Notebook: Kevin Slowey to start Sunday for Brad Hand
APR 16, 2014 6:39p ET
Slowey, who has posted a 0-0 record and 4.38 ERA in four 2014 long relief outings, earned a spot on the ballclub out of spring training as a non-roster invitee. He did the same in 2013.
The 29-year-old followed Brad Hand in both of the southpaw's starts over the past week, allowing four runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings. In his other two relief appearances, Slowey surrendered three runs (two earned) on six hits over 5 2/3 frames.
"He'll pitch on Sunday, and hopefully he'll go out there and give us some innings," manager Mike Redmond said. "Brad Hand will go to the bullpen and pitch like he had been earlier as our long guy. We'll go from there and see how it goes."
Hand (0-1, 6.35 ERA) started the season as the team's other long reliever until right-hander Jacob Turner landed on the disabled list last Wednesday with a right shoulder strain.
In two starts, Hand gave up eight runs on 12 hits over 6 1/3 innings. Prior to those struggles, he had pitched two scoreless relief appearances.
"He's been a starter in the minor leagues," Redmond said of Hand. "You're not really sure how that's going to work until you get him in there with a few starts. Last year he came in and had a couple decent starts, but really at the beginning of the year I liked having him the flexibility of he and Slowey down there."
With an off day on Thursday, April 24 as well as April 28, the Marlins may move to a four-man rotation as Turner continues to heal.
Slowey, a seven-year veteran, started 14 games (20 games) for Miami in 2013 prior to a season-ending injury. He lost out on the fifth spot to righty Tom Koehler this spring.
"He'll do whatever we need him to do if it's pitch an inning, pitch three innings," Redmond said of Slowey. "He's onboard for whatever. Hopefully he'll go out there and put up some zeroes and give us a chance to win some ballgames. He's a veteran guy who's been around and knows how to throw strikes."
A Marlins employee walked around the clubhouse before Wednesday's batting practice handing out white shirts with "I play with power" on the front and "#killing it every day" on the back.
Fitting for the club, which has homered in seven consecutive games (nine total) for 12 dingers. It's the longest streak for the franchise since Aug. 15-20, 2012.
"From what I've noticed is everyone has a plan," Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "Not necessarily trying to hit a home run, just looking for a good pitch out over the plate that they can drive."
Miami has posted the majors' fifth-best batting average (.273) with the fourth-most runs (73), 27 doubles, four triples and seven double-digit hit games. Last season at this point, the Marlins batted .209 with 32 runs, 19 doubles, one triple, three homers and four 10-hit contests.
A big difference has been Giancarlo Stanton's production as well as the support surrounding him.
Stanton leads all players with 21 RBI. Casey McGehee has driven in another 13. Leadoff batter Christian Yelich is currently riding a 10-game hit streak, which matches a career high.
"If you put guys on base in front of him you make them pitch to him," Redmond said. "It's something we talked about during spring training. Let him have the ability to go up there and do what he does best, and that's swing."
Right-hander Tom Koehler grew up watching Roger Clemens dominate for the Yankees.
So when Koehler missed high and inside on a 1-0 fastball with a runner on second in the fourth inning, it was part of the aggressiveness his pitching idol exemplified.
Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond wasn't too happy about it, and he and Saltalamacchia jawed about it. Both teams' dugouts and bullpens cleared. Warnings were issued.
"I wore 22 pretty much all the way through college because of Roger Clemens," Koehler said. "Everything he was about -- his work ethic, his bulldog mentality on the mound and how he was going to go after you. ‘If you didn't like it, too bad.' That was something I admired watching."
Redmond said pitching inside is something everyone tries to do. Establishing the inside part of the plate will keep hitters honest.
"I think it is for everyone not just us," Redmond said of its importance. "I think all pitchers have to do that. When you start losing games everybody goes to that -- you're not pitching inside enough. How many times do you hear that?"
-- Right-hander Jacob Turner will throw his first bullpen session on Friday. Turner, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain, played catch the past two days.
-- Top prospect Andrew Heaney tossed six shutout innings in a start for Double-A Jacksonville Tuesday night. The southpaw has now pitched 12 consecutive scoreless frames.
-- Wednesday's series finale will be carried by Radio Marti, a broadcast partner of MLB International, that will air in Cuba and various other Caribbean locations.