MIAMI -- The Marlins' fifth spot in the rotation is up for grabs to any pitcher willing to show manager Don Mattingly they deserve it. On Friday, left-hander Justin Nicolino was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans for the second time this year.Miami recalled catcher Tomas Telis from the club's top
MIAMI -- The Marlins' fifth spot in the rotation is up for grabs to any pitcher willing to show manager Don Mattingly they deserve it. On Friday, left-hander Justin Nicolino was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans for the second time this year.
Miami recalled catcher Tomas Telis from the club's top affiliate to take Nicolino's spot. Additionally, left-hander Eric Jokisch, who was designated for assignment on Wednesday, was outrighted to Double-A Jacksonville. The Marlins proceeded to trade him to the Rangers for infielder Pedro Ciriaco in a Minor League deal.
Nicolino, who will get work in Triple-A during the All-Star break, went 0-1 and surrendered eight earned runs on 11 hits over nine innings in two starts since being recalled from New Orleans on July 1. With two games until the break, Mattingly said he hasn't decided if Nicolino will be back with the club.
"We're looking for the best alternative," Mattingly said. "We're not committed to Nico getting the next start. We don't have to make that decision right now. This is not about anything other than trying to find the best combination of guys to win games."
Nicolino posted a 2-4 record with a 5.17 ERA in his first 10 starts this season with Miami before being optioned to Triple-A on June 19. Right-hander Paul Clemens was given a shot to hold down the back end of the rotation but allowed seven runs in two starts before he was claimed off waivers by San Diego on June 28.
Telis provides the Marlins with another bat off the bench in the wake of Justin Bour's disabled list stint. An off-day on Thursday provided rest to the bullpen, so Mattingly decided to add a hitter.
In Friday's 3-1 victory over the Reds, Telis grounded out to the pitcher in a pinch-hit at-bat.
"Feel like we're probably not gonna need a bullpen arm," Mattingly said. "If we would because of a crazy game, we can always switch it. But we can use a guy like [Telis] possibly as a pinch-hitter probably more often than an extra pitcher."
In 56 games at New Orleans, Telis was hitting .311 with eight doubles, two triples, three home runs and 27 RBIs. Mattingly said Telis' switch-hitting abilities will also help off the bench.
"He's swung the bat good," Mattingly said. "He's having a nice little year offensively in Triple-A. He gives us an extra pinch-hitter."
Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami.