Giving starters some relief

Playing 17 straight games since the All-Star Break is a main reason the Marlins opted to give all of their starting pitchers another day of rest.

Josh Johnson, who has logged 147 innings on the season, also threw two scoreless innings in the All-Star Game. Perhaps he is showing a little fatigue after giving up five runs in 5 1/3 innings in Sunday’s loss at San Diego.

The Marlins are off on Monday before taking on the Phillies in the first of three games at Sun Life Stadium on Tuesday. Sean West, who has spent the season in Triple-A, will get the start.

The team could have opted to keep four starters going on their normal fifth day. If that were the case, Ricky Nolasco could have thrown on Thursday against the Phillies, and Johnson could have gone on Friday against St. Louis.

But manager Edwin Rodriguez decided to push everybody back a day. So the Marlins will face the Phillies without at least one of their top two starters. Nolasco and JJ will throw on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

“That’s one more reason why we need that one day more of extra rest for the starters. I think that all the starters can use that extra day off,” Rodriguez said. “We had a very long stretch since the All-Star Break.”

Johnson has been the workhorse all season. But since the All-Star Break, the right-hander is 1-1 in four starts with a 3.24 ERA.

JJ had a string of 19 straight quality starts snapped on Sunday. The right-hander had gone at least six innings without giving up more than three earned runs in 19 straight starts.

“He didn’t have his best stuff, but then again, I think he pitched well,” Rodriguez said. “They made adjustment on all three of his pitches. They stayed back. They were laying off on his sliders in the dirt.”

– Joe Frisaro

1 Comment

We have a six game homestand against two front-line teams with a day off on both ends. You have to set the rotation so the best possible pitcher gets the two starts on Tuesday and Sunday–that should be Anibal, not a guy just called up. I understand the concern about JJ, and wanting to plug the lefty Sean West in against the Phillies, but with Ricky and Anibal both coming off great outings, you don’t “reward” them with an extra day off, you run them right back out and say “do it again”! At leat that’s what a team still hanging on in the race should do.

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