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Badenhop returns to land of first opportunity

MIAMI -- Burke Badenhop is in his sixth big league season, but the veteran reliever has not forgotten where he came from.

Badenhop broke into the Majors in 2008 as a member of the Marlins. The right-hander made 13 appearances, including eight starts, while filling a variety of roles for the Marlins. This week's return to Miami, where Badenhop spent his first four Major League seasons, has caused the 30-year-old to reminisce a bit.

"This is kind of different," Badenhop said. "The team that I played for, it's almost like they died. You pull up a video, and you see the old Marlins colors and uniforms. It feels a little weird. Hopefully this place will be a great home that becomes synonymous with the Marlins."

The return allowed Badenhop to catch up with several of his old friends from his days as a Marlin.

"There are still a lot of guys on the other side that I know that I am close with," Badenhop said. "Some of the bullpen guys are the same. I am good buddies with [Ryan] Webb and [Mike] Dunn and [Steve] Cishek. Reid Cornelius is still there, too. It was good to see all of those guys."

Badenhop, who has been solid for the Brewers in 2013, is appreciative of the opportunity the Marlins gave him as a young player.

"I had maybe 40 innings at Double-A, and then they gave me a chance in the big leagues," Badenhop said. "I am very appreciative for that. At the time, you're so young and living in the moment. I was just trying to find my way back then."

Badenhop has now established himself as a reliable reliever, and the 30-year-old feels he has learned more each season.

"I have a better handle on things now, and I know what to expect, especially as a reliever," Badenhop said. "In the early days, I was switching from starting and relieving and relieving short and really long. Now I am a little bit more established and I know what I need to do to succeed."

David Villavicencio is a contributor to
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