JUPITER, Fla. -- All-out hustle caused the first minor injury of Marlins' Spring Training.
Casey Kotchman sliced his left ring finger Monday morning on the machine that flung pop flies to infielders. The injury required four stitches, and it is too early to determine how long he will be out. Manager Mike Redmond is hopeful Kotchman will be able to return in a few days.
Kotchman, who turns 30 on Friday, is in camp on a Minor League contract.
It was a freakish injury, because the veteran first baseman gashed his hand on the machine, which was located around home plate. He sprinted in from his first-base position and made a terrific catch, but collided with the machine in the process.
"I've seen some crazy stuff," Redmond said. "I've seen guys come up with stiff necks getting out of chairs, things like that. It was crazy. I heard him call it and I was like, 'Man, no way he was getting to that ball.' He caught it. He made a great play. He just stopped. It's unfortunate. We're hoping that it's not an extensive thing."
Time is definitely on Kotchman's side to recover and get enough work to put himself in position to make the team. Spring Training is longer this year due to the World Baseball Classic.
First base is a position of concern for Miami because of Logan Morrison's uncertain status.
Dr. Richard Steadman performed surgery on Morrison's right knee in September in Vail, Colo., where Morrison will be evaluated Tuesday in hopes of being cleared to begin running.
It is questionable if Morrison will be ready for Opening Day on April 1 at Washington.
Joe Mahoney, a left-handed hitter with power potential, is also in the mix at first base.
The only other Marlin to not see action Monday was Placido Polanco, who was excused because he had a root canal procedure.
Fernandez impresses Stanton in live BP
JUPITER, Fla. -- One round of batting practice is all Giancarlo Stanton needed to see that Jose Fernandez belongs.
Monday was an upbeat day at Marlins camp because it marked the first day that pitchers faced hitters. It was in a controlled setting, with the pitchers throwing behind a screen and the hitters under their turtle-shaped cage.
Hitters also were informed as to what pitches were coming.
Right away, Stanton saw the obvious from Fernandez, ranked seventh on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospect list.
"He's got a little cut to his fastball, which is always good," Stanton said. "For the guys who throw hard, to have movement helps. The speed already separates them. When they have movement, it just puts them in a whole new category."
Fernandez, a 20-year-old who throws in the mid-to-upper 90s, projects to start the season at Double-A Jacksonville. The Marlins have never shied away from promoting players from Double-A to the big leagues, if they show success.
"He will be next to us pretty soon," said Stanton, who made the jump from Double-A to the Marlins at age 20 in 2010.
The towering Stanton is unlike any hitter Fernandez has ever faced.
Asked how many players looked like Stanton in the Florida State League, Fernandez answered "Nobody."
"That guy, he's unreal," Fernandez said. "I've never seen a guy hit the ball as hard as he does. It's just impressive. I saw him hitting balls in batting practice yesterday. He was hitting balls like abnormal."
In their mini-showdown, Stanton mostly took pitches. He did swing and bounce a ground ball to second.
"I compete every time," Fernandez said. "Seeing hitters there pumps me up. I was competing."
Maine scheduled to start Marlins' spring opener
JUPITER, Fla. -- John Maine, a candidate for the fifth starter spot in Miami's rotation, will get the nod for the Marlins in their Grapefuit League opener Saturday against the Cardinals.
Maine, who last pitched in the big leagues in 2010, will take the ball first and throw two innings, manager Mike Redmond said Monday.
The 31-year-old right-hander pitched from 2004-10 with the Orioles and Mets. He spent last season in the Yankees' system with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he went 8-5 with a 4.97 ERA.
"He's one of those guys we're looking at to see if he can be the fifth starter," Redmond said. "He's definitely in the mix. We'll see if he can get back on track."
Maine's best season came with the Mets in 2007, when he went 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA over 191 innings.
"We're not concerned about what happened in the past," Redmond said. "We're worried about moving forward, and what he can do now. I know that he's had success in the past. If he can come back and be that guy, it's going to be a big help for our team."
Tom Koehler, Brad Hand, Steve Cishek, Mike Dunn, Chad Qualls, Dan Jennings and Michael Wuertz are all scheduled to pitch in relief of Maine.