Prospect Heaney has handled Triple-A hitters

Prospect Heaney has handled Triple-A hitters

WASHINGTON -- The Marlins really want to be patient with their top prospect Andrew Heaney.

But the way Heaney is throwing, he appears to be in a hurry to reach the big leagues.

On Tuesday night, the lefty made his second start for Triple-A New Orleans, and it was impressive. He struck out seven and allowed one hit in six scoreless innings against Round Rock.

The lone hit was a single by Bryan Petersen, the former Miami outfielder.

Only rain slowed Heaney down, as the game was halted after Heaney threw a couple of pitches in the bottom of the seventh inning. New Orleans won, 9-0.

Heaney is 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 11 innings in two Triple-A starts. Counting his Double-A Jacksonville numbers, the lefty is 5-2 with a 2.09 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 64 2/3 innings.

"I hear nothing but good things about him," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "About him throwing strikes and pounding the strike zone, and the way he pitches. Believe me, we all see the same things that you guys do, and we're all checking on all our Minor League guys."

The Super Two deadline is around June 4, and Heaney will not be promoted before then.

At the time Heaney was moved up to Triple-A, the thought was he'd get at least four or five starts at New Orleans. The key is to make sure the lefty, who turns 23 on June 5, is ready.

"When his day comes, when the organization decides it's time for him, then it would be great to have him and see what he can do," Redmond said.

If Heaney stays pitching every five days, he conceivably could join the Marlins around June 6 when the team is at the Chicago Cubs. If he stays at New Orleans, then the club could decide if they want him to throw at Texas on June 11 or wait a couple of days to have him debut at Marlins Park during the Pirates' series, which is June 13-15.

"He's got great stuff," Redmond said. "I think it's good competition in Triple-A to kind of see where he's at, and obviously he's handled it really well. That's a good sign. When that day comes for him, I think the most important thing for us is to make sure that when that day comes that he's ready for it."

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