Plenty of Marlins fans are anxious to see advanced pitching prospects like Sandy Alcántara and Pablo López break through to the major leagues. Of course, you’d like for them to earn those opportunities, rather than receive them due to veteran injuries.
Right-hander José Ureña took the loss on Wednesday afternoon when the Giants spoiled his shutout with a five-run rally in the sixth inning. It could’ve simply been a case of struggling the third time through an opposing lineup, or as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald was first to report, something more serious:
Jose Urena said he felt something with his arm early in his 39-pitch sixth inning. His velocity stayed up, though. Marlins are monitoring and will see how he feels over next couple of days.— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) June 21, 2018
This season, Ureña leads the Fish with 94 innings pitched, doing so at approximately league-average quality (4.40 ERA, 3.66 FIP, 1.19 WHIP). As Spencer alluded to, he actually threw his hardest pitch of the game (97.7 mph) and three of the eight hardest during that exhausting final frame.
It’s impossible to reach any conclusions based on that observation alone. Although pitchers who suffer mid-game structural damage to their elbows often see a drop in velocity, others will alter their mechanics to compensate for the issue.
On that note, Ureña delivered from his lowest release point of the season during Wednesday’s start. Worth emphasizing again, we don’t know whether that adjustment was intentional.
The club could place Ureña on the 10-day disabled list as a precaution and have him miss only one turn in the rotation, thanks to Thursday’s off day. His only previous stint on the major league DL was in 2015 (knee contusion).
For those curious about Alcántara and López, they last pitched on Saturday and Tuesday, respectively. Both already have spots on the Marlins 40-man roster.