Thanks to the just-completed 6-1 trip, the Marlins don’t look like they will be shipping off any pieces to save money at Thursday’s trade deadline.
“I would say you can take us out of the seller category,” Marlins president of baseball operations Mike Hill said Monday as the visiting first-place Nationals were taking batting practice. “We’re just looking for ways to build on what has been a very positive year for us.
“I don’t think we ever saw ourselves as a seller. We’ve always felt like this club can do good things, can win a lot of games. Had [the trip] gone differently, it might have changed our idea of where we were at.
“But this club is capable of doing those things. Hopefully, it doesn’t stop with the road trip. Hopefully, we come home and keep it going.”
Hill said the Marlins have received “a tremendous amount of calls on our relievers.” Closer Steve Cishek and left-hander Mike Dunn are likely at that top of that list.
But after entering this week’s seven-game homestand within striking distance of the Nationals and only 5 1/2 games out in the National League wild-card race, Hill made it sound like the Marlins are no longer listening. But they’re still very much interested in upgrading their starting pitching with a controllable piece, Hill said.
“As you know, the starting pitching market is quite difficult a market to be in,” Hill said. “I couldn’t be happier with the strides Brad Hand and Jacob Turner have made in the rotation. If we’re giving them the ball every fifth day, then we have the confidence they’re going to give us a chance to win every time they step out there. But if we’re able to upgrade one of our five starters, we’ll look to do so.”
The best seven-game trip in franchise history turned out to be a nice showcase for Cishek, who picked up five saves and then co-National League Player of the Week honors on Monday.
Entering Monday’s series opener, Cishek had picked up six saves in his team’s past eight games — the best stretch by a Marlins closer ever ( Kevin Gregg picked up five saves in six days in 2008) and the second-best in the majors this season.
Only the Brewers’ Francisco Rodriguez has put together a more succesful run with no more than one day of rest between saves. He picked up nine saves in 11 days from April 18 to April 29.
“To see [Cishek] bounce back after that one tough outing he had in Arizona — I know he took that one hard,” manager Mike Redmond said. “It just shows a lot about his character and the way he’s made.”
• Although Redmond said second baseman Derek Dietrich told him Monday he could be close to going on a rehab assignment soon, Hill didn’t sound as optimistic. Dietrich has been on the disabled list since July 2 with a right wrist sprain.
“He’s not swinging,” Hill said. “I don’t consider that close. I don’t think any of [the injured players] you can say will be back to help us [soon].”
• Tuesday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (7-5, 2.62 ERA) vs. Washington Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (7-8, 3.67), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Wednesday: Marlins LHP Brad Hand (2-2, 4.19) vs. Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (10-6, 2.82), 12:40 p.m., Marlins Park.