The Justin Bour injury saga has taken another turn.
The Marlins were hopeful that Bour would be ready to play within the next couple of weeks. But new tests revealed his return will likely be pushed back once again.
Manager Don Mattingly said a MRI performed Monday on Bour revealed both good and bad news.
The good: the first baseman doesn’t have any damage to his Achilles’ tendon. The bad: the high ankle sprain that put Bour on the disabled list in early July remains a problem.
“It’s more that the high ankle sprain is not completely healed yet,” Mattingly said. “Right now he’s kind of stopped from doing anything to kind of let this thing continue to heal and go from there.”
As a result, the two-week timetable on Bour’s return has been pushed back.
“I think it’s going to take a little bit [longer] with him,” Mattingly said. “But I think we’ll see him again this year. That’s one thing I feel pretty good about.”
Their first baseman is out with an injury. So is one of their marquee outfielders, their saves leader, a starting pitcher, and a total of six players from their Opening Day roster.
That sums up the Marlins.
But it also applies to the St. Louis Cardinals, the team that was tied with the Marlins in the National League wild-card race entering play Tuesday.
“I focus on ourselves” Mattingly said. “But you know that other teams are getting banged up, too. It’s that time of year.”
While the Marlins are without outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, closer A.J. Ramos, Bour and starting pitchers Wei-Yin Chen and Adam Conley, the Cardinals have also been decimated by injuries.
Outfielder Matt Holliday, reliever Trevor Rosenthal, starting pitcher Michael Wacha, first baseman Matt Adams and shortstop Aledmys Diaz are all on the disabled list for the Cards.
Here’s an injury update on the Marlins:
▪ Chen (left elbow sprain) has resumed throwing and could return to the mound in mid-September if there are no setbacks.
▪ Ramos (finger fracture) threw on Tuesday and said he expects to return to the bullpen on Sunday.
▪ Conley (finger tendonitis) is expected back when his DL stint is up in less than two weeks.
▪ Stanton (groin strain) could return by the end of the season under a best-case scenario, but there’s a strong chance he will not make it back before then.
▪ Reliever Bryan Morris (herniated disc) is throwing and could rejoin the Marlins in early September.
PHELPS’ NEW APPROACH
David Phelps took a novel approach when he moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation. Phelps, who received the win in the Marlins’ 6-3 victory Monday over the Reds, said he has maintained his reliever’s mentality as a starter.
“I know you guys asked me whether I was going to change the way I pitched,” Phelps said. “But really not. I talked to [Marlins team psychologist] Rob Seifer after my first start, and he was why can’t we just look at it like every time you take the mound, every inning is a hold situation, where you go out and get a 1-run lead and you’ve got to put up a zero to get the hold.”
Making his third start since joining the rotation, Phelps held the Reds to a run on four hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out eight.
▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Andrew Cashner (4-9, 5.08) at Cincinnati Reds RHP Homer Bailey (2-1, 4.30), 7:10 p.m., Great American Ball Park.
▪ Thursday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (12-6, 2.81) at Cincinnati Reds RHP Dan Straily (8-6, 3.75), 7:10 p.m., Great American Ball Park.