09/11/2002 6:41 pm ET
Beckett returns from DL
MLBeat: Burnett expected to be available Saturday
By Travis Hill / Special to MLB.com
PHILADELPHIA -- As expected, the Marlins activated Josh Beckett from the 15-day disabled list today. The rookie right-hander is with the team, and manager Jeff Torborg confirmed that he will try to get Beckett a few innings of work as soon as possible, perhaps even as early as Wednesday's contest against the Phillies.
According to Torborg, it all depends on what happens in the game. He most likely will not bring Beckett into a tight situation if the game is close. But if mop-up work presents itself, Beckett could be called upon.
Beckett has had a frustrating season -- he was placed on the disabled list for the third time this season on Aug. 24. Each time it was for troublesome blisters on his pitching fingers. Nothing is wrong with his arm -- it's his fingers that simply will not cooperate.
Beckett and the training staff are hoping that they have finally solved the problem and this will be their last chance this season to see if the blisters can be conquered.
To make room for Beckett on the roster, the Marlins outrighted right-hander Donnie Bridges to Double-A Portland.
The ace is back: A.J. Burnett, who leads the Marlins this year in wins, ERA, strikeouts and innings pitched, is on schedule to come off the disabled list Saturday. Torborg is hoping to use his ace right-hander for a relief appearance when the Marlins take on the Braves on Saturday.
Burnett, who also leads the National League in complete games, shutouts and opponent's batting average, suffered a bone bruise on his right arm, which led to an inflammation in his right elbow. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 19.
Wayne's discovery: Justin Wayne was outstanding in game two of Florida's doubleheader against the Phillies on Tuesday night, earning his first Major League victory. He limited the Phils to just two hits and in 6 1/3 innings of work, as the Marlins went on to win the game, 2-1, and sweep the twinbill.
The secret to the rookie right-hander's success? The development of his forgotten curveball.
Wayne, a No. 1 pick of the Montreal Expos in 2000, said he has always relied on his slider as his No. 2 pitch, rarely using his change or his curve.
"I've always felt confident in my slider," Wayne said. "I treated my curve as my fourth pitch. At times this year I would use it zero to five times a game, not really giving it a chance."
But pitching coach Brad Arnsberg and other members of the Florida staff urged Wayne to use his curveball more often, and after Wayne was pummeled by the Mets in his first career Major League start on September 3, he decided to work on it.
It definitely paid off.
When he opened the game by striking out Philadelphia leadoff man Jimmy Rollins with a curve, he and catcher Mike Redmond knew they had made an important discovery. Wayne estimated that 25 of his 101 pitches on the night were curves, and he used his slider just twice. The results were impressive, and afterward Torborg likened Wayne to a young Don Sutton.
"I spent a lot of time this week with it," Wayne said. "We worked with the grip and the release. ... But up until (Tuesday), I didn't have any faith in it."
The slide: Kevin Millar made highlight reels across the country Tuesday night with his ill-fated attempt at stretching a single into a double in the eighth inning.
Millar, who is in the midst of a 16-game hitting streak, laced a Vicente Padilla offering down the left-field line and Pat Burrell tracked it down and came up firing.
It was obvious that Burrell's throw was going to beat Millar to second, but he tried a wild attempt at a slide anyway.
The problem? Millar went into his headfirst slide a little too early and a little too fast. He belly-flopped into the turf, arms and legs flailing, and in a scene reminiscent of Willie Mays Hays in the movie, Major League, was a few feet short.
Afterward, the Marlins clubhouse, including Millar, erupted in riotous laughter as ESPN replayed the slide over and over again.
"That was the worst slide I've ever seen," roared catcher Mike Redmond.
Fantasy Edge: First baseman Derrek Lee is on an absolute tear. With four RBIs in Tuesday night's doubleheader, Lee has tied his career high with 75. He has hit in 16 of his last 20 games and, in his last three contests, Lee is hitting .455 with two doubles, a triple, two homers and eight RBIs.
Travis Hill is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.