Results tagged ‘ Renyel Pinto ’

Pinto designated, Wood recalled

After the Marlins lost 6-3 to the Rangers on Wednesday night, the Marlins designated left-handed reliever Renyel Pinto.

Right-hander Tim Wood has been recalled from Triple-A New Orleans.

Pinto appeared in the ninth inning on Wednesday, and he yielded a home run to Josh Hamilton.

In 20 games this season, Pinto posted a 2.70 ERA with 16 strikeouts and nine walks.

He went on the disabled list on May 27 with a left hip strain, and he was reinstated on Sunday afternoon.

With Pinto designated, Taylor Tankersley is the lone lefty in the bullpen.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Tracking the D-Train

Before the deal to send Dontrelle Willis to Arizona was finalized, the Marlins expressed interest in luring the D-Train back to South Florida.

Ultimately, the Tigers dealt Willis to the D-backs for right-hander Billy Buckner.

dontrelle1.jpgWith Arizona, Willis gets a chance to remain in the rotation. Had the Marlins obtained the 28-year-old left-hander, he would have been an option to throw out of the bullpen.

The Marlins and Tigers were unable to find a match for a deal, so none was made. But could Willis eventually wind up with the Marlins? Don’t rule it out.

The scenario that could land Willis back with the Marlins is if his struggles follow him to Arizona. If he is designated again, the Marlins likely would have interest.

The Marlins are looking for reliable left-handed relief help. Renyel Pinto is on the disabled list. When healthy, Pinto has not consistently thrown strikes. Dan Meyer was designated for assignment last week, and on Tuesday he was outrighted to Triple-A New Orleans. Hunter Jones is a lefty at New Orleans, who had a brief callup.

Taylor Tankersley is the lone lefty in the bullpen. Thus far, he is doing a nice job. Ideally, manager Fredi Gonzalez prefers two lefties in the pen.

Willis has a track record and a history with Florida. Perhaps, he is more suited for a bullpen role.

During his five seasons with the Marlins, Willis set the franchise record for victories with 68. In each of his last three years with the organization, he topped 200 innings pitched. And in 2005, he was 22-10, and he remains the only player in franchise history to be a 20 game winner.

Even in his best days, Willis had an inconsistent delivery. Deception was his biggest strength when he was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2003. He also was an All-Star that year and a big reason why the Marlins won the World Series.

His high leg kick and abundance of energy made him unique. Then there was the delivery, which always was a reason many scouts and pitching coaches wondered if he could continue being successful.

From start to start, his arm slot and leg kick would vary. When a pitcher has a cleaner delivery, like Josh Johnson, it is easy to point out what is wrong and then fix it.

The Marlins thinking is Willis can be more effective as a reliever because he doesn’t have to go through a lineup three or four times. For an inning or two, pitching mechanics may not be as big a deal.

Willis grew up in the Oakland, Calif., area, and he recently bought a home near Phoenix. So he is happy to be going out West. If pitching in Arizona doesn’t pan out, returning to South Florida, where he enjoyed his greatest success, could be his next option.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins roster moves

Before facing the Braves on Thursday night, the Marlins made an assortment of roster moves.

The team recalled left-hander Taylor Tankersley and right-hander Jay Buente from Triple-A New Orleans. Infielder Mike Lamb had his contract selected from New Orleans. The veteran, who opened the season with the club, returns for his second stint. He becomes a left-handed bat off the bench.

The Marlins also placed lefty reliever Renyel Pinto on the 15-day disabled list with a left hip strain.

Tankersley joins Dan Meyer as the lefties working out of the pen. The former first-round pick in 2004 is in the big leagues for the first time since July of 2008. He missed all of last year after undergoing stress fracture elbow surgery.

Tankersley appeared in 20 games with New Orleans. In 19 1/3 innings, he struck out 17 and walked six.

Buente, like Tankersley, was in big league camp with the Marlins. At New Orleans, the right-hander struck out 35 in 26 2/3 innings, but he has walked 17.

Badenhop has struggled in May. The right-hander, who suffered the loss on Wednesday, has given up at least one run in six of his seven appearances in May.

Lamb had been playing third base at New Orleans. He was 10-for-40 (.250) with the Zephyrs.

