The Miami Marlins are not messing around.
Miami thought Andrew Heaney was ready, but the organization's top pitching prospect may need a bit more time to develop.
Following the Marlins' 6-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday afternoon, Miami optioned Heaney to Triple-A New Orleans, where he will work on improving his control.
#Marlins option heaney and marisnick to NOLA— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) July 5, 2014
Heaney struggled in his first four major league starts, posting a 5.29 ERA and 4.70 FIP in 17 innings pitched. The lefty also had difficulty keeping the ball down in the strike zone and in the ballpark, and gave up another pair of home runs to Allen Craig and Jhonny Peralta on Saturday.
Following a 3-0 start and 2.74 ERA at Triple-A, the Marlins felt Heaney was prepared to join the major league rotation. The organization has handled the situation well by setting a pitch limit, and continued to do so by demoting Heaney before he lost his confidence.
Heaney's best start was his major league debut, during which he went six innings and allowed just a run to the Mets. That run, though, was a solo home run off the bat of David Wright.
The Marlins weren't in a rush to get Heaney to the major league level, although he was expected to contribute as the team hoped to remain competitive within the division.
Miami doesn't have a shortage of arms, with Brad Penny starting in the minor league system and Brian Flynn, Anthony DeSclafani, and Jacob Turner all having experience starting games. An off day on Thursday will allow the Marlins to head into the All-Star break with a four man rotation.
Henderson Alvarez will start on Sunday against the Cardinals. For the series at Arizona, the Marlins will go with Koehler (Monday), Brad Hand (Tuesday) and Nathan Eovaldi (Wednesday).
After Thursday's off-day, the final series before the break will begin at Citi Field against the Mets on Friday. Miami is planning on going with Alvarez (Friday), Koehler (Saturday) and Hand (Sunday).
Miami also optioned outfielder Jake Marisnick to Triple-A, and in the corresponding roster moves activated Adeiny Hechavarria from the disabled list and Tom Koehler from the paternity list.
Marisnick also optioned to NOLA. Hechavarria coming of DL and expected to start Sunday in St. Louis. #Marlins.— Tom D'Angelo (@tomdangelo44) July 5, 2014