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Badenhop set on sticking with Marlins


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MIAMI -- As a 19th-round pick in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, Burke Badenhop understood the importance of timing and patience if he was to make it to the big leagues. It took three full seasons in the Minor Leagues, coupled with a blockbuster trade, to lead to Badenhop making his Major League debut this past season for the Marlins at the age of 25.

 

What started off being a promising campaign for the 6-foot-5 right-hander ended up being a difficult year as he labored through inconsistencies and injuries.

 

In 13 appearances for Florida, he made eight starts, finishing with a 2-3 record and a 6.08 ERA in 47 1/3 innings. Added early in the year to the rotation, Badenhop eventually was switched to the bullpen before he went on the disabled list on June 22 with right shoulder tendinitis.

 

Early on, it was believed Badenhop was hindered by inflammation in his shoulder. But when the problem persisted and he experienced discomfort in his neck, he went back for more medical tests.

 

"It was kind of like I had a short-circuit in my arm," Badenhop said. "It's something discouraging, because it wasn't something you could put your finger on. It was kind of a moving target there for a little while. I am just looking forward to hopefully getting back and feeling 100 percent."

 

It was determined that he was suffering from a herniated or bulging disc in his neck, and he's been shut down from throwing since August.

 

"We thought it was just a shoulder fatigue thing. That was way back in Oakland [in June], and I was feeling fine," Badenhop said. "I had a rehab start in the [Gulf Coast League], and I felt great. I was really looking forward to getting back and being myself. It came up on me, not during the start, but after.

 

"I had some muscle tightness in my neck. They saw that I've got a bulging disc in my neck, pinching off one of my nerves, the ones that lead to your arm. That's kind of what they found. It wasn't anything major. I would kind of get a tingling feeling through my upper arm and armpit."

 

There is no timetable for when he will begin throwing, but Badenhop remains optimistic that he will be ready to compete for a roster spot when Spring Training opens in February. The best-case scenario is he will be fully ready when camp opens. Considering the lost time he missed because of the injury, Badenhop may have to wait a bit longer to be added to the big league roster.

 

When healthy, Badenhop is a talented sinkerballer who has a reputation of being heady and competitive. If he is ready to go in Spring Training, he would likely compete for a bullpen spot, because the Marlins right now expect about seven or eight starters competing for just five spots. Badenhop offers flexibility because he can start or relieve.

 

For now, however, Badenhop is spending the offseason in Charlotte, N.C., resting. He stopped throwing in August, and he isn't sure when he will begin throwing again.

 

Drafted by the Tigers in 2005, Badenhop was one of six players sent to Florida last December as part of the deal that sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit.

 

After impressing Florida's staff in Spring Training, he started one game for Double-A Carolina before he was promoted to the big leagues and made his MLB debut on April 9 in a scoreless relief appearance at Washington. On April 13, he was inserted into the rotation and started against Houston, giving up four runs in five innings.

 

Badenhop reached the big leagues with minimal experience above Class A. He made three Double-A starts while in the Tigers system in 2007, and one start for Carolina in '08.

 

What he lacked in pitching above Class A, he made up for with his maturity. The Marlins felt he could handle the stress and pace of the big leagues, and even though he had his struggles, the right-hander showed signs that he can be a productive performer.

 

His Minor League track record reflects that, as he is 33-13 lifetime at that level.

 

Combining his Minor League tenure, and appearing in the Arizona Fall League in 2007, Badenhop is seeing more and more players he's competed against or with now reaching the big leagues.

 

Last year in Arizona, he was a teammate of Dodgers infielder Blake DeWitt and reliever Cory Wade. Both were contributors and they gained playoff experience this year in Los Angeles.

 

Badenhop was also thrilled to see his former Minor League teammate in Detroit -- Cameron Maybin -- get called up and produce for the Marlins in September.

 

"When guys I've played with in the Fall League get called up, it makes you feel like it is your time, and it's time to step up and do stuff," Badenhop said. "You see those guys, and I consider myself being that type of player, and these are guys getting it done. I feel I can get it done too."

