A few days ago, pitcher Tom Koehler was convinced he was heading home for the winter. The right-hander for Triple A New Orleans was told he probably wouldn't be among the Marlins' September call-ups, and so began junking his equipment.
"I originally was told it wasn't going to happen," Koehler said. "I got a little frustrated and threw away some of my cleats and stuff. This was probably a couple of days ago and I thought the season was over. And then they called me when I was on the bus back to New Orleans to let me know that it was happening. I was a hoarder, so I had plenty of stuff in my locker, luckily."
Koehler was one of two players the Marlins promoted Sunday from NOLA. The Marlins also recalled left-handed reliever Dan Jennings. Whether more are coming remains to be seen. Double A Jacksonville was eliminated from postseason play on Saturday, so those players are now free to go. One player the Marlins might consider: Suns reliever A.J. Ramos, who recorded 21 saves and a 1.44 ERA while striking out 89 in 68 2/3 innings.
Koehler was used as a starter at New Orleans, where he went 12-11 with a 4.17 ERA this season. But, given the overflow of starters on the Marlins roster, he figures he'll be pitching out of the bullpen.
"I'm going to assume I'm going to be in the pen with there being 13 starters right now," Koehler said. "But, whatever way they use me, I don't care. It's pitching regardless of whether it's one inning or six."
It's been a trying past couple of weeks for Koehler and the rest of the Zephyrs. They were forced to move their next-to-last series from New Orleans to Round Rock, Texas, due to the approach of Hurricane Isaac. The team's final home series this weekend was then canceled because of the storm, bringing their season to an early end.
"I don't know if there can be a worse week in professional baseball than that week," Koehler said. "We started in Omaha, leaving Omaha at 5 o'clock in the morning to fly back to New Orleans. We got on the plane, and the plane broke. We had to get off the plane. Then we had to fly to Chicago at 2 o'clock, so we had to sit in the airport for seven hours. Got back to New Orleans at about 7. Got on a bus to Round Rock at 9. We had like a 26-hour travel day, and then had to play a doubleheader. We did not win a single game from there on out. We lost four straight. It was tough. A lot of guys were worried about the flooding (in New Orleans) and everything. It was kind of tough to focus on baseball. When you spend a whole year somehwhere, you start to become a part of the community."
Perhaps even more interesting than the players the Marlins decided to call up or those they didn't, such as outfielders Chris Coghlan and Scott Cousins, for example, as well as catcher Brett Hayes. The Marlins, at the moment, now have an odd roster mix, with 15 pitchers and only 12 position players.
Today's lineup has one slight new twist. Giancarlo Stanton returns to the cleanup spot:
Marlins: 1. Bryan Petersen, lf; 2. Justin Ruggiano, cf; 3. Jose Reyes, ss; 4. Giancarlo Stanton, rf; 5. Carlos Lee, 1b; 6. Greg Dobbs, 3b; 7. Donovan Solano, 2b; 8. Rob Brantly, c; 9. Mark Buehrle, p.
Mets: 1. Ronny Cedeno, ss; 2. Justin Turner, 2b; 3. David Wright, 3b; 4. Scott Hairston, rf; 5. Ike Davis, 1b; 6. Kelly Shoppach, c; 7. Jason Bay, lf; 8. Andres Torres, cf; 9. Chris Young, p.
Umpires: HP -- Gary Darling, 1B -- Paul Emmel; 2B -- Scott Barry; 3B -- Jerry Meals