Below looking to make his mark with Marlins

Below looking to make his mark with Marlins

MIAMI -- The Tigers designated Duane Below for assignment on April 24 to create a roster spot for closer Jose Valverde. One day later, the Marlins claimed the left-hander.

"It just happened so fast that it really doesn't give you an opportunity to think too much about it," Below said.

Now Below is on the other side, recalled late Friday from Triple-A New Orleans after Miami designated right-hander Jon Rauch for assignment.

Back in the Majors for the first time since last August, Below is determined to stay.

"That's your main goal in the Minor Leagues," Below said. "You're trying to help your team win, but your main goal is to try to get to the big leagues and help the team win here."

During his most recent stint with the Zephyrs, Below admitted he aimed to please too hard and too soon. He wanted to prove that the Marlins had made a good decision by acquiring him.

"I started pressing a little bit, trying to do too much," Below said. "I finally started getting comfortable and started calming down again and getting a feel."

Once he became comfortable with his new team, Below worked on his game to great effect. In eight starts this season at the Triple-A level, Below boasts a 2.68 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP and a .246 opponents' batting average.

"I went down and continued to work on my pitches, tried to stay consistent and be able to work off my fastball," Below said. "[My fastball] helped me have success. And then being able to use my offspeed pitches and throw those for strikes is a big reason why I've been able to have success in the Minor Leagues."

Helping the Marlins win involves a bullpen role for Below, who has made 124 starts in the Minors since Detroit drafted him in the 19th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft. Manager Mike Redmond praised Below's "flexibility," saying the 27-year-old lefty could pitch both long relief and in situational at-bats against left-handed hitters.

"The biggest thing for me is trying to get on a routine, trying to stick with it … and figure out what works best for me in the bullpen situation," Below said. "Just go out and try to throw strikes, attack the zone and get outs."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter