Marlins staying the course

The search for experienced pitching didn’t happen for the Marlins on Monday.

Brad Penny, who cleared waivers and became a free agent on Monday, signed with the Giants. The Marlins had been hopeful to obtain the veteran right-hander who was part of their 2003 World Series title team.

Penny was released by Boston and the Giants moved to the forefront as they seek to overtake the Rockies in the Wild Card race.

A few weeks ago, the Marlins also expressed in John Smoltz, who signed with the Cardinals.

By midnight Sept. 1, all teams must set their postseason rosters. Barring a trade before midnight, the Marlins are staying the course with players already in their organization.

The Marlins entered Monday tied with the Braves for second place in the N.L. East. Both teams are 3 1/2 games behind the Rockies and Giants, who are now tied for the Wild Card lead.

On Tuesday, rosters expand as the September call-up period begins.

“You’re going to have some guys coming up, to help with pinch-running, to help with defense, to help with pinch-hitting when you may want to save a guy until the later innings,” veteran Wes Helms said. “September helps out with those things. It keeps guys fresh. It’s going to be fun. We’re in a good position right now. We got a little lucky with Colorado getting beaten. We’re 3 1/2 games, and that’s very reachable as long as we do what we need to do.”

Manager Fredi Gonzalez noted that reliever Burke Badenhop will be a probable call-up on Tuesday. The team also is looking for a third catcher, and Brett Hayes at Triple-A New Orleans is expected to come up, if not on Tuesday then soon afterwards.

Rick VandenHurk, the probable starter for Wednesday against the Braves, also should be joining the team. If not on Tuesday, then by Wednesday.

— Joe Frisaro


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