The Miami Marlins pulled Henderson Alvarez last night early from the game with "right elbow stiffness" as a precautionary measure. After all, the Fish have already seen their rash of elbow injuries this season; Jose Fernandez suffered a serious UCL tear and Carter Capps also went down to an elbow injury more recently. Given all that, Miami should be extremely careful whenever any pitcher complains of this problem.
But according to Alvarez himself and manager Mike Redmond, this situation is not as concerning as the other two. From MLB.com:
"He said he had a little tightness in his elbow, and he said he could pitch," Redmond said. "But we took him out for precautionary reasons.
"I think he's fine. But we'll see over the next couple days. He wanted to keep pitching, but we wanted to make sure it didn't become anything serious."
Despite the tightness, Alvarez said he doesn't feel he needs an MRI. He also felt confident he will not have to miss a start. The Marlins will evaluate how he feels in the next couple of days.
"Yes, I'll be fine for the next start," Alvarez said. "Throughout the game, I told them I wasn't feeling well. It was a little tight."
It sounds like the plan for the Fish will be to let him rest for the next few days before his scheduled mid-week bullpen session, and they will re-evaluate how he feels before and after the session. If Alvarez continues to complain of an abnormal sensation, chances are the Fish will shut him down for the start and have him get the MRI done. No imaging has currently been scheduled.
The Marlins may not be too concerned, but given that Alvarez said that he was feeling this way throughout the start, I would be concerned. It could have been something as simple as not properly warming up, but Miami was right to act quickly and pull Alvarez for evaluation. Alvarez also reported that he had felt like this in the past, when he had a rough start versus the San Diego Padres, so this injury or sensation may be recurrent as well.
Both the Marlins and Fish Stripes will keep an eye on this ongoing story.