Miami Marlins reliever Arquimedes Caminero aims for spot in bullpen

03/14/2014 12:01 AM

07/31/2014 5:15 PM

With four daughters and three sons who were given “normal names,” Marlins relief pitcher Arquimedes Euclides Caminero said his father turned to his favorite subject — math — to find a unique name for his last child.

“My mom told me he got it out of an algebra book,” said Caminero, 26, who is named after Greek mathematicians Archimedes and Euclid. “I like my name. But my teammates prefer to call me Cami.”

After getting his first taste of the big leagues last August (he went 0-0 with a 2.77 ERA, 12 strikeouts and three walks in 13 appearances), the hard-throwing, hefty (6-4, 255), Dominican-born right-hander is hoping to make his name a permanent fixture in the Marlins bullpen this season.

So far this spring, he hasn’t given them a reason not to.

On Tuesday in Fort Myers, he drew a few “Hey, who is that guy?” comments from the defending World Series champion Red Sox after he mowed them down in order over two innings. The outing included strikeouts of David Ortiz and Mike Napoli.

Outside of closer Steve Cishek and returning veterans A.J. Ramos and Mike Dunn, no jobs in the Marlins bullpen are certain. But so far Caminero has shined, giving up only one earned run and two hits with no walks and six strikeouts in six innings of Grapefruit League work.

“We’ve talked about guys stepping up, and he’s one of those guys who has gone out there and pitched great,” manager Mike Redmond said. “I think [pitching coach] Chuck [Hernandez] and I talked about getting him in a situation where he could face some regular big-league hitters, and he’s answered that and thrown strikes and commanded his fastball. We talked about it last year. If he throws strikes, he’s tough.”

Signed by the Marlins in 2005 at age 17 and with a fastball that has topped out at 100 mph, Caminero has always had overpowering stuff. His 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings in eight minor-league seasons are impressive. But struggles with control have always held him back.

He hit 15 batters in 16 games in the Rookie League in 2007 and had a career-high 14 wild pitches for Single A Greensboro in 2010. But Caminero appears as though he has put his wild days behind him.

He went 6-2 with a 3.48 ERA, five saves and posted a career-best 1.012 WHIP in 43 minor-league appearances between Double A Jacksonville and Triple A New Orleans last season.

Marlins beat Tigers

Considered a favorite to land the Marlins utility job over Donovan Solano, Ed Lucas left Thursday’s 4-2 win over the Tigers in the fourth inning with a tight left hamstring. Lucas singled and scored in the inning and said the hamstring stiffened as he was running to third on Adeiny Hechavarria’s double to right field.

Lucas, 31, was supposed to go to Panama with the Marlins on Friday night to face the Yankees in a special two-game weekend series. But it’s obvious he won’t be going anywhere now.

• Pitcher Jacob Turner — expected to be the fourth starter in the Marlins’ rotation — turned in arguably his best start of the spring giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits over four innings against his former team.
• Redmond lost his first and only challenge thus far this spring when he asked the umps to review a pickoff play of Derek Dietrich at first base in the ninth inning. Upon further review, first base umpire Joe West properly called Dietrich out. Thursday marked the first of five times this spring the Marlins played a spring training game using the new replay system.

Redmond said the best part of his first experience with replay was how quickly he got an answer via walkie-talkie from video coordinator Cullen McCrae and newly hired administrative coach Pat Shine, who watched the game on a laptop. Both will be his go-to-guy for challenges during the season

Coming up

•  Friday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (0-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (1-0, 0.00), 7:05 p.m., Jupiter.
•  Saturday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (0-0, 0.00) vs. Nationals RHP Stephen Straburg (1-0, 1.80, 1:05 p.m., Jupiter.
•  Saturday: Marlins LHP Brad Hand (1-0, 1.29) vs. Yankees RHP Adam Warren (1-0, 2.08), 8:05 p.m., Panama.

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