Barry Jackson

Optimism growing on Bosh; Conundrum with Dolphins’ Ajayi; Marlins make dismissals; UM concern about Appalachian State

The Miami Heat's Chris Bosh, sidelined by blood clots each of the last two seasons, posted videos of himself working through basketball drills Monday in California and he told his fans he's 'hooping' again.
The Miami Heat's Chris Bosh, sidelined by blood clots each of the last two seasons, posted videos of himself working through basketball drills Monday in California and he told his fans he's 'hooping' again.

A couple of notes each on the Heat, Dolphins, Marlins and Hurricanes:

• There is growing optimism about Chris Bosh being cleared by the Heat to resume his career while remaining on blood thinners, according to a union source.

Bosh pitched the Heat on playing late last season, while taking a new form of blood thinner that would be out of his system in eight hours or so. The Heat resisted that approach at that time but is now more open than it had been to Bosh playing while on blood thinners, according to the source.

Bosh wouldn’t be the first athlete to do that: Former Florida Panthers player Tomas Fleischmann takes anticoagulant injections after games that are out of his system by game time.

Whether Bosh would be able to play in every game, such as the second set of back-to-backs, remains to be seen.

But barring a setback in the next few weeks, it would be surprising if Bosh isn’t cleared to play.

That would mean a Heat starting lineup of Bosh, Hassan Whiteside, Justise Winslow, Goran Dragic and likely Dion Waiters.

• Erik Spoelstra wants this team to run: “When you’re pushing the tempo and attacking, that’s a fun style…. It will only make sense for us to maximize Goran’s strengths, Hassan’s strengths, Justise Winslow’s strengths. Their strengths are their speed, their athleticism.. Young players gravitate to Goran. They want to play that style.”

• The Dolphins’ over/under for wins is 7 ½ at 12 Nevada casinos and most are betting the under, an MGM Grand official said.

“Tough division, [they’re] better, but 8-8,” Fox’s Jimmy Johnson e-mailed.

• Here’s one problem running back Jay Ajayi (who was not taken by the Dolphins to Seattle) will have when he returns to good graces: Damien Williams will always be active because he’s great on special teams, and running backs coach Danny Barrett says Kenyan Drake will be “a special teams demon.”

So if those two, plus starter Arian Foster are active, that would have Ajayi competing with preseason sensation Isaiah Pead if Miami keeps a fourth back active. And because Ajayi doesn’t play special teams, Pead could get the nod if the Dolphins conclude he’s the better running back.

• Please click here for the top item of my Sunday column --- an in-depth look at Ndamukong Suh’s effectiveness, and off-field changes, as he enters year two of his huge contract.

• The Marlins quietly fired seven on-field minor league coaches/instructors (including Double A manager Dave Berg) after their seven farm teams went 222-321 this season.

One Marlins official said he’s not sure there’s a single future starting position player in their minor-league system.

Advisor Jack McKeon (not the aforementioned official) said minor-league pitchers Luis Castillo and Dillon Peters have a chance to be No. 3 big-league starters.

Still, I would expect the farm system to improve, over time, under the eye of respected Marc Delpiano, who was hired away from the Pirates last offseason.

• The Marlins want to keep impending free agent Martin Prado and a two-year deal is a growing possibility… Don Mattingly loves the idea of playing Christian Yelich in center field because of his range to cover ground at spacious Marlins Park. Center fielder Marcell Ozuna has played just 11 big-league games in left field but could end up there next season.

• UM coaches privately have been very concerned for weeks about next Saturday’s game at Appalachian State, which can really run the ball. Applachian State averaged nearly six yards per carry last season and 4.1 in its season-opening overtime loss against Tennessee two weeks ago.

Appalachian returned 17 starters from a team that finished 11-2 and is 1-1 this season after Saturday’s 31-7 win against Old Dominion.

UM agreed to a home-and-home because it was desperate to fill a last-minute opening. Saturday’s noon game will be televised on ESPN.

“We’re expecting a battle,” Brad Kaaya said.

• One way UM has tried to make players tougher: During the summer, they would hang on a rope until exhaustion even after lifting weights.

• For lots of nuggets, reaction and thoughts from Mark Richt, Manny Diaz and others after last night’s UM game, please click here.

Please follow me on Twitter (@flasportsbuzz), and check out the main item of this Sunday column, about Suh, here.