After Wednesday’s game, the Marlins optioned outfielder Bryan Petersen to Triple-A.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Hensley on bereavement list

The Marlins on Saturday afternoon placed reliever Clay Hensley on the breavement list due to a death in the family. The team recalled left-hander Hunter Jones from Triple-A New Orleans.

Late Friday, Hensley learned of the passing of his father. In an emotional scene in the team clubhouse, the right-hander received embraces and best wishes from his teammates following the Marlins’ 7-1 loss to the Nationals.

Hensley threw three innings of scoreless relief on Friday, striking out seven. It was his second straight dominating relief performance. On Wednesday against the Padres, he struck out six of the seven batters he faced in two innings.

By league rule, being on the bereavement list means a player must miss a minimum of three games and a maximum of seven games. Jones, acquired from the Red Sox after the 2009 season for outfielder Jeremy Hermida, got the call from Triple-A.

Jones was in Spring Training with the Marlins, trying to make the club as a reliever. Jones joins Renyel Pinto as the second lefty in the Florida bullpen.

Hensley has made eight appearances for the Marlins. In 12 2/3 innings, he has struck out 21 while walking five.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Showing faith in the pen

Leo Nunez didn’t have to do much of a sales job to get an opportunity to close on Thursday.

Shortly before the Marlins faced the Mets in their series finale in New York, Marlins pitching coach Randy St. Claire checked with Nunez.

leonunez1aa.jpg“I’m ok,” Nunez said. “I can go.”

The message was relayed to manager Fredi Gonzalez. It’s all he needed to hear to throw his closer back into action a day after he threw 40 pitches on Wednesday night.

If there was any signs of fatigued based on 40 pitches in 1 1/3 pitches the night before, Nunez didn’t show it. Instead, he neede 10 pitches (with seven strikes) to collected his first save of the season.

Gonzalez says he doesn’t talk to his pitchers about their well being because he doesn’t always get a straight answer. So he leaves that to St. Claire.

“I don’t talk to those pitchers,” Gonzalez said. “Randy and them have a good rapport. I hope they’re honest with Randy. When I come up, they say, ‘I feel good.’ “

The bullpen had a rough time on Wednesday, especially Renyel Pinto and Jose Veras. Gonzalez says when a players struggles, he tries to throw them back in as soon as possible to build back their confidence.

“I’m a big believer in putting guys in positions where they can succeed,” Gonzalez said. “I’m a believer in run those guys out there, and build their confidence. We can sit here and talk about how much confidence we have in that bullpen, but you have to show it. Those guys, the Pintos, the Verases, get ready to pitch, because you’re going to be used.”

– Joe Frisaro

 

Cracking the WHIP

From the first day of Spring Training, manager Fredi Gonzalez talked about the importance of the thrownig strikes.

Gonzalez added that an important statistic, in his mind, is the WHIP (walks/hits per innings pitched).

What the Marlins saw on Wednesday night in their wild 7-6 win in 10 innings over the Mets is what can go wrong when pitchers aren’t throwing strikes.

After building a five-run lead on Dan Uggla’s homer in the top of the seventh, the Marlins pitchers lost track of the strike zone. The Mets rallied to force extra innings, and Florida was fortunate to prevail.

Ricky Nolasco uncharacteristically walked the first two batters to start the seventh. But the real damage came when the Florida starter exited with two outs in the seventh.

Renyel Pinto, Jose Veras and Leo Nunez worked 2 1/3 innings, but all three struggled to find the plate. They combined for six walks, a hit batter and a balk. The three totaled 82 pitches, but just 40 were strikes. Throwing 49 percent of their pitches for strikes created a reason for alarm.

“We can’t do that because we’re going to get our heads beat in,” Gonzalez said.

Pinto faced three batters and didn’t log an out. The lefty walked one, allowed one hit and hit a batter. Veras did get out of the seventh, but with some good fortune.

Veras’ first pitch was a high fastball to David Wright. The ball sailed off John Baker’s glove, and as it rolled away from the catcher, Fernando Tatis tried scoring from third. Baker retrieved the ball, and threw home to Veras, who applied the tag.

