Fifth starter undecided
With an off day on Monday, the Marlins don’t need a fifth starter until July 31 or Aug. 1.
One of the candidates to rejoin the rotation at that time is Andrew Miller, who was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on July 21.
Miller, however, is coming off a rough outing on Friday night. In 4 2/3 innings, the lefty walked nine, allowed six runs and three hits. He also struck out seven. Of his 105 pitches, 52 were strikes.
“He was rushing his delivery a little big,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
The Marlins are hopeful that Miller can get back on track.
While Miller is a candidate to be called up for the fifth spot, he isn’t the only choice.
Sean West, optioned to Double-A Jacksonville on July 11, could also be brought back up, Gonzalez said.
The Marlins also may stay from within, If that’s the case, Burke Badenhop, who has pitched in long relief, could be added to the rotation.
For now, the Marlins are using a four-man rotation. Chris Volstad, who pitches at the Dodgers on Sunday, could stay on a five-day schedule and pitch on Friday, July 31, at home against the Cubs.
The way it sounds, the fifth starter would be added on Aug. 1 of the Cubs’ series.
West pitched on Thursday, and he worked seven innings, striking out six while walking two. West allowed four runs, with two earned.
West is working on getting command of his off-speed pitches.
At Triple-A, Ryan Tucker, who was returning from knee surgery, is back starting. The hard-throwing right-hander could be an option to help as either a starter or reliever in the final two months. Tucker, however, wouldn’t be in the mix for Aug. 1.
– Joe Frisaro