The big blows keep coming for the Marlins — and this one could end up hurting more than Thursday’s.
A day after a controversial, eighth-inning overturned call at the plate helped wipe out a chance at getting back to .500, the Marlins sent their best pitcher — All-Star Henderson Alvarez — to the 15-day disabled list on Friday with shoulder inflammation.
“I don’t know if it’s in the same spot or the same type of pain he had last year, but we’re going to get him checked out and make sure we get him healthy,” manager Mike Redmond said. “Hopefully we caught it early enough where it’s not a huge deal. Just 15 days on the DL hopefully. That’s the hope.”
Redmond said Alvarez, who tossed seven scoreless innings in a 3-0 win over the Nationals on Tuesday, came into the clubhouse Thursday complaining of soreness.
“He felt it last night when he was sleeping so he came in and told [pitching coach] Chuck[ Hernandez],” Redmond said. “How it works with those pitchers is you shut those guys down, let it calm down and let them get healthy. So Jacob Turner will go into the rotation. We plan on him pitching Sunday.”
Left-handed reliever Dan Jennings, sent down to Triple A New Orleans after Thursday’s 3-1 loss to Cincinnati to make room for newly acquired starter Jarred Cosart, will return and take Alvarez’s spot on the 25-man roster.
Losing Alvarez couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Marlins considering they had won nine of their past 12 games entering Friday to get back into the playoff race. The Marlins have won 14 of the last 17 games Alvarez has started. He’s 8-5 with a 2.48 ERA, the fourth-lowest among starters in the National League.
“We’re in a situation where we’re in must-win mode almost,” Redmond said. “So to lose your best starter for a couple weeks is another blow. But hopefully Jake can step up and with Cosart [going Friday] he can fill in and give us a chance to win some games.”
Before Alvarez’s injury, Turner (4-6, 5.69 ERA) was going to be the odd man out in the Marlins’ rotation with the addition of Cosart. Now, he’s right back in there after winning each of his past two starts. Turner had fallen out of the rotation back in mid-June and was reinserted right after the All-Star break.
“I’ve got confidence in myself and I think that’s the most important thing for any player,” Turner said Friday. “I’ve been feeling good out there for a little while now, so that’s a positive.”
President of Baseball Operations Mike Hill said Thursday veteran Brad Penny could soon be available for the Marlins if they need him in the rotation.
Penny, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since he was a reliever with the Giants for 22 games in 2012 (0-1, 6.11 ERA), made his fourth start for New Orleans on Wednesday and went six innings, giving up only two earned runs. He’s gone 1-2 with a 2.91 ERA in four starts for the Zephyrs.
Marlins infield coach Perry Hill took to Twitter to send a direct message to Major League Baseball following Thursday’s controversial loss and he didn’t hold back.
“@MLB please give our game back,” Hill tweeted. “He was out by 15 feet! Cousins/Posey was 3 years ago — get over it — let us play baseball.”
MLB sent its response back to the Marlins and Reds on Friday afternoon by standing by its decision.
“We realize that people may reasonably have different opinions regarding the application of Rule 7.13 in any particular instance because it is a judgment call,” the statement said. “We are continuously evaluating the application of the new rule, and we anticipate a full review with all appropriate parties in the offseason in order to determine whether any changes should be made. We also recognize that the exorbitant length of last night’s review, which was more than three times the season average, must be avoided in the future.
“That said, the most important goal of this rule has been to eliminate dangerous collisions at home plate, and it cannot be disputed that the rule has been very effective toward achieving this purpose.”
What did Redmond have to say about that Friday? “I think I made it pretty clear what I thought [Thursday] night,” he said. “I’m ready to move on.”
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