With the Triple A season wrapped up, the last thing right-handed reliever Brett Sinkbeil was expecting to get Monday was a big league call up from the Marlins.
“I'm thrilled. I didn't even see it coming," said Sinkbeil, who was 3-3 with a 5.71 ERA in 58 appearances for the New Orleans Zephyrs, whose season ended Sept. 6. "I was sitting back home in Oklahoma when the phone rang yesterday. I was more than a little surprised."
With Chris Volstad and Alex Sanabia serving suspensions and starters Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco shelved for the season, manager Edwin Rodriguez said he's using a committee of relievers to pitch against Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay Wednesday.
Rodriguez is leaning toward starting Burke Badenhop if he is not used Tuesday. Jorge Sosa is another candidate, but Sosa pitched two innings on Monday. Rodriguez said he's hoping to get three innings out of Badenhop before piecing together the final six innings.
Rodriguez said Sinkbeil, whom he managed in New Orleans each of the last two seasons, could be a middle innings guy.
Sinkbeil throws 95, 96 mph and Rodriguez said he has a big-league slider and sinker. He was strictly a starter his first three years in the organization but was moved to the bullpen in May of 2009.
“He has a powerful arm but his problem has been throwing strikes on a consistent basis,” Rodriguez said. "Two or three nights out there, he's lights out. No chance. But then he comes out and he's all over the place. He's throwing across his body again. It might be his body. It might be his glove, when he pulls to the side his whole body will follow his glove. That's his main problem."
Sinkbeil, 25, was the team’s top pick in 2006, taken 19th overall and ahead of 2009 Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan. So far, he's just another talented pitcher in a long line of first round picks that hasn't exactly panned out for the organization. But Rodriguez thinks being a reliever might be the perfect spot for Sinkbeil.
"He doesn't have that third pitch to be in the rotation as a starter," Rodriguez said. "Going to the pen he can go out there and throw two innings and go all out. I think he's more confident doing that with those two pitches."
Sinkbeil said he's liked the move to the 'pen. "I like having the chance to be involved in a lot more games,” Sinkbeil said. “You don’t have as much down time. You are always staying busy. It gives you a chance to be a part of the game everyday.”
> With the Marlins longshots to make the postseason, most Marlins fans would probably be happy to see the team finish at least .500. That's not good enough though for Rodriguez.
"People talk about .500. I don't know if I should say this, but .500 for me is not a good season, for any club. You should be striving to finish 10 games over .500, something like that," Rodriguez said. "I think it means a lot of positive things for a lot of people because you say it's not a losing season. But my opinion, with the talent we have here, finishing .500, I wouldn't call that a good season. I would say 85, 87 wins would be an OK season. This team has the talent to win 90 games on a consistent basis."
> Center fielder Cameron Maybin missed his second consecutive game Tuesday as he continues to battle a stomach virus. "He came in saw Sean Cunningham and we sent him the doctor," Rodriguez said. "Hopefully, it's a 24-hour thing."
Rodriguez said he doesn't think Maybin will be in Wednesday's lineup either and would use him as a pinch hitter if he were available.