Wei-Yin Chen returned from the disabled list Monday.
The Marlins hope to do the same with Adam Conley very soon.
Conley threw a couple of simulated innings Saturday in Jupiter and said his hand felt pain free.
“I threw all my regular stuff as I normally would same effort and everything,” Conley said. “It was based on pitch count. Everything was perfect. I was locating fastballs and threw a lot of strikes.”
Conley threw 32 pitches and faced some of the Marlins’ recently-drafted prospects as part of the two-inning simulation.
Conley said he felt no discomfort and had good command throwing all of his pitches.
“I think the biggest thing at this point for me is to just eliminate any doubt of the health of my hand,” Conley said. “I think if I just make at least one appearance and all goes well, I think all of us will look at this as a victory.”
Conley, who has not pitched since Aug. 13 because of tendinitis in the middle finger of his left hand, is scheduled to face live hitters in a more results-oriented session Wednesday.
Should that performance go well, the Marlins are likely to activate him shortly after.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly has said Conley would likely be used as a reliever for the remainder of the season.
“I sat down with [Mattingly] and he expressed to me the same things I said,” Conley said. “He didn’t necessarily see the value of rushing back to throw 75 pitches in one start. That’s not to say I can’t get a start, but maybe one with a little more control and a little more of a pitch count.”
Conley went 8-6 with a 3.94 ERA, while compiling 122 strikeouts and 61 walks in 24 starts (130 1/3 innings) before his injury.
Conley is hoping to finish his second season in the majors on the active roster and build confidence toward next season.
After pitching 67 innings as a rookie in 2015, and going 4-1 with a 3.76 ERA in 11 starts and four relief appearances, Conley secured a spot in the starting rotation this year following an impressive spring.
“I think regardless of the role, it’s just to go out there and show that I’m healthy and go into the offseason knowing I’m good to go,” Conley said.
The Marlins have successfully managed Jose Fernandez’s innings limit with two weeks remaining in the season.
Fernandez’s innings plan at the start of the season called for him to pitch in the neighborhood of 180-190 innings. Fernandez is scheduled to make his 29th start of the season Tuesday against the Nationals, and is pitching the deepest into a season he has so far in his four-year career.
“My goal was to pitch the whole year and stay healthy,” said Fernandez, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2014. “I think it was about innings and learning more about myself, and how to become a better pitcher. I have a lot to learn still. I feel great.”
Fernandez has pitched 174 1/3 innings so far, going 15-8 with a 2.99 ERA and 241 strikeouts. His 12.4 strikeout-to-walk ratio stands to be the best for a single-season in major-league history if it remains ahead of Phil Hughes’ 11.625 mark in 2014.
Following Tuesday’s start, the Marlins would likely evaluate how many more starts Fernandez would get depending on the amount of innings pitched to that point, and whether the team is still alive in the playoff hunt.
▪ Tuesday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (15-8, 2.99 ERA) vs. Washington Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (15-8, 2.75 ERA), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (9-11, 3.96 ERA) vs. Nationals RHP Max Scherzer (17-7, 2.78 ERA), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.