NEW YORK -- When it comes to solving his bullpen's late-inning woes this season, Mike Redmond made it clear Friday the Marlins are just looking for "somebody to step up and get some big outs."
"We've been in a lot of games, been in a lot of close games, but unfortunately we've given up some big hits late in those games to lose," Redmond said. "It really coms down to trying to find those guys that are going to be able to pitch those late inning games. We're really going to try everybody to see what's going to work and see whose going to take those late innings. It's really up for grabs."
While closer Steve Cishek has remained a consistent force in the ninth inning with a franchise-record 33 consecutive saves entering Friday's game, the eighth inning has been a nightmare for the Marlins.
The team's eighth inning ERA entering Friday was 7.36 and opponents were hitting .304 against them in the frame. A year ago, Chad Qualls, Mike Dunn, and A.J. Ramos did a much better job handling the bulk of the eighth inning work as the Marlins combined for a 2.28 ERA and opponents hit just .202 against them.
This year, Qualls is the closer in Houston. Dunn (eight appearances, 11.37 ERA), Ramos (six appearances, 1.93 ERA) and left-hander Dan Jennings (four appearances, 0.00 ERA) have handled the eighth for the Marlins for the most part through the team's first 22 games. Carlos Marmol pitched once in the eighth and gave up a game-winning grand slam to the Nats' Jayson Werth on April 9th.
Right-hander Carter Capps, acquired in the Logan Morrison trade with Seattle, could be a solution, Redmond said.
"We got to get him out there and let him pitch," Redmond said. "I'd love to say maybe he can be the guy to do that with Marmol and Dunn and AJ. But we've got to get him out there in a game and see what he can do.
"Sometimes it just takes them a nice 1-2-3 inning to settle in and then take off. That's what we're hoping for."
> Redmond joked he's happy Major League Baseball decided to wait until Friday to adjust its transfer rule, which occurs when a fielder loses possession of a ball while trying to transfer it from his glove to his throwing hand.
The Marlins won two replay challenges because of the transfer rule over the past week -- April 18 in a win over the Mariners and Monday in a loss to the Braves.
The adjustment to the rule is that it will now be an out whenever a player has complete control over the ball in his glove, and if he drops the ball after opening his glove, it will still be ruled an out. There is no requirement to successfully remove the ball from the glove for it to be an out.
"I think those two plays, the Fish might have sent them over the edge," Redmond said. "... we'll see how it's interpreted going forward. So we'll all be watching to see what a catch is. I think I have an idea of what it is. But we'll see."
> Redmond said right-hander Jacob Turner, who pitched four innings in Single A Jupiter Wednesday, will pitch again Monday and throw between 75-80 pitches.
"The reports I heard from his first outing was that he was fine," Redmond said. "He gave up a couple runs, but he threw a lot of fastballs and everything was good healthwise. He's only been out a couple weeks so he hasn't lost a ton of throwing time. He's still in pretty good shape."
> Utility infielder Ed Lucas, on the disabled list for the past month with a fractured left hand, began his rehab assignment Friday night, batting second and starting at shortstop for the Hammerheads. Redmond said Lucas was going to play every position in the infield.
> Redmond said the Marlins still haven't decided when second baseman Rafael Furcal will be called up from his rehab assignment. Redmond said the team initially wanted Furcal to use up all three weeks of rehab work. Furcal had a pair of doubles and "played good defense," Redmond said, on Thursday night.
> Where does Redmond, a former catcher, stand on the pine tar debate stirred up by the recent suspension of Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda?
"I was thinking about grabbing a little pine tar the other day because the pencil was slipping out of my hands and I wanted to write some stuff down in the cold weather. Maybe that extra grip will help," Redmond joked.
"It didn't surprise me. A lot of guys use sun screen, whatever. You see pitchers all the time going to their wrist out on the mound. You don't see position players out there grabbing their wrist during the game. Come on. That's stuff has been going on for a long time. I think we all know that. But at the same time too you can't take the pine tar rag and just rub it on the side of your face.
"I've seen guys lick the pine tar rag. I'd advise against that. I'm not condoning that at all."