Thursday was a busy off day for the Miami Marlins. In the morning, they acquired Luke Williams from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for AA infielder Hayden Cantrelle, but that trade proved to be the first of many changes that reshaped their roster.
The following moves were announced Thursday night:
- Richard Bleier and Joey Wendle returned from rehab and reinstated from the injured list
- Payton Henry and Joe Dunand optioned to Triple-A Jacksonville
- Erik González returned to Jacksonville
- Luke Williams added to 40-man roster and optioned to Jacksonville
- Paul Campbell transferred from 10-day IL to 60-day IL
Joe Dunand (.300 BA, .364 OBP, .700 SLG, 1.064 OPS, 1 HR, 3 H, 1 RBI) did impress in his first cup of coffee in the major leagues. However, with the return of Joey Wendle—and Jon Berti expected back soon, too—Dunand wouldn’t have a role to play.
The Payton Henry send down was one that surprised many, but it was understandable. Henry has not had an extra-base hit all season. For the moment, Willians Astudillo will handle the backup catcher responsibilities. Astudillo was hitting well in Jacksonville (.286 BA, .326 OBP, .464 SLG, .790 OPS, 4 HR, 24 H, 16 RBI) and can play virtually every position on the field when needed.
Astudillo is not a permanent solution, though. Craig Mish reports that Nick Fortes will be arriving soon (.257 BA, .342 OBP, .381 SLG, .723 OPS, 3 HR, 27 H, 13 RBI at AAA).
The returns of Joey Wendle and Richard Bleier cannot come at a better time, right before a huge 3-game set against the Atlanta Braves.
Wendle was arguably one of the best hitters on the Marlins before his hamstring injury (.304 BA, .386 OBP, .456 SLG, .824 OPS, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 24 H). He should go back to being the main Marlins third baseman and the part-time shortstop.
Bleier, on the other hand, was struggling (4.15 ERA, 8.2 IP, 6 SO, 1.500 WHIP), but he has a very long track record of being a solid bullpen option.
Erik González only got called up in the first place due to the team’s COVID-related issues, so it makes sense that he moves back to AAA now. MLB’s COVID rules allow him to bypass the DFA process remain with the Marlins organization—he was never technically on the 40-man roster. In 12 games, González played 3 different defensive positions and didn’t hit much (.194 BA, .286 OBP, .194 SLG, .479 OPS).
In a long-awaited move, Paul Campbell (right elbow strain) was transferred to the 60-day IL. He won’t be eligible to return until mid-June. That creates the 40-man opening for the newly acquired Luke Williams, who provides speed and versatility defensively...and not much else.
This is still a fluid situation as we anticipate that Fortes and Berti will join the active roster soon. Stick with Fish Stripes for the latest Marlins news and analysis.