Miami Marlins

Marlins forced to patch up rotation again after O’Grady injury

Marlins starting pitcher Chris O'Grady during the first inning as the Marlins play the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on Thurs., July 27, 2017.
Marlins starting pitcher Chris O'Grady during the first inning as the Marlins play the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on Thurs., July 27, 2017. BCereijo@MiamiHerald.com

The Marlins are looking to fill another vacancy in their starting pitching rotation.

Rookie Chris O’Grady, who suffered a right oblique strain and left in the second inning of a 3-2 loss to the Nationals on Monday, was placed on the 10-day disabled list the next day.

The Marlins recalled right-handed reliever Javy Guerra from Triple A New Orleans to fill the roster spot.

O’Grady’s next scheduled start would have been Saturday at home against the Rockies.

The Marlins have already had 11 different pitchers start games for them this season. Their starting rotation has compiled a 4.89 ERA entering Tuesday’s game, which ranks 26th out of 30 major-league teams.

O’Grady exited after facing his second batter of the second inning of Monday night’s 3-2 loss to the Nationals with what he said felt like a cramp in his right side. Marlins trainers checked on O’Grady initially at the start of the inning when he experienced some discomfort. But after throwing two more pitches to retire Daniel Murphy, the issue persisted and O’Grady was removed.

O’Grady underwent an MRI on Tuesday according to Marlins manager Don Mattingly, and was scheduled to see a doctor to evaluate the results.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly talks about Chris O'Grady's injury and replacement options in the rotation for his next start.

“As a starting pitcher or a pitcher, you can’t throw during any of this, so we know what that means: throwing programs and days off,” Mattingly said. “It’s going to take a pretty good chunk of the season.”

Mattingly did not want to speculate on whether O’Grady could pitch again before season’s end, but since recovery time for oblique injuries can be prolonged, it could jeopardize O’Grady’s ability to return before the end of the season.

Marlins’ first baseman Justin Bour, O’Grady’s former college teammate at George Mason University, has been on the disabled list since July 25 while dealing with his own oblique strain.

“I’d say probably closer to Justin than it would’ve been to [Adeiny] Hechavarria when he was able basically to come back after 10 days,” Mattingly said. “Justin’s going to take a while. I would say more like that.

O’Grady is 2-1 with a 5.47 ERA during his first major-league six starts (26 1/3 innings).

FILLING THE VOID

The Marlins likely won’t name a starter until later this week, but when asked about Odrisamer Despaigne, Mattingly indicated he could be a candidate.

Despaigne gave up two runs including a solo homer to Bryce Harper after he entered for O’Grady Monday, but pitched an effective 3 2/3 innings, striking out three without a walk.

Despaigne has made 10 starts this season in Triple A, making him a potential candidate if the Marlins choose someone from the active roster. He made one start for the Marlins on May 6 in New York and is 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA in 12 1/3 innings.

“He’s pretty durable as far as being able to pitch and bounce back,” Mattingly said. “He’s definitely an option.”

ANSWERING THE CALL

When he takes the mound for the first time, Guerra will make his Marlins’ debut and his first appearance in the majors since June 5, 2016 with the Angels.

Guerra has a 6-9 career record with a 2.99 ERA and has 30 saves in 153 appearances. Guerra has gone 2-4 with a 4.99 ERA in 33 appearances this season at Triple A.

“Just been working on a lot of things….consistency and going back to things I do well like going out there and attacking guys,” Guerra said about his goals during his time in the minors this season.

COMING UP

Wednesday: Marlins LHP Adam Conley (4-4, 5.10 ERA) vs. Washington Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (9-5, 2.66), 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park.

Thursday: Marlins RHP Dan Straily (7-8, 3.77 ERA) vs. Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (9-7, 4.82), 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park.

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