Marlins Await Return Of Triple-Digit Caminero





FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. The radar reading was "01". The display didn't accommodate three digits, but righthander Arquimedes Caminero knew what it meant.

While pitching for low Class A Greensboro in 2010, Caminero got a called strike three on a 101 mph fastball. That was a highlight during a campaign that saw him go 5-2, 3.01 with 34 walks and 97 strikeouts in 75 innings. Had he thrown enough innings to qualify among the league leaders, Caminero's 1.13 WHIP would have tied for fourth in the South Atlantic League.

"My agent was there and he asked me, 'Did you see that?' " Caminero said of touching 101. "It didn't even feel like I threw it that hard."

Caminero estimates he touched 100 mph on four occasions. His exploding fastball sat at 96-98. Invited to big league camp after the Marlins added him to the 40-man roster last offseason, Caminero didn't get a chance to showcase the pitch this spring. He developed an elbow strain that cost him the first month of the minor league season.

Scheduled to open with high Class A Jupiter, Caminero had just started throwing again at the beginning of May. Last year's performance, coupled with the fact that he turns 24 in May, means the Marlins would like to get Caminero on the fast track. After signing out of the Dominican Republic in 2005, he spent three seasons in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League.

In 2010, Caminero saw Grasshoppers teammate Sandy Rosario move quickly and make his major league debut. He figured a similar ascent was realistic for him.

Caminero's splitter, which he added toward the end of 2009, was a nice weapon against lefthanded hitters. Development of his third pitch has been slow going. Caminero estimated he threw his slider one out of every 10 pitches last season.

FISH BITES

• Triple-A New Orleans righthander Jose Ceda, 24, finished April with a Pacific Coast League-best six saves and was tied for first with 10 games finished. He converted his first May save opportunity and lowered his ERA to 0.69 with five walks and 15 strikeouts through his first 13 innings.

• After three appearances for Double-A Jacksonville, righthander Garrett Parcell was placed on the seven-day disabled list for a trap strain.