JUPITER -- A week ago, Kevin Slowey was battling his way through Marlins camp as a long-shot candidate and a nonroster invitee, two years removed from playing in the majors.
At the same time, Koyie Hill was at the Big 12 championship in Kansas City.
In Fort Myers, the Marlins game was dictated by the two unlikely candidates working together: Slowey was named the clubs fifth starter, and Hill got his first start behind the plate.
I think one of the blessings and curses of athletes, and baseball players especially, is the ability and the need to forget what happened the day before, or the year before, or two years before, Slowey said.
The way I threw yesterday isnt going to affect the way that I throw the next outing, and that can be good when you have a tough outing or a tough year.
Its easy to throw out that Slowey had three doubt-digit win seasons before falling off the map in 2011 with an 0-8 season, and spending 2012 in the minors. Those are tough times.
Hill spent less than a month with the Chicago Cubs before bouncing around to three Triple A clubs last season.
When camp opened in February, the Miami clubhouse was full of stories well-removed from the majors, but it was also full of open doors.
I dont know that I would say I was disinterested in playing minor-league baseball, because that would come across like I was above it, which is not the case at all, Hill said. But I would like to play for an organization that saw me as someone that could help them immediately at a major-league level.
At 34, he wanted to make sure his opportunity to play at the highest level was a legitimate one before he left his family behind. He signed with the Marlins in the final week of camp, with a visible gap behind the plate as catcher Jeff Mathis recovers from an early spring broken collarbone.
I feel like your priorities change a little bit when you start having a family, Hill said. Things that youd run off and go do when youre younger, you might think about a bit more.
Manager Mike Redmonds work has been cut out for him, opening camp with more than 70 players, some there for experience, and some there to fight for a role with the team. Perhaps because he knows what its like to battle, Redmond has a profound ability to see things from every perspective in the room.
I dont think theres one guy that can say I really wasnt treated fairly, and I think thats a testament to [Redmond] and the job he did, Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said.
Whether its Slowey, who pitched to a then-player Redmond in his major-league debut in 2007, or Hill, who can look to the path the manager took, its apparent that there is a great deal of respect for the first-year manager.
I see myself a lot like Red, where you kind of have to grind it every day and youre climbing up a mountain that you may never get to the top of, Hill said.
When the Minnesota Twins visited Wrigley Stadium for interleague play in 2009, Hill had a chance to pick Redmonds brain.
From what I remember, I spent our whole batting practice and their whole batting practice in the outfield talking to [Redmond], Hill said. I was intrigued with how he did it and his mind-set with everything.