Marlins add Chris Hatcher to bullpen, Randy Wolf to rotation

Chris Hatcher was one of the last players reassigned by the Miami Marlins to minor-league camp before the season began.

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MIAMI — Right-handed reliever Chris Hatcher was out of options when the Miami Marlins designated him for assignment this past offseason, and he didn’t know whether he would see the big leagues again.

But following Wednesday night’s 14-5 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, the organization optioned rookie right-hander Anthony DeSclafani to Triple-A New Orleans.

In a corresponding move, the Marlins selected Hatcher’s contract from the Zephyrs and he found himself in the home clubhouse at Marlins Park for Thursday’s matinee.

"Pretty shocking," Hatcher said of the call. "Wasn’t expecting. I was throwing the ball well down there. Come up here, try to keep doing it, help the team out, get some outs."

Hatcher is 0-1 with a 7.22 ERA in 29 appearances over parts of three major-league seasons. After the designation, he accepted the assignment and got an invitation to spring training.

A converted catcher, the 29-year-old didn’t allow a run over 10 Grapefruit League innings. As one of the final players reassigned to minor-league camp, Hatcher didn’t let that affect his pitching.

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With New Orleans this season, he was 1-2 with a 2.01 ERA and five saves in 15 games. He struck out 25 batters and walked six in 22 1/3 innings. Hatcher learned that throwing 96 mph wouldn’t matter if he was unable to mix good offspeed pitches.

"I felt like I did a good job handling, taking that right before the spring," Hatcher said. "I threw the ball very well in the spring. Made some adjustments, threw the ball down, split came along a little bit. I tried to carry it into the season. Even though I had a couple rough ones to start with, I built on it and hopefully it stays going this way."

Another hurdle would come along earlier this month when Hatcher and fellow reliever Sam Dyson got into a bar fight in Nashville. Hatcher broke Dyson’s jaw. The injury will keep him out six weeks.

Hatcher, meanwhile, was suspended five games for the incident. Did that play into his surprise of returning to the Marlins?

"No, that wasn’t part of it. Having the roster guys down there (did)," Hatcher said. "You know, you have (Arquimedes Caminero), (Dan) Jennings, (Brian) Flynn. (Andrew) Heaney is knocking on the door. I was just trying to help that ballclub win and the last thing on my mind was being called up to be quite honest with you."

Asked what he learned from the incident, Hatcher said he didn’t want to go into specifics about it because he had already covered it with the media.

"But I’ve learned from it," Hatcher said. "I felt like I’ve become a better person because of it. Moving forward I know things like that can’t happen, which I knew that before. I put myself in a tough spot professionally and as a person and hope to move forward from it."

Miami transferred second baseman Rafael Furcal to the 60-day disabled list in order to make room on the 40-man roster for Hatcher.

As part of the DeSclafani move, veteran southpaw Randy Wolf will take his place in the rotation, starting Sunday’s homestand finale against the Milwaukee Brewers.

In his two major-league starts upon his call-up from Double-A Jacksonville, DeSclafani went 1-1 with a 5.56 ERA.

The 24-year-old University of Florida product earned the win in his debut in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, giving up two runs in six innings with seven strikeouts and a walk. On Tuesday in his Marlins Park debut, he allowed five runs in 5 1/3 frames with just two strikeouts and a walk to the Phillies.

Wolf, who opted out of his clause with the Arizona Diamondbacks while pitching for their Triple-A club in Reno, came on in relief for both of DeSclafani’s starts.

A 15-year veteran, Wolf picked up his first career save by going three innings and allowing a run on three hits with three strikeouts in Los Angeles. He tossed two scoreless frames against his former club, the Phillies, with a pair of strikeouts and a walk.

He is 129-117 with a 4.19 ERA in 368 career starts.

"It’s good to have the opportunity Sunday and I know my staying there has a lot to do with how I do," Wolf said. "It’s about going out there and the goal as a starting pitcher when I go out there I want the team to know they have a good chance to win that day, day in and day out be as consistent as possible.

"I think the one way I can help is — obviously every other guy in the rotation has better stuff than me — to show that you can succeed at this level without having a 97 mph fastball and how when you have that stuff and you put everything together pitching becomes a lot easier with that kind of stuff. I think I have a good idea of what to do out there without having a 95 mph fastball."

You can follow Christina De Nicola on Twitter @CDeNicola13 or email her at cdenicola13@gmail.com.