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Marlins bullpen unit closing in on MLB mark; Polanco pockets extra $125k

It's not exactly the sexiest baseball milestone in baseball's record books. But the Marlins have a solid chance of becoming only the fifth team in major league history to feature five different relievers with at least 65 relief appearances each.

"It's definitely plausible," said Chad Qualls, who has 59 relief appearances with 21 games left to go on the schedule. "It just shows we've been a pretty solid unit."

It shows the Marlins' five-man gang -- which also includes Mike Dunn (67 games), A.J. Ramos (61), Steve Cishek (61) and Ryan Webb (59) -- have not only remained healthy, but have also pitched well enough to avoid a trip to the minors.

"It's rare for an entire (bullpen) to stay healthy throughout the year," Cishek said. "And, for the most part, everybody's pitched well enough to stay here, too, so that's another rare thing."

Dunn said the Marlins coaching staff also deserves credit, too, for sticking with relievers even when some of them have been in ruts.

"We've all struggled at some point, but they've shown the trust in the players to work it out," Dunn said.

The four previous teams to have five relievers with at least 65 appearances: the 1992 Cardinals, 2006 Cubs, 2006 Astros and 2008 Mets. Qualls was a part of the '06 Astros bullpen that accomplished the feat.

The only member of the bullpen to land on the disabled list this season has been long man/starter Kevin Slowey.

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Placido Polanco, whose $2.75 million salary already made him the highest-paid Marlin (not counting the $4 million paid Heath Bell to go away), just got a little wealthier. By playing in his 100th game on Sunday, Polanco qualified for a $125,000 performance bonus that was built into his contract. There are not enough games left on the schedule for him to qualify for an additional $125k by playing in 125 games.

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Manager Mike Redmond said he and pitching coach Chuck Hernandez are exploring ways to build in extra rest for struggling starter Jacob Turner over his final starts by pushing his starts back by a day or two...Redmond said Brad Hand would start the second game of Saturday's doubleheader in New York....Brian Flynn will also get another start, Redmond said....Giancarlo Stanton said his injured ankle is improving, and he was able to take batting practice on it Monday. But he was not in the lineup as the Marlins opened a four-game series against Atlanta.

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