Miami has found ways to win without Carter Capps in the bullpen and Derek Dietrich at second base. But when the two are reinstated, the Marlins will gain a power arm and middle infield depth.
Manager Mike Redmond told reporters before Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals both Capps and Dietrich should be ready to come off the disabled list at the beginning of September.
Other #Marlins injury updates: Redmond expects Capps (elbow) to pitch for team in September, likely the same for Dietrich (wrist). #MLB— Christina De Nicola (@CDeNicola13) August 13, 2014
Capps, who was acquired from the Mariners in exchange for Logan Morrison last offseason, had elbow issues after appearing in just nine games. Before he was placed on the DL, the Marlins thought Capps' injury could require season-ending Tommy John surgery before deciding an extended break from throwing would be the best solution.
"I think that's kind of when we anticipate he will be ready to go, either right before or right around Sept. 1," Miami manager Mike Redmond said.
Capps received a scare in late May, and he was examined by noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who indicated the reliever did not need surgery.
In 12 innings pitched, Capps posted a 3.00 ERA and 2.46 FIP. He is a power arm that can pitch late in games, and gives Redmond depth at the back end of the bullpen.
Capps may find himself in a new role due to the success of Bryan Morris, who was still a Pittsbugh Pirate while the 24-year old reliever was healthy. A back end of the bullpen featuring Mike Dunn, Morris, Capps, and A.J. Ramos would significantly ease the process of holding onto a lead for closer Steve Cishek.
While the bullpen was consistent without Capps, filling a hole at second base has been a challenge for the Marlins since Rafael Furcal and Dietrich went down.
Dietrich was batting .228/.326/.386 in 49 games, and was thought to be the Marlins' long-term solution at second base despite inconsistent defense.
Miami has used Donovan Solano, Ed Lucas, and now Jordany Valdespin at second base in Dietrich's absence. Valdespin has been a valuable asset, and the Marlins may choose to send Dietrich to Triple-A to finish the season if he will not see consistent starting time.
If the Marlins are in a position to make a playoff push late in August, adding Capps and Dietrich to the roster should prove to be beneficial.