Not so much lately for the Marlins, whose game Saturday against the Nationals was postponed because of inclement weather. It snowed during the morning and became windy, cold and damp by early afternoon.
Counting rainouts and scheduled off days, the Miami Marlins have played just eight games — including spring training exhibitions — over the past 16 days.
“It’s not ideal, but everybody else is dealing with it, too,” said Marlins manager Don Mattingly, holding a Marlins ski cap he intended to wear Saturday had there been a game. “I think we’re all in the same boat, for the most part.”
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The Nationals have played only 12 games over the past 21 days.
Saturday’s makeup will be played as part of a split doubleheader on May 14.
There is a silver lining for the Marlins: The extra day of inactivity will give the bullpen another day of rest, and it will buy more time for starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen.
Chen, who was struck by a line drive just below the left elbow in the season-opener on Tuesday, is still dealing with bruising. While Mattingly said there is no long-term concern with Chen, the left-hander is still sore.
“He’s still getting the soreness out of the elbow,” Mattingly said. “He’ll throw a (bullpen on Sunday) to see where he’s at.”
Chen had been scheduled to make his next start on Monday in New York.
Now he’ll be pushed back to Wednesday at the earliest. Tom Koehler, who was scheduled to start Saturday, will pitch Sunday. Jarred Cosart will go on Monday, with Jose Fernandez moving in front of Chen and starting Tuesday. With the off days, Adam Conley — who went just one inning in Thursday’s start before a 85-minute rain delay led to the decision to take him out — could go Wednesday if the Marlins decide Chen needs more time to heal.
“Wednesday may be the day we’ll mess with if something’s going on, if he’s just not right,” Mattingly said of Chen.
“There is no structural problem,” Mattingly said of Chen. “He’s been able to throw. He just has some fluid in there (that has moved) down to the wrist. We just want it to get out of there. I think the extra days are really good for him.”
One troubling early trend for the Marlins: Their pitchers have issued 16 walks in three games, including nine walks Thursday in their lone win. Mattingly wants that to change.
“Whatever it is, we have to get it under control,” Mattingly said. “You’re not going to survive many games like that. I think we know we’ve got to get better.”
Mattingly said there are instances in which he would rather see a pitcher give up a home run, as reliever Bryan Morris did on Thursday to Bryce Harper, than walk a batter.
“The other day, when Harper hits the homer, it doesn’t really bother me, because we’ve got a three-run lead,” Mattingly said. “I’d rather see him hit a homer than walk him, and that may sound funny. But it’s a different thing when a guy walks a guy. I’d rather see them make them earn what they get. When you walk a guy, you can’t defend that. So the walks kind of drive you crazy.”
Mattingly was pleased the Marlins were able to keep outfielder Cole Gillespie in the organization. Gillespie, who was designated for assignment before Opening Day, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple A New Orleans.
“It’s kind of two-fold,” Mattingly said. “I always want my guys, you want them in the big leagues. If that can’t happen, I’m glad he’s with us. He’s a solid player, a guy that we know. I’m glad, selfishly, that we have him.”
Gillespie now gives the Marlins some extra outfield depth they can tap into in the event of an injury to one of their big-league outfielders.
Mattingly said the plan is for Gillespie to also get playing time at first and third base in the minors, “just to give him more value.”
The Marlins weren’t as fortunate with left-hander Brad Hand, who was claimed off waivers by the Padres. Hand, who was out of minor-league options, had also been designated.
“For me, just seeing him for a short period of time, he just didn’t really go from A to B to C to D (in his development),” Mattingly said. “He just stayed at A to B, never really took that next step. We kind of let him know in spring that we were going to put him in the bullpen after a start or two. We were hoping it would click for him and, then, boom and take off. It didn’t seem to click that quickly, and we had to make a decision.”