Worth noting …
After 3-hours and 14-minutes on Saturday, the Marlins ended their day on a high when Hector Luna lifted a walk-off single over a drawn-in Cardinals outfield.
With the bases full, Luna did his job. The 28-year-old waited on a pitch to drive and he did just that. The winning RBI gave the Marlins a 6-5 win over the Cardinals.
Luna is in Marlins camp on a Minor League contract, and he is competing for a utility spot. He’s played second base and first base thus far in the Spring. And in his career, which has included stints with the Cardinals, Indians and Blue Jays, he has also played shortstop and third base.
“He’s a professional. He’s been around,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
A year ago, Luna was with Triple-A Albuquerque in the Dodgers’ system.
“He had a great year in Triple-A last year and the Dodgers, for whatever reason, he didn’t get a call up,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve seen him do that to us many times, obviously, playing him here in Spring Training and over the course of many seasons. He was a big part of that Cardinals organization for many years.”
Hensley impresses: Brian Sanches was a surprise addition to the Marlins bullpen after the 2009 season began. Sanches didn’t make Florida’s Opening Day roster, but when he was called up from Triple-A New Orleans, he became a valuable part of the bullpen.
Could Clay Hensley be the Sanches of 2010?
The 30-year-old right-hander last pitched in the big leagues for the Padres in 2008. He was with New Orleans last year, and he had a pretty solid season — 9-4 with a 3.56 ERA in 25 games with 20 starts.
On a Minor League contract, Hensley threw three scoreless innings on Saturday, striking out four.
Hensley offers the flexibility to start or relieve.
“He’s pitched in the big leagues. He’s got three or four pitches,” Gonzalez said. “He commands all of them. He knows how to pitch. He’s an interesting guy. He really is. He can do whatever. He can be a long guy, or he can be a sixth starter, if he doesn’t make the club out of the Spring.
“He can be a guy in Triple-A, and you don’t worry about him coming up. For me, he pitched three solid innings, and did very well.”
Upcoming rotation: The Marlins on Sunday face the Cardinals again at Roger Dean Stadium. Sean West will start, and worked about two innings. Also slated to go are Andrew Miller, Daniel Jennings and Jose Ceda.
On Monday, the Marlins have a split-squad day.
Ricky Nolasco will start against the Nationals in Viera.
At Roger Dean Stadium, the Marlins made a switch. Ryan Tucker will start against the Mets. Initially, The team had gone back and forth about whether to go with Tucker or bring Rick VandenHurk back on earlier rest.
The Marlins on Tuesday will face the Red Sox in Jupiter. Former Boston prospect Anibal Sanchez will start, and VandenHurk will pitch in relief. Kris Harvey, Tim Wood, Sanches, Renyel Pinto and Leo Nunez are lined up that day, too.
And Wednesday, when the Marlins travel to Kissimmee to face the Astros, Hayden Penn will start. Chris Volstad will enter in relief, as will Jay Voss and Brett Sinkbeil.
– Joe Frisaro