05/19/07 7:59 PM EST
Notes: Nolasco to rest on disabled list
Kim to get another start as right-hander gives sore elbow time
By Dawn Klemish / MLB.com
The move, made before Saturday's game, is retroactive to his last start May 17 at Pittsburgh. It was the second straight outing in which his breaking balls were a bit soft, and his fastball had lost around five miles per hour. When he left the mound after five innings, he asked to have an MRI.
Thankfully, there was no structural damage, but it was a disappointing development to manager Fredi Gonzalez all the same.
"We didn't know anything," Gonzalez said. "If we would've known something, we would have done something [after the May 17 start]. He's a no-throw for two weeks, and then we'll see where he's at."
The Marlins promoted right-hander Justin Miller from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill Nolasco's spot on the roster. Miller was 0-0 with a 1.50 ERA and six saves as a setup man and closer for the Isotopes, and came recommended by Marlins bench coach Carlos Tosca, who managed the Blue Jays when Miller played for Toronto.
"We needed a pitcher, and he was pitching really well in Triple-A for us, so we decided to bring him up here," Gonzalez said. "We were interested in him just before Spring Training ended. We gave him an opportunity, and he did a pretty good job in Albuquerque."
Miller, who was converted from a starter, will be used out of the bullpen.
"I think I'm done with starting," he said. "I haven't heard anything different for two years. I kind of lost my sinker, so the bullpen, at my age, it's just a better situation for me. There are a lot of young [starting prospects] coming up."
Rotation, rotation: Righty Byung-Hyun Kim will now start Wednesday in place of Nolasco. Thursday's starter depends upon how Dontrelle Willis feels after Saturday's start. If the lefty's report is favorable, he'll get the ball on Thursday. If he needs an extra day, he'll go Friday and a yet-to-be-determined pitcher will work Thursday.
Brightening up the room: Miller is a colorful character in more ways than one: The 29-year-old's arms are all but hidden beneath vibrant tattoos. So much, in fact, that after opposing batters complained about Miller's arms being a distraction at the plate, in 2004, Major League Baseball established a rule that forced Miller to wear long sleeves whenever he played.
"I didn't want to stare him up and down, but we'll see during the course of his stay here, how many tattoos he has," said Gonzalez, on the first encounter with his newest pitcher.
Miller said at the time of MLB's ruling that he was worried the sleeves would be uncomfortable, especially when it was hot. Three years later, though, he has grown accustomed to the extra clothing, and said he actually likes it.
Plus, it's pretty neat to tell people you've got a baseball rule named after you, right?
"I don't know," he laughed. "They just said it's the 'Justin Miller rule.'"
Here's the question: Entering Friday, the Marlins were 96-72 in Interleague Play, a .571 win percentage that's the best in the National League, and third highest in baseball. Who are the two teams ahead of them? (See below for answer).
Fish bites: Gonzalez gave Alfredo Amezaga a second day off to rest his sore heel, but Amezaga was again available to play if needed. ... New acquisition Todd Linden was expected to arrive at Tropicana Field just prior to Saturday's 7:10 p.m. ET first pitch. ... Dan Uggla is hitting .313 (10-for-32) over the last seven games. He's got hits in seven of his last 10 games, and 12 of 17 games this month. ... Entering Friday, the Marlins had been outscored 29-7 in the first four innings over the last 12 games. Florida scored seven runs Friday to the Rays' one to buck the trend, and bring the Marlins to 5-8 in the last 13 contests. ... The Marlins' bullpen has now logged a Majors-high 152 2/3 innings this season. The relievers hold a 5-9 record and 4.24 ERA.
And the answer is: With a .592 winning percentage (103-71), the Yankees lead the Majors in Interleague success, followed closely by the Athletics' 103-73 (.585) mark.
On deck: The Marlins wrap up their trip to St. Petersburg with a 1:40 p.m. ET Sunday matinee against the Rays. Florida will send right-hander Sergio Mitre (1-2, 2.18 ERA) to the mound, where he'll face Rays righty James Shields (3-0, 3.13 ERA).
Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.