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40 posts from July 2010

July 09, 2010

Marlins Manager: "We Need More Offense From Hanley"

    As manager Edwin Rodriguez correctly noted, Thursday's 10-4 loss to the last-place Diamondbacks was "a pretty bad overall game." Anibal Sanchez was atrocious, the defense was abysmal, and the Marlins hitters looked to be a big hurry, swinging early and often against D-Backs starter Rodrigo Lopez.

    Rodriguez pointed the blame in all the right places afterward, including star shortstop Hanley Ramirez.

"We need to get more offense, mainly from Hanley, in the middle of the order," Rodriguez said. "We need more offense from Hanley. Danny Uggla has been swinging the the bat very well. The bottom half of the lineup has been swinging the bat very well, so we need to have more offense from the top part of the lineup."

Ramirez went 0 for 4 on Thursday and has now gone 4 for 24 over the past six games. He has only one RBI during that span, and all four of his hits have been singles.

 Starting with the first game of the Dodgers series, the Marlins' first three hitters -- Chris Coghlan, Gaby Sanchez and Ramirez -- have combined to go 7 for 49, scored just three runs, and driven in only two over the past four games.


Closer Leo Nunez is apparently all right after being flipped over backwards when right fielder Mike Stanton crashed into the fence during the game. Nunez was seated in the bullpen with his feet propped up on the fence, which came loose when Stanton slammed into it in the fourth inning.

      "He went flying," said fellow reliever Clay Hensley.

  Nunez said he twisted his right ankle, but trainers took a look at it and did not detect any swelling. Rodriguez and Nunez both said they believe the closer will be available to pitch on Friday.


  It was a rough night for reliever Tim Wood, who was optioned to Triple A New Orleans after giving up four runs in one inning. It appears that the Marlins will be calling up left-hander Dan Meyer from the Zephyrs.


July 08, 2010

Hanley Ramirez Might Opt Out of Home Run Derby; Burke Badenhop Weighs in on LeBron James

    Concerned that his swing could be thrown out of kilter, Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez said he'll wait until Saturday before deciding whether he'll participate in the Home Run Derby on Monday of All-Star week. Major League Baseball issued a press release on Thursday saying Ramirez would take part in the annual Derby, but the shortstop said he hasn't decided for sure whether he'll participate.

   "I want to do it, but I don't know," Ramirez said. "I've never done that and I don't know how I would feel after. I'm just worried about how my bat is going to feel after. I'm just thinking about the team. I've got to be there in the second half."

  Ramirez said he initially refused the invitation to participate when the league extended the invitation to him on Wednesday, but later agreed, albeit reluctantly.

   "Everybody was saying why are you not doing it?" Ramirez said of teammates, who encouraged him to participate.

  Asked what he thought his chances were of participating in the Derby, Ramirez replied "50-50."

   Manager Edwin Rodriguez said he isn't concerned that the competition will throw Ramirez's swing out of whack, as it has some. Dan Uggla went into a power decline in 2008 after he took part in the Home Run Derby, going from 23 home runs and a .288 average in 81 games before the break to just nine home runs and a .226 average after it.

   Rodriguez said Ramirez is a different type of hitter.

    "He's a guy, he can make adjustments," Rodriguez said. "He's a guy who will be out there trying to hit the ball out and two days later, he can go back and stay gap to gap. I don't think it'll mess up his swing. He'll be fine."

    If Ramirez takes part, he'll join a roster that already includes Corey Hart, Matt Holliday, Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz and Vernon Wells. Two more players have yet to be chosen to round out the field of eight.

  PAULINO SITS......Catcher Ronny Paulino wasn't in the starting lineup on Thursday for the second time in a week. Rodriguez said he felt that Paulino's swing has been "dragging."

  "I think he's a little bit tired," Rodriguez said. "And, besides, he took a beating last night. He got hit twice last night on foul tips, so I have him the day off today. He's going to be out there most of the time. But I just want to give him a break."

 Paulino is 1 for his last 18 at the plate. Brett Hayes will be behind the plate for the series opener tonight in Phoenix.

