06/20/10 12:28 AM EST
Hanley '50-50' for Sunday with tight hamstring
Ramirez suffers injury on double in eighth inning vs. Rays
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
The Marlins' All-Star shortstop received treatment immediately after leaving the Marlins' 9-8 loss in 11 innings to the Rays at Sun Life Stadium.
The team will evaluate Ramirez in the morning to see if he can play in the series finale, which is set for 1:10 p.m. ET on Sunday.
"He iced it down," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We'll re-evaluate it tomorrow. If I had to give you a percentage, it's 50-50 that he will play."
Ramirez tweaked his hamstring in the eighth inning after he delivered a two-run double. While sprinting into second base, he felt discomfort in his leg. Gonzalez and trainer Sean Cunningham tended to Ramirez at the base, and he remained in the game.
Ramirez ended up scoring, but he was replaced by Brian Barden in the top of the ninth.
Ramirez was enjoying a strong game on Saturday. He belted his 11th homer, and he finished with three RBIs.
If Ramirez can't go, Barden likely will start at shortstop on Sunday.
Marlins endorse JJ's availability for ASG
MIAMI -- The way his rotation spots fall, Marlins ace Josh Johnson would be available to pitch on July 13.
Why is that date significant?
It's the All-Star Game, which will be played in Anaheim.
The Marlins are hopeful that Johnson once again is selected to represent the National League. A year ago, JJ was voted in by his peers, but because he pitched on the Sunday before the game, he wasn't used.
The NL will be managed by Philadelphia's Charlie Manuel, who has seen Johnson pitch a number of times over the years.
"I hope I get a phone call from Charlie saying he'd like to see JJ's availability for the All-Star Game," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I think if everything goes well, without a rainout, he should be good to pitch in that game."
Johnson, who is 7-2, has the third-lowest ERA (1.86) in the NL. While fans vote for the All-Star starting position players, they don't have a say in the pitching staffs.
Players vote on pitchers. Major League Baseball and the manager of the NL squad have input in picking the pitchers.
Johnson takes the mound on Sunday against Tampa Bay. He has allowed three earned runs (four total) in his last 49 innings over his last seven starts.
Counting Sunday's start, Johnson is lined up to make five more starts before the All-Star Game. If he stays throwing every fifth game, he will pitch on July 7 at the Dodgers. That would be his final game before the All-Star break.
So he would be available for the Midsummer Classic, Gonzalez said, unless the team goes with the suggestion of Wes Helms' son, Wesley.
"He wants me to use JJ in the bullpen when he is not starting," Gonzalez said jokingly.
Robertson compares Stanton to Cabrera
MIAMI -- Over time, they may go down as the two best homegrown position players in Marlins history.
Miguel Cabrera signed out of Venezuela at age 16 in 1999. And Mike Stanton was selected in round two of the First-Year Player Draft in 2007 as a 17-year-old from Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Nate Robertson has the unique vantage point of seeing them both at an early age. A fifth-round Draft pick out of Wichita State University in 1999, Robertson was the winning pitcher for the Marlins on Friday, thanks largely to Stanton's first-inning grand slam.
Going back to when Robertson was playing Class A ball in Kane County, he faced Cabrera in an intrasquad game.
"I was coming off an elbow injury," Robertson said. "It was an intrasquad deal, and Cabrera put a liner off my butt. He stayed on a pretty decent pitch. I was like, this kid can handle the bat a little bit, and he was 17 years old."
Prior to being traded to the Marlins, Robertson also was a teammate of Cabrera in Detroit.
"Cabrera, I think he's more of a batting average guy," Robertson said. "I haven't seen Mike enough for me to make an assessment on him. But you know he's going to be a special player. Let him play. I think that's the big thing with everybody, you just have to let them play."
Robertson has seen enough of Stanton to know he has special power.
"Mike's dangerous with every swing," Robertson said. "If he connects, someone definitely is going to be in line to be hurt. When he makes contact, he hits it hard. He's just got that raw power. He's just got to not get too aggressive. He's going to develop into one of the best. He's got a good eye and great plate coverage, which is what Cabrera has. They should have similar careers. They should."
Stanton's grand slam on Friday was his first big league homer. It also snapped an 0-for-12 slump with six strikeouts he had in three games against the Rangers.
"Anyone can self-destruct and start thinking about the worst," Stanton said of his three-game slump. "That's what baseball is all about. Three games aren't going to make or break a season. You just have got to be strong and come out the next time."
Robertson notes that Stanton will improve over time.
"Mike's got an idea up there. He will be pretty good," the lefty pitcher said. "I think as he breaks in, things will get better and better for him."
Last day to vote at Sun Life Stadium
MIAMI -- "Vote for Hanley" buttons have been seen around Sun Life Stadium. So have ballot boxes for the 2010 All-Star Game.
The push remains strong to secure Ramirez's third straight start as the National League All-Star shortstop. Ramirez leads Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins as the top vote-getting shortstop in the league.
Paper ballots at Sun Life Stadium, however, are coming to a close. Saturday is the last day for fans to cast All-Star votes at Marlins home games.
Voting does continue online at www.marlins.com and www.mlb.com.
Fans can cast their votes for starters up to 25 times at MLB.com and all 30 club sites using the 2010 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Sprint until July 1 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Sprint subscribers can now vote on the go with select Sprint devices. They can learn more about how to vote on their smart phones at MLB.com/Sprint.
Starting rosters will be announced during the 2010 All-Star Game Selection Show on TBS on July 4. Baseball fans around the world will then be able to select the final player on each team via the 2010 All-Star Game Final Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
According to the latest tallies, Ramirez and second baseman Dan Uggla are the lone Marlins to rank among the leaders at their respective positions. Uggla is third among NL second basemen. Chase Utley of the Phillies has a commanding lead over Atlanta's Martin Prado and Uggla.
Marlins outfielder Cody Ross and third baseman Jorge Cantu also are having solid seasons, worthy of All-Star consideration.
Paulino remaining behind the plate
MIAMI -- Twelve and counting. That's how many consecutive games Ronny Paulino has been behind the plate for the Marlins.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez isn't ready to take his catcher out of the lineup yet. Even though Sunday is a day game after a night game, Paulino again is expected to start in the series finale with the Rays. The last time Paulino didn't start was on June 4 at the Mets. Brett Hayes was behind the plate that day.
"I feel good," Paulino said.
In terms of production, the extended work has not slowed down Paulino. He is batting .341 over his last 11 starts heading into Saturday night. And he is riding a five-game hitting streak. He's also hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games.
Three straight Mondays off is helping keep Paulino in the starting lineup. The Marlins are again off on Monday before they open a three-game series at Baltimore beginning on Tuesday.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.