Taylor takes over

Graham Taylor made the most of his emergency start.

Due to the threat of rain on Sunday, Taylor was a last-minute replacement for Chris Volstad to face the Nationals.

The 24-year-old lefty, who is in Minor League camp, turned heads by tossing three perfect innings, striking out while and throwing 28 pitches with 20 for strikes.

“That’s his MO,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “If you look, one year in the Minor Leagues, I think he had one walk. I wish we could have seen more of him, but they were saying it was going to rain in the next 15-45 minutes.”

Actually, in 2006, he walked as few as four in 65 2/3 innings. In 404 Minor League innings, however, he’s walked just 60.

“Every time I’ve seen him, he’s dominated,” Volstad said.

The projected heavy rain never came, and Taylor was lifted because the Marlins wanted to give Kiko Calero and Carlos Martinez work.

Taylor went back to the bullpen and threw about two more innings worth to build up.

“When you pound the strike zone, you have a chance,” said Gonzalez, who didn’t rule out Taylor getting a big league chance at some point. “It’s one of those things, if we need somebody, he can be the guy. I think people can have misconceptions that the Opening Day roster is going to be the one for the entire 162 games. That’s not the case.”

Taylor has 23 2/3 innings at Double-A, and the organization would like to see him get more work at that level. He wasn’t in big league camp all spring.

In 2007, Rick VandenHurk also wasn’t in big league camp, but he impressed with a strong Grapefruit League performance against the Orioles. A few weeks into the season, VandenHurk was promoted to the big leagues.

— Joe Frisaro

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