  As for catcher John Baker, it appears he won't be available to the Marlins anytime as he continues to go slowly in his comeback from a right forearm strain. Rodridguez said he his working out in Jupiter but has not been swinging or throwing.

  "He's just conditioning, more blocking, more receiving," Rodriguez said.

  FELLOW OHIOAN BURKE BADENHOP TALKS LEBRON....... Burke Badenhop, who hails from northwest Ohio near the Toledo area, said that if LeBron James bolts Cleveland for the Miami Heat (or any other NBA team), "it would be like Arizona losing the Grand Canyon. There's not a landmarks in Ohio -- you know, Lake Erie, Ohio Stadium. And then there's LeBron James, I guess."

 Badenhop was quite the basketball player high school player in his own right and was an Ohio prepster at the same time James was across the state in Akron, at least for one year.

 "I never won Ohio Basketball Player of the Year because he kept winning it," Badenhop said, joking. "He's two years younger than me. I don't know if I was a close second, but he kept winning it. I was second team All-District. We can play H-O-R-S-E or something if he comes to Miami."


Marlins: 1. Coghlan, lf; 2. G. Sanchez, 1b; 3. Ramirez, ss; 4. Cantu, 3b; 5. Uggla, 2b; 6. Ross, cf; 7. Stanton, rf; 8. Hayes, c; 9. A. Sanchez, p.

Diamondbacks: 1. Drew, ss; 2. Johnson, 2b; 3. Upton, rf; 4. LaRoche, 1b; 5. Reynolds, 3b; 6. Parra, lf; 7. Snyder, c; 8. Gillespie, cf; 9. Lopez, p.

July 07, 2010

Chris Volstad Demoted to Minors after "Rough Start"

   LOS ANGELES -- A long night for the Marlins. An even longer one for Chris Volstad, who was informed after Tuesday's 7-3 loss to the Dodgers that he was being sent to Triple A New Orleans. It's not Volstad's first emotion to NOLA. He was sent there last August, too.

   Volstad's major league career has not gone well since a promising rookie season in 2008 when he finished 6-4 to go with a nifty 2.88 ERA. Since then, he is 13-21, by far the worst record of any member of the current rotation who was with the team in '09.

    "It's tough because I want to be here," Volstad said after his record fell to 4-8 with Tuesday's loss. "I think I deserve to be here. Obviously there's stuff I need to work on. I need to go down there with a positive attitude and try to get back here as fast as I can."

For starters, Volstad needs to prove that he can win. He's recorded only one win since May 7. Beyond that, there are other issues, including his inability to hold runners. The Dodgers stole three bases off him on Tuesday.

"If you don't hold the runners, that's going to become a problem," said manager Edwin Rodriguez, who described Volstad's outing Tuesday as "rough."

The Marlins called up right-hander Burke Badenhop to replace Volstad on the roster, but are leaning toward having rookie Alejandro Sanabia take his place in the rotation. If Sanabia is indeed the fifth starter, he'll pitch Sunday in Arizona.

  Sanabia took over in relief of Volstad on Tuesday and turned in three good innings, allowing a home run to Andre Ethier but not much else. He struck out four.

  "There's stuff I need to do better, so I've got to go down there and fix some things," Volstad said.


July 06, 2010

Mike Stanton, Meet Dave Winfield

    Mike Stanton is frequently compared to a young Dave Winfield.

On Tuesday, the rookie and Hall of Famer met for the first time, shaking hands at Dodger Stadium as the Marlins took batting practice.

“I have local friends who know him really well, and they told me a couple of years ago, ‘Man, Mike reminds me so much of you,” said Winfield, who lives in the Los Angeles area and works as an ESPN analyst. “So I watched him. I watched him perform in the minor leagues, followed him closely when he came up. So he’s one of those guys I kind of pull for. He’s a game-changer kind of a guy. He’s a presence, a big presence.”

Winfield was a multi-sports star before choosing baseball. He said he’s glad that Stanton chose baseball over football.

“Here’s a kid who could have played another spot, but I’m glad he didn’t,” Winfield said. “Baseball needs guys like this. I don’t want to hear he looks like a football player. No, he looks like a baseball player, a big, strong, good baseball player.”

