Monday, March 2, 2015

Out of options, Hand keeping it simple

By choice, Brad Hand didn't give himself much of a honeymoon period. In fact, the Marlins' left-hander is literally going to take his honeymoon sometime in the offseason.
For now, it's all business for the 24-year-old. On Monday, two days after getting married, Hand started Miami's spring season off by throwing a scoreless first inning at Roger Dean Stadium in a 7-2 win over Florida International University.
Hand and his wife, Morgan, got married on Saturday in West Palm Beach. In a small ceremony, 26 immediate family members were invited.
"It just worked for everybody getting down here at the same time," Hand said. "We knew we didn't want to do some big wedding or anything. We wanted to do family only. Keep it simple. It worked out."
The keep-it-simple approach also worked out for Hand on Monday. Granted, he was facing college batters who used wooden bats. But Hand did his part.
In a perfect first inning, he had a strikeout and commanded his fastball. Of the nine pitches he threw, six were strikes.
"He threw strikes," manager Mike Redmond said. "These guys haven't been on the mound very much. I was happy with the way we went out and competed."
The jam Hand actually faces in camp is making the team.
Out of options, his situation is simple -- win a rotation spot. If not, Miami must make a decision. Hand could go to the bullpen, but that isn't necessarily his strength. The third possibility is a trade.
Hand's seven strong innings
The situation is pretty much the same as last year. Hand ended up making 32 total appearances, with 16 starts.
"I've got to go out there and pitch well and make them have to make a tough decision," Hand said. "All you can do is go out there and pitch well."
Last year, Hand was 3-8 with a 4.38 ERA. His career mark is 5-18 with a 4.42 ERA.
The Marlins' second-round Draft pick in 2008, Hand understands he can only control what he can control -- his performances.
"I feel like I made some good strides," he said. "Obviously, I was going back and forth from the bullpen to starting. I'm more comfortable starting, but I'm willing to do whatever they need. I think I made a lot of good strides moving into this year. Hopefully, it pays off."
If he is traded, Hand knows that is also part of the game.
"Mostly everybody's been through it," he said. "I've been with the Marlins ever since [I was drafted]. I know I'm not going to spend my whole career here. It's part of baseball."

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