Monday, March 2, 2015

Marlins get first taste of pace of play clock

Picking up the pace was not an issue for the Marlins in their exhibition opener on Monday at Roger Dean Stadium. What surprised the team was that the between-innings clock was implemented for a game against Florida International University.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond became aware the clock was in play when it immediately started the two-minute, 25-second countdown after the third out of the top of the first.
Miami was under the impression the clock would first be used on Thursday in its Grapefruit League opener against St. Louis. But the club was able to get a head start on speeding things up in its 7-2 win over FIU.
"I didn't know they were doing it in these games until I saw it up there," Redmond said. "I knew we were doing it in [Grapefruit League] games."
The clock is attached to the bottom of the scoreboard in center field, and Redmond joked it was hard to miss.
"I saw it right away," he said. "It's kind of hard to miss. I was checking out the 50/50 [drawing] to see what we can get it up to, and then I happened to notice the shot clock."
The clock began counting down from 2:25 immediately after the third out of each frame. Overall, the Marlins had little issue getting ready to pitch or hit.
"I thought all of our guys were in there with 30-40 seconds left," Redmond said. "If it was during the season, we would have been waiting to start that inning. I thought it was fine for not really paying much attention to it.
"The biggest adjustment for hitters will be staying in the box when you take a pitch. I don't think we have any guy on our team that really gets way out of the box and walks around. So that will probably be the biggest adjustment."
The clock wasn't the only thing in play on Monday:
• Don Kelly, in the mix for a bench spot, went 1-for-2 with an RBI double and two runs batted in. Kelly is a non-roster invitee who bats left-handed and can play outfield and first base.
• Catcher Jhonatan Solano started behind the plate and helped bring home a pair of runs without the benefit of a hit.
• Prospect Justin Nicolino struck out two in the fourth inning, but he gave up a two-run homer to Josh Anderson.
• Another top prospect, Jose Urena, will start on Thursday against the University of Miami at Roger Dean Stadium. 

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