July 05, 2010

Cantu Sits, Confidence Builds in Bullpen

    LOS ANGELES -- After going 1 for 11 in the Atlanta series, Jorge Cantu wasn't in the starting lineup Monday when the Marlins opened up against the Dodgers.

    But manager Edwin Rodriguez said the decision had as much to do with trying to keep the bench players sharp as it did with Cantu's mini-slump.

 "Not only a day off for Cantu," Rodriguez said. "But I want to get Wes Helms in there. I would like to get those extra guys in the game just to keep them sharp. If we want to make a move, we have to keep those guys sharp."

  Brett Hayes and Emilio Bonifacio received starts in Atlanta on Sunday.


  Rodriguez used three pitchers to get through Sunday's eighth inning, with Clay Hensley, Taylor Tankersley and Tim Wood recording one out each before furning the ball over to Leo Nunez in the ninth. And the bullpen likes Rodriguez's style.

  "It's a little bit different than the way Fredi (Gonzalez) was running it," Wood said. "Fredi wasn't running it like Edwin is. It just shows a different managerial style. I wouldn't say I have a preference. But if that's what it takes to win, I'm all for it. It seems like I'm the guy everybody's been picking up and finally I got to pay back last night, and it felt real good."

  Said Hensley: "I think it was a great situation for us to build a little confidence. It wasn't just a starter and a couple of guys out there. It was a big inning, and collectively we came in and everyone did their jobs. So I think it's a great confidence boost for the bullpen as a whole."

    Rodriguez said he will not be afraid to pull Nunez, either, if he senses the closer is in trouble in the ninth.


  Tonight's lineups:

  Marlins: Coghlan, lf; Sanchez, 1b; Ramirez, ss; Uggla, 2b; Ross, cf; Helms, 3b; Paulino, c; Stanton, rf; Robertson, p.

  Dodgers: Furcal, ss; Belliard, 2b; Ethier, rf; Kemp, cf; Blake, 3b; Loney, 1b; Martin, c; Johnson, lf; Ely. p.

  Umpires: HP Gary Cederstrom; 1B -- Ed Hickox; 2B -- Fieldin Culbreth; 3B -- Marty Foster.



July 04, 2010

Hanley, JJ make All-Star team

ATLANTA -- The Marlins are sending Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson back to the All-Star game. 

Ramirez, the National League's reigning batting champion, will start for the third year in a row at shortstop for the NL All-Stars after winning the fan's vote with 2,573,961 tallies. Ramirez, who is hitting .298 with 13 homers and 52 RBI, now has the longest uninterrupted streak at that position in the NL since Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith's streak from 1983-1992. Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins (1,788,778 votes) was second in the voting.

Johnson, baseball's leader in ERA (1.82), was picked for the second year in a row by his peers. Johnson (8-3) could be chosen as the starting pitcher, although Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez (14-1, 2.27 ERA) is widely expected to be given the honor. Johnson is only the second Marlins pitcher to be selected to back-to-back All-Star games. Kevin Brown did it in 1996 and 1997.

Second baseman Dan Uggla, who made the team in 2006 and 2008, was not named a reserve or one of the five finalists for the last spot on the team. San Diego closer Heath Bell, Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, Reds first baseman Joey Votto, Braves closer Billy Wagner and Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman were the finalists. 

Uggla was the third-leading vote getter at second base behind Utley and Prado and led all players at the position in home runs (15) while ranking second in RBI (46). 

The pitchers and reserves for both squads -- totaling 25 for the NL and 24 for the AL -- were determined through a combination of "Player Ballot" choices and selections made by All-Star managers Joe Girardi and Charlie Manuel.

The 81st All-Star Game will be played July 13 in Anaheim. 

Marlins head trainer, Sean Cunningham, will be one of two athletic trainers for the National League All-Star team.

> NL Starters: C Yadier Molina, STL; 1B Albert Pujols, STL; 2B Chase Utley, PHI (injured); SS Hanley Ramirez, FLA; 3B David Wright, NYM; OF Ryan Braun, MIL; OF Jason Heyward, ATL (injured); OF Andre Ethier, LAD. 