 

It's a matter of getting healthy and consistent.

 

His last appearance with the Marlins was on June 13, when he gave up two runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings at Tampa Bay. When the Marlins were at Oakland from June 20-22, his shoulder didn't feel right, and he was placed on the DL.

 

By early July, the arm wasn't getting better.

 

"It wasn't a painful thing. It was like, when I'd throw, I didn't really have a whole lot of zip on the ball," Badenhop said. ""As a pitcher, you deal with all kinds of inflammation and stuff that you get used to. Your shoulder might flair up, or maybe your elbow. But this was something a little bit different. It felt like I could never really get loose, no matter what I did, it felt like it couldn't get loose."

 

After waiting until age 25 to break into the big leagues, Badenhop again is letting nature take its course.

 

"It's a case for me of being patient. Unfortunately for me, that's a test, no matter what it is. Just being patient," Badenhop said. "You don't want to be 25 years old and have neck surgery. Right now, you just rest it and hope to get back to being normal by [spring Training]."

 

http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/news/articl...sp&c_id=fla

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Meh, just another mediocre piece from that Tigers trade. I am really not that fond of any of the arms we got in that deal. In fact, I would say Miller is the only one whos an MLB caliber player, but isnt quite ready yet.

 

I would have thought Cabrera alone was enough to net Maybin and Miller and the other four were throw-ins for Willis. And I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't think De la Cruz is going to develop into anything special.

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Meh, just another mediocre piece from that Tigers trade. I am really not that fond of any of the arms we got in that deal. In fact, I would say Miller is the only one whos an MLB caliber player, but isnt quite ready yet.

 

I would have thought Cabrera alone was enough to net Maybin and Miller and the other four were throw-ins for Willis. And I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't think De la Cruz is going to develop into anything special.

 

His numbers in a heavy offensively dominated triple-A disagree.

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Meh, just another mediocre piece from that Tigers trade. I am really not that fond of any of the arms we got in that deal. In fact, I would say Miller is the only one whos an MLB caliber player, but isnt quite ready yet.

 

I would have thought Cabrera alone was enough to net Maybin and Miller and the other four were throw-ins for Willis. And I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't think De la Cruz is going to develop into anything special.

 

His numbers in a heavy offensively dominated triple-A disagree.

 

But his numbers in the pros agree.

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Meh, just another mediocre piece from that Tigers trade. I am really not that fond of any of the arms we got in that deal. In fact, I would say Miller is the only one whos an MLB caliber player, but isnt quite ready yet.

 

I would have thought Cabrera alone was enough to net Maybin and Miller and the other four were throw-ins for Willis. And I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't think De la Cruz is going to develop into anything special.

 

His numbers in a heavy offensively dominated triple-A disagree.

 

But his numbers in the pros agree.

 

15 innings..

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Meh, just another mediocre piece from that Tigers trade. I am really not that fond of any of the arms we got in that deal. In fact, I would say Miller is the only one whos an MLB caliber player, but isnt quite ready yet.

 

I would have thought Cabrera alone was enough to net Maybin and Miller and the other four were throw-ins for Willis. And I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't think De la Cruz is going to develop into anything special.

 

His numbers in a heavy offensively dominated triple-A disagree.

 

But his numbers in the pros agree.

 

And his numbers in the majors are irrelevant at this point.

 

Yes, that makes sense.

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Meh, just another mediocre piece from that Tigers trade. I am really not that fond of any of the arms we got in that deal. In fact, I would say Miller is the only one whos an MLB caliber player, but isnt quite ready yet.

 

I would have thought Cabrera alone was enough to net Maybin and Miller and the other four were throw-ins for Willis. And I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't think De la Cruz is going to develop into anything special.

 

His numbers in a heavy offensively dominated triple-A disagree.

 

Just because De la Cruz has been able to blow away minor league hitters with his fastball doesn't necessarily mean transitional success in the bigs. Major league hitters figured him out quickly and his numbers weren't pretty, albeit in a small sample size. We saw Ryan Tucker endure similar struggles this year although he has potential to be far better than Cruz, IMO.

