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The Hopper and Brian Sanches Battling For The Last Bullpen Spot?


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http://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/marlins/1269676.html

 

By Joe Capozzi

 

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

 

Updated: 6:12 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011

 

Posted: 5:14 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011

 

JUPITER — The day after the Marlins' season ended last October, pitcher Burke Badenhop reported to jury duty at the Palm Beach County courthouse. He wasn't picked to serve, but he did talk just a little baseball with the judge.

 

"The judge said, 'What do they call you on TV? The Hopper? That's right,' ' he recalled Sunday.

 

Badenhop's day in court, where he said he "served the great County of Palm Beach,' marked the start of a busy off-season: He got married, helped a friend write a book about financial planning and started co-writing a movie screenplay with his agent. ("It's a comedy,' he said, "so if the Farrelly brothers are out there listening, we'd love to have a shot.')

 

He hopes his upcoming baseball season with the Marlins is much busier.

 

Badenhop has turned out to be the biggest contributor of the six players the Marlins got in the trade that sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Detroit Tigers in December 2007.

 

Although his ability to pitch multiple innings has made him a valuable reliever, he knows he might not necessarily be a lock to win a job this spring.

 

In an effort to rebuild a bullpen that led the National League with 25 blown saves last year, the Marlins acquired four new relief pitchers - left-handers Randy Choate and Mike Dunn and right-handers Edward Mujica and Ryan Webb.

 

"You don't really trade for those guys and then send them down,' said Badenhop, who went 2-5 with a 3.99 in 53 games in 2010. "In years past, the bullpen was kind of wide open. I think we have a better idea (this year).'

 

Leo Nunez is the closer for now, with Clay Hensley setting up. That leaves one bullpen spot open, with Badenhop and Brian Sanches as the top candidates.

 

Unless one of them is traded before April, Badenhop might appear to have an edge because the Marlins gave him a $750,000 contract in his first year of arbitration.

 

Sanches, who's eligible for arbitration next winter, was a valuable contributor for the Marlins, too, last year. He posted career highs in appearances (61) and innings (63 2/3) and a career low ERA (2.26).

 

"In this game you never want to get comfortable. In my career I've always had something to prove,' said Sanches.

 

Ceda overweight: Jose Ceda isn't in the Marlins' bullpen plans just yet, but the team is still upset with the right-handed reliever for reporting to camp overweight. He weighs about 288 pounds now, and the Marlins won't let him throw off the mound until he drops about 10 pounds.

 

Ceda, 24, is listed on the Marlins' roster at 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds

 

"It's not a drastic situation, but we just want to send the right message not only to him but to the other guys,' said manager Edwin Rodriguez. "Those days when you came to spring training to get into shape? Those days are over a long time ago.'

 

Acquired before the 2009 season from the Cubs in the Kevin Gregg trade, Ceda rose to Class AA Jacksonville last year before posting a 5.19 ERA in eight appearances for the Marlins after a September call-up.

 

 

 

Anyone else really surprised by this? I would expect both these guys to have their spots cemented in the bullpen. Brian Sanches has proven time and time again that despite his lackluster speed he is a very effective reliever. And The Hopper is ... The Hopper! How the heck is it possible for one of these guys to not be in our bullpen on opening day? Are all the new guys we got really that good?

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This is not a surprise.

The probably only both make the roster if either: a) Nunez gets traded, or b) the Marlins elect to go with 8 relievers and 4 starters to begin the year, especially since Badenhop and Sanches can definitely can pitch in long relief; that also gives Volstad some extra time in the minors, which shouldn't hurt. And it would allow the Marlins to continue to "audition" those 8 guys, who are all pretty talented and could all, rather feasibly, post sub-4.00 ERAs.

 

And we have several young arms in AA/AAA. I love it.

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Badenhop is far more valuable as along reliever.

 

 

I agree with this. Sanches numbers look better, but Badenhop has been a much more consistent reliever. If it came down to them both, I'll take the Hopper in the heartbeat.

 

I'd like for both of them to make the team. Just goes to show how much deeper we are at bullpen than we were last season.

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i'm amazed how sanches gets outs with such less-than-stellar stuff but the man gets people out. badenhop on the other hand can give us longer innings and he's proven to be solid as well. the only thing that works against badenhop is that he still has an option year left so it would make more sense for them to send him down and see if anyone struggles

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Uhh... I think they'll both be there.

 

 

So who gets the boot, then? We'll eventually only be carrying 7 guys:

 

 

1. Nunez

2. Hensley

3. Mujica

4. Webb

5. Dunn

6. Choate

7. Badenhop

8. Sanches

 

While Dunn was stellar last season I'm sure he's equally fighting for tihs spot.

 

 

And I dont know who called Badenhop consistent... hardly. Sanches earns this spot if it's between them. I'm sure you'll still see them both enough though.

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I say we trade Nunez.

 

:thumbup

 

I wish, but we'd have to get lucky.

 

Numbnuts aside, I'll take the Hopper's average physical skills and considerable intellect every time over almost anyone else in the BP as he's quite possibly the smartest guy on the entire team. In a world of very talented but not-so-bright jocks a few brains to go along with average brawn can take you a long way. Just ask guys like Greg Maddux.

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Dunn should absolutely start the year with the Marlins, unless he's absolutely horrible in Spring Training.

 

Beinfest said after last season that he wanted more lefty/righty balance out of the pen, and he traded Dan Uggla to get Mike Dunn. Dunn will be on the team.

 

If anything, I'm not sure why Ryan Webb is a lock to make the team. He should be fighting it out with Sanches/Hopper. Nunez/Hensley/Mujica make it because they're good/their salary. Choate and Dunn should make it because they're both lefties who can dominate lefties; they give Edwin a lot of options.

 

I'm not sure why Webb is guaranteed a spot. Pretty sure he has options, so it wouldn't be a big deal if he doesn't start the year out with the team. And Webb is basically a righty specialist; I wouldn't want him pitching against a lefty in high leverage situations. Webb is actually pretty similar to Badenhop, although I think he has better stuff/long-term potential.

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Uhh... I think they'll both be there.

 

 

So who gets the boot, then? We'll eventually only be carrying 7 guys:

 

 

1. Nunez

2. Hensley

3. Mujica

4. Webb

5. Dunn

6. Choate

7. Badenhop

8. Sanches

 

While Dunn was stellar last season I'm sure he's equally fighting for tihs spot.

 

 

And I dont know who called Badenhop consistent... hardly. Sanches earns this spot if it's between them. I'm sure you'll still see them both enough though.

 

Last season he obviously wasn't, but when I've seen Badenhop for a stretch of time carry the bullpen after our starters gave bad outings. He's the best long relief pitcher on the staff. He's way to valuable to this team to be left in the minors.

 

It really doesn't even matter anyway. At least one of these guys is going to perform below expectations, and they can be replaced in the bullpen pretty quickly by Sanches or Badenhop (whoever gets sent down).

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Dunn should absolutely start the year with the Marlins, unless he's absolutely horrible in Spring Training.

 

Beinfest said after last season that he wanted more lefty/righty balance out of the pen, and he traded Dan Uggla to get Mike Dunn. Dunn will be on the team.

 

If anything, I'm not sure why Ryan Webb is a lock to make the team. He should be fighting it out with Sanches/Hopper. Nunez/Hensley/Mujica make it because they're good/their salary. Choate and Dunn should make it because they're both lefties who can dominate lefties; they give Edwin a lot of options.

 

I'm not sure why Webb is guaranteed a spot. Pretty sure he has options, so it wouldn't be a big deal if he doesn't start the year out with the team. And Webb is basically a righty specialist; I wouldn't want him pitching against a lefty in high leverage situations. Webb is actually pretty similar to Badenhop, although I think he has better stuff/long-term potential.

 

 

I think Webb isn't a lock, but is considered to be one because of his potential. He just looks like he has the makings of a dominant relief pitcher. I agree that he shouldn't be a lock, though. Like you said, Nunez/Mujica/Hensley are locks. I would probably add Choate to that list, as well. You have 3 spots left and 4 relief pitchers. I'm pretty sure Sanches and Dunn will get every chance to be on the team considering Sanches has no options and Dunn is a lefty and came in the Uggla trade. So, one spot remaining with two players left, Badenhop and Webb. Depends on what they value more, but If I'm the Marlins, I go with Webb.

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Don't worry, someone will get injured

 

 

Lol, sorry but that sounds suspicious as hell.

It's just the reality of it. Someone will get hurt and miss April, when that person is ready to come back someone else will be hurt and 15 day DL'd, and the cycle repeats. Regardless, Marlins won't need a 5th SP for a little bit, so Volstad will presumably open the year in AAA and the Marlins will carry all of them for 10 days or so. This will work itself out through competition. I know we all like Sanches, but he has "probably" over achieved a little the last two years and could go the way of Justin Miller at any moment. I don't think he should be DFA'd in the event Badenhop "wins" this, but longterm, it's not the end of the world if we lose Sanches for a low level A prospect in a trade or we just release him. We kind of just did that with Veras, who is a more than adequate 4th RHP out of the pen. Badenhop has an option left, and he could bounce back and forth all year even with the guaranteed salary. And as someone said, there is always looming trades. We could easily dish out Nunez during March if it seems Matty D is not ready to handle 3B and we need to do something with a warm body. I don't think it's the end of the world if we're penciling in a group of Sanabia, West, Marinez, Fat Ceda, Cishek, and Jennings as our "back up" relievers if one of the other 7 get hurt in the event of a trade, but that's another thread.

 

Secondly Erick, Webb is probably our best RP when you look at the whole package and not just the statistical line. Even if administratively it would be easiest to put one of the right handers that is club controlled in the minors to make a group of "7" at the MLB level, you really can't do that with your best, or at absolute worst, 3rd best arm. He is a lock. I think the organization would be content putting Dunn in AAA, even though they desire two lefties, and going in with 6 right handers as Dunn doesn't exactly throw strikes all the time. 42 walks in 66 innings last year (combined MLB/MiLB), despite his good K and production peripherals. If anyone needs some more seasoning, it's him. We have a super LOOGY in Choate, Mujica is above average against lefties, and Sanches and Nunez hold their own. We'd be OK here as long as we're not throwing Badenhop, Webb, and Hensley against a ton of lefties. Pen is still real good with the 6 righties and Choate. Dunn makes the most sense going down if they want to keep everyone. That's all I'm saying.

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