Saturday, March 6, 2010
Ed. note: Every spring, in order to avoid repeating the same rehashed story lines, beat writers for every major league team write 300-word profiles of a whole host of new faces invited to Spring Training. These stories run the gamut from retreads hoping to extend their career one more year to marginal minor league prospects to new free-agent signees getting comfortable with their new teammates. Most of these stories are forgettable, but will give the reader at least one interesting anecdote or point of view. Every week of Spring Training, we'll be posting the best or most interesting of these stories from the Miami Herald, Sun Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, and other news outlets for your weekend reading pleasure.
Florida Marlins Prospect Osvaldo Martinez Bounces Back After Being Shot Three Times in Off-season Incident in Puerto Rico, by Joe Cappozi of the Palm Beach Post:
On Sept. 30, Martinez — fresh off a season with the Class A Jupiter Hammerheads — was sitting at a traffic light near his home in Carolina, Puerto Rico, on his way to meet Marlins infielder Jorge Jimenez for a workout at a gym.Florida Marlins Reliever Quite the Olympic Organizer, by Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald:
"All of a sudden, bam-bam-bam out of nowhere," Martinez said of the gunfire. Before he could react, he had been shot three times — once in the ribs, once in the back and once in the back of the head.
Blood poured down his neck, but Martinez was able to hit the accelerator and drive 10 minutes to his uncle's workplace.
[Seth] McClung organized the first -- and, to this day, only -- "Bullpen Olympics" as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008.Marlins' Rick VandenHurk Armed With New Pitches, by Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post:
Under the right circumstances, namely receptive teammates and permissive management, McClung said he might give the event another whirl this summer, only this time in the Marlins bullpen at Sun Life Stadium.
Rick VandenHurk was hoping to have a full season behind him with his full repertoire of pitches, but that was derailed by an elbow injury that limited him to 11 games last season.Marlins' Ronny Paulino Regrets His Role In Jose Offerman's Lifetime Ban Incident, by Joe Cappozi of the Palm Beach Post:
Now VandenHurk, the 6-foot-5 right-hander, is healthy and armed with an improving slider and sinker as he competes for one of the final three spots in the Marlins rotation.
"It was tough on him in the past because he was relying on that high (fastball) and that curveball," catcher John Baker said. "Those are both pitches that aren't in the strike zone.
"A sinker and a slider, those pitches are in the strike zone for a longer period of time. For the long term it's beneficial for him to throw those pitches."
"I went to the clubhouse and saw the police looking for him to take him to jail, I was like, Wow, if I knew all this would've happened I would have thrown the ball back nice and easy!" Paulino said.Florida Marlins' Bryan Petersen Impressing with Hard-Nosed Play, by Clark Spencer
Bryan Petersen admits he isn't naturally "gifted," blessed with the kind of baseball tools that cause scouts to take instant notice. But in the words of manager Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez, the 23-year-old outfield prospect makes up for it in ways that aren't as evident.
"He's not going to blow your eyes out with above-average speed or an above-average arm," Gonzalez said. "But he comes out and plays baseball the right way, and that's a good thing for me. That's a compliment." [ed. note: Ugh.]