ATLANTA -- Our Clark Spencer found out this morning the Marlins called up shortstop Donnie Murphy from Triple A New Orleans to replace infielder Brian Barden, who was designated for assignment after he missed a bunt on a suicide squeeze in Friday night's 4-3 loss to the Braves.
Murphy, 27, last played in the big leagues for the Oakland A's at the end of the 2008 season. He finished the season hitting .184 with three homers and 13 RBI in 103 at-bats. This season for the Zephyrs, Murphy was hitting .277 with 12 homers and 35 RBI in 57 games. Murphy was with the Marlins until near the end of spring training and hit .351 with 8 RBI in 18 games. He is 1 for 11 in his big league career in pinch hit situations.
Barden, who made the team ahead of Murphy primarily for his defense, was five for 28 this season (.179) at the plate with 12 strikeouts. He missed the bunt Friday on what turned out to be a lucky break for the Marlins in the 11th inning on a failed suicide squeeze. Wes Helms was able to score on the play despite Barden's miss when pitcher Jonny Venters, covering the plate during a run down, dropped the ball before applying a tag on Helms. Barden later struckout with runners on second and third and the Braves rallied for the win in the 11th. Barden was hitless in his last nine at-bats with the Marlins and hadn't had a hit since his last start on May 18.
The Marlins are 21st in baseball in pinch hitting with a .193 average. Mike Lamb's eighth inning single last night ended an 0 for 16 skid by Marlins pinch hitters.
DOTEL AN OPTION?: According FanHouse.com, the Marlins have inquired about acquiring Pittsburgh closer Octavio Dotel, who is 15-of-16 on save opportunities since May 4 with a 1.93 ERA.
Dotel, 36, appears likely to be moved before the end of the month, perhaps to a team that would use him as a setup man. The Marlins could potentially use Dotel as a setup man, allowing Jose Veras, Clay Hensley and Brian Sanches to pitch in the sixth and seventh innings.
Dotel signed a one-year, $3.25 million contract in the offseason. The Marlins probably won't ask for him unless they get back in the playoff race. At the moment, the Marlins are 7 1/2 games back of the Mets in the Wild Card race. It just doesn't make sense to give up a top prospect for a rental at this point.