PITTSBURGH -- Playing in Pittsburgh is special for Marlins infielder Derek Dietrich.As a child, Dietrich frequently made trips here during the days his grandfather, Steve Demeter, was a coach for the Pirates."With my grandfather, being in this organization a long, long time, it was an organization I remembered," Dietrich said.
PITTSBURGH -- Playing in Pittsburgh is special for Marlins infielder Derek Dietrich.
As a child, Dietrich frequently made trips here during the days his grandfather, Steve Demeter, was a coach for the Pirates.
"With my grandfather, being in this organization a long, long time, it was an organization I remembered," Dietrich said. "I came to Pittsburgh and watched games at old Three Rivers Stadium."
Dietrich grew up near Cleveland, Ohio, and he recalls his visits to be with his grandfather. Demeter, who passed away in 2013, was on the coaching staff of former Pirates manager Jim Leyland, who, of course, managed the 1997 Florida Marlins to a World Series title.
Leyland actually was at PNC Park on Thursday, and he stopped by the Marlins' clubhouse. Dietrich caught up with Leyland, who noted that he keeps up with the grandson of one of his former coaches.
Along with being a former big league coach, Demeter was also once a scout. In those days, a young Dietrich would occasionally hold the radar gun to track pitches behind home plate.
• Manager Don Mattingly said third baseman Martin Prado (right hamstring strain) and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (left oblique strain) continue to track toward going on a rehab assignment. The injured infielders will both be evaluated on Tuesday, when the Marlins are home to face the A's. Best-case scenario is for both to be ready for a rehab assignment starting next weekend. Mattingly said they could each play about seven or eight games before being reinstated.
• Edinson Volquez has been one of the hottest pitchers in the game. Of course, he no-hit the D-backs last Saturday, and he has a 0.41 ERA in his last three starts. On Thursday, he threw seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits, with eight strikeouts.
The way he has been throwing is more like what the Marlins expected when they signed Volquez to a two-year, $22 million contract in December.
"That's one of the things we talked about in the winter, his stuff didn't back up," Mattingly said. "When you're able to go in and measure velocities and everything else, swing rates and that kind of stuff, his stuff wasn't backing up. We knew, if we'd get him right, his stuff would have a chance to be effective."
Per Statcast™, Volquez has dramatically improved his control in his last three starts, compared to his first nine. His percentage of balls on pitches thrown is 31.08 percent since May 28. In his first nine starts, his rate of throwing balls was 37.93 percent.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.