Logan Morrison was back in uniform and seated inside the Marlins dugout on Sunday, but merely as a spectator. Until he completes his minor-league rehab assignment, which commences Monday when he joins Single A Jupiter, it could be as many as 20 days before he’ll be of use to the big-league club.
“I’m just excited to keep taking those small, baby steps,” said Morrison, who is nearing his return from a second knee surgery in two years.
Morrison isn’t the only injured Marlin who will be suiting up for the Hammerheads this week. Fellow first basemen Casey Kotchman and Joe Mahoney are expected to join him on rehab assignments of their own. Players are allowed up to 20 days on rehab.
For Morrison, Single A is a step up from the daily grind of extended spring, where he’s been working into shape.
“It drags and drags and drags,” Morrison said of extended spring games. “It’s not the best. But I got a good tan.”
One thing is certain: Morrison said it’ll be a lot more interesting playing for the Marlins than watching them struggle from afar on TV. “In more ways than one, yes,” he said. “There have been times where I’ve had to turn it off.”
The Marlins on Saturday became the first team in 50 years to give up a home run on the first pitch of the game and lose 1-0 in nine innings. Tom Koehler became the victim when Arizona’s Gerardo Parra belted his first pitch for a home run and the 1-0 score stood.
The last time it happened in a nine-inning game: Sept. 2, 1963, when rookie Pete Rose homered off the New York Mets’ Jay Hook on the first pitch of the game in a 1-0 Reds victory.
The only other time since then that a first-pitch home run decided a 1-0 game was on Sept. 14, 1993, at Joe Robbie Stadium when Pittsburgh’s Carlos Garcia homered off Chris Hammond. But that game was called after six innings because of rain.
The Marlins now have lost three 1-0 games in which the opposing leadoff hitter swatted a homer to start the game. Along with the other two instances, the Phillies defeated the Marlins 1-0 last season in which Jimmy Rollins homered on Josh Johnson’s second pitch of the game.
On a skid
Alex Sanabia will take the mound for the Marlins on Monday hoping to avoid equaling a franchise record for most losses by a pitcher in consecutive starts. He has now lost each of his past five starts. Brad Hand (2011) owns the record of six losses in a row.
• Monday: Marlins RHP Sanabia (2-6, 5.00 ERA) vs. Philadelphia Phillies LHP Cole Hamels (1-6, 4.61), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Tuesday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (2-2, 3.48) vs. Phillies RHP Tyler Cloyd (0-0, 2.84), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Scouting report: Despite allowing only three earned runs over 14 total innings, Hamels is 0-1 in his two starts this season against the Marlins. Hamels has given up only seven total hits in those outings, but two were solo home runs by Marcell Ozuna and Chris Valaika in a 2-0 Marlins victory in Philadelphia on May 4.