With a fastball that reaches triple digits, right-hander could be future closer
MIAMI -- With a fastball that's reached 100 mph, Arquimedes Caminero is a prospect who may profile someday to be a closer. Time will tell.
But for the 26-year-old, the time is now for his first big league callup. The Marlins on Friday recalled Caminero, who is ranked as the team's No. 20 prospect by MLB.com, from Double-A Jacksonville two days after reliever Steven Ames was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.
A Dominican Republic native, Caminero is one of the hardest throwers in Miami's system. At 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, he is an intimidating presence.
"It's a pretty exciting thing," Caminero said. "I wasn't really thinking about getting called up. I was trying to do something good in Jacksonville."
At Jacksonville, Caminero was 5-2 with a 3.61 ERA in 42 appearances. He had 68 strikeouts in 52 1/3 innings. While he throws hard, Caminero hasn't always consistently thrown strikes. For the Suns, he walked 21.
Caminero's fastball has topped 100 mph in the past. At Jacksonville, he was pitching between 96-99 mph. He also throws a slider and split-finger fastball.
"This is a guy who has the ability to go in there and pick up some strikeouts," manager Mike Redmond said.
Caminero has finally reached his big league dream, two years after he was sidelined due to Tommy John ligament repair surgery.
"You just have to keep fighting," he said.
The Marlins have been looking for candidates to work in the sixth and seventh innings. Ryan Webb, A.J. Ramos and lefty Dan Jennings are candidates. Caminero now likely will join them as he breaks into the big leagues.
If he progresses as expected, Caminero could work his way into an eighth-inning setup role, which currently is being anchored by Chad Qualls and lefty Mike Dunn. Steve Cishek has established himself as the closer.
In terms of pure stuff, Caminero may eventually emerge as a closer. The organization's philosophy on closers is they earn the job on performance, not projection.
Ames, 25, was acquired by the Marlins from the Dodgers as part of the Ricky Nolasco trade in early July. The right-hander made four appearances for Miami, going 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA (two earned runs in four innings). He struck out four and walked two.
In the Minors this year, Ames is a combined 2-2 with a 3.05 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 41 1/3 innings. He is a candidate to rejoin the Marlins in September when rosters expand.