SAN DIEGO -- Had it not been for veteran catcher Miguel Olivo’s persistence, Marlins right-hander Alex Sanabia said he probably would have tried to keep pitching through the tightness he experienced in his right groin Tuesday, potentially worsening the Marlins’ already dire injury situation.
“Olivo was pretty cautious about it,” said Sanabia, who lasted just 4 1/3 innings in Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to the Padres. “If it was me I would have probably kept going.”
Making his first big-league start in front of more than 30 family members and friends a mere 15-minute drive north from his old neighborhood in Chula Vista, Calif., Sanabia was hoping for a much better night. But the 24-year-old right-hander gave up four quick runs on nine hits and dropped his fourth consecutive start.
Sanabia said he has had a groin injury twice before in his career and has tried to fight through them. He said he doesn’t expect to miss his next scheduled start, which would be Wednesday at home against the Reds.
But with the team having a day off Thursday and another Monday, manager Mike Redmond said the team is considering going with a four-man rotation and skipping Sanabia’s next start to give him some time off to rest.
“It was smart that he came out when he did and probably prevented a long-term thing,” Redmond said. “As much as we can overcome the position player injuries, the pitching would probably be even more devastating.”
• Redmond said trainers told him utility man Chris Valaika’s fractured left wrist, which he injured trying to make a catch in the eighth inning Tuesday on an attempted steal by Yonder Alonso, will keep him out at least four to six weeks.
“I don’t know if that’s just straight heal time and then build him back up or four to six weeks until he’s back playing,” Redmond said.
Valaika, who said he probably won’t need surgery, was wearing a splint on his left forearm Wednesday. He said the Marlins are letting him stay on the West Coast trip. He was looking forward to playing in Los Angeles this week. He’s from the area and had family and friends ready to see him in his first trip home in a major-league uniform.
“I was out there on the field [Tuesday] night and he came off the field and he goes, ‘Sorry, Red.’ I was like, ‘Sorry, man? You’re out there playing your [butt] off trying to make a play.’ It’s just unfortunate,” Redmond said.
“You feel bad for these guys because this is an opportunity he’s been waiting for forever, and some fluke play happens like that and cuts it short. I was very happy with his effort and what he was doing out there. Hopefully he gets back and healthy and we get him going again.”
• Lost in Tuesday’s loss and rash of injuries was a five-hit performance by the franchise’s No. 2 prospect, Christian Yelich, who doubled twice and homered in a 13-inning loss for Double A Jacksonville.
Yelich went 2 for 4 with a double and a two-run homer in a 3-1 win Wednesday against Pensacola, raising his season average to .343. Since going 0 for 4 in his Double A debut April 20, Yelich has gone 23 for 63 in 14 games with three homers and 15 RBI.
“Yelly, he’s turning it up, he definitely is,” said second baseman Derek Dietrich, who was with Yelich in Jacksonville before being called up Wednesday. “He’s a great hitter, one of the purest hitters I’ve ever seen, and I’m sure it won’t be long before we’re seeing him in this uniform too.”
• Thursday: Off.
• Friday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (1-2, 3.48) at Dodgers RHP Matt Magill (0-0, 7.88), 10:10 p.m. FSN.
• Scouting report: The Marlins went 2-4 against the Dodgers last season including 1-2 on the road. Magill is making just his third career start.