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Roster moves help Marlins slot pitchers

Eddie Altamonte

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Minors report: Young staff rounds out
03/18/2007 1:50 PM ET
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

Hot topic: Recent roster moves have helped the Marlins get a better idea of how their Minor League affiliates' rotations and pitching staffs are shaping up.
Lefty Chris George will likely factor into the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes' rotation. Some other candidates to start for the Isotopes are Nic Ungs and Jeff Fulchino.

As Minor League camp progresses, the pitching candidates will get ample opportunities to log innings.

"We'll take the guys with starter history and stretch them out," Marlins vice president of player development and scouting Jim Fleming said.

Typically, the Triple-A staff comprises more seasoned players, many of whom have at least some big-league experience. That is where a pitcher like George can be a factor. Having pitched in the Majors, George becomes a candidate to be brought up by the Marlins if there is an injury or a need for another pitcher.

Fleming noted that pitchers with Double-A and Triple-A experience are also positioned to make the jump to the big leagues.

At the Double-A level, three pitching prospects -- Jesus Delgado, Harvey Garcia and Scott Tyler -- were sent down on Friday.

While Garcia and Tyler are relievers, the team is considering whether or not to use Delgado in the rotation or the bullpen.

On the move: Alejandro De Aza has been a bright spot in camp, and the 22-year-old will likely open the season at Double-A Carolina.

For now, De Aza is showing that he isn't far from being big-league-ready, and the speedster may end up factoring into the center-field mix. The Dominican Republic native has stepped up and made a splash in his first big-league camp. Jason Wood had another productive week and is a backup infielder candidate. Reggie Abercrombie belted a two-run homer on Friday for Albuquerque against Triple-A New Orleans in Jupiter, Fla.

Names in the game: Dean Treanor, once Eric Gagne's pitching coach at the Double-A level in the Dodgers' system, returns as the manager of Triple-A Albuquerque. This is his sixth season in the Marlins organization and fifth as manager of Albuquerque.

They're No. 1: Lefty reliever Taylor Tankersley, the Marlins' top pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, threw off the mound on Saturday after missing a few weeks because of shoulder inflammation.

Tankersley is hopeful of being ready by Opening Day; if not, he isn't expected to miss too much of April. Right fielder Jeremy Hermida, of the 2002 class, is working on getting his swing down before the start of the season. The lefty-hitting 23-year-old played in 99 games as a rookie, and he's getting ample at-bats this spring to be ready.

Class of '06: Infielder Jacob Blackwood, drafted as a third baseman out of Maple Woods Community College in Missouri, was taken in the 16th round. Right now, Blackwood is turning heads at Minor League camp and he is someone worth following as he moves up the ranks.

On the mend: Lefty pitcher Sean West underwent perhaps season-ending shoulder surgery last week. After visiting Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., West had surgery to repair a labrum problem. Recovery is about six months, and the highly regarded prospect may end up missing the entire season. West last threw on Feb. 22.

What they're saying: "It's getting to the time of Spring Training where you can't get innings for them. The starters are going five or six innings. You've got to send them to the Minor Leagues so they can get innings also." -- manager Fredi Gonzalez on recent roster moves that sent a number of pitching prospects back to the Minors
 

Ralph

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Interesting that Delgado might be moving to the rotation.
 

The_Godfather

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Class of '06: Infielder Jacob Blackwood, drafted as a third baseman out of Maple Woods Community College in Missouri, was taken in the 16th round. Right now, Blackwood is turning heads at Minor League camp and he is someone worth following as he moves up the ranks.

This was a guy I thought could be a sleeper from the 06 draft. Has a really sweet swing from what I've read. Nice to see that little blurb, should be fun to follow in 07. :thumbup
 

Sirspud

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For some reason I thought this thread was going to be about which pitcher we are going to take with our first five selections in the draft this year.
 

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