Miami placed Henderson Alvarez on the disabled list on Monday, and David Phelps will take his spot in the starting rotation. But with Phelps being placed on the paternity list early in the week, the Marlins recalled prospect Jose Urena to take Phelps' roster spot. Urena will pitch out of the bullpen but will likely be demoted when Phelps returns.
Phelps will make his first start of the season against the Mets on Friday, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Alvarez was placed on the 15-day DL, with Phelps expected to make at least a pair of starts in his absence. But when it comes time for the Marlins to activate Phelps, Urena may be the one sent back to Triple-A.
Urena has only made one start with Triple-A New Orleans to this point, striking out five and walking one in six innings to begin the season. He posted a 3.33 ERA and 3.39 FIP last season with Double-A Jacksonville, and as a result of his success, the Marlins felt it would be beneficial to have him face veteran hitters in Triple-A in 2015.
While the Marlins have been impressed with Urena's development, Manager Mike Redmond may opt to use him in particular situations. Anthony DeSclafani was promoted last season but did not make an appearance, and Urena may be reserved to pitch with large leads or emergency-type situations. Although his first stint with the Marlins may not be lengthy, Urena could return to Miami at some point this season.
The Marlins want to get as much as possible out of Phelps, and if he struggles, Miami could give Brad Hand an opportunity to make a pair of starts. Both have experience and as a result may have an edge over Urena. But if Alvarez is out for longer than expected, the Marlins may consider giving Urena an extended look in 2015.