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Meh, just another mediocre piece from that Tigers trade. I am really not that fond of any of the arms we got in that deal. In fact, I would say Miller is the only one whos an MLB caliber player, but isnt quite ready yet.

 

I would have thought Cabrera alone was enough to net Maybin and Miller and the other four were throw-ins for Willis. And I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't think De la Cruz is going to develop into anything special.

 

His numbers in a heavy offensively dominated triple-A disagree.

 

Just because De la Cruz has been able to blow away minor league hitters with his fastball doesn't necessarily mean transitional success in the bigs. Major league hitters figured him out quickly and his numbers weren't pretty, albeit in a small sample size. We saw Ryan Tucker endure similar struggles this year although he has potential to be far better than Cruz, IMO.

 

Tucker and De La Cruz have similar stuff, and before this year you probably didn't even know who Ryan Tucker was. De La Cruz's stats, at a higher level in a terrible place to pitch, were phenominal. Not that Tucker's weren't but you can't say people figured out Frankie OR Tucker at the major league level, or that either won't be successful.

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Meh, just another mediocre piece from that Tigers trade. I am really not that fond of any of the arms we got in that deal. In fact, I would say Miller is the only one whos an MLB caliber player, but isnt quite ready yet.

 

I would have thought Cabrera alone was enough to net Maybin and Miller and the other four were throw-ins for Willis. And I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't think De la Cruz is going to develop into anything special.

 

His numbers in a heavy offensively dominated triple-A disagree.

 

Just because De la Cruz has been able to blow away minor league hitters with his fastball doesn't necessarily mean transitional success in the bigs. Major league hitters figured him out quickly and his numbers weren't pretty, albeit in a small sample size. We saw Ryan Tucker endure similar struggles this year although he has potential to be far better than Cruz, IMO.

 

Tucker and De La Cruz have similar stuff, and before this year you probably didn't even know who Ryan Tucker was. De La Cruz's stats, at a higher level in a terrible place to pitch, were phenominal. Not that Tucker's weren't but you can't say people figured out Frankie OR Tucker at the major league level, or that either won't be successful.

 

I'm not finding a ton of merit in the PCL argument here. Minor league hitters obviously couldn't catch up to Cruz's fastball and were unable to elevate it (he only allowed the 13 homers). And while his overall numbers were decent, I wouldn't call a 4.34 ERA "phenominal". If we had stuck Ryan Tucker down there last year (in the PCL), I garuntee he would have posted far better numbers. Regardless of the league, it's still the minor leagues with minor league hitters.

 

As for Tucker, I never alluded that hitters figured him out or, for that matter, that he wouldn't be successful. I just said that he had gone through the same struggles as Frankie. Tucker's stuff is electric and he has the ability to be a plus reliever, if he can learn to throw some breaking stuff to complement the fastball. Nor can I predict that either one will be unsuccessful, only that it's my opinion that Cruz isn't what some people have hyped him up to be. It seems that everytime a guy throws a mid 90's fastball, he's a top organizational prospect. I simply don't see things that way.

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He throws a mid 90's FB with movement

 

He does a very very good job of keeping XBH to a minimum.

 

He will do well

 

And I doubt Tucker would have done that much better in the PCL. The reason he did so well in AA was because of his BABIP. A lot of people started going completely gaga over him because of his stats at the start of the season but wouldn't understand that it was because of his BABIP.

 

I really don't understand how you can say ALB doesn't matter mean anything. I mean, just look at the numbers that hitter put up there. How is it not impressive?

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I'm not finding a ton of merit in the PCL argument here. Minor league hitters obviously couldn't catch up to Cruz's fastball and were unable to elevate it (he only allowed the 13 homers). And while his overall numbers were decent, I wouldn't call a 4.34 ERA "phenominal". If we had stuck Ryan Tucker down there last year (in the PCL), I garuntee he would have posted far better numbers. Regardless of the league, it's still the minor leagues with minor league hitters.

