The Marlins have yet to announce their starting pitcher for July 20 at San Diego. One reason is the team is weighing a number of possibilities.
“It all depends on the next three days,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “We’re looking at different scenarios.”
One option is to stay with what the team already has. Long reliever Burke Badenhop has made one start this season, but he’s been effective in a long relief role. The Marlins like him in that role, but this could be a one-start situation. The team could go with Badenhop in the opener with the Padres on Monday.
A second option is to dip into the Minor League system. Rick VandenHurk, at Triple-A New Orleans, had an abbreviated three-inning start on Thursday. If the team wanted, it could bring up the right-hander, who has big league experience in the past.
At New Orleans, VandenHurk is 4-1 with a 2.77 ERA in nine starts.
There is another factor in play, too. The Marlins have off days on July 23 and July 27. Because of those two days, besides Monday, they wouldn’t need a fifth starter until Aug. 1 at home against the Cubs.
Chris Volstad is lined up for Tuesday in San Diego, and the order after the 6-foot-8 right-hander is Ricky Nolasco, Josh Johnson and Andrew Miller. Those four could stay in order through July 31, a Friday night home game with the Cubs.
If the team waits until Aug. 1 for the fifth starter, Sean West, optioned to Double-A after last Saturday’s game in Arizona, could work himself back into the mix.
– Joe Frisaro