“I tried to throw a fastball away, and it was a little high,” Veras said. “The ball stayed close, and we got that guy out. That was a huge play with the bases loaded right there and David Wright hitting.”

Nunez worked 1 1/3 inning, and entered in a tough spot — the bases loaded – in the eighth inning. Because Nunez threw 40 pitches, with 19 strikes, he won’t be available for Thursday. Tim Wood, who had a 15-pitch (10 strikes) save, on Wednesday is a candidate to close in the series finale.

Veras noted that it was just one game, and most of the relievers hadn’t thrown in a game since last Saturday.

“We tried to get the job done. It happens in the ball game,” Veras said. “Maybe we tried to be too perfect. The best part is we won the game, and tomorrow is another day.”

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

VandenHurk, Wood optioned

Shortly after the Marlins beat the Nationals, 9-5, on Tuesday, the Marlins made a roster move that completes how the pitching staff will shake down.

Rick VandenHurk and Tim Wood were each optioned to Triple-A New Orleans. VandenHurk will be in the New Orleans rotation, while Wood will pitch in relief.

The transactions came a few hours after Florida obtained lefty Nate Robertson from the Tigers in exchange for lefty prospect Jay Voss.

The starting rotation will be — Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad and Robertson.

Clay Hensley is making the team as a long reliever, instead of the fifth starter.

Barring any other moves, the bullpen will feature: Leo Nunez, Brian Sanches, Jose Veras, Renyel Pinto, Dan Meyer, Burke Badenhop and Hensley.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Speculating on final roster

For weeks, Marlins coaches and officials have been evaluating. Now, the time is getting close to make the tough final decisions and set the 25-man roster.

Opening Day is a week away (April 5 at the Mets), and there are still some unanswered questions.

On Monday, the Marlins did settle who will be the starting first baseman. As expected, Gaby Sanchez was given the nod when Logan Morrison was reassigned to Minor League camp. Morrison will start off at Triple-A New Orleans. Don’t discount the 22-year-old making an impact at some point during the season. A year ago, Chris Coghlan was in Triple-A until May, and he went on to become the N.L. Rookie of the Year.

The rotation also has come together, with Clay Hensley securing the fifth spot.

Still to be resolved are at least one bench player, as well as a bullpen spot.

Over the past few days, Marlins personnel evaluators have been in Jupiter, consulting and meeting. Final moves can happen any day now.

While nothing has been officially announced, for recreational purposes, here is a look at how the 25-man roster may shake down. There are a few factors that will come into play, like how players fit into the 40-man roster. Currently, nine non-roster invitees are still in camp.

Again, this is for conversational purposes only, and not an officially announced 25-man squad.

Catchers: John Baker, Ronny Paulino

Infielders: Gaby Sanchez, Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez, Jorge Cantu, Wes Helms, Brian Barden, Mike Lamb

Outfielders: Chris Coghlan, Cameron Maybin, Cody Ross, Emilio Bonifacio

Starting pitchers: Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad, Clay Hensley

Bullpen: Leo Nunez (closer), Brian Sanchez, Jose Veras, Burke Badenhop, Tim Wood, Renyel Pinto, Dan Meyer

On this projected roster, there are four non-roster invitees who will have to be added to the 40-man roster — Hensley, Lamb, Barden and Veras. Currently, there are 37 on the 40-man. So that means, if they all make it, one current 40-man player would be removed.

The Marlins did clear a 40-man spot when pitcher Hayden Penn was claimed off waivers by the Pirates on Monday.

Barden, Donnie Murphy and Hector Luna are are vying for a utility position. All three are non-roster invitees. Murphy has impressed several other teams who have been watching him in camp. But Barden may secure the job. Working in Barden’s favor is his ability to play shortstop defensively at a high level. Of all the players in camp, Barden appears to be the best insurance policy to Ramirez. Barden also can play left field.

Bonifacio, of course, is a natural middle infielder. For now, it looks like he will be used in a super utility role previously held by Alfredo Amezaga.

The Marlins appear to be leaning toward not carrying a primary backup outfielder. Bryan Petersen, a highly regarded prospect, has impressed. But he likely will be in Triple-A.

