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Pinto sent to Jupiter (with a hamstring injury)

           What’s it mean for the Marlins to have Renyel Pinto on the disabled list?

            It’s going to give Pinto a chance to work out his problems with the Hammerheads in Single A Jupiter. Pinto went on the DL Tuesday with a strained hamstring, but he is set to pitch Wednesday. And since he is pitching immediately this appears more like a demotion than an injury.

You can’t blame the Marlins for sending Pinto down – if for no other reason than to make room for Doug Waechter, who came off the DL Tuesday and took Pinto’s spot on the roster.

Pinto has been abysmal of late.

He had a 2.96 ERA before the All-Star break, but a 10.95 ERA since, and he has hurt the Marlins’ bullpen all month. Pinto has an ERA of 25.07 in August (13 runs on 10 hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings in seven appearances), and he gave up 10 earned runs in his last four games, spanning just three innings (30.00 ERA).

He lost the last two games he appeared in with the game on the line, and has been free-falling for more than a month. Waechter (3-2, 3.51 ERA), who was on the DL with right shoulder inflammation. Will be in the “swing role “in the sixth and seventh innings.

Pinto was one of only two left-handed relievers, but Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said he wouldn’t change the role of lefty Arthur Rhodes, who has been used as a left-handed specialist. Gonzalez said he would probably stay with Matt Lindstrom and Joe Nelson in the setup role along with Rhodes in the late innings.

One option could be left-handed starter Andrew Miller.

Miller, out with tendonitis in his left knee, will pitch two innings Wednesday in Jupiter, and pitch one inning Saturday before joining the team Monday when rosters are expanded. Gonzalez isn’t sure what to do with Miller. He could spot start him in order to give rookie Chris Volstad a break down the stretch. Volstad has already pitched 141 innings this season, including 50 with the Marlins. Or he could use Miller in the bullpen.

“He can be a weapon any time with that 96-97 mph coming out of his hand,’’ Gonzalez said.

Miller should be here by Monday, and when Pinto does come back the Marlins can use him in a mop-up role for the rest of the season, because the team will be able to add pitchesr to the bullpen.

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