Results tagged ‘ Brad Penny ’

Even a bit off, Nolasco wins

Call it a sign of maturity, or perhaps Ricky Nolasco is just that good.

Maybe it’s a bit of both.

Encouraging for Nolasco and the Marlins on Sunday was the right-hander was able to piece together a quality start when he didn’t have his quality stuff.

ricky-nolasco.jpgThe box score from the Marlins’ 10-8 victory over the Mets will read that Nolasco gave up three runs (two earned) in six innings. He allowed six hits, struck out three and walked two.

Overall, not bad numbers. They were good enough for Nolasco to improve to 4-2 while lowering his ERA to 3.59.

What the linescore didn’t reveal was his fastball velocity was down a little bit. He was at 88-89 mph for most of the game, occasionally reaching 91. Once he topped at 92 mph.

“I felt terrible,” Nolasco said.

Over the course of 30-plus starts in a season, pitchers will have good and bad days. Nolasco’s velocity, on a good day, is between 92-94 mph. There is nothing physically wrong with Nolasco. It was his eighth start, in a day game, and he wasn’t at his sharpest. That was clear by the fact he threw 95 pitches with 54 for strikes.

In his previous start — at Chicago on May 11 — he threw 95 pitches with 69 strikes in seven innings.

“This is one of those games where I pretty much had to go out there and battle,” Nolasco said. “What I’m proud of myself is I battled. The offense did a great job.

“I’m not very happy with how I threw the ball. That’s going to happen. I move on to my next start.”

Another positive from Sunday’s win is it was another outing where the Marlins starting pitcher worked deep into the game. In the month of May, only once has a Florida starter given up more than four runs in an outing.

The rotation’s record in May is 9-3 with a 2.97 ERA.


Dontrelle Willis 68

A.J. Burnett, 49

Brad Penny 48

Ricky Nolasco 44

Ryan Dempster 42

Josh Beckett 41

Josh Johnson 37

Pat Rapp 37

— Joe Frisaro

Marlins-Cardinals lineups for Saturday

The Marlins are the visiting team on Saturday against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Clay Hensley will look to improve his chances of winning the fifth starter spot. Brad Penny is pitching for St. Louis. 









1) Chris Coghlan, LF

2) Cameron Maybin, CF

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Jorge Cantu, 3B

5) Dan Uggla, 2B

6) John Baker, C

7) Mike Stanton, RF

8) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

9) Clay Hensley, P










1) Skip Schumaker, 2B

2) Brendan Ryan, SS

3) Albert Pujols, 1B

4) Matt Holliday, LF

5) Felipe Lopez, RF

6) David Freese, 3B

7) Joe Mather, CF

8) Jason LaRue, C

9) Brad Penny, P

— Joe Frisaro


Marlins staying the course

The search for experienced pitching didn’t happen for the Marlins on Monday.

Brad Penny, who cleared waivers and became a free agent on Monday, signed with the Giants. The Marlins had been hopeful to obtain the veteran right-hander who was part of their 2003 World Series title team.

Penny was released by Boston and the Giants moved to the forefront as they seek to overtake the Rockies in the Wild Card race.

A few weeks ago, the Marlins also expressed in John Smoltz, who signed with the Cardinals.

By midnight Sept. 1, all teams must set their postseason rosters. Barring a trade before midnight, the Marlins are staying the course with players already in their organization.

The Marlins entered Monday tied with the Braves for second place in the N.L. East. Both teams are 3 1/2 games behind the Rockies and Giants, who are now tied for the Wild Card lead.

On Tuesday, rosters expand as the September call-up period begins.

“You’re going to have some guys coming up, to help with pinch-running, to help with defense, to help with pinch-hitting when you may want to save a guy until the later innings,” veteran Wes Helms said. “September helps out with those things. It keeps guys fresh. It’s going to be fun. We’re in a good position right now. We got a little lucky with Colorado getting beaten. We’re 3 1/2 games, and that’s very reachable as long as we do what we need to do.”

Manager Fredi Gonzalez noted that reliever Burke Badenhop will be a probable call-up on Tuesday. The team also is looking for a third catcher, and Brett Hayes at Triple-A New Orleans is expected to come up, if not on Tuesday then soon afterwards.

Rick VandenHurk, the probable starter for Wednesday against the Braves, also should be joining the team. If not on Tuesday, then by Wednesday.

— Joe Frisaro


Ayala and bullpen alternatives

Relief help is on its way for the Marlins.

The bullpen has been heavily taxed the past two games, combining to throw 13 2/3 innings, including 7 1/3 innings in Friday’s 9-5 loss to the Padres.

After the game, Chris Volstad was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans, along with infielder Gaby Sanchez. The Marlins have yet to announce who will get called up. Reliever Luis Ayala, who last pitched an inning on Wednesday, is expected to be recalled from New Orleans.

Ayala has thrown multiple innings, but the Malrins are in need of long relief, because both Cristhian Martinez and Brian Sanches each have thrown more than two innings the past two days.

Tim Wood could be an option. The right-hander threw an inning on Thursday, and two more on Tuesday.