 

As for Tucker, I never alluded that hitters figured him out or, for that matter, that he wouldn't be successful. I just said that he had gone through the same struggles as Frankie. Tucker's stuff is electric and he has the ability to be a plus reliever, if he can learn to throw some breaking stuff to complement the fastball. Nor can I predict that either one will be unsuccessful, only that it's my opinion that Cruz isn't what some people have hyped him up to be. It seems that everytime a guy throws a mid 90's fastball, he's a top organizational prospect. I simply don't see things that way.

Bringing up someone like Yorman Bazardo would really give more credence to your argument.

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I'm not finding a ton of merit in the PCL argument here. Minor league hitters obviously couldn't catch up to Cruz's fastball

 

Whether you're finding merit in it or not, it isn't an opinion. PCL hitters succeed, and pitchers do not, much more often than not. It's a fact.

 

And if you play professional baseball, you better be able to hit a fastball, it doesn't matter how fast it is. Why do you think this game has hitters who can hit fastballs and not curveballs... But no guys that can hit curveballs and not fastballs? That statement was legally retarded.

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I'm not finding a ton of merit in the PCL argument here. Minor league hitters obviously couldn't catch up to Cruz's fastball

 

Whether you're finding merit in it or not, it isn't an opinion. PCL hitters succeed, and pitchers do not, much more often than not. It's a fact.

 

And if you play professional baseball, you better be able to hit a fastball, it doesn't matter how fast it is. Why do you think this game has hitters who can hit fastballs and not curveballs... But no guys that can hit curveballs and not fastballs? That statement was legally retarded.

 

There are reasons those guys are in the MINOR leagues and not the majors. There are pitchers who can dominate down there on pure unrefined stuff alone without truly learning how to pitch (see Andrew Miller) and Cruz is one of them. There's a reason Cruz posted an ERA of 18 in the majors.

 

Unless you take every single factor into account, you can't truly say how much Cruz's numbers were bloated by the PCL. You'd have to consider everything from the types of hits he allowed to the elevation hitters got off him as well as individual luck. And even then you can't look to deeply into the numbers because these are MINOR LEAGUE hitters and are capable of being overwhelmed by guys with Cruz's stuff. MLB hitters would have none of it. Any high school ball player can hit a straight fastball but it's different with guys like Cruz who's fastball moves and is in the mid-90's. That much was obvious enough.

 

I don't feel Cruz will ever become a special player and that's my opinion. Neither of us can predict what will happen. Your opinion means very little to me as only time will tell what kind of pitcher Cruz becomes.

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There are reasons those guys are in the MINOR leagues and not the majors. There are pitchers who can dominate down there on pure unrefined stuff alone without truly learning how to pitch (see Andrew Miller) and Cruz is one of them. There's a reason Cruz posted an ERA of 18 in the majors.

For the record, Andrew Miller's never pitched in the PCL.

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There are reasons those guys are in the MINOR leagues and not the majors. There are pitchers who can dominate down there on pure unrefined stuff alone without truly learning how to pitch (see Andrew Miller) and Cruz is one of them. There's a reason Cruz posted an ERA of 18 in the majors.

For the record, Andrew Miller's never pitched in the PCL.

 

When I said "down there", I should have specified I meant the minor leagues in general. Compensating for the PCL, Miller's numbers were probably still better than what Cruz posted. The point being they were able to get by on stuff alone.

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Meh, just another mediocre piece from that Tigers trade. I am really not that fond of any of the arms we got in that deal. In fact, I would say Miller is the only one whos an MLB caliber player, but isnt quite ready yet.

 

I would have thought Cabrera alone was enough to net Maybin and Miller and the other four were throw-ins for Willis. And I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't think De la Cruz is going to develop into anything special.

 

His numbers in a heavy offensively dominated triple-A disagree.

 

But his numbers in the pros agree.

 

Yeah, what I remember him doing in games last year was just terrible. :thumbdown

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