Notes: Holloway's potential; Marlins pitch in

June 24th, 2021

MIAMI -- Marlins right-handers Cody Poteet and Zach Thompson will start during the four-game weekend series against the Nationals at loanDepot park. , meanwhile, was returned from his rehab assignment, reinstated from the injured list and optioned to Triple-A Jacksonville on Thursday.

Holloway, who had been sidelined since May 22 with a right groin strain, made four rehab starts for the Jumbo Shrimp, building up his pitch count to 87. Despite eight Major League appearances in 2021, he had been rushed to The Show in '20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and expanded rosters. Prior to his lone outing last season, Holloway had never pitched above the Class A Advanced level.

In 2021, the 25-year-old righty's fastball averaged 95.1 mph, with a max velocity of 98.4 mph. His slider, which is a new offering, quickly had become his most-used pitch. The curveball and changeup were his third and fourth options in his arsenal. All of them are works in progress. There is still room for growth.

"We were happy with what we were seeing for a guy really that got pushed to the big leagues a little bit last year," manager Don Mattingly said. "I know [pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr.] was really happy with his development, what was going on with him with his breaking stuff and being able to get the fastball over more. So I think just getting him built feels good. I was just looking at that reinstatement today, knowing that you've got a starter sitting there that's built up to be a starter.

"That's a good feeling for us, and for him, and to see his development. I think it's just continuing to get reps. But on the encouraging side, we see a guy with big stuff that has the stuff to pitch here and compete here and be really good here."

Ranked as Miami's No. 21 prospect, the organization still regards him as a starter. With a four-pitch mix and improved command, Holloway could continue down that path. Prior to the injury, though, he had contrasting splits in a small sample:

As a starter: 6 2/3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 7 BB, 3 K, 6.75 ERA (two games)
As a reliever: 11 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 11 K, 0.00 ERA (six outings)

When asked at what point a young arm might be converted into a reliever, Mattingly said it's usually when a player is close to being out of Minor League options. This is just Holloway's second option year. That is a decision the development team and front office don't take lightly.

According to Mattingly, the thought process of keeping pitchers as starters is to continue their development. In between starts they can work on their pitches during bullpen sessions. That's not possible as a reliever, when he is available on a near-daily basis.

"I think you do want to let those guys try to keep growing," Mattingly said. "You see an arm like Jordan's who's upper 90s, with two good breaking balls and a developing changeup, the biggest issue has been walks and getting the ball in the strike zone. You see guys like that all the time, that they start to figure it out, keep getting in the work, keep getting the reps. Next thing you know, that's starting to look like a guy that you can count on every fifth day."

Pitching in
Champlain Towers South Condo, a 12-story oceanfront building in Surfside, Fla., sustained a partial collapse overnight Thursday. Search and rescue teams were looking through the two-story-high remains for signs of life throughout the day.

The Marlins sent three vans filled with meals and water to the workers, and kits of essential items and toiletries to the residents who have been displaced and the families who have been impacted. The building is located about 13 miles from loanDepot park. A moment of silence also was held before Thursday's game.

"I just wanted to say a quick little recognition of what's going on at Surfside," Mattingly said. "Didn't seem to be able to get that off the news this morning. Just that tragedy and seeing that, thinking about all the folks in there. I saw it when I left home -- at least one tragic death. I'm hoping it's minimal over there, but that was an ugly-looking scene over there."