Henderson Alvarez remains confident he will make his next scheduled start Tuesday. Marlins manager Mike Redmond and pitching coach Chuck Hernandez said they, too, see no reason for concern regarding the pitcher, who came out of Wednesday’s start in Washington after five innings with a stiff right elbow.
Alvarez said through an interpreter (Marlins teammate Arquimedes Caminero) he will have a much better idea of how the arm feels after he throws his normal between-starts bullpen session on Saturday. But, so far, all indications are the discomfort he experienced in D.C. was nothing more than stiffness.
Alvarez threw off flat ground Friday and said the arm felt fine.
“It feels pretty good,” he said. “I didn’t feel anything bad.”
With Jose Fernandez already finished for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Marlins can hardly afford to lose another of their frontline starters. Obviously, Andrew Heaney is at Triple A New Orleans and waiting in the wings.
But to call up Heaney now — as opposed to a few weeks from now once they’re certain the Super Two cutoff date has passed (sometime around the third week of June is the projected cutoff date) — probably doesn’t make much sense in the long term.
If Heaney were to be called up now, it could make him eligible for arbitration after the 2016 season. By holding off for a few more weeks, the Marlins would push back the lefty’s first arbitration year until after 2017. In other words, the Marlins would risk surrendering a full year of control for the handful of additional starts Heaney would give them between now and the cutoff date.
With two off days on the upcoming schedule, the Marlins could arrange their rotation so that Randy Wolf — or any combination of fifth starters — would receive only three more starts before it’s safe for the Marlins to promote Heaney.
Reliever Carter Capps will be receiving a second opinion on his right forearm sprain. The Marlins are hoping rest will take care of Capps’ injury. But that could always change. At the very least, the Marlins expect Capps to be out for at least a month.
• As expected, Tuesday’s rainout in Washington will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on Sept. 26 at Nationals Park.
• Saturday: Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (1-2, 5.35 ERA) vs. Atlanta Braves RHP Ervin Santana (4-2, 4.06), 4:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Sunday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (4-2, 3.36) vs. Braves RHP Aaron Harang (4-4, 3.29), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.