Brian Flynn Matures Into Pitcher With Marlins





FORT LAUDERDALE—Lefthander Brian Flynn earned a promotion from the Tigers' high Class A Lakeland affiliate to Double-A Erie last season.

He didn't see much of the Eastern League.

Two days and one start after joining his new team, Flynn learned via Twitter that he (and two others) had been traded to the Marlins for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante.

"I was pretty shocked," Flynn said. "The Tigers have always been that team to go out and get a player midseason for the stretch run. We figured people would be getting traded, especially with (Nick) Castellanos and (Jacob) Turner being guys they could move for a piece.

"I'd only been with (the Tigers) for a year, so I figured it would be someone people had a chance to look at for a while. I was definitely excited about (the trade)."

Turner turned out to be the centerpiece of the deal, but the Marlins also have high hopes for Flynn and catcher Rob Brantly. While Brantly logged his first 100 major league at-bats, Flynn reported to Double-A Jacksonville and did nothing to dim his new organization's optimism.

In eight starts for the Suns, Flynn went 3-0, 3.80 with 13 walks and 32 strikeouts in 45 innings. He followed that by logging 18 strikeouts in 22 innings in the Arizona Fall League.

"(The Marlins) tweaked a few things with me mechanically and they paid off immediately," said Flynn, who stands an imposing 6-foot-8, 240 pounds. "I was always just kind of a thrower, and nobody had really messed with my mechanics too much."

Flynn, 22, credits minor league pitching coordinator Wayne Rosenthal and Triple-A New Orleans pitching coach Charlie Corbell, with whom he worked in the AFL, for getting him to use his lower body and lengthen his stride.

"I was driving further down the mound, just working on finishing my follow through and keeping everything moving toward the plate.

"The adjustments clicked really fast. I feel like I got a lot better (in the AFL), and (Corbell) said I improved the most on the team from the time I showed up to when I left."

FISH BITES

• Former Marlins outfield prospect Jai Miller, 27, quit baseball to join the Alabama football team as a walk-on. The native of Selma, Ala., turned down a Stanford football scholarship to sign with the Marlins as a fourth-round pick in 2003. He spent last season in the Orioles organization.

• Speedy outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, acquired from the Pirates in the Gaby Sanchez trade, hit .367/.436/.469 in 226 at-bats for Caribes, leading the Venezuelan League in hitting, steals (15), hits (83) and runs scored (48).