> AL Starters: C Joe Mauer, MIN; 1B Justin Morneau, MIN; 2B Robinson Cano, NYY; 3B Evan Longoria, TB; SS Derek Jeter, NYY; OF Ichiro, SEA; OF Josh Hamilton, TEX; OF Carl Crawford, TB; DH Vladimir Guerrero, TEX

> NL Pitchers: SP Ubaldo Jimenez, COL; SP Roy Halladay, PHI; SP Josh Johnson, FLA; SP Tim Lincecum, SF; SP Adam Wainwright, STL; RP Matt Capps, WAS; RP Brian Wilson, SF; RP Jonathan Broxton, LAD; SP Chris Carpenter, STL; SP Yovani Gallardo, MIL; SP Tim Hudson, ATL; SP Evan Meek, PIT; RP Arthur Rhodes, CIN.

> NL Reserves: OF Chris Young, ARI; 2B Martin Prado, ATL; C Brian McCann, ATL; OF Marlon Byrd, CHC; IF Omar Infante, ATL; IF Brandon Phillips, CIN; 3B Scott Rolen, CIN; OF Michael Bourn, HOU; OF Corey Hart, MIL; SS Jose Reyes, NYM; 1B Ryan Howard, PHI; OF Matt Holliday, STL; 1B Adrian Gonzalez, SD; 

> AL Pitching staff: SP CC Sabathia, NYY; SP Clay Buchholz, BOS, SP Fausto Carmona, CLE; SP David Price, TB; RP Neftali Feliz, TEX; RP Mariano Rivera, NYY; SP Phil Hughes, NYY; SP John Lester, BOS; RP Matt Thornton, CHW; RP Jose Valverde, DET; SP Cliff Lee, SEA; SP Trevor Cahill, OAK; RP Joakim Soria, KC.

> AL Reserves: IF Ty Wigginton, BAL; 3B Adrian Beltre, BOS; DH David Ortiz, BOS; 1B Miguel Cabrera, DET; OF Torii Hunter, ANA; 3B Alex Rodriguez, NYY; SS Elvis Andrus, TEX; 2B Ian Kinsler, TEX (for injured 2B Dustin Pedroia, BOS); IF Jose Bautista, TOR; C John Buck, TOR (for injured C Victor Martinez, BOS); OF Vernon Wells, TOR.

July 03, 2010

Is Leo Nunez relying on his change up too much?

ATLANTA -- Marlins closer Leo Nunez said one reason he's blown back-to-back saves is because he's been leaving pitches up in the zone a little too often lately. Manager Edwin Rodriguez, however, has a different take.

Leo Nunez "I think he needs to go back to being a power pitcher, using his fastball and slider more," Rodriguez said Saturday. "He's using his changeup way too much. His changeup is only going to be effective if he uses his fastball. If he keeps throwing changeups after changeups, that's going to become his primary pitch... we're trying to get him to start using that strategy, approach more. He's a power guy, a power pitcher. He should us his fastball and slider."

Nunez, who has now blown five of his 21 save opportunities this season, couldn't get an out in the 11th inning Friday night despite being handed a 3-2 lead. He walked Brian McCann on four pitches to start the inning, then gave a double to Troy Glaus on a changeup before Omar Infante singled them home on a fastball to rally the Braves to a 4-3 win.

"The pitches were good," Nunez said of Friday's blown save. "I think it was just one of those days. There are days when you try to do your job, but things happen. I tried my best."

Nunez, who blew off reporters after the game, said Saturday the use of his changeup has been "normal." According to MLB.com's pitch tracker, of the 15 pitches Nunez threw Friday, only two were changeups. When he blew a save in the Marlins 7-6 win over the Mets Tuesday, Nunez threw 13 pitches and 10 were changeups.

Pitching coach Randy St. Claire told reporters during the spring Nunez was guilty of tipping his pitches last season based on the way he was holding his glove. Nunez gave up 13 home runs, among the leaders in baseball and blew seven save opportunities in 33 chances. 

Friday's blown save might have been the result of him making the adjustment of using his fastball more and leaving it up in the zone.

