Padres host Marlins for 3-game series
SAN DIEGO — The Miami Marlins continue their West Coast swing by heading south from Seattle to start a three-game series against the San Diego Padres on Friday.
The Marlins, who have won four of their past six games, will roll into town and face a pitcher who used to roll out from the bullpen.
Right-handed Trevor Cahill, a starter-turned-reliever-turned-starter will face southpaw Adam Conley (1-1, 3.75 ERA).
“He has done it before; he came up as a starter,” Padres manager Andy Green said. “The transition really for him was starter to bullpen; that was harder for him.”
Cahill had 50 appearances last year with the world champion Chicago Cubs, but just one of those was a start. Among the reasons Cahill, a free agent, chose the Padres in the offseason was the opportunity to start again.
“He’s been great in the rotation for us,” said Green, a former Diamondbacks coach. “I was excited to get Trevor Cahill, having him in Arizona and knowing his stuff.
“There’s only been a couple of passes through for him. Now we’ve got to get into the rhythm of every five days, and we’re optimistic with him taking the ball.”
Cahill (0-2, 4.76) climbs the hill after taking a few days off before his last start. A bad back had Cahill skip a turn, then he turned back the clock with a decent start against the Braves on Sunday.
The Braves nicked Cahill for four runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings. But he held them hitless through the first four innings.
“He was way better than his line indicated,” Green said. “It should have been seven innings and no runs. That’s the kind of stuff that he had.”
Where the stuff hit the fan was when Cahill took some curious options with his pitches.
“We talked about it at the end of that day,” Green said. “He made some pitch decisions that were less than ideal. But it will be something that will be his focal point moving forward.”
The Padres, who allowed one run in the final two wins over the Arizona Diamondbacks, are encouraged with the direction of Cahill, who leans on his curveball and slider. He is 3-2 with a 4.66 ERA lifetime against the Marlins.
“His stuff is really good,” Green said. “He’s got the kind of stuff where he can give you six or seven scoreless innings.”
Wil Myers, who is hitting a team-high .373 with an 11-game hitting streak, is giving rival pitchers the business.
“He is squaring up a lot of balls and is being aggressive,” Green said. “Right now he feels really good and is swinging freely on his pitches.”
Myers and crew will tangle with Conley. He doesn’t have a decision against the Padres, his work limited to two hitless innings in 2015.
Conley, who has a deceptive motion, is coming off a start against the New York Mets in which he allowed three runs, four hits and two walks. He didn’t receive a decision in the 5-4 win over New York.
“I like everything about him in terms of his competitiveness and the way he will go after people,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly told the Miami Herald.
The Marlins activated shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria before the series. He’s been idle since April 9 with a strained left oblique. Hechavarria is hitting .333 against Cahill.