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Nolasco embraces change


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JUPITER, Fla. -- In 101 Minor League games, Ricky Nolasco made 100 starts. But the right-hander's fastest path to the big leagues may be coming out of the bullpen.


Since Spring Training began, Marlins management has not ruled out converting a projected starter or two to a reliever. A few days ago, the club informed Nolasco that they wanted to see him throw out of the 'pen.


The 23-year-old is embracing the opportunity.


"I'm just taking it as a positive," Nolasco said. "Whatever they feel is best for me to be slotted at -- I'm up for anything. [i'll do] whatever they feel is best for the team to help contribute and win ballgames."


Nolasco was scheduled to throw in relief on Thursday, but the game against the Mets was rained out. Now, he is slated to travel with the club to Vero Beach on Friday, where he is in line to throw an inning of relief in the 7:05 p.m. ET game against the Dodgers.


The potential move out of the rotation is no reflection on Nolasco's performance. If anything, it is a compliment, because he's thrown well and the team is in the process of piecing together its relief corps.


Nolasco has appeared in three Grapefruit League games, with two starts, and he hasn't allowed a run in 8 2/3 innings. In those contests, he's surrendered four hits, struck out five, while walking three.


Last Sunday, he gave up one run in 3 2/3 innings in a Triple-A game against the Mets.


Obtained from the Cubs as part of the Juan Pierre trade, Nolasco says his arm bounces back quickly after starts, and he doesn't need an prolonged period of time warming up.


"The day after I start, and throw 100 pitches, I'm out there long-tossing," Nolasco said. "I feel I recover well."


Nolasco would fit the mold as a reliever because he's throws strikes and doesn't walk many batters.


Speaking generally, manager Joe Girardi says players will need to be flexible.


"The only way to find out a guy's certain role is to try it out," Girardi said. "That's something [Nolasco] will have to learn. I'm not saying he won't start the season as a starter. I'm not saying he's going to make the team. What I'm saying is we need flexibility.


"He and some other guys are going to have to adjust. It's just because, when you're talking about the team, it's not only what role you're suited for, but it's what's best for the club."


I like this move, I think this one could work on well with us... I like his stuff..

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