Dan Straily was like clockwork a season ago, taking the ball for the Marlins every fifth game when his turn in the rotation came up.
But an arm injury could alter Straily’s perfect record of dependability with the Marlins.
Straily was diagnosed with mild inflammation in his right forearm, which could delay his first outing. Straily, who was scheduled to start the second game of the season for the Marlins on March 30, will not throw for the next five to six days as he and the Marlins wait to see how quickly the swelling in his pitching arm subsides.
“We don’t want to speculate at this point,” said Michael Hill, Marlins president of baseball operations. “We just want to be smart with him. Obviously, he’s a big part of our rotation.”
After throwing about 60 pitches in a backfield game on Monday, Straily went to trainers and complained of stiffness in his forearm. Hill said Straily underwent a MRI, revealing “very mild” forearm inflammation.
Straily will miss his final spring training start Sunday, at which point the Marlins will check to see how his arm is feeling. The Marlins could decide to place Straily on the disabled list retroactively, which would make him eligible to pitch the fifth game of the season on April 2 against the Red Sox.
“We have to see how he feels after his no-throw [period], then you can better answer if it’s Game 3, Game 4, Game 5, or whatever,” Hill said.
Jose Ureña is scheduled to throw the season opener for the Marlins. But the makeup of the rest of the rotation remains unclear.
Odrisamer Despaigne, Jacob Turner, Justin Nicolino and Caleb Smith are competing for rotation spots, and the Marlins are also high on Rule 5 draft pick Elieser Hernandez as a potential rotation candidate. But Hernandez last pitched on March 11 before having a wisdom tooth pulled. He has resumed throwing, and the Marlins are uncertain of his return.