Edgar Olmos could have moped when he was told to head to the bullpen last season.
Instead, the 23-year-old left-hander — a third-round pick in the 2008 draft who struggled to an 8-32 record and 4.52 ERA in the minors as a starting pitcher — has made the most of his second chance, and on Sunday night got the big-league call-up he had been dreaming about. On Monday, he became the 40th different player to suit up for the Marlins this season — the most in baseball.
His goal now: find a spot in the clubhouse the rest of the season, and he might do that as the club’s new left-handed specialist.
“I’ve heard a lot of great things about him — not only his arm, but how tough he is on lefties. So, I’m excited to see him,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “I think from what I’ve heard, he can be that guy. But I got to see it myself.”
Olmos said he has become an entirely different pitcher since moving to the bullpen, “attacking, being more aggressive and going after hitters.” His velocity has spiked. Once a pitcher who threw between 85 and 90 mph, he’s averaging between 92 and 95 mph on his heater, occasionally hitting 96 and 97.
“Sometimes when I have good days I command it,” Olmos said of his top-end stuff. “Other days I have to tone it down because I’m a little whippy. But it’s been a blessing for me.”
Olmos, whose parents flew in from Los Angeles for Monday’s game, said he learned about his call-up watching the Marlins’ postgame TV show Sunday about an hour before his game. “Everyone jumped on me,” Olmos said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Lucas’ big day
Utility man Ed Lucas, who made his third consecutive start Monday after Placido Polanco was scratched due to illness, said teammates ran down from the clubhouse during Sunday’s four-hit game against the Mets to tell him his fiancee Holly was being interviewed on the Marlins’ television broadcast.
"She’s a superstar," Lucas said. "She’s a saleswoman; she knows how to present herself. I’m really proud of her and really happy she was able to share this whole experience."
Lucas, who spent 10 years in the minors before being called up last week, said he and his fiancee are expecting their first child in mid-October. They’ve been engaged since January. "The wedding is on hold a little bit, but we’re excited," Lucas said.
Prized prospect Christian Yelich left his Monday afternoon’s game at Jacksonville with discomfort in his lower abdominal area, according to manager Andy Barkett.
Yelich, hitting .262 with six homers and 28 RBI for the Suns, injured himself diving for a ball in center field Sunday night but didn’t mention anything about it until Monday.
“He thought it was a little dull pain, but as he was playing the game [Monday] he was feeling it a little bit more,” Barkett told the Suns’ radio network. “So as a precautionary measure we took him out to get him checked out.”
• Redmond said Giancarlo Stanton ran the bases in Single A Jupiter on Monday, a sign of progress for the injured All-Star right fielder who has been out with a grade 2 hamstring strain since April 30. Redmond said he still isn’t sure when Stanton will begin playing in rehab games.
• Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will make his third rehab start Tuesday for the Suns. Eovaldi went 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in nine innings over his first two starts with Jupiter. “We’ll see how he throws and make a decision from there,” Redmond said.
• Tuesday: Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco (3-6, 3.69 ERA) at Phillies RHP Jonathon Pettibone (3-1, 3.64), 7:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park.
• Wednesday: Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (1-0, 0.00) at Phillies LHP Cole Hamels (1-9, 4.86), 1:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park.
• Scouting report: Nolasco is 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two starts against the Phillies this year. Pettibone beat Miami on May 3, giving up five hits and one earned run in 6 1/3 innings.