Left-hander Andrew Heaney put together the longest start of his professional career Saturday, an impressive 7 2/3-inning performance with eight strikeouts for Double-A Jacksonville.
Heaney, the Marlins' No. 1 prospect, gave up two runs on eight hits as the Suns beat the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, 4-2, and the 22-year-old improved to 4-2 with a 2.35 ERA this season. Heaney walked one batter and threw 108 pitches, 77 of them for strikes.
Ranked No. 26 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list and the top overall left-handed pitching prospect, Heaney could soon be on the move -- but not to Miami.
According to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, Heaney appears to be in line for a promotion to Triple-A New Orleans. The step up to Triple-A would provide Heaney with a greater challenge, facing Pacific Coast League players in what is generally considered a more hitter-friendly league.
But Heaney has proven up to any challenge thus far in his professional career, going 13-7 with a 2.25 ERA in 33 Minor League games across four levels since 2012.
Dietrich's work results in homer binge
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Marlins' Derek Dietrich accomplished some personal history Friday night.
The 24-year-old launched a third-inning pitch from Yusmeiro Petit into the right-field seats, giving him homers in consecutive games for the first time in his career. But the developing second baseman, who also hit a solo shot Thursday, said he hasn't been trying to hit the ball out of AT&T Park.
"Just trying to have quality at-bats," Dietrich said. "Anytime I'm hitting in front of [Giancarlo] Stanton, my main goal is try and get on base for the big man and put a good swing on it. Just nice easy swings and trying to be on time for every pitch."
After batting .214/.275/.405 with nine homers and 23 RBIs in 57 games last season, Dietrich has upped his slash line to .250/.353/.455 this season with five homers and 14 RBIs in 30 contests. He also recorded a hit in nine of his first 11 starts in the month of May, while earning some praise from skipper Mike Redmond in the process.
"I think what you're seeing is a guy who's made adjustments from last year to this year," Redmond said. "He's able to recognize offspeed pitches better, his at-bats are better. He'll still get up there and be aggressive at times, overaggressive maybe, but that's part of being a young player in the big leagues. He brings a lot to this team. He's got a chance to hit some home runs and play some solid defense."
Saltalamacchia relieved to bust hitless streak
SAN FRANCISCO -- Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia broke out of his 0-for-26 slump in a big way Friday night, belting four hits in a 7-5 Marlins victory.
So once he got to first base in the second inning, what was he thinking?
"Don't get picked off," Saltamacchia said with a smile. "That was No. 1 -- don't get picked off and stay on first as long as you can. Whether it's a broken bat or any kind of base hit, I think that's just a sigh of relief, like, 'Finally.' Especially in the stretch that I was in."
Signed to a three-year, $21 million deal this past winter after winning the World Series with the Red Sox, the veteran catcher was the centerpiece of Miami's offseason plan. Through 39 contests to start the year, Saltalamacchia was batting .264/.354/.464 with six homers and 12 RBIs.
But beyond the numbers, manager Mike Redmond said veterans like Saltalamacchia have had a huge impact on the clubhouse's culture.
"The guys that we've brought in have been on winning teams," Redmond said. "They've been around for a long time and they know what it takes to play every day. They bring stability, not only to our clubhouse but our lineup."
Now that he's had a chance to see how the Marlins operate on a daily basis, Saltalamacchia said he's not surprised the team has been able to stay competitive in the National League East despite losing 100 games last year.
"I love it. We've got a lot of young guys in here that are eager to show what they can do," Saltalamacchia said. "We've got a lot of good, young pitching and really good mixture of veteran guys who have been playing good baseball. We've got a really good team."
Redmond would like replay expanded further
SAN FRANCISCO -- Upon hearing that Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was ejected earlier Saturday during his club's contest with the Cardinals, Miami skipper Mike Redmond said Major League Baseball should consider changes to the replay procedures on fair/foul calls.
Gonzalez unsuccessfully tried to argue that Aaron Harang bunted a ball in foul territory, but the play was unreviewable under the current MLB replay guidelines. Instead, Gonzalez was thrown out of the game as Harang was ruled out on a double play.
Redmond's team has also been on the wrong end of a couple of fair/foul replay situations, including Thursday, when umpires couldn't go to video to review if Hunter Pence touched a ball with his foot while running down to first.
"I definitely think that it's one that they'll have to look at," Redmond said. "It happens a lot more frequently than people think. That's a tough one for the umpire behind home plate to see that -- almost impossible. Like anything, this is a work in progress. There'll definitely be plays that they'll look at at the end of the year, and that they'll figure out ways to maybe make the system better."
But the Marlins were on the right side of a replay Friday night, as Giancarlo Stanton was credited with a catch under the revised transfer rule, which was implemented April 25. About three weeks ago, it would not have been ruled an out, as he didn't cleanly transfer the ball from his glove to his throwing hand.
"We've benefitted twice from the old rule and once now from the new rule," Redmond said. "As long as you stay on top of the rules, you're in business."
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.