SAN DIEGO -- The Marlins parted company with one reliever who caused extreme discomfort for fans and replaced him with another who has the potential to do the same.
Carlos Marmol was designated for assignment on Sunday, one day after giving up four runs in Saturday’s 9-3 loss to the Padres. Taking his spot is Henry Rodriguez, who was called up from Triple A New Orleans.
Rodriguez can light up a radar gun but also has a long history of walking batters. In 19 1/3 innings for New Orleans, Rodriguez struck out 37 batters and gave up just eight hits. But he also walked 23.
The 27-year-old right-hander has spent parts of five seasons in the majors with the A’s, Nationals and Cubs, going 5-7 with 18 saves in 148 appearances. He struck out 150, but walked 102, in 148 2/3 combined innings.
Michael Hill, the Marlins’ president of baseball operations, said Rodriguez has shown recent improvement with his control in the minors.
“His last outing [on May 6] he went three innings and threw 30 pitches,” Hill said. “We saw some outings in spring training where it was 30 pitches and we were still trying to get an out.”
As for Marmol, Hill said the veteran reliever had reverted to delivery issues that had brought about his downfall — and eventual trade from — the Cubs.
“I don’t know if the competition got to him, but he reverted back to the same guy — falling off, a lot of effort, missing arm slot, pitches elevated, and you saw the results,” Hill said.
Marmol went 0-3 with a 8.10 ERA in 15 appearances for the Marlins.
Taking it slowly
After repeated setbacks, there is no timetable for Rafael Furcal’s return from injury, Hill said. The second baseman has spent the season on the disabled list with hamstring and groin injuries.
“He was trying to come back too fast,” Hill said. “Now there’s going to be a number of steps he needs to pass, and it’s going to be in our judgment that he passed, before we even put him back on rehab. I’m thankful that the club is playing well without him, and when we do get him back, it’ll be a nice add to the team.”
Nothing to prove
The starting pitcher for the Marlins who has done the best job recently is neither Jose Fernandez nor their No. 2 man, Nathan Eovaldi.
It’s Tom Koehler, who started the season in the fifth spot. Koehler’s 1.99 ERA is the lowest on the starting staff, and he hasn’t allowed a run in either of his two starts this month.
Why the improvement?
“I think now I understand that I don’t need to prove to everybody that I belong here,” Koehler said. “If I believe in myself that I do [belong], and if I follow the game plan, I’ll have success.”
Koehler will start the series opener for the Marlins at Dodger Stadium on Monday.
• Monday: Marlins RHP Koehler (3-2, 1.99 ERA) at Los Angeles Dodgers RHP Dan Haren (4-1, 2.68), 10:10 p.m., Dodger Stadium.
• Tuesday: Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (0-0, 6.75) at Dodgers RHP Josh Beckett (0-1, 2.80), 10:10 p.m., Dodger Stadium.