Quick Friday update (please scroll down for Dolphins' roster move today):
### The Marlins bolstered their staff today by acquiring right-handed reliever Aaron Crow from Kansas City for pitchers Brian Flynn and Reid Redman.
Crow was 6-1 with a 4.12 ERA and three saves for the Royals last season, holding all batters to a .240 average and right-handers to a .215 average. But lefties hit .271 off him and he struggled after the All-Star break, going 0-2 with a 6.86 ERA.
Crow is 20-11 with a 3.43 ERA and six saves in 254 career appearances over four seasons. His 20 wins are tied for the second-most among American League relievers since 2011.
Marlins executive Michael Hill didn't rule out the possibility of trying him as a starter, but said that's to be determined.
The Royals drafted him 12th overall in 2009. Crow made $1.5 million last season and is arbitration-eligible for the second time.
Flynn, a left-hander, was 0-3 with an 8.64 ERA in six career appearances for the Marlins. Redman, a decent prospect, was 7-3 with a 2.00 ERA in two seasons, mostly in the low-level minors.
### Dolphins cornerback Cortland Finnegan couldn't practice today, and it's increasingly unlikely he will play Monday. That means RJ Stanford or Walt Aikens will start at cornerback opposite Brent Grimes.
### The Dolphins claimed former Dolphins defensive back Don Jones off waivers from the Patriots and released cornerback Lowell Rose. Jones is an excellent gunner on special teams --- which has been an issue for the Dolphins --- and can play cornerback or safety.
He played in nine games for the Patriots this season (all on special teams) after appearing in 16 for the Dolphins as a rookie seventh-round pick last season. According to Pro Football Focus, Jones has never played a defensive snap in a regular season game.
### Offensive linemen Nate Garner, who is dealing with an illness, also wasn't at practice today. And tight end Charles Clay didn't practice, leaving his status for Monday very much in doubt.
### Former Dolphins QB Tyler Thipgen was arrested and charged with DUI after being found asleep in a Wendy's drive-through in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Please scroll down for more Dolphins and Marlins chatter.
FRIDAY BUZZ COLUMN
Golden State’s Steph Curry, the NBA’s highest-scoring point guard, has already seen enough of Shabazz Napier to predict greatness. Kevin Garnett was so impressed with James Ennis that he turned to him at the free-throw line recently with a simple message: “You have huge upside” and keep working.
Let’s be clear: Neither rookie is remotely close to a finished product, and youthful mistakes are to be expected. Whether Napier can become an above-average point guard, or Ennis a reliable rotation player, must still play out.
But the rookies have given the Heat a fresh new element in the post-LeBron era: an infusion of youth, prospects that can be nurtured and developed. “We haven’t had that a lot since I’ve been here,” Dwyane Wade said.
Plus/minus statistics shouldn’t be overstated, but it’s interesting that the Heat has played better with Napier and Ennis on the floor than with virtually anybody else. Miami has outscored teams by 24 with Napier playing, best on the team. (Starter Norris Cole, conversely, is a minus-40). Ennis and Josh McRoberts are tied for second at plus 22.
With Napier, NBA people believe that isn’t a coincidence.
“He’s definitely a starting point guard longterm,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said this week. “He’s not just a backup. This is a temporary role I think.”
Why? “Because he shoots with range,” Kerr said, “and he’s a great leader. He’s a winner and he’s an excellent pick and roll player, and those are all things you need in the NBA. He’s a handful.”
Count Curry among those impressed by Napier. “He’s special,” Curry said. “He’s competitive. He’s all about winning. He’s aggressive, attacking and this system fits his talent. He’s going to be a great player in this league.”
Point guard, Napier said, “is the most scrutinized position, like quarterback. You have to have a high IQ.”
Napier spends some of his free time studying tape of other point guards --- Tony Parker, Steve Nash, Chris Paul --- an exercise he started doing at Connecticut.