UGGLA AN ALL-STAR?: When the All-Star rosters are released at noon Sunday, most expect shortstop Hanley Ramirez and ace Josh Johnson to be on the team. But second baseman Dan Uggla could also earn a trip to Anaheim. 

With the Phillies' Chase Utley (thumb surgery) expected to be on the disabled list for two months, Uggla could potentially earn a spot on the team along with the Braves Martin Prado or Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips. Uggla, who entered the week third in the voting behind Utley and Prado, leads all NL second basemen in homers (15) and ranks second in RBI (46).

"I think Uggla deserves it," Rodriguez said. "He's having a very good year and started very strong for us. Although his average has suffered a little bit, he's still the same power guy, clutch hitter and his defense is there."

The Marlins haven't sent more than two players to the All-Star game since they sent four in 2005: Luis Castillo, Paul Lo Duca, Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera. 

PLAN FOR MURPHY: Brian Barden's failure to get down a bunt on a suicide squeeze in the 11th inning Friday likely had nothing to do with why he was designated for assignment after the game.

Donnie Murphy, who was selected from Triple A New Orleans to replace Barden on the Marlins bench, said he was taken out of the Zephyr's game in Nashville Friday in the sixth inning. That was well before Barden failed to lay down a bunt, then struckout with runners on second and third in the 11th inning. 

"I'm looking for more offense than defense in that position. So, that's why we decided to bring Donnie Murphy up, he's more of an offensive player than Brian Barden," Rodriguez said. "It's very unfair to say Barden is not going to be able to do it. He hasn't played in a while. Donnie Murphy was playing down in Triple A every day and I think he can help us more."

Rodriguez said because the team has been using Wes Helms earlier in the game and more often in double switches for Jorge Cantu or Gaby Sanchez, they needed a bat for the late innings. "I think Murphy could do that job," Rodriguez said.

Murphy's primary position is shortstop, but like Barden could play second or third base if needed. "It’s a good feeling to be back up here," said Murphy, who last played in the big leagues with the Oakland A's at the end of the 2008 season. "Hopefully, I can help this team out."

Marlins call up Murphy; Barden designated

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.

Donnie Murphy 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.

July 02, 2010

Rodriguez wants to put Marlins bench to work

ATLANTA -- It might not happen very often during this weekend's series against the first-place Braves, but Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said Friday he plans to start giving his bench some more playing time so when he calls on them to pinch hit in tough situations, they can deliver. 

Emilio Bonifacio The Marlins, who ranked fifth in baseball last season in pinch hitting batting average (.280), have become one of the worst teams at it this season. They rank 24th overall with a .187 average (20 for 107) and have only 15 pinch-hit RBI. Entering Friday's series-opener at Turner Field, the Marlins are 0 for their last 16 in pinch hit situations. The last pinch hit: a run-scoring triple from Wes Helms in a loss to the Phillies on June 8th.

Wednesday night in San Juan, Rodriguez turned to his bench three times against the Mets, twice with runners in scoring position. Mike Lamb, who is only 5 for 27 in pinch hit situations (.185) this season, grounded out to the pitcher with runners on the corners and the score tied at 4 in the fifth. Wes Helms later flew out to deep center with runners on first and second for the final out in the eighth inning and the Marlins down a run. The Marlins lost 6-5.

"It's very tough to come off the bench and get a clutch hit facing a closer who throws 95 or 96 when you haven't played in a week or 10 days," Rodriguez said. "I'm very aware of that.

"My plan is to put them a little bit more often in the lineup, that way they can get their timing back."

The truth is other than Wes Helms, the Marlins bench has hardly contributed at all this season. Emilio Bonifacio, recalled from Triple A on June 6, has made only one start this season and is 0 for 10 in pinch hit situations. Lamb, sent down to Triple A twice, has made only one start and has only 30 at bats overall. Catcher Brett Hayes hasn't started since June 4th and has had only two at-bats since. Infielder Brian Barden, a defensive specialist, has made only two starts and is actually among the better pinch hitters having gone 2 for 5 with an RBI in those situations.

"It's not easy and it's something I'm still learning and getting adjusted to mentally," said Bonifacio, who had 16 career pinch hit at-bats before this season. "Each day I feel better, have more confidence. But I'm not there yet. I'm used to playing every day."

