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Florida Marlins eliminated from playoffs

The Florida Marlins have been eliminated from the playoffs.  It took 157 games for it happen but it did.

I would repost Fishcrazy's picture from last night's open thread, but he thought of the theme and not me.  Though it is very apropos.  If the Marlins learned nothing else this season it is that: going on a four game losing streak in the final week and a half ain't no way to get a playoff birth. (The overview of the Marlins season will come after the final game.  I will say this as lead in -- they done good.  Yeah, it could've been better but they done good.)

Since the Marlins are playing out  the string, it is time to consider, or maybe reconsider, how the starters will be used.

In last night's game Scott Olsen pitched when he wasn't physically at his best.

They scored four runs in five innings off Scott Olsen, who was coughing all night because of flu-like symptoms that nearly prompted Gonzalez to take him out earlier.

"They said it looked just like I had no energy," he said. "I kept my team in the game. That's all I was trying to do."

There was no doubt the Marlins were still in the game when Ollie left.  And they would've been ahead if the defense had made some routine plays.

I can understand pitching a sick Olsen since the guys in bullpen were a worse alternantive.  But now that the Marlins are eliminated it is time to judge just how many innings the team wants to let the starters throw this season.  Keeping in mind the injury nexus is about 170 innings.  

Ricky Nolasco is presently at 205.1 innings.  Nolasco only pitched 21.1 major league innings last season before being shutdown due to elbow tendinitis.  The most innings he has ever thrown at the major league level is 140 in 2006.  Generally, if you are trying to stretch a pitcher, you don't want to go more than 30 innings over his previous high.

Scott Olsen has thrown 195.2 innings this season.  I know Olsen wants to hit the 200 inning mark for the first time in his career.  His previous high was also in 2006 when he threw 180.2.  Olsen can probably handle his next start, physically, but needs to be watched.  If he still is recovering from the flu, then sit him.

Anibal Sanchez is at 51.2 innings and he probably needs the work to sharpen up.  Returning from shoulder surgery is hard and it just takes time.  

Josh Johnson, who starts today, is at 81.1 innings.  He should also be fine, assuming no difficulties in his throwing motion.

Chris Volstad is right on the cusp.  He has a combined 169.1 innings this season between the majors and the minors.  Going on the theory that minor league innings aren't as taxing as major league ones, he should be fine.  But should be watched carefully.  This is an arm you don't want to mess with.

The biggest cause for concern of all the pitchers is Nolasco.  If it were my team, as in I was in a position of responsibility in the front office, I would shut him down.  But that is not my decision to make.  If they do send him to the mound for his next start against the Mets and starts to labor they need to get him out of there and fast.

I mean really, let Hendrickson or Miller get one last start for the season, the Marlins are out of the running anyway.