Brian Barden hasn't had many opportunities to swing a bat this season. Then again, it wasn't his offense that earned him a spot on the Marlins roster this season.
It's his defense manager Fredi Gonzalez and bench coach Carlos Tosca have long admired. And it's what was Gonzalez was praising yet again Tuesday, a day after the 29-year old defensive specialist helped Josh Johnson finish off the fourth complete game of his career.
If not for Barden's diving catch down the third base line and powerful throw to first to get Oscar Salazar for the second out in the ninth, Gonzalez said he likely would have pulled Johnson who finished Monday's game with 117 pitches. Instead, Johnson remained in and struck out Chase Headley looking to set a new career-high for strikeouts (12) in a game.
"As soon as JJ went out in the ninth, [Brian Sanches] got up [in the bullpen. We weren't going to extend [Johnson] anything," Gonzalez said. "I hope JJ takes him out to dinner, buy him a burger, something."
Barden earned the No. 1 WebGem on ESPN's Baseball Tonight show for his defensive play. "
"I remember the ball being halfway to me and then it was in my glove," said Barden, who extended his body fully to his right to glove the ball on a hard, quick hop. "I was just glad I could help JJ, be a part of his complete game."
Barden said Johnson gave him a smile after the out. He's not expecting anything more from the Marlins ace, who also produced three hits and three RBI in Monday's 10-1 win.
"I'm jealous," Barden said. "He has three more hits than I do."
ROBERTSON READY TO GO ON THREE DAYS REST: Nate Robertson doesn't have a ton of experience pitching on three days rest. But he has more than Ricky Nolasco does.
That's why the 32-year old left-hander -- who along with Nolasco pitched in Saturday's double-header in Colorado -- will get the ball Wednesday when the Marlins close out their three-game series against the Padres. Robertson has done it once in his career. Nolasco still hasn't.
The good news for the Marlins? Robertson won. He pitched five innings, scattering three hits and giving up two earned runs with three walks and seven strikeouts in a 5-3 win over the Blue Jays for the Detroit Tigers on April 14, 2004.
"I'm not looking for him to go out, give me nine innings," Gonzalez said. "He's gives us 6 or 7 [innings], that's good. He'll get an extra day the following time around like everybody else. "
Robertson only threw 84 pitches and four innings in Saturday's 8-1, Game 2 loss to the Rockies. He gave up five hits, five earned runs and walked four in the loss.
MORRISON HAS MRI ON SHOULDER: Highly-touted prospect and Triple A first baseman Logan Morrison had an MRI Tuesday on his injured left shoulder. Jim Fleming, the Marlins Vice President for Player Development and Scouting, said the results would likely not be known until Wednesday.
Morrison, who struggled this spring and lost the battle for the starting first base job to Gaby Sanchez, suffered the injury during a collision at first base on April 19th and is one the seven-day disabled list. He is hitting .300 with 10 RBI in 12 games.
ROSS SCRATCHED: Outfielder Cody Ross was scratched from Tuesday's lineup with flu-like symptoms. He was replaced in right field by Brett Carroll, who moved into the eighth slot in the batting order. First baseman Gaby Sanchez moved up from eighth to seventh. Ross went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI Monday night.