March 2009

Tucker Optioned

More player moves coming out of Jupiter, Florida, where the Marlins have optioned right-handed pitcher Ryan Tucker to New Orleans. Tucker made three appearances during Grapefruit League play, including one start. He walked eight batters in just 4.1 innings.

Tucker was shuttled between the starting rotation and bullpen in
Double-A and the Majors last season while being named the Marlins’
Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He went 5-3 with a 1.58 ERA for
Carolina and gave up just 64 hits in 91 innings. He won his Major
League debut in June, becoming the seventh Marlin to do so, joining
A.J. Burnett, Brad Penny, Jason Grilli, Josh Beckett, Scott Olsen and
Anibal Sanchez.

According to beat writer Joe Frisaro, Tucker is expected to be in the
Zephyrs’ rotation. He joins pitchers Taylor Tankersley and Dallas
Trahern, and outfielder Jai Miller on the Z’s roster.

Roster Taking Shape

With Opening Day now less than two weeks away at the Major League
level, teams are beginning to trim the list of candidates for the
rosters clubs will use when they head north (or, in the case of the
Marlins, south).

The Marlins (and Zephyrs) bullpen picture became slightly less murky yesterday when left-handed pitcher Taylor Tankersley was optioned to New Orleans. This leaves Renyel Pinto, Dan Meyer and John Koronka as possibilities to be lefties out of the bullpen for Florida.

Here at home, there was a solid turnout for the job fair and open house
on Saturday. More than 300 applicants showed up hoping to fill open
positions at Zephyr Field, while on the field, kids and adults alike
took batting practice. Thanks to all who came out.

One Month Away

We’re just one month away from the Opening Night at Zephyr Field, April
17th vs. Nashville. Single-game tickets went on sale yesterday for
Opening Night, and the other 71 games on the home schedule. Check out
the promotional schedule to see what nights you’d like to come out to
the ballpark!

Things are busy in Florida, as position battles are heating up to see
who will make the Marlins (and Zephyrs) rosters. The spring statistics will go a long way towards determining the winners
of those battles.

One person we know will not be coming to New Orleans is veteran
outfielder Jay Gibbons, who had signed a minor league contract with the
Marlins in the offseason, but was released by Florida
on Friday. In the same round of cuts, right-handed
relievers Jose Ceda and Michael Wood were sent to minor league camp,
and outfielder Jai Miller was outrighted to New Orleans. Yesterday, the
Marlins sent right-handed starting pitcher Dallas Trahern to New
Orleans, and reassigned left-handed starter Aaron Thompson to minor
league camp. So already,
the Z’s
roster is beginning to take shape.

How Matt Lindstrom’s injury from the World Baseball Classic will affect the Marlins bullpen could have ramifications on the Zephyrs, too.

The Zephyrs begin their spring training schedule tomorrow when they
travel to Port St. Lucie to face the Buffalo Bisons, the new Triple-A
team of the former Z’s parent club, the New York Mets.