Last season, the Marlins had one of the best 1-2 punches off the bench with Ross Gload and Helms, who ranked first and second in the National League in pinch hits. Helms, who is hitting .252 overall this season, is only 4 for 26 (.154) in pinch hit situations season.

"If we want to win the division, we have to get those bench players, the extra players in good condition to go out there and be more effective," Rodriguez said. "And I think [playing them] is the best way to do it."

A NEW VERAS: When the Marlins signed Jose Veras to a minor league contract in the offseason, they were hoping the former setup man for Mariano Rivera would turn out to be their next great bullpen find off the scrap heap.

Jose Veras When he was sent down to the minors on April 13 with a 15.43 ERA, it looked like the none of the relievers the Marlins signed in the offseason were going to pay off. But the hard-throwing Dominican right-hander might turn out to be a find just yet. 

Since being recalled from New Orleans on June 25th, Veras has been dominant in four appearances, giving up just two hits and two walks while striking out six in five scoreless innings.

The secret to his success: better control and a new pitch, a changeup. Veras, 29, baffled several Mets this past week in San Juan with the changeup, a pitch he said he spent a couple weeks working on to add back to his arsenal down in Triple A. Veras, a starter with the Rays early in his career, used to throw a changeup. But when he was put in the bullpen, he said he was urged to use only his fastball and his slider. 

"I got a good feel for it," Veras said. "I can throw it for a strike, down in the zone. I feel confident when throw it, like my breaking ball. You throw a fastball 95, 96 and throw a change up, that's a 10 mile per hour difference. If you can get them to roll over to pop up, that's what you want."

Rodriguez, who managed Veras in Triple A, said Veras got behind in the count too often and wasn't aggressive enough.

"When you throw 95, 96, you don't have to be painting the corners," Rodriguez said. "He was trying to be too perfect, throwing fastballs 96, 97 miles per hour on the corner.

"I think he threw about three or four of them [in Puerto Rico], which is good enough. Just to show them, just to keep them off balance. It doesn't have to be his main or secondary pitch. His first pitch is his fastball, his second pitch his slider. Against left handed hitters, if he can show that changeup, that's going to be very effective. It will make his primary pitches better."

And it could potentially make the Marlins bullpen a lot better too. With Clay Hensley, the team's setup man returning Friday from a left neck strain, the Marlins may finally have the back end of their pen set.

"If he keep pitching the way he was pitching in Puerto Rico, that's going to be a big help for the bullpen," Rodriguez said. "Having Veras, Clay Hensley and Tim Wood, Tankersley as situational left-hander, the bullpen could shape up in a positive way."

> Catcher Ronny Paulino, who was scheduled to start his 24th game in a row, will get his first day off since June 4th on Sunday.

> Rodriguez said third baseman Jorge Cantu was battling dizziness Wednesday because of the heat in San Juan. Rodriguez said Cantu told him he was fine Friday and no longer feeling any symptoms. "Just overheating," Cantu said. 

Hensley's return bolsters bullpen

ATLANTA -- As expected, the Marlins recalled right-hander Clay Hensley from the disabled list Friday, a move that will definitely help the team's struggling bullpen.

Hensley, who last pitched June 11th and went on the disabled list six days later with a left neck strain, has been the second-most reliable arm in the bullpen this season behind closer Leo Nunez. In 27 appearances, he has a 2.51 ERA (lowest among those in the bullpen) and a 1.114 WHIP (second only to Nunez, 1.041).

The Marlins sent veteran right-hander Scott Strickland (9.00 ERA, 3 games) back down to Triple A New Orleans to make room for Hensley.

LUNA NAMED TRIPLE A ALL-STAR: New Orleans third baseman Hector Luna has been named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team. In his first season in the Marlins organization, Luna, 30, is batting .307 with the Zephyrs, and ranks fifth in the PCL with 14 home runs and 54 RBI.

The 2010 Triple-A All-Star Game will take place Wednesday, July 14 in Allentown, Pennsylvania at Lehigh Valley's Coca-Cola Park.