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Rick VandenHurk still ailing

Rick VandenHurk is still feeling the pain from his last start.

Rick VandenHurk still was experiencing lower-back stiffness Wednesday, a day after he left his start against the Mets because of the problem. But the Marlins plan to wait until Thursday to decide whether he will remain in the rotation.

VandenHurk is scheduled to throw his normal, between-starts side session in the bullpen. If the pain lingers, manager Fredi Gonzalez said, the Marlins probably would replace him in the rotation with Chris Volstad or Andrew Miller.

 This is not good.  Neither Volstad or Miller were impressive during their time spent down in the minors.  Oh sure, VandenHurk is not some Cy Young incarnate but at least he normally goes a pretty decent five innings and every now and then six.  And if the stars lineup just right, the bullpen can take it home from there.

 The way Volstad and Miller have been pitching lately, not that they aren't talents, they are, but this season generally the way they have been pitching requires the Hopper to keep the team in the game.  Personally, I would rather have the Hopper at the ready instead of almost guaranteeing that he has to tag-team with one of starters.  In other words, should a starter falter, then bring in the Hopper.  Not having him warmup in the third inning because you know he is going to be needed.  He can't pitch everyday.

Oh by the way, I'm still not convinced Hurk doesn't have an oblique strain.  When he showed pain he didn't grab at his back, just saying.