5/20/2013 7:23 P.M. ET
Below looking to make his mark with Marlins
By Joe Frisaro and Joe Morgan / MLB.com
MIAMI -- The Tigers designated Duane Below for assignment on April 24 to create a roster spot for closer Jose Valverde. One day later, the Marlins claimed the left-hander.
"It just happened so fast that it really doesn't give you an opportunity to think too much about it," Below said.
Now Below is on the other side, recalled late Friday from Triple-A New Orleans after Miami designated right-hander Jon Rauch for assignment.
Back in the Majors for the first time since last August, Below is determined to stay.
"That's your main goal in the Minor Leagues," Below said. "You're trying to help your team win, but your main goal is to try to get to the big leagues and help the team win here."
During his most recent stint with the Zephyrs, Below admitted he aimed to please too hard and too soon. He wanted to prove that the Marlins had made a good decision by acquiring him.
"I started pressing a little bit, trying to do too much," Below said. "I finally started getting comfortable and started calming down again and getting a feel."
Once he became comfortable with his new team, Below worked on his game to great effect. In eight starts this season at the Triple-A level, Below boasts a 2.68 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and a .246 opponents' batting average.
"I went down and continued to work on my pitches, tried to stay consistent and be able to work off my fastball," Below said. "[My fastball] helped me have success. And then being able to use my offspeed pitches and throw those for strikes is a big reason why I've been able to have success in the Minor Leagues."
Helping the Marlins win involves a bullpen role for Below, who has made 124 starts in the Minors since Detroit drafted him in the 19th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. Manager Mike Redmond praised Below's "flexibility," saying the 27-year-old lefty could pitch both long relief and in situational at-bats against left-handed hitters.
"The biggest thing for me is trying to get on a routine, trying to stick with it … and figure out what works best for me in the bullpen situation," Below said. "Just go out and try to throw strikes, attack the zone and get outs."
Marlins place Diaz on disabled list with knee bruise
MIAMI -- The Marlins' disabled list continues to grow.
Matt Diaz is the latest to land on the DL. He's the 13th Miami player to be sidelined this season.
On Monday afternoon, the team placed Diaz on the 15-day disabled list with a left knee bone bruise. Filling Diaz's roster spot is Jordan Brown, who had his contract selected from Triple-A New Orleans.
Diaz has seen minimal playing time since being selected from New Orleans on May 2. In 10 games, the 35-year-old has appeared in 10 games and is 3-for-18 (.167).
He said he tweaked his knee while slipping on the basepaths in San Diego earlier in the month. In recent weeks, he has tried to play through the discomfort.
"The doctor said it's a bone bruise, and [Sunday] he finally said, we need to give it 10 days to relax," Diaz said. "We'd be trying our best with just the pinch-hitting and jogging slowly to first. Even that, it's just not responding."
Diaz had been wearing a brace of late.
Diaz was a right-handed bat off the bench option at left field. Now, the club has added another left-handed bat in Brown.
Brown, in the big leagues for the first time since 2010, has been used mostly at first base at New Orleans, and he's also played left field.
The 29-year-old previously had 26 games of Major League experience while with the Indians. In '10, he batted .230 in 87 at-bats with seven doubles and two RBIs.
The California native was a fourth-round pick of Cleveland in the 2005 First-Year Player Daft.
At New Orleans, Brown batted .261 with six doubles, one home run and 12 RBIs in 37 games.
With Diaz out, Miguel Olivo becomes a right-handed pinch-hit candidate on a bench featuring several lefties.
Hall of Famer Perez tries to awaken offense
MIAMI -- Ranked last in the Major Leagues in runs scored, the Marlins received a helping hand from Hall of Famer Tony Perez on Sunday.
Perez, a special assistant in the organization, touched every bat in the bat rack before Sunday's game against the D-backs. It's not like the Marlins had a huge scoring outburst, but they did win, 2-1, snapping their seven-game losing streak.
"I just woke them up," Perez said.
Perez said he did the symbolic gesture because there was no batting practice on Sunday. On Monday, he didn't repeat the ritual before Miami's series opener with the Phillies.
"They are awake now," he said.
Perez did offer some insights into what he's seeing from some of the young Miami hitters, like Marcell Ozuna and Derek Dietrich.
Both have enjoyed early success, but are now seeing how the league is adjusting to them. Perez has noticed they've tended to be overly aggressive early in counts. He'd like to see them, and all the young hitters, work deeper counts.
"They just go out and swing at whatever they're throwing," Perez said. "I mean, you've got three strikes. They've got to throw you three strikes to get you out. They swing, one pitch, you're out. Second pitch, two outs.
"Not a lot of experience. Everybody who is young wants to swing the bat. You want to go out and hit. You don't get selective. You go out and hit. The first strike you see, you swing at."
After halting skid, Redmond sticks with same lineup
MIAMI -- After using 43 lineups in the first 44 games, Marlins manager Mike Redmond decided to try some continuity.
After defeating the D-backs and left-hander Wade Miley, 2-1, on Sunday to snap a season-long seven-game losing streak, Redmond batted the same first eight against Phillies southpaw Cole Hamels on Monday.
"We won yesterday, but [today's starter] was another left-hander, so we just think we match up better the way we had it yesterday," Redmond said. "Obviously, if you win a game, you want to run that same lineup out there, see if we can do it again. It would probably be different if there was a right-hander out there pitching."
Monday's starting lineup was predominantly right-handed, featuring only two left-handed batters in second baseman Derek Dietrich at No. 3 and left fielder Chris Coghlan hitting sixth.
Entering the series opener, Dietrich was batting .200 in 10 at-bats against left-handers, while Coghlan boasted a .364 clip in 11 at-bats.
A notable change was the leadoff spot, where rookie shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria took over for veteran outfielder Juan Pierre. Hechavarria went 1-for-4 and scored a run on Sunday.
Pierre is hitting .152 against southpaws this year. Hechavarria has performed slightly better at .172.
Third baseman Placido Polanco, who sported a .340 clip against lefties entering Monday, batted in Hechavarria's customary No. 2 hole.
Nick Green took over for Greg Dobbs at first base and batted seventh, while Jeff Mathis subbed for Rob Brantly behind the plate and hit in the No. 8 spot. Mathis faced Miley twice, doubling in his first at-bat. Green is hitless against left-handers.
Miami is batting .219 against left-handers this season with a .285 on-base percentage. Cleanup hitter Marcell Ozuna, who plated the game-winning runs with a two-run double against Miley, has hit .429 in 21 at-bats against southpaws this season.
Justin Ruggiano, batting fifth, has homered four times against left-handers. Miguel Olivo has three homers against southpaws and provides a right-handed bat off the bench.
Redmond will likely use a different lineup Tuesday. The Phillies plan to start right-hander Tyler Cloyd.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.