Tom Koehler’s most-recent struggles resulted in a trip back to the minors.
A day after he gave up three solo home runs and five earned runs in a 6-3 loss to the Reds, the Marlins optioned Koehler to Triple A New Orleans. The Marlins recalled reliever Hunter Cervenka from Triple A.
Since July 1 when he was activated from the disabled list (right shoulder bursitis), Koehler has gone 0-3 with a 9.87 ERA in his past four starts. He has allowed 15 home runs and allowed 19 earned runs over his past 15 innings.
“It’s just been a tough year for Tom,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It was not an easy one [Sunday] for him.”
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Koehler has gone 1-5 this season with a 7.92 ERA in 12 starts ( 55 2/3 innings), higher than only Bartolo Colon’s 8.19 ERA among major-league starters who have thrown at least 40 innings.
“Sometimes you’re going to have a year where things aren’t falling your way,” Mattingly said. “I think fastball command is always an issue. You’re trying to throw it to one spot and you miss by four or five inches, that’s a huge difference. I think that as much as anything is where he can make strides.”
The Marlins will have to choose a starter to replace him for Friday’s start against the Reds at home.
When Cervenka pitches, it will be his first action of the season in a Marlins uniform. Cervenka has gone 1-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 34 innings (36 appearances) at Triple A New Orleans this season with 34 strikeouts and 21 walks.
NEW YEAR, NEW CHASE
Nearly a year after Ichiro Suzuki eclipsed the mark, Adrian Beltre, one of his former Seattle teammates from 2005-09, is on the cusp of joining the 3,000-hit club.
Beltre added four more hits to his total Monday and now has 2,993 career hits.
But while Beltre has remained a regular starter for the Rangers at third base during his pursuit of history, Ichiro wasn’t an everyday starter last year, often recording some of his hits in pinch-hit opportunities.
“You can’t really compare what he’s going through with what I went through because he’s, obviously, a starter so he’s in there every day,” Ichiro said. “I have a feeling it’s kind of a different experience of what he’s going through than what I went through.”
Ichiro, who became the 30th player to reach 3,000 major-league hits on Aug. 7 last year in Colorado, credited Beltre’s baseball longevity not just to his prolific hitting, but his defensive prowess as well. Ichiro said Monday, one of his lasting memories of Beltre was him hitting in batting practice with a metal bat.
Beltre would become the first Dominican-born player to reach 3,000 hits.
“That left an impression on me,” Ichiro said. “At Safeco [Field], he and [Richie] Sexon would hit with a metal bat. I’ve been around this game a long time, 26 years as a professional. I’ve never seen anybody hit with a metal bat in batting practice.”
▪ Shortstop JT Riddle (left shoulder tendinitis) was held out for the fourth consecutive game Monday.
“It’s felt the same and not really gotten any better over the past four days,” Riddle said. “I can feel it when I swing.”
Mattingly indicated the Marlins could end up placing Riddle on the disabled list should the effects of the injury continue to linger.
“I don’t think there’s any danger of playing, but for him I think there’s that part that says I can’t play 100 percent, I can’t play full speed, and that means I can’t go get a ball and make a play up the middle and end up diving on that shoulder,” Mattingly said.
▪ Edinson Volquez (patellar tendinitis in left knee) tried throwing Monday, but Mattingly said that “did not go well” and that the team has stopped his throwing program for now and will re-evaluate.
▪ Mattingly said the reports on Martin Prado’s right knee sprain have not been very good either. Prado has been limited to only 37 games this season with a hamstring injury resulting in two prior DL stints.
▪ Tuesday: Marlins RHP Dan Straily (7-5, 3.49 ERA) vs. Texas Rangers LHP Cole Hamels (4-1, 3.78), 8:05 p.m., Globe Life Park.
▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Jose Urena (8-4, 3.78) vs. Texas Rangers RHP Yu Darvish (6-8, 3.44), 8:05 p.m., Globe Life Park.