The Marlins are giving top prospect Andrew Heaney one last start this season, in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader in Washington.
Tabbed the best left-handed prospect in the game at the start of the season, Heaney sputtered when the Marlins called him up in June. He went 0-3 with a 6.53 ERA in four starts and was sent back to Triple A New Orleans, where he stayed and finished 9-6 with a 3.24 ERA in 23 minor-league starts until the team called him back up in September.
He has tossed 42/3 scoreless innings in two appearances out of the bullpen since.
“He’s done a good job,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “I think it’s the right time in the last couple games of the season to get him in there, especially having a doubleheader. It worked that the last time that he pitched was the three innings. He’s available for that day. We’ll let him go out there and let him pitch and get a start.”
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TIME to reflect
With one home game left on the schedule, a few players reflected on what helped make this year the first winning season at home in Marlins Park history.
Reliever Mike Dunn, who suffered through a 100-loss season in 2013, said there was just a different energy in the Marlins’ clubhouse from the start, a belief that they could come back no matter how many runs they were down.
The Marlins pulled off some memorable comebacks, including one from a six-run deficit on July 28 to beat the Nationals. Miami won that game on Jeff Baker’s walk-off single.
“It’s kind of a belief of ‘we’re going to get it done this year’ where last year, what I’ve been told, there was a lot a belief of ‘how are we going to lose this game,’” Baker explained.
Baker, who wasn’t with the Marlins last year and has spent his first nine years in the big leagues with six teams, said he’s enjoyed the relationships and friendships built in the Marlins’ clubhouse.
“I’ve been with a lot of teams where it’s not like that,” he said. “The relationships, the friendships, all that stuff helps when it comes to winning baseball games.”
The Marlins put together 11 walk-off wins, 28 come-from-behind wins and a 35-27 record in one-run games. Surprisingly, they pulled off the majority of their come-from-behind wins (15) on the road.
“After losing all the one-run games [last year], to come back this year and be able to be on top of the one-run games, that’s definitely something that we can take home and be very happy with,” said Dunn (10-6), who is tied for the major-league lead in wins by a reliever this season.
The game Baker said he will remember most is Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Nationals, which eliminated the Marlins from wild-card contention.
He knows a lot of guys in the clubhouse feel the same way — they want more now.
“We’ve got a good sense of where we are going into next year,” catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. “Coming into this year, we had a lot of the unknown.”
▪ Thursday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (6-8, 3.77 ERA) vs. Philadelphia Phillies RHP David Buchanan (9-10, 3.76), 4:10p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Friday: Game 1 — Marlins RHP Jarred Cosart (4-3, 2.29) at Washington Nationals RHP Doug Fister (15-6, 2.55), 1:05 p.m., Nationals Park.
▪ Friday: Game 2 — Marlins LHP Heaney (0-3, 5.33) at Nationals RHP Taylor Hill (0-0, 4.15), 7:05p.m., Nationals Park.