8/16/2014 6:56 P.M. ET
Hand or Penny headed to Marlins' bullpen
By Joe Frisaro and Maria Torres / MLB.com
MIAMI -- Since the All-Star break, the Marlins have played a stretch of 28 games with just one day off in the middle of it. Saturday's game against the D-backs marked their 12th in a row.
But now they've got two days off scheduled next week on Monday and Thursday, and the rest not only gives the Marlins some time away from the ballpark, it affords manager Mike Redmond the chance to dwell on which starter -- either 24-year-old Brad Hand or 36-year-old Brad Penny -- he will send to the bullpen to accommodate Henderson Alvarez's return to the rotation on Saturday.
In the meantime, both Hand and Penny will be available to make relief appearances. The Marlins optioned their only long reliever, Anthony DeSclafani, to Triple-A New Orleans following Friday's game, so having them in the bullpen will provide the team more depth if there's a need for extended relief.
"Part of it could come down to if we need a guy out of the bullpen," Redmond said. "We might need a guy with an extended outing out of the bullpen, and that might make our decision easier going forward. There's a little bit of that unknown of what's going to happen here in the next couple of days."
When Redmond does get around to making that decision, he'll also have to bargain between experience and youth.
Penny has been staging a comeback in Miami's system since signing a Minor League contract on June 18, and he has only made two Major League starts this year. The righty has gone 1-0 and allowed five earned runs over 10 innings. Before joining the Marlins' rotation on Aug. 9, he was 2-2 with a 2.28 ERA in five starts for New Orleans.
But Hand, who began the season as a reliever, was given the opportunity to take over one of the back-end spots of the rotation in July. He didn't get a win until his fourth start back on July 20 against the Giants. But between that start and Aug. 5, the left-hander was one of the Marlins' best hurlers, posting a 2.28 ERA and going 2-1 over four outings.
Hand has been hampered by the long ball in his most recent outings, however, allowing a grand slam and a two-run homer to Cincinnati's Devin Mesoraco last Sunday, and two first-inning homers to the D-backs on Friday.
"It's a feel thing," Redmond said. "[We were] hoping for one of them to make it a clear and easy decision, but it hasn't been."
Loria talks Manfred, replay, state of Marlins
MIAMI -- Jeffrey Loria believes the future of Major League Baseball is in good hands with the naming of Rob Manfred as Bud Selig's replacement as the next Commissioner, the Marlins owner told reporters Saturday afternoon as he addressed a number of topics.
"Bud did wonderful things to advance the game," Loria said. "Rob will take it to the next step."
The transition will take place in January.
Among the hot topics awaiting Manfred are the advancement of instant replay overall, and the home-plate collision rule (7:13).
"I don't know what they're going to do with replay," the Marlins owner said. "The play at the plate, obviously, is very controversial. Manfred has great insight into the game. He will figure out where we will go with all of that."
The Marlins on July 31 were involved in a disputed overturned play at the plate that went against them in a 3-1 loss to the Reds. Instant replay changed an original out call, which enabled Zack Cozart to score a run in what became the game-changing eighth inning.
"Any time you start to do something new, you have to re-examine it," Loria said. "It's going to be re-examined at the end of the year."
As for the direction of the Marlins, they've been one of the surprise teams in baseball. A year ago, they lost 100 games, relying heavily on either rookies or young core players. Now, they're in the National League Wild Card mix.
"I love what they're doing," Loria said.
The organization overhauled its roster after the 2012 season, and now the nucleus is maturing. The plan is to build around its core players.
"Great stability now on this team," Loria said. "We needed to get to that point. We were not going to be successful with the way we were before last year. We have great people running the organization. Great, wonderful players."
Success in the standings led to the team becoming buyers before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. As part of the deal, Miami acquired Jarred Cosart and Enrique Hernandez from the Astros for prospects Jake Marisnick and Colin Moran.
"There were other things we would have liked to have [done]," Loria said. "But because there were so many other teams that were in the mix, it wasn't an easy thing to do at the Trade Deadline. We're not willing to give away our pitching just for the sake of making a deal."
• As a result of the off-days, the Marlins' rotation next week will feature Jarred Cosart starting on Tuesday, Nathan Eovaldi on Wednesday, Alvarez on Friday and Tom Koehler on Saturday.