Hand likely to remain in Miami

JUPITER, Fla. — Brad Hand is getting the start for the Marlins on Friday night. All indications are it won’t be a showcase outing for the lefty, who has been mentioned in potential trade talks.

The Marlins are leaning towards retaining Hand, largely because of his upside (he’s 25) and the fact they may indeed need the depth, either in the rotation or bullpen.

Hand is in the mix for the fifth starter spot, which appears to be going to Tom Koehler. The Marlins are listening to potential offers for Hand, who is out of options. But they are not eager to trade off any of their surplus pitching, at least not at this point.

We saw why this week.

On Thursday, Miami announced Hand would start at the Astros on Friday at Kissimmee, Fla., in place of Jarred Cosart, who is dealing with a blister to his right middle finger.

Cosart also is the subject of an MLB investigation into his possible link to gambling. But even before the Cosart situation surfaced, the Marlins were hesitant to moving Hand. A number of teams have inquired, including the Rangers.

Miami used 13 different starters in 2014, a franchise most. The rotation became a revolving door after Jose Fernandez was lost for the season due to Tommy John surgery in May. All-Star Henderson Alvarez also spent time on the disabled list.

The organization feels they are nine deep on the starting pitching front, and it will be 10 when Fernandez returns in mid-season.

Bottom line is Hand provides both depth and upside. He also is the lone lefty option still in camp. Add in the fact he has a mid-90s fastball, and he is under club control, puts him on the list for any club looking for young, affordable starting pitching.

Joe Frisaro


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