Jack McKeon, and his bobblehead, back with the Marlins
Jeff Francoeur joined the Marlins just in time for Saturday’s team picture even though it appears he hasn’t yet figured out Miami’s numerous uniforms.
Francoeur, acquired Thursday, was corrected by a clubhouse attendant while speaking to reporters at his locker wearing his black game jersey. He was supposed to be wearing his black batting practice jersey.
With a few more weeks left in the regular season, Francoeur has time to get everything straight.
He hopes to make it an extended stay in South Florida and wants to help Miami play into October.
"I don’t see any reason why we can’t do that," Francoeur said.
Francoeur has shared his excitement for joining the Marlins, a team in the thick of the postseason chase, from the last-place Braves.
Miami came into Saturday 1 1/2 games back of St. Louis for the final wild card spot in the National League with just over a month left to play.
Francoeur says he is just happy to be back with a winning team, one with a hope of the postseason.
"This is what you play for," he said. "You don’t know how much longer you have and I want that chance. I made it to the World Series once with Texas and we lost. I would love to get back to the postseason, make a run at it. You only get so many chances and both times the Marlins made it to the playoffs, they won the World Series. Let’s make it a third."
On Friday, he was a big part of Miami’s comeback win against the Padres, getting three hits – including ones in the eighth and ninth.
Miami trailed 6-2 going into the seventh before getting a run in that inning off an RBI single from Marcel Ozuna to get things going. In the eighth, with Francoeur at third, Martin Prado drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single. Christian Yelich tied it up with a single of his own.
In the ninth, Francoeur reached on an infield single. "We were talking about keeping him out of the weight room," manager Don Mattingly joked. "If he got any stronger, he may actually hit it to the third baseman."
Following a walk to Ichiro Suzuki, Johnson belted a fly ball to deep right-center field that dropped in for the game-winning double.
"It’s 10-times more exciting knowing that we were able to come back and win the game," said Francoeur, who was 4-for-5 with a walk in his two games with the Marlins coming into Saturday.
"At this time of year, you’re watching the scoreboard and you know you need to keep pace. For us, it was a big deal to win. For me, it was nice to contribute."
Miami probably wouldn’t be on the outside of the playoff race had it not had so much trouble with Francoeur’s former teammates.
Although the Braves are in the NL East cellar, they’ve had their share of success against the Marlins by winning eight of 12 meetings between the two this season.
When owner Jeffrey Loria called Francoeur after the trade with Atlanta was complete, he apparently brought up the subject,
"We talked for about 10 minutes," Francoeur said, "and he asked ‘what the hell do the Braves have against us?’ Who knows. But we have seven games left with [Atlanta] and I want to win all seven.
▪ The Marlins plan to attend former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow’s workout for teams Tuesday in Los Angeles, according to a source. The Marlins have a scout based close to where the workout is being held and are merely doing due diligence.
Tebow, 29, was an all-state baseball player as a junior in high school before winning two national championships with the Florida Gators.
Tebow, who hasn’t played baseball in more than 10 years, was drafted by the Denver Broncos and last played in the NFL for the New York Jets in 2012. He has been working as a TV analyst for ESPN in recent years.
More than 20 teams reportedly will attend the workout. Tebow’s representation said he has been training for an opportunity to audition for MLB teams and insist this is not a publicity stunt.
▪ Pitcher Andrew Cashner has been dealing with a problem with one of his fingers, and, as Mattingly warned before Saturday’s game, will not make his scheduled start Sunday.
The Marlins acquired Cashner in a deal with the Padres on July 29. Sunday would have been the first time he has pitched against San Diego since the trade.
"I definitely look forward to it, I know a lot of guys over there,” Cashner said Saturday afternoon before news of his scratch was made official. "It will be an exciting day.’’
The Marlins made the fully-bearded Cashner shave his beard per team rules once they traded for him and Cashner still seems a little salty about it.
"I still hate it," he said, "I still hate it."
With Cashner shelved on Sunday, lefty Justin Nicolino was called up from Triple A New Orleans and will start. Reliever Hunter Cervenka was sent back to the minors to clear a roster spot.
▪ Dee Gordon wasn’t in the starting lineup Saturday but should be on Sunday. Mattingly said he planned on giving Gordon Friday off, but he came in as a pinch-hitter and ended up going to the plate three times. Gordon came into Saturday’s game to run in the eighth.
▪ Sunday: Marlins LHP Justin Nicolino (2-5, 5.57 ERA) vs. San Diego Padres RHP Luis Perdomo (6-7, 6.24), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Monday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (13-7, 2.91) at New York Mets TBA, 7:10 p.m., Citi Field.