Hatcher replaces Hand

MIAMI — For the final three games of their series with the Astros, the Marlins have opted to go with more bullpen help.

So on Friday afternoon, they recalled right-hander Chris Hatcher from Double-A Jacksonville.

A converted catcher, Hatcher has enjoyed an impressive first year pitching in relief at Double-A Jacksonville. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.31 ERA in 30 games. In 35 innings, he has struck out 39, while walking 15, and opponents are batting .206 against him.

Hatcher, 26, was called up at the end of the 2010 season, but at the time he was a catcher. He played in five games, and he did warm up one night as an emergency pitching candidate.

Hatcher is the first player since Art Doll with the Boston Braves in 1935 and 1936 to debut as a catcher and then convert to a pitcher.

The Marlins selected Hatcher in the fifth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

The right-hander was a Southern League Mid-Season All-Star.

With the All-Star Break set to begin on Monday, the Marlins don’t have a need for a fifth starter through the end of the weekend.

Hatcher takes the roster spot that opened after Brad Hand was optioned to Double-A Jacksonville following Thursday’s 5-0 win over the Astros.

Hand (1-3) scattered two hits in seven scoreless innings while collecting his first big league victory. By being sent down, Hand can remain on his regular throwing schedule, and he remains an option to rejoin the roster at some point after the All-Star Break.

Joe Frisaro

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