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Burke Badenhop brings his own cheering section

Burke "The Hopper" Badenhop was well represented in his first start for the Marlins.

Burke Badenhop's family wasn't deterred from cheering the Marlins rookie in his first major-league start among a packed Minute Maid Park crowd of Astros fans.

Uh, it wasn't packed, I saw a whole inning of the game and empty seats were abundant.  However, it is entirely possible that the section the Badenhop family was sitting in was packed.

"One Astros fan turned around and looked at me when he threw the double play ball (in the fourth inning)," said Dalynn Badenhop, the pitcher's father. "He kind of turned around and gave me the evil eye, (as if to say) 'Who are you, yelling for a double play?' Hey, my son just made a nice pitch for a double play ball!"

Burke, who is called "The Hopper" by his manager, isn't the only Badenhop with a nickname. Dalynn is a professor at the University of Toledo College of Medicine in Ohio.

"Most people call me 'Dr. B,'" he said. "Badenhop's a mouthful."

Nicknames aren't new to Burke and he has already had some special suggestion in his short time in the bigs.

"In my first professional season my first manager called me 'Hoppie,' which will not be uttered around these parts," he said.

"There's all sorts of variations. As long as they don't call me what they did in Washington (last week) while I was warming up in the bullpen. There was just a lot of heckling. Wearing 66 is like wearing a bull's-eye."

I can't imagine what the Washington fans came up with, perhaps you can.  But I do know this, whatever the nickname, at this point, he has a spot in the rotation.  

From all accounts Badenhop marches to the beat of his own drummer, and that fact alone will make him worth the price of a ticket.  And if he can master the command of his sinker and changeup, he could have a good future ahead of him in the majors.

If you would like to hear a recent radio interview that Burke gave, check no further than yesterday's comments which HadMatter was kind enough to provide.

If Badenhop is the real deal and continues to improve, that will give the Marlins at least three starters who can put up at least five or six "quality" innings in the majority of their starts.  Nolasco once he develops some arm strength and stamina should be good to go and be a fourth.  Miller, however, should be in the minors and working on his craft.  Just because the Tigers rushed him to the majors last season, doesn't mean he is or was ready.  One day he maybe great, but this isn't that day.