Throughout the 2019 season, Fish Stripes will pass along updates on injured Marlins players and top prospects as they attempt to get back on the field. Here is what we’ve learned in recent days...
- Brian Anderson, the Marlins’ best and most important player, drove in the first run of Friday night’s huge comeback win...but it came at a steep price. Vince Velasquez plunked Anderson in the left hand with a 94 mile-per-hour fastball. He remained in to run the bases, but was removed from the game shortly after that. X-rays revealed a fractured fifth metacarpal, which in all likelihood ends his sophomore season. BA had been leading the team in 2019 in runs, extra-base hits, walks, Wins Above Replacement and numerous other categories.
- Miguel Rojas, the Marlins’ second-best and second-most important player, began a minor league rehab assignment with High-A Jupiter on Friday. He played five innings at shortstop and batted three times (0-for-3) on his way back from a right hamstring strain. Although Jon Berti has done a very effective job in his role over the last several weeks, expect Rojas to be the club’s semi-regular shortstop in September.
- Sidelined since Aug. 5 with a left hip flexor strain, outfielder César Puello played with Rojas in Jupiter, too. Puello has struggled with the bat as a Marlin (.179/.281/.238, 1 HR in 97 PA), but serves as a viable center field alternative to Lewis Brinson; Brinson has had to start every game since his call-up because of the current roster construction.
- Elieser Hernandez (right middle finger blister) is cleared to make his scheduled start on Sunday vs. the Phillies. Hernandez only worked four innings on Tuesday due to the injury. He also missed time in 2018 with blister and fingernail issues.
- José Ureña (herniated disc) has made three total rehab appearances with Jupiter and Double-A Jacksonville, most recently working 1 2⁄3 scoreless innings on Thursday. Manager Don Mattingly confirms that the Marlins view Ureña as a reliever for the remainder of the season, perhaps even the closer in this discombobulated bullpen.
Mattingly says José Ureña is a closer candidate once he comes back from the IL pic.twitter.com/nmO2Ig6IoX— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) August 23, 2019
He could be activated after one more appearance.
- Pablo López looked like his old self in Wednesday’s tune-up with Triple-A New Orleans. However, the Marlins wanted to see how he responds from a Friday bullpen session before determining whether he is fully ready to rejoin the major league rotation. A right shoulder strain has kept the promising right-hander away for nearly half the season.
- Expect the Fish to wait until September roster expansion before bringing up Chad Wallach (concussion) and JT Riddle (right forearm strain). Both are currently getting rehab game reps in New Orleans. Riddle, it’s worth noting, has played multiple infield positions lately; his only defensive assignments in MLB games have been shortstop and center field.
- Prized outfield prospect Jesús Sánchez is being slowed by a hamstring issue, which forced him out of Friday’s Triple-A contest. In 17 games since arriving from the Rays in a deadline trade, Sánchez is slashing .246/.338/.446 with four home runs.
- Nearly one month removed from his latest Jacksonville outing, Edward Cabrera hasn’t even made a rehab appearance. It’s looking doubtful that he’ll make any more starts for the club this season. The infection was not initially believed to be serious.
- José Devers (forearm strain) has been the designated hitter for the Gulf Coast League Marlins in eight games over the past two weeks. On Saturday morning, Devers showed himself on his Instagram Story at Universal Studios in Orlando, so it does not appear that his return to the Jupiter Hammerheads lineup is imminent.
The 19-year-old shortstop is being speculated about as a candidate for the Arizona Fall League as a means of making up for missed time.