It wasn’t supposed to be this way this season for Rick Van den Hurk, but right now he’ll take it. And so will we. Seeing him healthy and getting back to pitching again is a promising sign for the starting pitcher and if the Marlins start to falter a bit in the second half, he could provide some much needed insurance.
Van den Hurk has been on the DL since April 12th due to soreness in his pitching elbow. He returned to the hill last night and gave up 4 runs in 5 innings at AA Carolina. Still, having him back and pitching is a positive development and if the Marlins can give him some time and be patient, he may yet return this season to be back up with the big club – where he started the season.
Matt Dominguez has had a rough 2008 campaign. Well, on the health side of it anyway. He had been out for seven weeks with mononucleosis, but the Marlins’ 2007 first round pick hit a home run and a double Saturday night and is currently hitting .328 in 10 games this season for A Greensboro. Keep an eye on this young 3B prospect who many have compared to Ryan Zimmerman when he was selected by the Marlins. He looks to be the Fish’s third baseman of the future.
Keep an eye on John Gall. The outfielder for AAA Alburquerque has had his name mentioned as a possible call up for the Marlins thinning outfield. With the acquisition of Jacque Jones, the Marlins may have filled that need and Josh Willingham is expected to return to active duty within the next few weeks. Still, if there is no consistency, despite Cody Ross’ insane hot streak (9 of his last 10 hits are home runs!), Gall may be worth a callup. He is currently hitting .316 with 8 home runs, but he is not striking out all that much – which is refreshing for a Marlins hitter these days. He only has 22 strikeouts in 190 ABs and has drawn 18 walks as well. The Stanford grad could see some time in the OF if nothing else than during September.