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The Fearsome Foursome are back together

Of course you already knew that Nolasco, Olsen, Johnson and Sanchez were in the rotation together again, but it seems they returned to their old ways as teammates.

They joked and jabbed with the freedom of kids who'd grown up together playing the same games in the same neighborhood. During batting practice last week, Ricky Nolasco lifted Anibal Sanchez's collar and poured water down his back. The smiles were infectious and the laughter intoxicating.

The gang is back together, and it's intent on surprising the baseball world all over again.

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That confidence was there in 2006, when Olsen, Johnson, Nolasco and Sanchez became the first rookie foursome in history to each win 10 or more games.

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Johnson played catch with Olsen last week, just like in 2006. Right next to them Nolasco and Sanchez did the same.

The four took batting practice together, cutting up as much as muscling up to take hitting coach Jim Presley's pitches into the seats.

Who's playing catch with Volstad?

It appears that Fredi and Wiley are trying to save the starters arms, as best they can.

Nolasco has thrown 142.2 innings this season while Olsen has pitched 142.0.  Both are in line to hit the injury nexus of 170 innings.  What that means is that a pitcher starts getting arm weary after 170 innings and an injury is more likely to occur.  It doesn't mean it will happen, just that it is more likely.

To combat that, the Marlins are watching pitch counts.  In other words, if a Marlins pitcher can go eight innings and throw under 100 pitches, so be it.

In the last five starts:

Nolasco has thrown: 93, 98, 85, 100, 96 pitches.

Olsen threw: 94, 90, 85, 93, 97.

The other starters pitch counts per game:

Johnson: 104, 90, 92, 87.

Volstad: 93, 99, 87, 100, 28.

Sanchez: 95.

Seeing how Johnson, Sanchez and Nolsaco, spent last season on the DL, this seems like a wise move to limit them where possible.  If the Marlins are going to make a playoff run and then if successful, go through the playoffs they are going to need their arms to still be strong and not about to fall off.

Fredi and Wiley seem to have the game plan down.  Now, let's see if it works.