By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns
The calendar has turned from January to February, another sign that our national pastime is getting closer and closer to being here.
There wasn’t much roster movement for the Miami Marlins over the past week, although the club continues to be pursuing more pitching, and there will be some minor league signings over the next few weeks to get ready for Spring Training.
Speaking of Spring Training, the Marlins have tweaked their schedule for the first full-squad workout. While pitchers and catchers still will report on Feb. 19, the Marlins will now work out as a full squad for the first time on Feb. 23.
That’s the only change for the Marlins, who will play their first exhibition game at Roger Dean Stadium against the University of Miami on March 1.
On Friday, MLB.com released its annual list of the Top 100 prospects in baseball, however the Marlins were one of only two organizations not to have a player make the list. There are former Southern Leaguers throughout the list, including No. 1 Corey Seager (Chattanooga Lookouts 2014), No. 2 Byron Buxton (Chattanooga Lookouts 2015), No. 6 Orlando Arcia (Biloxi Shuckers 2015), and No. 14 Blake Snell (Montgomery Biscuits 2015).
Also it was an exciting weekend for a former Jacksonville Suns broadcaster. Joe Block, who was the “Voice of the Suns” from 2003-06 was hired by the Pittsburgh Pirates as their new play-by-play broadcaster.
Block spent the past four seasons on the Milwaukee Brewers broadcast team, working alongside the funniest man in baseball, and broadcasting Hall of Famer Bob Uecker.
Joe has been a great help to me through the years working in Jacksonville, and I along with the rest of the organization are very happy for his good news.
Also speaking of baseball getting closer to starting, I happened to be at my alma mater the University of Tennessee on Friday, and caught a glimpse of their first official practice for the 2016 season.
Just another great sign that we are getting closer to baseball!
Here are today’s #MarlinsMonday links, here’s to a good start to February!
TribLive.com: Pirates hire Block as new play-by-play man
Marlins.com: View from 3,000 feat: Countdown for Ichiro
Marlins.com: Marlins prospect Kolek working on offspeed stuff
Marlins.com: First-round pick Naylor not just a slugger
Sun Sentinel: Marlins’ new spring training cap revealed
Miami Herald: Miami Marlins hope bringing in and lowering fences brings ‘positive change’
Fish Stripes: Marlins to find right move timing for Fernandez
Fish Stripes: What the Dickerson trade means for Marcell Ozuna
MLB.com: Top 100 Prospects Rankings | MLB.com
Yahoo! Big League Stew: Holy Cow! Watch ‘The Story of Harry Caray’ on MLB Network Presents
Fox Sports: Kershaw, Dodgers players attend City Council vote on Vin Scully Ave.
MLB.com: Feb Five: Handful at crossroads of careers
The New York Times: Honoring Piazza? Paying Cespedes? Meet the Suddenly Generous Mets
The Washington Post: Nats players may have forgiven Jonathan Papelbon, but have the fans?