WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Randy Wolf's rough first start for the Marlins hasn't knocked the 37-year old veteran left-hander out of the rotation.
Despite getting rocked for six runs on eight hits by the Brewers and struggling to get through five innings Sunday, Redmond said Monday Wolf will get another crack at it Saturday back home at Marlins Park against the Braves.
"He hasn't pitched in a big league game in a long time, which is a testament to how hard he's worked to get himself back," Redmond said of Wolf, who underwent Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2012 season. "First outing was a little rough, but hopefully the second one will be lights out. Because I've seen him be lights out. You know it's in there."
Wolf is the second pitcher to try and fill-in for the injured Jose Fernandez. Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani made two starts after Fernandez went down for the season on May 9. Sunday, DeSclafani lasted only four innings in his first start since being sent back to the minors. He allowed one run on four hits for Triple A New Orleans, but needed 75 pitches to get through it.
Top prospect Andrew Heaney was recently promoted to New Orleans. Heaney tossed five innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts last Thursday. He's scheduled to start for the Zephyrs again Tuesday. It's expected Heaney will at least get a few starts in Triple A before the Marlins call him up.
TEXTING JOSH BECKETT
Redmond said he sent a text message to former Marlins World Series hero and teammate Josh Beckett, who tossed his first no-hitter Sunday for the Dodgers in a win at Philadelphia.
Redmond said the two got a chance to catch up and talk baseball when the Marlins were in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago.
"I told him, 'Hey man you never know it might be your best year and where you have the most fun because you have no expectations on yourself. You're just out there pitching every five days, having fun, enjoying it,'" Redmond said. "It's great to see Josh is in such a different place than we played together. So different personality-wise. He has kids now, married. It's a totally different Josh. But it's great. I'm happy for him.
"I know personally for him he's not a guy who looks at the stats. But with all the big games he's pitched he definitely deserved the no-hitter. It was cool. I wish I could have been there to catch it."
Beckett no longer registers his fastball in the mid to high 90s like he did when Redmond was catching for him. Redmond said: "He's a pitcher now."
"Not that he wasn't before," Redmond continued. "He's just the true essence of a pitcher now where he has to throw off-speed pitches for strikes and still uses his fastball. But he doesn't have 96 or 97 in the tank all the time anymore. It's really made him learn how to pitch and carve through a lineup. He's a veteran that knows what he's doing. There were probably years there where that never would have come out of my mouth -- that he knows what he's doing. But he does now know what he's doing. It was good to see man. I'm happy for him."
With a father who was an officer in the army for 23 years, Marlins utility man Jeff Baker has a special appreciation for the military and Memorial Day. And being able to come back home and play in the nation's capital Monday against the Nationals is extra special.
Baker said although his father, Larry, never battled on the front lines, "he was in charge of people who were getting shot at" and he took that responsibility for what it was. Baker said his father worked in both air defense and nuclear weapons and was involved in Desert Storm.
An only child, Baker said he and his parents never stayed in the same city more than two years. Born in a U.S. base in Germany, Baker said the family moved from West Point to Norfolk to Egypt to Kuwait to Abu Dhabi to Key West and then Colorado Springs. Baker said he was a sophomore in high school when his father finally decided to retire as a Colonel.
"He was about to become a General when he basically gave it all up so I could concentrate on high school and baseball," Baker said.
His father is now a computer math teacher at Gar-Field high school in nearby Woodbridge, Virginia.
"It's one of things when you're going through those things you don't realize that's not the norm," Baker said of being "an army brat." "But for me I thought it was cool. You're in Egypt you go see the pyramids, hang out with the camels, do all that stuff. Being able to be exposed culturally -- not knowing baseball was going to be a career -- was helpful. When you're in the minor leagues you're here for one stop, there the next. You have teammates that are Japanese, Dominicans, it kind of helps you fit in seamlessly in a lot of places.
"I enjoyed it. I thought it was cool, traveling, seeing the bases. I always liked going out seeing the ships, seeing the soldiers march around. When we were in Abu Dhabi they actually set up a t-ball league. I remember that was kind of interesting because we played basically on sand. There wasn't a lot of grass out there. You look out and the right fielder is building sand castles, not really paying too much attention to the game. The thing that was great was the moms and the dads and the families bonding together and trying to help us play sports, whatever it was."
> Marlins (26-25): 1. Christian Yelich LF, 2. Derek Dietrich 2B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Garrett Jones 1B, 6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 7. Marcell Ozuna CF, 8. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 9. Nathan Eovaldi RHP.
> Nationals (25-25): 1. Denard Span CF, 2. Anthony Rendon 3B, 3. Jayson Werth RF, 4. Adam LaRoche 1B, 5. Wilson Ramos C, 6. Ian Desmond SS, 7. Danny Espinosa 2B, 8. Nate McLouth LF, 9. Tanner Roark RHP.