Andrew Heaney was the most compelling name among a handful of minor-leaguers called up Tuesday by the Marlins. But the team’s plans for the pitcher are vague and could depend on the health of injured starter Henderson Alvarez.
Alvarez left Monday’s outing with a left oblique strain after throwing only 40 pitches.
Manager Mike Redmond said Alvarez would throw a side bullpen session within the next couple of days to test the injury and determine whether he’ll make his next start — or even pitch again this season.
“We’re going to evaluate where [Alvarez] is at the next couple of days and adjust accordingly,” Redmond said.
If Alvarez has to be replaced in the rotation, Heaney is one possibility.
“The plan is to get him some innings,” Redmond said of the rookie lefty. “We’re not really sure where that’s going to be, or when that’s going to be, yet. We haven’t gotten that far down the road yet.”
Heaney, 23, made his major-league debut in June but was sent back to the minors after making only four starts that didn’t live up to the hype surrounding the former first-round draft pick. Heaney went 0-3 with a 6.53 ERA, giving up five homers in 20 innings.
Heaney already has combined to throw 158 innings this season, by far the most of his professional career, after totaling 95 innings the season before.
“The plan is for him to continue to pitch and work with [pitching coach Chuck Hernandez] on a lot of different things, and we’re going to try to figure out where we can slot him into some games and get some work,” Redmond said.Anthony DeSclafani Kike Hernandez Justin Bour
The Marlins are expected to eventually call up catcher J.T. Realmuto after Double A Jacksonville, which reached the playoffs, is done with its season.
The first thought that raced through the mind of Dan Jennings when he was struck in the head by a line drive earlier last month was that his season was over. And things were looking that way for Carter Capps, too, when he landed on the disabled list in late May with a right elbow sprain.
But both relievers are back with the club and hoping that September brings them peace of mind going into the offseason.
“Yes, it’s definitely a huge confidence boost,” Capps said. “I really wanted to go into the offseason not leaving a bad taste in the Marlins’ mouths. They obviously gave me a great opportunity to be up here and I definitely want to prove I can pitch up here, and pitch healthy.”
The Marlins were counting on Capps for their bullpen when they acquired him from Seattle last winter for Logan Morrison. But after appearing in only nine games, Capps went on the DL with a right elbow sprain.
Jennings, meanwhile, is thankful just to be alive after being hit in the head with a line drive in Pittsburgh on Aug. 7. Fortunately, Jennings sustained only a concussion and recovered quickly.
“Obviously, my first thought was my year is over,” Jennings said. “To be back and playing again is awesome. I’m sure guys have dealt with stuff that makes it scary for them to get back on the mound. I’m fortunate I didn’t have any lapses, or anything like that. I was able to get back out and pitch [on minor league rehab], and it just felt natural. I think it was good timing in that aspect, where it happened in August and I could come back in September. A lot of circumstances went right for me to be here.”
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