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Bump May Get a Chance in the Rotation


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c/o floridamarlins.com

 

Bump finds command in minors

Marlins may move groundball specialist into rotation

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

 

MIAMI -- Getting sent down to the minor leagues sometimes is necessary to pick yourself back up.

A demotion certainly has lifted Marlins right-hander Nate Bump.

 

Recalled on July 2, two weeks after being optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque, Bump has regained his confidence and command of his pitches. With a lively sinking fastball, Bump is right back in the mix to secure a late-inning setup role.

 

The versatile Bump, who throughout his career has started, also could be given consideration to move into the rotation should Josh Beckett's injured finger not heal in a couple of weeks. Beckett is on the disabled list with a skin tear over the blister that is on his right middle finger. He could be activated July 22 -- at the earliest.

 

Now carrying 11 pitchers, the Marlins are open to a number of options. They can start Bump or lefty Darren Oliver, or bring up a minor leaguer.

 

"We'll see what happens," Bump said of possibly starting. "We'll wait and see what they decide. That's up to those guys. I'm good either way. I don't care. Right now it's going good. Either way, I want to keep throwing the ball well. Get a month in and be consistent."

 

Over his last six appearances, a span of seven innings, Bump has not allowed a run. He worked 1 1/3 innings of perfect relief on Tuesday night and was credited with the win in the Marlins' 6-3 decision over the Pirates.

 

Along with correcting his mechanics, Bump also claims he gained a refreshed mental attitude from his trip to Albuquerque. With the Isotopes, he appeared in three games, making two starts, and had an ERA of 1.38 over 13 innings. Although he didn't factor into any decisions, he had a seven-inning start and a five-inning start. He struck out 12 and walked one, a significant improvement because with the Marlins he's struck out 22 and walked 17 in 38 2/3 innings.

 

"He's throwing strikes," Marlins pitching coach Wayne Rosenthal said. "I think it helped going down there where he could work all this pitches. If he wants to stay in the game longer, he has to throw strikes. He threw five innings one time and seven innings the other. So he's going back to what he's doing, getting early contact and not trying to fool guys. When you get sent down, you want to get back up. Whatever he's doing right now, he has to continue doing it."

 

What Bump is doing is showing the kind of aggressiveness that impressed manager Jack McKeon the first day he was brought up last June 28 at Fenway Park in Boston. Called up on quick notice after teammate, and his former roommate, Kevin Olsen, was struck on the side of the head by a line drive, Bump logged a win in his first appearance as a Marlin.

 

Because his sinker has so much movement, Bump gets his share of ground-ball outs. The Marlins ideally would like to use Bump as an option to get a double play in the late innings when the situation dictates.

 

Bump made the team out of Spring Training and he was effective early, before he admitted became too fine.

 

"I'd been in a cloud out there earlier in the season," Bump said. "I didn't have an idea. I was going through a bunch of different scenarios, thinking, 'Do I throw this pitch? If I do, what happens?' "

 

Rosenthal and McKeon were urging the right-hander to not over-think and just throw. Instead, he pressed.

 

"There are going to be certain situations where you need to walk guys," Bump said. "But even if I walk guys, I want to have that calm head. I don't want people in here, in the dugout and everywhere else worrying that I'm not going to get out of my own jams. That's how I'm looking at it right now. I'm not going to let walks affect what I do out there or let it build up where the frustration level gets higher and higher and you're not doing your job any more.

 

"I was beating myself up, trying to be too fine, instead of just trusting my stuff. I have movement on my fastball. When I have that and I get movement in the zone, I get ground balls. When you're missing by two or three inches, that's telling you that you're trying to be too fine. I'm more comfortable with my mechanics too. It's a combination of everything. But my focus is 10-times better than what it has been."

 

Joe Frisaro is a reporter

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Guest Jack1

I have no objections to Bump starting, would prefer him over DO, because even if DO starts Bump will have to come in and clean up DO's mess and we all know how well BUmp does in tight situations

447310[/snapback]

 

He did well in that tight situation the other night!

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no dont cut oliver, hes been good out of the pen.

 

plus hes a lefty..

447358[/snapback]

 

So how many games how oliver pitched in and not given up a run??

447405[/snapback]

7 out of 10.

One of those three times was when he had to pich half the game because rain knocked out Burnett.

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