“That’s what got me here so I’m going to continue to do it,” he said. “One of the biggest things I took from Tony Parker is his creativity, when to be aggressive, when not to be.”
He isn’t happy with his 1-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio (35 of each), and that must improve. But after shooting poorly in summer league, Napier is now at 46.8 percent from the field, seventh among all point guards. He’s shooting 50 percent in the fourth quarter, as Erik Spoelstra continues to entrust him with late-game minutes.
Ennis’ playing time could diminish when Wade returns (potentially Sunday), but Tuesday's 21 minutes against Golden State demonstrated his ability to fill the box score: eight points, eight rebounds, four assists, a steal and two blocks in 21 minutes.
There isn’t a day that Ennis, who’s a fan favorite because of his athleticism and dynamic dunks, isn’t approached by a fan who showers him with plaudits.
“You’re awesome” is a common greeting, he said. But it was a bit awkward when the guy standing next to him at the urinal recently told him “how happy the [fans] are to have me here.”
He says the Heat’s system has been “pretty difficult to grasp” and he still sometimes makes defensive mistakes that make coaches cringe. “He’s going to get involved in a play whether it’s right or wrong,” Spoelstra said. “As he gets more familiar with NBA situations, he’ll get it eventually.”
Ennis believes “once I learn how to use my length more and stay low all the time, I’ll be a really good defender.”
Offensively, Ennis’ shooting improved during his stint in Australia last season but he needs to become more consistent from three-point range (4 for 13, 30.8 percent).
“Once I knock down threes, it will open what I’m good at, which is driving,” he said. “Going overseas really helped me develop.”
Wade has nicknamed Ennis Jagged Edge. Ennis likes the fans’ nickname for him, James The Truth, because “I didn’t want to call myself Ennis The Menace.”
### Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey never showed much interest in Dimitri Patterson. But with the Dolphins depleted at cornerback, Hickey was remiss in not at least offering a workout to the veteran free agent, who played well for Miami last year when healthy (four interceptions in six games).
Meanwhile, Bill Parcells reminded WQAM’s Joe Rose, on-air, that the Dolphins “let two corners get out of there – [including] one of the top five in the league,” referring to two players that his regime drafted --- Indianapolis’ Vontae Davis (now rated second among all corners by Pro Football Focus) and Kansas City’s Sean Smith (eighth).
### Dolphins cornerback Cortland Finnegan remains unsure if he will be able to play Monday. He was limited in practice again on Thursday. Jamar Taylor was ruled out for Monday's game.
### Fans aren’t the only ones who believe UM underachieved. Players do, too.
“We did,” Duke Johnson said. “It wasn’t the talent [that was the problem]. We didn’t come out and play to the talent level.”
Said center Shane McDermott: “We have tons of talent and our record doesn’t show it. We're way better than 6-5 talent wise.”
### Not only is UM losing several of its top players, but next year’s schedule poses challenges, with Clemson and Nebraska both visiting Sun Life Stadium, and Duke and FSU on the road.
Other home games in 2015: Georgia Tech, Virginia, Virginia Tech and likely Bethune Cookman.
Other road games: Cincinnati, FAU, North Carolina and Pittsburgh.
### UM ruled Deon Bush and Herb Waters out for Saturday's game against Pittsburgh.
### Not only have the Marlins inquired about potential trades for Evan Gattis and Chris Davis in an effort to upgrade at first base --- as we reported Tuesday ---- but my colleague Clark Spencer hears they also have explored a deal for Boston's Allen Craig, who who hit .215 with eight homers and 46 RBI for the Red Sox and St. Louis in 2014, but .315 with 13 homers and 97 RBI for the Cardinals in 2013.
Oakland's Brandon Moss, whose name was raised by MLB.com, also hasn't been ruled out as a potential trade target but isn't the Marlins' first choice.
One thing is clear: The Marlins want to go into next season with a first baseman better than Garrett Jones.