Closer Matt Lindstrom and starting right-hander Anibal Sanchez threw bullpen sessions on Friday afternoon at Land Shark Stadium.
Both pitchers are on the disabled list. Lindstrom has been sidelined since June 24 with a right elbow sprain. Sanchez went on the DL on May 8 with a right shoulder sprain.
On Friday, Lindstrom threw 35 pitches that included breaking balls and will throw again on Sunday.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Sanchez threw “a little longer than Lindstrom, about 12 to 13 minutes”.
Sanchez threw all his pitches and is expected to throw again Monday.
Gonzalez, who was encouraged by both pitchers side sessions, said there is no target date for either pitcher’s return.
“Right from the very beginning, we want to make sure we take our time with them,” said Gonzalez, who thinks Lindstrom would return sooner than Sanchez.
Gonzalez added he would have a better idea of both pitchers return when they start throwing batting practice and a simulated game.
Second baseman Dan Uggla got the night off against his personal nemesis, Phillies lefty ace Cole Hamels.
Uggla is 3 for 23 (.130 avg.) with six strikeouts against Hamels.
Emilio Bonifacio, who has started the majority of games at third base, got the start at second base – his natural position. It was Bonifacio’s third start at second base this season.
With Bonifacio at second base, Wes Helms was going to start at third base, but Helms could not go, because of the flu.
Helms, who is 6 for 18 against Hamels, was available to pinch-hit.
Utility infielder Andy Gonzalez started at third base. Gonzalez was 1 for 5 this season with the Marlins entering Friday’s game. All the at-bats were as a pinch hitter.
In his third season in the major leagues, Gonzalez has played every position on the diamond except pitcher. Gonzalez broke into the big leagues with the White Sox in 2007 and last season played for the Indians.
Although right-hander Rick VandenHurk is the favorite to start against the Padres on Monday when the Marlins need a fifth starter, Fredi Gonzalez said selecting who starts in San Diego might depend on how much the Marlins bullpen is used this weekend against the Phillies.
Reliever Burke Badenhop could start against the Padres if the Marlins don’t bring up VandenHurk from Triple A New Orleans.
Badenhop has one start in 22 appearances this season. In his lone start, the right-hander went five innings and allowed one run in a 6-2 win over Philadelphia on May 27.
After Monday, the Marlins would not need a fifth starter again until a July 31 home game against the Cubs.