Hill on Marlins' COVID-19 message and more

April 9th, 2020

MIAMI -- The lines of communication remain open for the Marlins at a time Marlins Park and the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex are closed.

Since MLB postponed the start of the regular season on March 12, the Marlins are conducting business remotely, with front-office personnel, coaches and trainers keeping in touch regularly with players.

“Our strength coaches and trainers are speaking to our players daily and making sure that they are safe, their families are safe, and that they are not experiencing any symptoms," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "We’re happy to report we have been symptom-free as an organization.”

Hill spoke to the media on Thursday in a conference call for the first time since the Marlins shut down their Spring Training complex in Jupiter, Fla., in mid-March.

“We’re just trying to keep, the best we can, a pulse of how they’re doing, what they’re doing to keep themselves in some kind of shape,” Hill said.

Also on Thursday, #WRECares announced a partnership with the Marlins to assist in safety measure efforts to combat COVID-19.

The Marlins donated nearly 1,000 jerseys, uniform pants and T-shirts to be utilized as masks. As a result, this donation will help fabricate over 7,500 more masks that will be distributed to facilities including the City of Miami Police Department and the University of Miami Health System.

While it is unclear when MLB will reopen to start baseball activities, the Marlins have delivered a clear message to their players.

“The overriding message we’ve given to all of our players is just to be safe,” Hill said. “That’s the only way we’re going to get through this and flatten the curve, and to get through on the back side of this terrible disease.”

Strength and conditioning coach Kevin Barr, head athletic trainer Gene Basham, pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, hitting coach Eric Duncan, bench coach James Rowson and assistant hitting coach Robert Rodriguez have been in touch with the players, offering workout programs they can execute at home.

The pitchers have been throwing off mounds a couple of times a week, while the hitters have been doing drills that don’t necessarily require them hitting on a field or in a cage.

“It is definitely a challenge for all of our guys,” Hill said. “For the most part, they all found ways, creative ways, to get their lifting in, albeit it body-weight work. Things to do around the house.

“And our strength and conditioning coach Kevin Barr has been creative in creating programs for them, so physically they maintain their conditioning and their shape.”

On the injury front, catcher (left oblique) is doing fine. He’s doing hitting and fielding drills. Right-hander (back stiffness) is receiving treatment at his home in Tampa, Fla., and is much better. (right biceps strain) is going through his progression.

Of the three, Brigham is the furthest away from being ready. The other two should be back whenever players are cleared to be on the field.

“The message to our coaching staff is to stay connected with our players,” Hill said. “Our leadership group, we’re staying ready for whatever the next step is. Obviously, baseball is secondary to the health and well-being to the community at large. But once that does happens, we’ll be ready for whenever that time is to hit the ground running and get back to baseball.”