Results tagged ‘ Clay Hensley ’

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.

seanwest5a3.jpgIn 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



Hensley quietly producing

From the first day of Spring Training, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez made it clear he is looking for strike throwers.

Clay Hensley certainly is doing that.

hensley1a.jpgIn two Grapefruit League long-relief appearances, Henlsey has struck out five in six scoreless innings without issuing a walk. The 30-year-old right-hander did hit a batter on Thursday on a pitch that appeared to be impacted by the 23 mph winds at Roger Dean Stadium.

A non-roster invitee who spent last year at Triple-A New Orleans, Hensley is a sleeper candidate to make the team.

Recently, Gonzalez said Hensley was an “interesting” pitcher in camp because, at worse, he could be a sixth-starter choice. He could make the club as a long reliever and spot starter. He also could open in Triple-A and be high on the list to bring up if there is a need for a starter.

However it plays out, Hensley foremost is pleased that he’s healthy. A torn labrum plagued him since 2007, a year in which he underwent shoulder surgery.

“The biggest thing now, for me, is I’m healthy and I’m 100 percent,” said Henlsey, who has had big league experience with the Padres. “I feel I’m back to my pre-injury form. It’s taken a one-and-a-half, two years. I know I spent last season in the Minors, but I needed it. I needed to get innings in. I needed to get my mechanics back. I needed to get my delivery right. It’s something we’ve worked on, and I feel healthy.”

Hensley has appeared in four big league seasons, the last with the Padres in 2008. The right-hander opened 2009 in the Astros system, but he eventually hooked up with the Marlins. At New Orleans, he made 20 starts and appeared in 25 games. He threw 124 innings, and was 9-4 with a 3.56 ERA.

In the offseason, he had offers from 12 clubs, but opted to return to the Marlins.

Even though he is on the outside looking in when it comes to a rotation spot, he is thus far capitalizing on his opportunity.

“That was the big reason to come back. We had a lot of offers this season,” Hensley said. “I felt a little obligated to come back because the Marlins gave me innings last year, and to get back on track. There was some familiarity with them last year. It wasn’t all new. We had a decent season last year. From what I see from the outside in, is there is some opportunity here. I’m trying to come in here, get people out, and see where the cards fall.”

— Joe Frisaro





Worth noting …

After 3-hours and 14-minutes on Saturday, the Marlins ended their day on a high when Hector Luna lifted a walk-off single over a drawn-in Cardinals outfield.

With the bases full, Luna did his job. The 28-year-old waited on a pitch to drive and he did just that. The winning RBI gave the Marlins a 6-5 win over the Cardinals.

Luna is in Marlins camp on a Minor League contract, and he is competing for a utility spot. He’s played second base and first base thus far in the Spring. And in his career, which has included stints with the Cardinals, Indians and Blue Jays, he has also played shortstop and third base.

“He’s a professional. He’s been around,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

A year ago, Luna was with Triple-A Albuquerque in the Dodgers’ system.

“He had a great year in Triple-A last year and the Dodgers, for whatever reason, he didn’t get a call up,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve seen him do that to us many times, obviously, playing him here in Spring Training and over the course of many seasons. He was a big part of that Cardinals organization for many years.”

Hensley impresses: Brian Sanches was a surprise addition to the Marlins bullpen after the 2009 season began. Sanches didn’t make Florida’s Opening Day roster, but when he was called up from Triple-A New Orleans, he became a valuable part of the bullpen.

Could Clay Hensley be the Sanches of 2010?

The 30-year-old right-hander last pitched in the big leagues for the Padres in 2008. He was with New Orleans last year, and he had a pretty solid season — 9-4 with a 3.56 ERA in 25 games with 20 starts.

On a Minor League contract, Hensley threw three scoreless innings on Saturday, striking out four.

Hensley offers the flexibility to start or relieve.

“He’s pitched in the big leagues. He’s got three or four pitches,” Gonzalez said. “He commands all of them. He knows how to pitch. He’s an interesting guy. He really is. He can do whatever. He can be a long guy, or he can be a sixth starter, if he doesn’t make the club out of the Spring.

“He can be a guy in Triple-A, and you don’t worry about him coming up. For me, he pitched three solid innings, and did very well.”

Upcoming rotation: The Marlins on Sunday face the Cardinals again at Roger Dean Stadium. Sean West will start, and worked about two innings. Also slated to go are Andrew Miller, Daniel Jennings and Jose Ceda.

On Monday, the Marlins have a split-squad day.

Ricky Nolasco will start against the Nationals in Viera. 

At Roger Dean Stadium, the Marlins made a switch. Ryan Tucker will start against the Mets. Initially, The team had gone back and forth about whether to go with Tucker or bring Rick VandenHurk back on earlier rest. 

The Marlins on Tuesday will face the Red Sox in Jupiter. Former Boston prospect Anibal Sanchez will start, and VandenHurk will pitch in relief. Kris Harvey, Tim Wood, Sanches, Renyel Pinto and Leo Nunez are lined up that day, too.

And Wednesday, when the Marlins travel to Kissimmee to face the Astros, Hayden Penn will start. Chris Volstad will enter in relief, as will Jay Voss and Brett Sinkbeil.

— Joe Frisaro

Hensley agrees, four Minor Leaguers sign

The Marlins on Monday reached agreement on a Minor League deal with right-hander Clay Hensley, who was 8-4 with a 3.24 ERA at Triple-A New Orleans this year.

Additionally, the club signed four players to Minor League contracts with Spring Training invitations. Infielders Brian Barden and Donnie Murphy signed, as did right-handers Scott Strickland and Matt Peterson.

Hensley has 106 games of big league experience. His last stint in the Majors was in 2008 with the Padres. The 30-year-old right-hander opened this year with Houston’s Round Rock Triple-A team, before he was picked up by the Marlins. He made 19 starts at New Orleans.

Barden, 28, appeared in 52 games for the Cardinals in 2009, and he added 61 games at Triple-A Memphis. He’s seen action in 84 big league games. He can play all four infield positions. Murphy also is a versatile infielder who has played second base, shortstop and third base. The 26-year-old broke in with the Royals in 2004.

Strickland, 33, last pitched in the big leagues with Houston in 2005, and he has 236 games of experience. He spent 2009 pitching for Triple-A Albuquerque in the Dodgers’ system, where he made 50 relief appearances. He had a 2.98 ERA.

Peterson is a 27-year-old who has never pitched in the big leagues. The right-hander was with Double-A Jacksonville, where he logged 56 games.

— Joe Frisaro


Tuesday in review

Items of note from pregame on Tuesday.

* An MRI on Renyel Pinto confirmed the reliever is experiencing left elbow inflammation. Pinto was placed on the DL on Monday, retroactive to May 23. Pinto will be on no-throw status for a few days, and be re-evaluated.

* Ricky Nolasco, optioned to Triple-A New Orleans last Friday, will make his first Minor League start on Wednesday.

* The Marlins signed right-hander Clay Hensley to a Minor League contact, and he’s on the New Orleans roster. Hensley appeared in 32 games for the Padres last year.

* Burke Badenhop, who will start on Wednesday, will be on about a 65-70 pitch limit. The Marlins are hoping to get two starts out of either Badenhop or someone else — May 27 and June 2. If they get those starts, then by June 7, the team is hopeful that either Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco or Rick VandenHurk will be ready to join the rotation.

— Joe Frisaro