The Marlins don’t have the need for a regular outfield backup because the starters — Coghlan, Maybin and Ross — won’t be replaced for defensive purposes. Now, if there is an injury situation, the team would likely make a move to call up an outfielder. Brett Carroll, who will open the season on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, is an option once he is healthy. Jai Miller, Scott Cousins and Petersen (if he doesn’t make the team) are other choices.

Barden also gives some flexibility if the Marlins slide Cantu over to first base in the late innings. The Marlins could go with Barden or Helms at third, or use them as pinch-hitters. Lamb is expected to be the lefty bat off the bench.

Gaby Sanchez adds value in the fact he could be the emergency third catcher. This is important because it means either Baker or Paulino — the catcher who doesn’t start — could be used as a pinch-hitter.

The bullpen battles have been tightly contested all spring. Seth McClung, a non-roster invitee, has more big league experience than Wood. McClung alsohas a clause that allows him to opt out of his contract on April 1. Not being on the 40-man roster may work against McClung and for Wood.

If Wood makes the team, he would be a middle relief candidate. The hard-throwing right-hander has been impressive in camp, and his slider has improved.

Badenhop is a long relief, and spot starter candidate. He’s had a solid spring. Veras has been throwing 95 mph all spring, and he has big league experience in a setup role.

Much can still change in the next few days. But the picture of how the team may look is becoming a bit more clear.

– Joe Frisaro
 

MacDougal released, Jones optioned

Struggling to throw strikes this spring, the Marlins on Tuesday morning cut ties with veteran reliever Mike MacDougal.

The hard-throwing right-hander was released on Tuesday morning, after appearing in five Grapefruit League games for Florida. In his most recent outing, on Sunday against the Nationals, MacDougal worked two-thirds of an inning, giving up three runs while walking three.

In 4 2/3 innings of Grapefruit League play, MacDougal walked seven and struck out two.

The Marlins on Tuesday also optioned lefty Hunter Jones to Triple-A New Orleans. with Jones out of camp, Florida’s lefty reliever situation is cleared up. Renyel Pinto and Dan Meyer — both out of options — are projected to be the situational left-handers.

MacDougal signed a Minor League contract with Florida a couple of days before Spring Training began. Last year, he split time between the White Sox and Nationals. With Washington, he had 20 saves in 21 chances. But after the season he had surgery on his left hip.

MacDougal has been at his best when his fastball is in the upper 90s. On Sunday, it reached as high as 94 once, but for most of Spring Training it’s been clocked about 91-92 mph. Command has been an issue with the right-hander in the past.

Even with his 20 saves last year, he walked 31 and struck out 31 with the Nationals.

Because MacDougal has closing experience, he had been considered a candidate who could fill in at closer if Leo Nunez struggled or was injured.

Nunez is firmly established as the closer. But in case of an emergency, candidates to close would be Brian Sanches, Jose Veras, Meyer and Seth McClung, if he makes the team.

Veras and McClung are signed to Minor League deals. Both have clauses to opt out on April 1 if they don’t feel they are part of Florida’s plans.

– Joe Frisaro

Bullpen shaping up

Perhaps there is just one bullpen spot left to fill at Marlins camp.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez shed some light on some of the relievers who are moving closer to winning spots on the Opening Day roster.

 
pinto4a.JPGThe Marlins anticipate carrying 12 relievers, and Leo Nunez is locked in as the closer. The team anticipates carrying two lefties. They are expected to be Renyel Pinto and Dan Meyer. Both are out of options.

Also strong possibilities to make the team are right-handers Brian Sanches and Jose Veras, in camp on a Minor League contract. Burke Badenhop is a frontrunner to be the long reliever.

“This can change,” said Gonzalez, noting that other candidates may pop across the waiver wire.

If these five hold true, there will be one reliever spot open.

Candidates include Mike MacDougal, Seth McClung, Tim Wood, Chris Leroux and Scott Strickland. 

The team may also decide to keep someone like Clay Hensley, who is in the mix for a rotation spot. If Hensley isn’t in the rotation, he could be an option in relief. The same would hold true for Rick VandenHurk and Hayden Penn, who are currently being used as starters.

– Joe Frisaro

  

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