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No decision yet -- Hand or Penny -- for 5th spot in rotation

With Henderson Alvarez back on the mound tonight for the Marlins after spending the past couple of weeks on the disabled list, manager Mike Redmond now has six starters on his staff. And that means, of course, one of them -- either Brad Hand or Brad Penny -- will be moving to the pen.

"We're not actually going to need a fifth starter until Sunday, so that'll either be Hand or Brad Penny," Redmond said. "We haven't decided yet. With the off days coming up, it allows us to mix and match a little bit."

Since Hand started on Friday, Penny will be available in the bullpen for tonight's game. Hand will head down there, as well, after he's had time to recover.

"Over the next few days, those guys will pitch out of the bullpen if we need them, give us some more depth down there," Redmond said.

The Marlins optioned Anthony DeSclafani to Triple A New Orleans following Friday's game, creating the need for a long reliever.

So what will decide whether it's Hand or Penny remaining in the rotation?

"Probably just a feel thing, I guess," Redmond said. "Gives us a couple of days to think about it. I was hoping for one of them to really make a clear and easy decision. It hasn't been. So do we want to go with a guy who has the experience, or a young guy? So that'll be my decision and we'll work on that the next couple of days."


The Marlins grounded into four double plays in Friday's loss to the Diamondbacks, with Casey McGehee and Jarrod Saltalamacchia bouncing into two each.

McGehee has grounded into 25 double plays, which not only leads the majors, but represents a new Marlins record. Greg Colbrunn, with 22 double plays in 1996, held the old mark. The major league record of grounding into double plays is held by Jim Rice, a Hall of Famer who grounded into 36 of them in 1984.

McGehee is also hitting .333 with runners in scoring position -- the fifth best figure in the N.L. -- so it's not as though he's been a rally-killer.

"It's happened a few more times than it probably should," McGehee said of his double play disease. "But I guess that's the price you pay for trying to stay in the middle of the field sometimes. It's one of those things that the knee-jerk reaction is to try to come out of your approach and try to do something different. Maybe I'll have to think about it and talk to (hitting coach Frank Menechino), and maybe there's times that the situation dictates I do that a little bit. But I think, for the most part, that's been a big part of my success, is trying to stay in the middle of the field. You can't have it both ways all the time."

While McGehee has delivered for the Marlins with runners in scoring position, Saltalamacchia has not. His .165 average with RISP ranks 98th of the 100 N.L. players who have had at least 75 plate appearances in those situations. Only Washington's Danny Espinosa (.130) and San Diego's Yasmani Grandal (.123) rank lower.


Kind of an odd game Friday when the Marlins and Diamondbacks combined for five runs in the first inning, and then didn't score again as Arizona held on for a 3-2 win.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the most runs scored in a Marlins game in which all the runs were scored in the first inning. The previous high was four, when the Marlins scored all four runs in a 4-0 victory over the Dodgers on July 13, 1995.