Justin Bour has hit better than any other first baseman in the National League since the end of April.
But that hot streak may have suffered a significant setback.
Bour was held out of the lineup for the second consecutive game after suffering what was diagnosed Monday as a bone bruise in his left ankle. Bour, who suffered the injury during his final at-bat in this past Saturday’s home game against the Diamondbacks, underwent an MRI Monday that revealed the prognosis.
Bour was initially listed as day-to-day, but following Monday night’s 3-1 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field, manager Don Mattingly said the team was considering placing him on the 10-day disabled list.
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Bour has had a major resurgence after a slow start, hitting .368 with 42 hits, 13 home runs and 31 RBI since April 30.
“It doesn’t look great,” Mattingly said. “I heard bruise and at first that sounded good to me. But then when I see him walk in with a [protective] boot on his foot that didn’t look nearly as good.”
Bour sustained a high ankle sprain to his other ankle last July which kept him on the disabled list for more than two months. After the game, Bour was not wearing the boot Mattingly mentioned in the clubhouse, but said he had worn it earlier and intended to be as careful as possible with this injury.
“Last year I got myself in a situation where I missed more time than I wanted to, so starting off with just being smart, taking care of it right away and getting back on the field as soon as possible,” Bour said.
Tyler Moore started for Bour at first base Monday for the second consecutive game, and could continue to see action there in his absence.
The Marlins could also play J.T. Realmuto at first base when he’s not catching with A.J. Ellis behind the plate on those occasions. The Marlins may also be considering recalling catcher Tomas Telis from the minors. Telis was removed early from his game with Triple A New Orleans Monday.
LOCKE’S OPENING DAY
After being forced to wait nearly two months, Jeff Locke made his Marlins’ debut a good one, allowing only one run on three hits in 5 2/3 innings on Thursday.
“He was in total control the other night,” Mattingly said. “There wasn’t a lot not to like so if he can continue that I think we’re going to like a lot of his outings.”
Locke said he went back to a windup this season that involves a little more of a shoulder turn before following through, creating a little more deception in his delivery. Locke has noted improved results so far since switching back to the type of delivery he used earlier in his career.
“It gives me a lot more command of the strike zone,” Locke said.
Locke threw 80 pitches Thursday, and the Marlins will likely continue to be cautious with his pitch count as he builds up. Locke said he felt strong enough to go a little further if it had been needed and had no setbacks since.
Locke, who missed all of spring training and the first two months of the season with biceps tendinitis, is scheduled to make his next start Tuesday at Wrigley Field and would make his following start Sunday against his former team in Pittsburgh. The Marlins signed Locke, an All-Star in 2013, to a one-year, $3.03 million deal in the offseason.
“It almost feels like I’m still in the NL Central,” Locke said. “I’m very excited to make an impact and pitch in both places.”
▪ Edinson Volquez still hopes to make his next scheduled start Thursday in Pittsburgh, but said it would depend on how he feels after he throws a bullpen session Tuesday.
Volquez injured his right ankle in the first inning Saturday but remained in the game and pitched the sixth no-hitter in Marlins’ history. Volquez faced the minimum 27 batters despite pitching with pain in the ankle as he recorded the Marlins’ first complete game in exactly three years.
▪ Mattingly said he expects Justin Nicolino (left index finger contusion) to be ready on Saturday when he becomes eligible to come off the disabled list.
▪ In recognition of his past two starts including his no-hitter on Saturday, Volquez was named the NL Player of the Week on Monday. In addition to the no-hitter, Volquez also picked up his first win of the season on May 29 against the Phillies, allowing one run on three hits in six innings.
▪ As part of the MLB Prevailing Moments program, each MLB.com and The Hartford investment and insurance company are honoring a “Bullpen of the Week.”
This week that honor went to the Marlins’ relievers after collectively they allowed only four earned runs and 10 hits and striking out 33 batters in 24 2/3 innings pitched last week. The bullpen’s effort was a key factor during the team’s 8-2 homestand.
▪ Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna continued to rank seventh and eighth, respectively, among outfielders on the latest published results of National League All-Star fan voting. The top three outfield spots continue to be occupied by Bryce Harper, Charlie Blackmon and Jason Heyward.
▪ Tuesday: Marlins LHP Locke (0-0, 1.59 ERA) vs. Chicago Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (5-4, 4.60), 8:05 p.m., Wrigley Field.
▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Jose Urena (3-2, 3.80 ERA) vs. Cubs RHP John Lackey (4-5, 4.90), 8:05 p.m., Wrigley Field.