CHICAGO – Marlins reliever Scott Proctor is in pain. No, it’s not his elbow. It’s the pain of having to sit and watch situations like Friday’s play out the way it did.
Proctor isn’t down on his teammates. He just wants to help the Marlins bullpen, which can get on a roll (remember that 20-plus scoreless inning stretch) and then frustrate fans like they did Friday when they blew a 5-2 lead against the Cubs in the sixth.
“It kills me sitting here and not being able to do anything,” said Proctor, who was signed by the Marlins in the offseason for $750,000 to contend for the role of setup man. “I just want to get out there already.”
Proctor, 32, had surgery in the offseason and pitched just once this spring before getting shutdown for the first month of the season. He likely won’t be back for another few weeks. But he said he threw 20 pitches on Friday and will rest Saturday before doing more long tossing on Sunday. In the meantime, he’s been passing the time by helping other in the bullpen work on their pitch selection.
The Marlins’ bullpen could certainly use another veteran arm available for relief. Hayden Penn and Burke Badenhop – two former starters – have certainly struggled in adjusting to coming out of the bullpen this season.
Penn, who had never pitched out of the pen in the majors until this season, has an 8.64 ERA in 8.1 innings and seven appearances. Badenhop, who had five appearances out of the pen aside from his eight starts last year, has a 9.00 ERA in four innings of relief this year.
How much could Proctor help? He’s pitched in more relief situations than any hurler on the roster, making 261 relief appearances in his five-year career. Right-hander Kiko Calero (259 appearances) is the only other pitcher with over 200 games of experience. Next in line? Left-hander Renyell Pinto (164), closer Matt Lindstrom (146), Leo Nunez (111) and Dan Meyer (23).