The Marlins’ prospects fighting for positions finally made their spring debut Tuesday in an intrasquad game. The biggest star? A pitching machine that recorded five strikeouts.
“The machine was outstanding,” quipped Wayne Rosenthal, the team’s minor-league pitching coordinator.
“It’s filthy,” said pitcher Randy Messenger, who watched with amusement as his teammates went down swinging.
Manager Joe Girardi wanted to save pitchers for exhibition games, so bullpen coach Pierre Arsenault fed baseballs into the machine from atop the mound.
“It (threw) all breaking balls to make it challenging. I don’t just want to throw fastballs up and let them just whack them. I wanted them to work on things, to work on ground balls, cutoffs and relays,” Girardi said.
Afterwards, the Marlins announced the machine would occupy the no. 2 spot in Florida’s starting rotation behind Dontrelle Willis, along with plans to trade the machine to Boston or one of the New York teams later this summer for a modest quantity of aluminum foil.