Notes: Hermida gets treatment on knee

Notes: Hermida gets treatment on knee

VIERA, Fla. -- After taking a foul ball off his right kneecap Saturday afternoon, Jeremy Hermida remained in Jupiter on Sunday for treatment.

The Marlins' 23-year-old right fielder was initially scheduled to make the trip to Space Coast Stadium to face the Nationals.

Hermida arrived at the team's Roger Dean Stadium complex around 7:30 a.m. ET, but the club's medical staff felt he should stay behind for treatment.

"It's a little swollen and tight," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Hermida is now day-to-day, and Gonzalez is hopeful he will be ready Monday, when the Marlins take on the Astros at Roger Dean Stadium.

Spring Training statistics often aren't an accurate indicator to gauge progress, but Hermida is struggling, with an .057 (2-for-35) batting average, 11 strikeouts and seven walks.

Hermida took a foul ball off his kneecap during his third at-bat Saturday against the Orioles.

Gonzalez says Hermida projects to be a regular when the season opens on April 2 at Washington.

The Marlins' first-round pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, Hermida endured an injury-plagued 2006 rookie season, seeing action in 99 games and batting .251. He was hampered early by a hip flexor problem, and late in the year, he missed time with a stress fracture to his right ankle.

The Marlins are preaching patience with a number of their young players.

"With everybody, really, you've got to have patience," Gonzalez said. "What kind of message do you set if a guy goes 0-for-20 or 0-for-30, you sit him on the bench?

"It might change tomorrow. We have the right to change our mind, change our opinion. If he's our guy and our people think he's our guy, then he's got a chance of being on that Opening Day roster. I don't think anybody is guaranteed but just a couple of guys. But if he is our guy, and we think he's our guy, then let's give him an opportunity."

Gonzalez pointed out that Hermida enjoyed a highly productive Minor League career.

"This guy has hit at every level he's been," Gonzalez said. "We have to give him an opportunity, and I don't think he's forgotten how to hit."

Closing in on closer? While trade options remain a strong possibility, the primary internal closing candidates continue to show promise.

Matt Lindstrom logged his first save of the spring on Sunday, tossing a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the 3-1 win over the Nationals.

"He got into a jam and then got out of it," Gonzalez said.

Throwing 16 pitches and logging one strikeout, Lindstrom worked out of a first-and-third, one-out situation.

Along with Lindstrom, hard-throwing Henry Owens also remains a closing choice should the team not make any trades.

Owens tossed two scoreless innings, rolling up 41 pitches Sunday.

"The picture is getting clearer on what I want, and we're talking all the time," Gonzalez said of the candidtates. "They've done well. They've thrown strikes. ... There are still a lot of possibilities."

Owens makes it clear that he covets the job.

"Coming in here, [from] Day 1, my sites were on making the team and winning that closer job," Owens said. "That hasn't changed."

The team ideally prefers someone with big-league experience, either closing or working the back end of games.

"Eventually, I think every closer had to get their chance, somehow, someway," Owens said. "I've closed games in the Minor Leagues. Obviously, that's not the big-league level."

The Marlins are exploring trade options, including Arizona's Jorge Julio and San Francisco's Armando Benitez.

Gonzalez hopes to have the closer situation resolved before Opening Day. Whoever wins the job, Gonzalez said he plans on sticking with him for a while.

Sanchez stellar: Mindful that the Marlins open the regular season with a three-game series at Washington beginning on April 2, Anibal Sanchez didn't want to showcase too much to the hitters on Sunday.

Sanchez says he will face the Nationals in his first start, and so rather than give the hitters too much of what he has, he basically worked on throwing the ball down the middle.

The result ended up working, as he gave up one run on four hits over four innings.

"I just tried to throw more in the middle, because I don't want to show them everything, because I know I'll face [this team] in my first game," Sanchez said.

The Marlins are expected to name Dontrelle Willis as the Opening Day starter, while Sanchez is a strong candidate to pitch the second game.

Sanchez threw 73 pitches Sunday, and he is in line to toss about 90 in his next start.

Fish bites: Miguel Olivo got some bruises after being nicked by a few foul tips on Saturday, but he is fine. ... Taylor Tankersley is slated to throw off the mound again on Monday as he continues his recovery from shoulder inflammation. ... Robert Andino has hit in the batting cages, and he is close to his first game action since injuring his back during a collision with Alfredo Amezaga. ... Alejandro De Aza started in center field and had a single in four at-bats. He singled to open the third, stole second and scored on Hanley Ramirez's double.

Coming up: The Marlins return to Roger Dean Stadium on Monday to take on the Astros at 1:05 p.m. ET. Scott Olsen gets the nod for Florida, while Houston will go with Jason Jennings.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.