In the past two games, Anibal Sanchez and Volstad each combined to throw 5 1/3 innings for Florida, creating a tough situation for the bullpen.

Rosters expand on Tuesday, Sept. 1, and the Marlins will then be in position to better pick up their relievers.

Burke Badenhop could help the team right now, but on Friday, he threw 3 1/3 innings in a rehab assignment for Class A Jupiter. Badenhop is a possibility to replace Volstad in the rotation. So is Rick VandenHurk, who tossed six innings at New Orleans on Thursday.

Lefty Andrew Miller is pitching rehab games in the Gulf Coast League.

Before Friday’s game, manager Fredi Gonzalez said Miller and VandenHurk are likely candidates to pitch out of the bullpen when rosters expand. They may be counted on to start, if necessary.

The Marlins also are pursuing Brad Penny, who is expected to clear waivers and become a free agent on Monday. Penny, released by the Red Sox, also is drawing interest from the Giants.

— Joe Frisaro



Penny an option?

Are the Marlins considering turning to their past to help them at the moment?

According to the Miami Herald, the Marlins are one of a handful of teams interested in veteran right-hander Brad Penny.

A member of Florida’s 2003 World Series title team, Penny has been released by the Red Sox. He will become a free agent after clearing waivers on Monday.

The Rockies, Rays, White Sox and Rangers also have been mentioned as possible suitors for Penny.

Indications are the Marlins not be the frontrunner for Penny, who played for Rockies manager Jim Tracy when they were both with the Dodgers.

Also, it is not clear if Florida feels Penny would help in the rotation. His best fit could be in the bullpen.

According to a league insider, Penny still can help a team, and returning to the National League would likely help the veteran.

— Joe Frisaro

Marlins seeking bullpen help

With Matt Lindstrom on the disabled list, and Leo Nunez dealing with a right ankle sprain, it’s no secret that the Marlins are exploring bullpen help.

Kiko Calero also is on the disabled with with right shoulder inflammation, but he is expected back around July 3.

Already, a couple of names have been floated out there in speculation. Right-hander Luis Ayala was designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday after he appeared in 28 games.

According to an American League scout who saw Ayala pitch recently: “He’s done. He’s got nothing left.”

The scout added that he wouldn’t recommend Ayala to his organization. That doesn’t mean the Marlins share the same point of view. The scout noted that Ayala is a Calero-type pitcher, meaning he throws a fastball and slider and has a similar style. Calero has been effective for Florida.

In his last outing, on June 20, Ayala’s fastball was between 89-91 mph.

LaTroy Hawkins of the Astros is another right-hander who may be available through a trade.

The trouble the Marlins are facing is every contending team is in the same boat — they all want relief help. For the candidates who might be available, the price is expected to be high.

The Marlins alternatives are to stay with what they have, patch the pen together until Lindstrom returns in four to six weeks, or try to catch lightning in the bottle with a journeyman such as Ayala. Typically, the Marlins won’t take on money if the player they are bringing in is not a real upgrade over what they already have.

If they are more creative, the Marlins may end up dealing away a regular and look to make a bigger impact. In 2004, Florida put together a deal that included Brad Penny and they acquired from the Dodgers Paul Lo Duca, Juan Encarnacion and Guillermo Mota.

The Marlins could offer either outfielder Jeremy Hermida or Cody Ross — both arbitration-eligible — in hopes of luring in a veteran reliever. With Cameron Maybin playing better at Triple-A New Orleans, he could fill center field if the Marlins opt to deal a regular.

In the meantime, the team will explore all possibilities.

— Joe Frisaro


Hit or error?

Hit or error?

Initially, the official scorer ruled double. Then after seeing replays, the call was reversed to a two-base error.

Jacoby Ellsbury’s first MLB error came with a little controversy on Wednesday night. In the first inning, the speedy Red Sox center fielder tried to run down Jorge Cantu’s line drive into left center. The ball hit off his glove and popped out.

The overturn became the first error Ellsbury has committed in his career, and it came in his 232nd game. Florida’s Hanley Ramirez scored on the play, and it became an unearned run charged to Brad Penny.

Cantu said he felt it was a hit, and that sentiment was shared on the Marlins bench.

“It was the talk of the dugout for a few innings,” Cantu said. “All I know is that Ellsbury was in full sprint for the ball. That’s all I saw. It was kind of weird that they called that an error.

“I found out that Ellsbury had some kind of streak with errors. I don’t know. It’s their call. There is nothing I can do about it. Everybody thought it had to be a base hit, because it was full sprint out there for the ball.”

Had it been ruled a hit, it would have been an RBI for Cantu. Official scorers have 24 hours, or before the ensuing game, to reverse a call. For that to happen in this case is unlikely since it would add an earned run to Penny. You typically don’t find club’s seeking to add a negative statistics to their pitchers.

Marlins right fielder Jeremy Hermida said he wasn’t sure if it was a hit or error.

“I don’t know,” Hermida said. “That’s one of those you have to see the replay on. It’s almost a general rule in the outfield, if it’s off your glove, you get an error. Right or wrong.”

— Joe Frisaro