Having been sidelined with fatigue earlier this week, Reds closer Ardolis Chapman said he hopes to be ready to return to the mound soon.
When asked if he will return next week, Chapman gave a one-word answer in English.
“Maybe,” he said
With the Reds having nearly clinched a playoff spot, Chapman said he realizes that his shoulder’s fatigue has come at an inopportune moment.
“I don’t feel good,” the Cuban left-hander said through a translator. “I wish this happened earlier in the year. This is the time of the season when we are in the final stretch. We would like to be better.”
Reds manager Dusty Baker said that his pitcher’s recovery is on schedule, with Chapman having returned to throwing on Friday with pitching coach Bryan Price.
“We’re going to give him five to seven days. This is day No. 4. It helps that we have a couple of off days in there, so it’s not like he’s missing seven games. … If he feels fine, everything’s fine.”
Chapman has not pitched since Sept. 10, a game in which his fastball averaged 94.4 mph, down from his usual range of 98-101 mph. He has earned 35 saves this year and has a 1.60 ERA.
After Donnie Murphy sustained a concussion during Wednesday’s game, manager Ozzie Guillen said that he believes the third baseman’s season is over.
“In my opinion he could be out for the season,” Guillen said. “I don’t expect him to be back.”
With Murphy injured, infielder Gil Velazquez has been called up to join the team for the second time this season.
Velazquez, whose minor-league season ended two weeks ago, admitted that the news came as a surprise and that he had spent the past two weeks with his body in “shutdown mode.”
Velazquez went 1-for-8 in three appearances with the Marlins in August.
Stars in minors
While the Marlins are one loss away from securing their third consecutive sub-.500 season, there was a bit of bright news for the organization on Friday when Baseball America unveiled its 2012 minor-league all-star team.
Right-hander Jose Fernandez (first team) and outfielder Christian Yelich (second team) made the list.
Fernandez, the 14th overall pick in the 2011 draft, went 14-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 25 starts split between the Marlins’ two Single A affiliates, Greensboro (N.C.) and Jupiter. As Baseball America noted, Fernandez led all minor-league pitchers with a 0.93 WHIP, striking out 158 against 35 walks in 134 total innings.
Yelich, the 23rd overall pick in the 2010 draft, hit .330 with 12 homers and 20 stolen bases in 106 games for Jupiter this season.
Alas, Fernandez and Yelich were unable to lead the Hammerheads to a Florida State League title when Lakeland won the deciding fifth game of the series on Wednesday. Greensboro trails Asheville (N.C.) in its best-of-5 series for the South Atlantic League title, two games to one.
• Saturday: Marlins LHP Mark Buehrle (12-12, 3.74 ERA) vs. Cincinnati Reds RHP Johnny Cueto (17-8, 2.71), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Sunday: Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco (12-12, 4.40) vs. Reds RHP Mat Latos (12-4, 3.72), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Scouting report: Cueto had a 2.28 ERA at the All-Star Break. Since then, though, he has not been as stellar. He has given up four runs in each of his past two starts and now has a 2.71 ERA.