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Mike Redmond hired as Marlins manager

Mike Redmond hired as Marlins manager

MIAMI (AP) The Miami Marlins' celebrity manager was a bust, so they're calling one up from the minors.

Mike Redmond, who spent the past two years managing Class A teams in the Toronto Blue Jays' system, was hired Thursday by the Marlins to replace Ozzie Guillen.

A former major league catcher, Redmond had not interviewed for a big league job until he met with the Marlins last week. He received a three-year contract and will be introduced as the Marlins' fifth manager since mid-2010 at a news conference at their ballpark Friday.

Guillen said he would be rooting for Redmond.

``Congrats Mike Redmond,'' Guillen tweeted. ``Good luck buddy u have great guys going to play for you. ... Hope the best for you. u are a good baseball man and you will have fun with the players.''

Guillen was fired last week after only one season with the Marlins. A year ago they traded two minor league players to obtain him from the Chicago White Sox and gave him a team-record $10 million, four-year deal.

Redmond brings a much lower profile. A .287 hitter over 13 seasons, he played seven years for the Marlins and was the backup catcher to Ivan Rodriguez on their 2003 World Series championship team.

``I think it's a great hire,'' said Jack McKeon, who managed Redmond with the Marlins. ``I'm just delighted. He's a very knowledgeable young man. He was an unselfish player and dedicated. I was very impressed when I had him the years I was in Florida. I thought someday he would make a good manager.''

Redmond was popular with teammates because of his droll wit, and they still fondly recall him taking batting practice naked in an indoor cage several days in a row to help the 2003 team snap a slump.

McKeon claimed no firsthand knowledge of the episode but added, ``Mike was a guy who kept everybody loose.''

Because of Redmond's ties to Miami owner Jeffrey Loria and president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest, he was considered the front-runner for the job. Also interviewed were former major league manager Larry Bowa, former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon and Cincinnati Reds pitching coach Bryan Price.

Redmond, 41, becomes the 11th former catcher among current managers, and even during his playing days, he expressed an interest in managing. Besides McKeon, he played for Jim Leyland and Ron Gardenhire, among others.

``People ask you, `What's your style?''' Redmond said last week. ``I learned a lot from all of my managers. ... There are so many guys I learned different things from. I sat and listened and watched and learned.''

Redmond was chosen Midwest League manager of the year in 2011, his first as a manager, after guiding the Lansing Lugnuts to a 77-60 record and an appearance in the league finals. This year he managed Dunedin to a 78-55 record and a berth in the Florida State League playoffs.

The rebranded Marlins moved into a new ballpark this year with a heftier payroll and high hopes, but the promising season began to derail in the first week with Guillen's laudatory comments about former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Six months later, the episode was a factor in the decision to fire Guillen.

A lousy record and disappointing attendance didn't help, either. Despite a free-agent spending spree a year ago, the Marlins finished last in the NL East at 69-93, their worst record since 1999. They drew more than 2.2 million fans but had projected attendance of nearly 3 million.

Under Loria, the Marlins have usually been among baseball's thriftiest teams. With revenue falling short of projections this year, the spending binge of last offseason is unlikely to be repeated.

Budget constraints will make it difficult to upgrade a team that batted .244, the worst average in franchise history. The Marlins scored the fewest runs per game since their first year in 1993.

In the Marlins' 20 seasons they have reached the postseason only twice, as wild-card teams in 1997 and 2003. Both times they won the World Series.

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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@MLB

Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.