Notebook: Lefty Brad Hand to start Monday vs. Nationals
WASHINGTON — Despite Wednesday’s rough outing, the plan is for Marlins left-hander Brad Hand to start Monday’s game against the Nationals at Marlins Park.
After two scoreless multi-inning outings as a reliever, Hand gave up three runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts in just 3 1/3 innings. He took Jacob Turner’s spot in the rotation after the right-hander flew back to Miami for an MRI on his shoulder.
Hand’s last pitch — his 85th of the game — came on Bryce Harper’s upper-deck, three-run homer to right that cut the Marlins’ lead to 5-3.
"I thought he did fine, he gave us everything he had for four innings against a great lineup," manager Mike Redmond said. "We knew going in we were hoping for five to six innings, but we knew realistically that’s why we kept (Kevin) Slowey behind him."
In his next start, Hand could go up to 90 or 95 pitches. He will not pitch out of the bullpen before then. Slowey, the club’s other long reliever, lasted 1 2/3 innings in the 10-7 loss.
Asked whether he would consider a piggyback outing between Hand and Slowey, which ended up happening on Wednesday, Redmond didn’t lean that way.
"Not necessarily because Brad’s been a starter, so he’s used to pitching as a starter," Redmond said. "We prepared (him) in spring training to be a starter. Really, the last 10 days have been ramped up."
SALTY’S GOOD SIGN
Not only was Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s leadoff homer off righty Drew Storen his first in a Marlins uniform but it also tied the game at 6.
"It felt good to make some good contact," Saltalamacchia said. "I’ve been hitting the ball OK, but not getting it in the air, just through the middle and gaps."
Saltalamacchia, who signed a three-year deal this offseason, is batting .276. He has at least one hit in four of his last five games. The RBI was his first in five days.
Last year with the Red Sox, he blasted 14 homers — fourth among American League catchers. He has 55 dingers over the past three seasons.
"I’m not there yet, I think last night was a good sign that I was able to get that out of the way," Saltalamacchia said. "When you get to May, June and don’t have any home runs — you’re known more as a power guy — you try too hard, which is something I never try to do."
BANG-BANG PLAYS ON REPLAY
Redmond spoke to the umpires four times during Wednesday night’s 10-7 loss to discuss close plays.
Of those four instances, two were key home runs calls. Derek Dietrich’s blast to center field, initially ruled an RBI triple, was overturned as a two-run homer. Harper’s three-run shot to the upper deck in right stood.
"There’s times in games you just take a shot because if it is overturned (it could) be a big, huge play, and it’s probably worth it," Redmond said. "You have to go out there on a bang-bang play to make sure it’s right. Every out for us is huge."
Still, Redmond’s not certain whether there will be more reviews late in games on borderline plays. In Wednesday’s A’s-Twins contest, there were reviews on consecutive plays in the ninth inning.
When Giancarlo Stanton was thrown out at the plate on Garrett Jones’ RBI double in the eighth, Redmond thought catcher Jose Lobaton blocked his path. Upon his urging, umpires took a look but the call was upheld.
"The way it’s trending you have to have clear evidence to overturn it," Redmond said. "It has to be really clear. I think that level of clarity — we’re still not really sure. There’s been a couple of plays I thought could’ve been overturned and weren’t."
Worth noting — An MRI confirmed Turner’s right shoulder strain. There is no timetable for his return.
— Second baseman Rafael Furcal, who is on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive March 21) with a strained left hamstring, will begin rehab games Monday in Jupiter, Fla. He has been performing baseball activities.
— Closer Steve Cishek has not pitched in six days. Redmond said he needed to find a way to get him in Thursday’s finale.