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Miami Marlins' Henderson Alvarez might need surgery

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Miami's number two starter experienced a setback.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami's ace heading into the season might not return to the rotation soon. Henderson Alvarez started his rehab assignment and was hoping to be back within the next few weeks, but according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, he experienced a setback and could need surgery.

Before going down, Alvarez posted a 6.45 ERA and 3.78 FIP over 22.1 innings pitched. He did not have a notable amount of early success before being placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury but was named Miami's opening day starter with Jose Fernandez still recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Marlins were hoping he would be able to match the success he had last season, when he posted a 2.65 ERA and 3.58 FIP over 187.0 innings.

Even with Fernandez healthy, Alvarez's delayed return might encourage the Marlins to hold on to some of their pitching depth as the trade deadline approaches. Mat Latos and Dan Haren are drawing interest, however Miami might keep Haren now that Alvarez is out again. The Marlins have minor league depth, with Justin Nicolino and Adam Conley both making starts at the major league level this season. But the club could alter its strategy with Alvarez sidelined.

Alvarez tossed 11.1 innings with Class-A Jupiter, posting a 1.59 ERA and 2.30 FIP while hoping to quickly rejoin Miami's rotation.