The Marlins squandered a chance to carry over some momentum achieved prior to the All-Star break on Friday night.
And it looks like their already maligned rotation will be without Edinson Volquez for longer than expected.
Volquez was officially scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday, less than 24 hours after an MRI revealed patellar tendinitis in his left knee.
And manager Don Mattingly said Saturday that the 34-year-old veteran will need at least seven to 10 days of rest before attempting to return to the rotation.
“Looks like he’s going to be down a little bit,” Mattingly said. “We’re talking at least 10 days. I hate putting a timer on that because it could be two weeks until he starts throwing and could be some time after that. We’re a little ways away.”
With Volquez’s setback, the Marlins will tap lefty Chris O’Grady to take his place in his next scheduled start Sunday.
They have not named starters for Monday and Tuesday, however.
They entered Saturday night’s game against the Dodgers with a starting rotation that already ranked 28th out of 30 teams with a 4.98 ERA, ahead of only the Orioles (5.87) and Reds (5.95).
O’Grady, who won his first career start on July 8 in San Francisco and is taking Jeff Locke’s spot in the rotation.
Tom Koehler would also line up to start in the coming days as well.
Koehler missed over six weeks with shoulder bursitis and had a rough start in his return from the disabled list on July 1, when he gave up seven earned runs in 1 2/3 innings at Milwaukee.
Koehler is 1-4 with an 8.00 ERA in 10 starts this season, and the Marlins have lost five consecutive games in which he has started since his lone victory on April 30.
In his most recent outing on July 6 at St. Louis, Koehler pitched five innings, giving up three earned runs, and had a season-high seven strikeouts.
“He was just going after people, and I think that’s what we’ve liked about Tom in the past,” Mattingly said. “This year, he wasn’t aggressive, but he had good outings in Triple A. The second one [after coming back from the DL] was obviously a lot better. We expect more of that.”
Right-hander Vance Worley could be another spot starter, although Worley has struggled, going 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA in four starts this season. Justin Nicolino, who was scheduled to pitch Saturday night for Triple A New Orleans, is another candidate for the final spot should Volquez’s absence become prolonged.
Volquez was placed on the 10-day disabled list on July 7, two days after an abbreviated start in St. Louis in which he threw only four innings.
Volquez said he has not thrown off a mound since then but did some throwing in San Francisco before the All-Star break and during the hiatus in the Dominican Republic.
Since the injury is on his landing leg, Volquez would need to feel comfortable enough to pitch off a mound before he can return.
Volquez said he has been dealing with pain at times in that knee over the past four years.
He already sustained an ankle injury during the first inning of his no-hitter on June 3 and spent time on the DL in May because of a blister on his thumb.
“I’m getting old,” Volquez joked.
MOVIN’ ON UP
The Marlins promoted Brian Anderson to Triple A on Saturday, indicating the third-base prospect could get a call-up to the majors in the near future.
Marlins third baseman Martin Prado, who is in the first year of a three-year, $40 million contract, has drawn interest from clubs such as the Red Sox and is rumored to be one of the players most likely to be traded before the July 31 deadline.
Anderson, rated the Marlins’ No. 3 overall and top position-player prospect, had a solid performance in the Futures Game last Sunday at Marlins Park, collecting two hits in four at-bats.
Anderson has 14 home runs this year at Double A Jacksonville but is looking for more consistency at the plate, with a .251 average in 311 at-bats.
▪ Sunday: Marlins (TBA) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Rich Hill (5-4, 3.69 ERA), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.