West, Ceda optioned
The Marlins rotation is coming a little more into focus.
Left-hander Sean West, who has struggled with his command, on Monday was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.
Sending West down trims a candidate for a rotation spot.
In another move, right-handed reliever Jose Ceda, who missed all of last year with a shoulder injury, was optioned to Double-A Jacksonville.
West has had difficulties throwing strikes. In a B Game on Saturday against the Orioles in Sarasota, the 23-year-old walked seven.
“[We want West to] just pitch and get his command down,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He came up and won eight games as a young pitcher last year. He will be back. There is no question in my mind. He’s going to be a big part of our rotation.”
Subtracting West from the mix, means the Marlins now have Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad, Andrew Miller, Rick VandenHurk and Hayden Penn fighting for spots. Another name to keep an eye on is Clay Hensley, who has big league experience.
The way the Marlins are talking, it appears Sanchez is a lock to be the No. 3 starter. Sanchez threw four scoreless innings on Sunday against the Mets.
“If Sanchez pitches the way we’ve seen in ’06 [his rookie year], you’ve got something to work with,’ Gonzalez said.
Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco are the Nos. 1 and 2 starters.
– Joe Frisaro