Henderson Alvarez said the MRI performed on his right shoulder Friday showed nothing more than inflammation, and he is hoping to be back on the mound when he’s scheduled to come off the 15-day disabled list during the team’s next homestand.
Alvarez said he is aiming to pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who open a four-game series at Marlins Park on Aug. 14.
“I’m good. It’s just inflammation,” Alvarez said Saturday after the Marlins took batting practice. “There’s nothing there. I’m just going to do treatment to bring down the inflammation and go from there.”
Alvarez, 24, said he first began to feel discomfort in his shoulder when he pitched two weeks ago in Atlanta.
“The day before it started to hurt, but I kept pitching and doing my treatment to see if it went away. But it didn’t get better. I pitched against Washington and it bothered me, but I kept pitching,” he said. “I talked with [pitching coach] Chuck Hernandez and the trainers so we could avoid something worse.”
Shoulder inflammation shelved Alvarez last season for the first three months of the season. Asked if it was the same type of injury, Alvarez said it wasn’t.
“Dr. [ Lee] Kaplan [of University of Miami Health System], he just told me to rest my arm for a few days and in like five or six days I could throw to see how it felt,” Alvarez said. “For me I’m sad that I have to be out. At the same time, it’s good because I can avoid whatever bigger issue and just rest so that inflammation goes away quickly.”
The Marlins have gone 14-3 with Alvarez (8-5, 2.48 ERA) on the mound over his past 17 starts. He has thrown 137 2/3 innings and made 22 starts in 2014, the second-most of his career. Two years ago, Alvarez threw 187 1/3 innings for Toronto and made 31 starts.
“Like any pitcher, some guys go through a period of time where they get sore and they need a little bit of a breather, and that’s where he’s at,” manager Mike Redmond said. “He’s pitched a lot of innings. Last year had the first two months off. This year, he hasn’t had that time off like he had last year. The good news is that it’s hopefully a short-term deal, he’ll be able to work through it and be fine.”
TURNER TO STEP IN
With Alvarez on the disabled list, Jacob Turner is getting a chance to step into his spot and stay in the rotation.
After falling out of the rotation in mid-June because of struggles and being reinserted after the All-Star break, Turner (4-6, 5.69) was going to be the odd man out after the Marlins acquired Jarred Cosart from the Astros on Thursday.
“It’s an opportunity,” said Turner, who is 2-0 with a 2.53 ERA over his past two starts. “Henderson’s been our most consistent pitcher. As a rotation, everyone’s going to have to do their part a little bit, and we’re getting to the point where these are must-win games. It’s crucial we go out and pitch deep into the games and give our team a chance to win.”
After struggling in July (.226, 4 HRs, 13 RBI), Giancarlo Stanton has started to swing his way out of it. Entering Saturday, he had homered in each of his previous three games.
What has changed? His routine. Instead of taking batting practice with the team on the field, he has spent that time indoors hitting against the machine.
“Just getting back to the basics,” Stanton said. “That’s it, really. You don’t have to do the same thing every day but make sure you’re prepared.”
• Redmond said he is giving catcher Jeff Mathis more playing time of late because Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been battling some stiffness in his back.
• Sunday: Marlins RHP Turner (4-6, 5.69 ERA) vs. Cincinnati Reds RHP Mike Leake (8-9, 3.53), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Monday: Off.