MIAMI — Miami Marlins right-hander Kevin Gregg didn’t see a perfect fit among the offers he received during the offseason, so he stayed home in Corvallis, Oregon.
Gregg would coach his son’s Little League team and his daughter’s basketball team. In his spare time, he worked out up to four times a week at Oregon State University, running his own spring training.
"I think we all are hoping to be with a team," Gregg said. "The situation has to be right for me, especially at this point in my career. I was waiting for that situation to arrive. If I had options that were right, I wouldn’t be here. Nothing that fit me and my family and what we needed."
The 35-year-old, who signed a minor-league deal with the Marlins at the beginning of the month, had his contract selected Thursday in his return to the organization. Miami had an open spot on the 40-man roster after designating both Randy Wolf and Kevin Slowey for assignment and calling up Thursday’s starter Andrew Heaney earlier this week.
In 2013, Gregg went 2-6 with a 3.48 ERA and 33 saves in 2013 with the Chicago Cubs. He spent two seasons with the Marlins from 2007-08, recording 61 saves in 74 opportunities. He is 30-44 with a 4.07 ERA and 177 career saves in 11 seasons.
"I’m back, excited to be here," Gregg said. "Never say never in this game, you never know where you end up. Whole difference setup, saying I’m back, but it’s a completely different setup, completely different team, a lot of new faces."
Gregg allowed four runs — one earned — on three hits in one inning with Single-A Jupiter. In five appearances with Triple-A New Orleans, he went 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA.
Despite offers from other clubs in the National League East, Gregg decided to rejoin the Marlins. He did come close to signing elsewhere.
"They got a chance to win the division, a team that’s playing good baseball this far into the season," Gregg said. "Coming in to add a little depth to the bullpen. Seemed like a good fit for both sides.
"You see a good mix of young talent, you see a mix of some older players and that seems to play out good in the long run for a lot of teams. I like what we have here, like what (president of baseball operations) Mike (Hill) had to stay. I’m standing here."
Miami hopes he brings a stable veteran presence on the latter innings. The bullpen entered Thursday’s game ranked 23rd in the majors with a 3.52 ERA. The Marlins (36-35) are 1.5 games behind the Washington Nationals in the division.
"We talked about strengthening our bullpen and hopefully he’s going to be a big piece," manager Mike Redmond said. "I envision him probably pitching late in the game."
Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia returned to Thursday’s lineup after landing on the disabled list June 1 with a concussion.
Saltalamacchia said he had to go three days without symptoms before another three of rest. Once that stretch was over, he went to the field and biked. He hit and moved around a bit more the following day.
"It was tough, but it wasn’t anything that was too hard to do," said Saltalamacchia, who had not been diagnosed with a concussion before. "It was a matter of making sure I didn’t have any symptoms.
"Sometimes they say mild concussions can have longer effect just because you feel like you’re OK it just lingers on. Fortunately for me it wasn’t too, too long."
The 29-year-old was familiar with the protocol after teammate David Ross went through the process last year with the Boston Red Sox.
After some extended spring at-bats, Saltalamacchia caught nine innings Monday for Single-A Jupiter and started as the Hammerheads’ designated hitter Tuesday. He went 2 for 7 at the plate over two games.
"I thought that was going to be the biggest thing was the timing," Saltalamacchia said. "Catching-wise I felt good. … I told them I was ready to go. The only timing you’re going to get is by being up here. You can get so many A ball or Triple-A ball (at-bats)."
Redmond said there are no restrictions on Saltalamacchia but they will keep an eye on him every day.
As promised, Giancarlo Stanton returned to the lineup for Thursday’s opener against the New York Mets batting third after sustaining a left wrist contusion during Wednesday’s game.
Stanton left after six innings for precautionary reasons and was listed as day to day. He injured it when he slammed into the right-field wall on Chris Coghlan’s double in the first.
"I’ll be fine. I’ll be out there today," Stanton said. "I could have played still. But it looked like (the game) was just about out of hand already. So the smartest decision was to get out of there."
Christian Yelich, on the 15-day disabled list since June 16 with a lower back strain, was planning on playing catch and taking dry swings for the first time since last Friday.
Yelich will likely play in a few rehab games when the Marlins travel to Philadelphia next week. Redmond expects Yelich back on the 15th day.