CINCINNATI -- Brad Penny on Saturday became the 13th pitcher to make at least one start this season for the Marlins, breaking a single-season team mark for number of starters used.
“We’ve used a lot of guys,” manager Mike Redmond acknowledged.
The season-ending injury to Jose Fernandez in May has been a significant factor in the high number of starters. Three of them — Anthony DeSclafani, Randy Wolf and Andrew Heaney — were each trotted out one after another in an unsuccessful attempt to fill Fernandez’s spot in the rotation.
While Nathan Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez and Tom Koehler have managed to make all — or nearly all — of their scheduled starts, the other two rotation spots have been a revolving door.
Kevin Slowey, Brad Hand, Jacob Turner, Jarred Cosart and Brian Flynn have also started for the Marlins.
“I think there’s no doubt we had trouble trying to get somebody to eat those innings,” Redmond said of Fernandez’s absence. “We tried some younger guys. We tried a lot of different things trying to find those innings, and it’s been tough. It has been a challenge.”
The previous record for most starters used in a season by the Marlins was 12, done in 2002 and last year.
still on schedule
Cosart and Alvarez remain on track to make their next scheduled starts.
Alvarez (right shoulder inflammation) is eligible to come off the disabled list on Thursday and is scheduled to throw off a bullpen mound Sunday. He said “everything’s good” when asked about his shoulder.
Cosart, whose last start was skipped because of an oblique injury, said he felt fine to start Tuesday after completing a bullpen session Saturday.
“It feels good now, and I’m good to go,” Cosart said. “I’m over it now. I let it go pretty good [Saturday] just to make sure.”
• Marlins infield coach Perry Hill doesn’t impress easily. But Hill couldn’t help but be wowed by shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria’s defensive play in the ninth inning on Friday night.
With the tying run at third and the Marlins infield playing in, the Reds’ Skip Schumaker chopped a high ground ball over the mound. Hechavarria dove to his left, caught the ball on the short hop, looked the runner back to third and threw to first for the out. Steve Cishek struck out the next batter to preserve the 2-1 victory.
“When the infield’s in and the guy catches the ball behind the mound, that’s hard to do,” Hill said in praise of Hechavarria. “When you play the infield in, you have no angle. That ball’s got to be hit at you. That was impressive because he had no angle.”
• Sunday: Marlins LHP Hand (2-3, 4.03 ERA) at Cincinnati Reds RHP Johnny Cueto (13-6, 2.04), 1:10 p.m., Great American Ball Park.
• Monday: Marlins RHP Koehler (7-9, 3.80) vs. St. Louis Cardinals RHP Shelby Miller (8-8, 3.99), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.