Badenhop settling into role
Written by By JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor   
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 11:33
MIAMI - After a disappointing end to his first stint in the majors last season, Burke Badenhop is currently settling into his role as a long reliever for the Florida Marlins.
Badenhop, who graduated from Perrysburg High School and Bowling Green State University, started this season in Class AAA New Orleans before being called up to the Marlins in late April.
He has appeared in 17 games for Florida, 16 in relief, and has a 3.60 earned-run average in 40 innings while compiling a 5-2 record. Badenhop has allowed 41 hits and 14 walks while striking out 27.
On Tuesday, Badenhop picked up the win for Florida, pitching the 11th and 12th innings, allowing no runs on two hits with a strikeout and a walk in the Marlins' 7-6 victory over Baltimore.
Badenhop has had several strong outings this season, including five scoreless innings against Milwaukee earlier this season during which he threw 67 pitches and got eight ground ball and five fly ball outs.
The appearance in Milwaukee followed his only start of the season, a five-inning effort against Philadelphia where he allowed one earned run with five hits, a walk and three strikeouts.
He earned wins in both of those appearances.
"I really feel like I'm contributing to our team a lot more than I did last year," Badenhop said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon on a Marlins' off day. "Last year, there weren't too many positive things where I was helping the team win and this year, three- or four-fold, I've really helped us win more ball games.
"There are some outings that have been not so good, but other ones that I've done fairly well in," he added.
Last season, Badenhop made 13 appearances for Florida, including eight starts, before being sidelined with a problem in his throwing shoulder that took several months to correctly diagnose.
"It kind of gave us a little bit of trouble in trying to figure out what was going on," Badenhop said.
The problem was determined to be scapular dyskinesis, which is a shoulder instability problem.
"Basically, my muscles that were supposed to be doing the work while I was throwing kind of shut off and all these other muscles started doing the work and created the problems," Badenhop said.
He did not need surgery and after rehabilitation he was able to go to spring training in February.
"I was felling pretty good, but you never really know how you were going to respond to an increased workload," Badenhop said. "I was good enough to go in there and compete to a certain extent, but there was still a little bit of work to be done."
Badenhop said he pitched pretty well and "I thought I had a real good run at getting a bullpen spot," in spring training.
Instead, he went to New Orleans to start the season, but looked at that as a positive because he was able to continue to rebuild his shoulder.
Now, he's back in the majors working in long relief after spending the majority of his career as a starter.
"That's been the biggest adjustment, both mentally and physically," Badenhop said. "You can never really mentally shut it down because you never know what's going to happen. Physically, it's taking care of your running. I don't throw nearly as much (on a daily basis) ... and it's getting kind of hot down here, so you have to conserve some energy for when you might be in there.
"Fredi (Gonzalez, the Marlins' manager) has done a real good job of picking his spots with me and using all the guys in the bullpen. And when you take that ball, whether it's been seven days or 10 days, you have to do your job."
The Marlins are currently hosting Baltimore in a three-game series and Badenhop hopes to connect with former BGSU teammate Nolan Reimold, who is in his first season with the Orioles. Both Badenhop and Reimold were drafted in 2005, Reimold in the second round by Baltimore and Badenhop in the 19th round by Detroit.
"I've texted him a few times, but he's hit the big time, I don't make Sports Center's top 10s or anything," Badenhop said jokingly.
When asked how he would pitch Reimold, who has hit eight home runs since being called up, Badenhop said: "I'm not going to worry about how I'm going to pitch him, I'm just going to get him out.
"I'm a little bit of a different pitcher than the last time I faced him and I'm sure he's a little bit different hitter than the last time he faced me."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 June 2009 11:32

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