the ball and get the guy out. He would have slid into him.
"He was definitely, in my opinion, blocking the plate without the ball."
Because of the rule change, runners can no longer barrel over catchers. But the catcher must leave an opening for the runner. If not, the runner can attempt to dislodge the ball without sliding.
• Ed Lucas on Wednesday completed his surgery to insert a pin in his fractured left hand. Lucas sustained a fracture to his third metacarpal, and the pin was put in to make sure the bone would heal straight.
Lucas fractured his hand after being hit by a pitch last Thursday. The revised recovery estimate is four to six weeks from the surgery.
• Brian Bogusevic is remaining within the Marlins' system. On Wednesday, the outfielder was outrighted to Triple-A New Orleans. Bogusevic was the club's final cut, and because he was out of options, he was designated for assignment on Sunday.
He could have sought an opportunity elsewhere but instead opted to take the assignment, and he will join the Zephyrs. Bogusevic was acquired from the Cubs for Justin Ruggiano in December.
While Bogusevic is staying, the Marlins lost the services of reliever Michael Brady. Brady was designated on Sunday, making room on the 40-man roster for Kevin Slowey.
• Rafael Furcal (left hamstring strain) is doing some running on an anti-gravity treadmill. The team will have a better idea of when he will pick up his running by the end of the week.
• With a day game set for Thursday, catcher Jeff Mathis is expected to get his first start in place of Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
• The roof at Marlins Park on Wednesday was opened for the third straight night. Last year, the roof was open 14 times. The team would like to keep it open about 20 times this year.