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Miami Marlins' prospect Andrew Heaney could be in line for promotion

Miami Marlins prospect Andrew Heaney could be headed for Triple-A after posting solid numbers in Jacksonville. Heaney may make his major league debut at some point this season.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

For the Miami Marlins, the question doesn't appear if to promote top pitching prospect Andrew Heaney, but rather when the ideal time would be. Heaney has worked his way through Miami's minor league system, and after solid numbers in Double-A Jacksonville may be promoted to Triple-A New Orleans in the coming days.

Miami's top minor league prospect and 23-year old left-handed pitcher, Heaney turned in a solid outing on Saturday night in Double-A.

Heaney on Saturday night was impressive for Double-A Jacksonville in a win against Pensacola. In 7 2/3 innings, the lefty struck out eight, allowed two runs on eight hits and walked one. His pitch count was up to 108 when he was lifted with two outs in the eighth.

All indications are Heaney made his ninth and final start for Jacksonville.

With Jose Fernandez going down for an estimated year and a half after Tommy John surgery, speculation emerged as to whether Heaney would be called upon to take his rotation spot. But the Marlins refuse to rush the best lefty pitching prospect in the game.

While they have boasted one of the youngest and most efficient pitching staffs in baseball, Miami's rotation in the years past has lacked balance. With Heaney and Justin Nicolino not far behind, the Marlins' rotation moving forward shoudl feature a balance of left and right-handed starters.

With a 4-2 record and 2.35 ERA, Heaney is showing he’s accomplished Double-A, and is ready for a higher experienced level of hitters.

It’s a matter of time before Heaney gets his first big league opportunity. But first, the organization appears ready to see how the lefty, who turns 23 on June 5, does against hitters in the Pacific Coast League.

Although Jacob Turner recovered from early inning troubles in his last start against the San Francisco Giants and is out of options, some believe that if he continues to struggle consistently, Heaney may replace him come June. Anthony Desclafani won his major league debut and is confident that he can manage a rotation spot moving forward.

Heaney has pitched well enough to earn a promotion, and it is only a matter of time until he makes his major league debut. Often times, prospects are called up directly from Double-A because of the talent at that level. A stint in New Orleans, though, would allow Heaney to face players with major league experience.