Notes: No throwing for Sanchez
Right-hander suffers setback, not cleared to throw until Friday
JUPITER, Fla. -- Anibal Sanchez recently had a setback with his surgically repaired right shoulder, and the Marlins right-hander is in "no-throw status" until Friday.
Sanchez is recovering from a labrum tear, and recently he felt discomfort in a flat-ground throwing session. He visited orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Feb. 11. After examining the shoulder, without taking an MRI, Sanchez was told he experienced some scar tissue breaking apart.
Entering Spring Training, Sanchez was not medically cleared to pitch. On Monday, the first day of pitchers and catchers workouts, he did some fielding drills that did not involve throwing. He's also maintaining his conditioning program.
"It's normal after surgery," Sanchez said. "I felt it throwing at 90 feet about two weeks ago. I saw Dr. Andrews, and he said it was normal scar tissue [breaking]. I'm just going to rest for about 10 days."
That time period is up on Friday, when he goes back to throwing again from a short distance.
At the earliest, Sanchez isn't expected back before the All-Star break. It's too early to determine if his scar tissue incident will change that time line.
After an impressive rookie season in 2006, when he was 10-3 with a no-hitter against Arizona, Sanchez incurred shoulder problems before Spring Training in '07. He was limited to six starts for the Marlins last year, and he underwent surgery in June.
"If I feel something else, I will have to see Dr. Andrews again," Sanchez said. "I hope I don't have to see him."
Rabelo impresses: Mike Rabelo's scrappy, gritty approach to the game reminds Marlins bench coach Carlos Tosca of Craig Counsell.
It's not often that a catcher would be compared to an overachieving infielder. But the complement is flattering.
"To me, he's a Counsell-type guy," Tosca said. "He just does everything right."
Counsell, a World Series hero on the 1997 Marlins, is now with the Brewers, where he remains respected for his hard-nosed style of play.
Rabelo sees some truth in the comparision.
"That's how I kind of go about my business," said Rabelo, who was obtained from the Tigers in December. "I'm not the guy who is going to hit 30 home runs and drives in 100 runs. I have to find some other item to bring to the table. I try to work my hardest, and work with the pitchers. I want the pitchers to throw to me. Every catcher wants that. I just play the game hard."
In the offseason, Tosca managed Rabelo for about three weeks in the Dominican Republic Winter Leagues.
Tosca worked with him before the trade, so at the time he wasn't aware that Rabelo would become a Marlin.
"He's a little unorthodox in his defense," Tosca said. "But he can throw people out. He is pretty much the same guy from both sides of the plate. He is a line-drive, contact hitter."
The switch-hitting Rabelo is competing with Matt Treanor for the starting job, although both are expected to play perhaps almost equally.
On Monday, Rabelo caught the bullpen sessions for Mark Hendrickson, Ricky Nolasco, Chris Volstad and Sergio Mitre.
Hendrickson's laser-eye surgery: Because his hitting had suffered in the past few years, Hendrickson decided to get his vision checked.
About a month ago, Hendrickson underwent laser eye surgery, which greatly has improved his eyesight.
"I got one hit in the last year-and-a-half," Hendrickson said of the reason he got his eyes checked. "I was having a hard time focusing."
Last year, Hendrickson said he swung at some pitches that he didn't know how he missed them.
"I can represent myself a lot better as a hitter," said Hendrickson, who was 1-for-27 at the plate in '07. "This year is an important year for me."
From a pitching standpoint, he says he's been so used to throwing that it is second nature. He says he will have to wait and see how his eyesight seems while he is on the mound.
"It's just something that had to be done, and I just went ahead and did it," he said.
Will it improve his batting?
"I think it can't hurt," Hendrickson said.
Hendrickson said his left eye was "terrible" before the laser procedure. "My right eye was pretty good," he said.
He has to get his eyes checked out this week, and he says he recommends laser surgery to anybody.
Strings attached: To assist pitchers in tossing to locations, pitching coach Mark Wiley has adopted a throwing aid that simulates the strike zone.
On the back fields at Roger Dean Stadium are stations of six mounds lined up in a row. In front of each catcher is a series of strings configured to create a strike zone.
Invariably, a string or two will be clipped and torn by a pitch. In his throwing session, reliever Lee Gardner inadvertently threw one pitch that completely wiped out the top strand at his throwing station.
After Gardner downed one of the stations, catcher Matt Treanor, who was at another mound, quipped: "Five more to go."
"I hit the metal pole," Gardner said. "I got in one lucky shot."
The station was repaired, and after making light of the situation, Gardner praised the strings concept.
"It helps you visualize the zone," the reliever said.
Injury update: Josh Johnson (Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery) and Henry Owens (shoulder surgery) did some light tossing on Monday.
Quotable: "We can let the Miami Heat borrow some of our guys." -- Gonzalez, talking about the number of extremely tall pitchers in Marlins camp
Up next: On Tuesday, pitchers and catchers once again will work out about 10 a.m. ET. The sessions are open to the public.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.