ATLANTA -- With speculation as to whether Ricky Nolasco would still be with the team coming into Wednesday’s game, Henderson Alvarez said earlier this week he wasn’t sure if he would have to make his Marlins debut a little sooner.
Alvarez is glad the time will arrive — weather permitting — in Thursday’s finale against the Braves.
“You’re always pitching for something at this level,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “He’s come over in this trade, and there are a lot of uncertainties. We don’t know how he’s going to do. But that’s our job to evaluate him and see what we’ve got.’’
The Marlins hope Alvarez can continue to bolster their young starting rotation.
Alvarez spent the first half of the season on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. He completed his rehab assignment June 28 with a strong start at Double A Jacksonville in which he pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings. In two starts there, Alvarez pitched 14 1/3 scoreless innings, gave up only five hits and no walks and struck out 13 batters, and hit a home run. Combined with two other rehab starts at Single A Jupiter, Alvarez went 2-0 with a 1.11 ERA.
“I feel really good and my arm felt great in the minors,” Alvarez said. “I was really focused in Jacksonville in putting together strong starts.
“My goal was to keep the ball down and get guys to swing and miss. My percentage of keeping my pitches low was great.”
The 23-year-old Venezuelan right-hander, who made one relief appearance for his home country in the World Baseball Classic in March, went 9-14 with a 4.85 ERA in 31 starts last season for the Blue Jays. He was part of the major trade the Marlins made with Toronto in November.
Logan Morrison was not listed in Wednesday’s starting lineup a day after a rough collision with Braves starter Kris Medlen in the third inning.
Morrison was turned around in mid-air as he collided with Medlen while reaching for a throw from Placido Polanco that was wide a couple of feet down the first-base line. Morrison landed hard on his right hip and elbow but remained in the game after being attended to for a few minutes by the Marlins training staff.
The Marlins have gone 13-8 since June 9 when Morrison came off the disabled list.
“[Morrison] landed pretty hard on his back, and his back has been bothering him the past week to 10 days,” Redmond said. “We thought to get him out of there and give him a day [off], especially against a lefty, and hopefully he’ll be feeling better [Thursday].”
The Marlins reinstated catcher Miguel Olivo from the restricted list and designated him for assignment. The Marlins have 10 days to either work out a trade for Olivo or release him outright.
Olivo, 34, was placed on the restricted list June 15 a day after he left the team after the first inning of a game against St. Louis.
Olivo was unhappy about his lack of playing time with the Marlins using Jeff Mathis more often following his return from the disabled list. Olivo was hitting .203 with four home runs before his departure.
• Thursday: Marlins RHP Alvarez (2013 debut) vs. Atlanta Braves RHP Julio Teheran (6-4, 3.12 ERA), 7:10 p.m., Turner Field.
• Friday: Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (2-0, 1.76) vs. St. Louis Cardinals RHP Jake Westbrook (4-3, 2.95), 8:15 p.m., Busch Stadium.
• Scouting report: Alvarez is expected to make his Marlins debut and first pitching appearance against the Braves. The Marlins hope Alvarez can earn a consistent spot and add depth to the starting rotation.