Miami Marlins

Hungry for power, Marlins must wait longer to get back this home run threat

Marlins right fielder Garrett Cooper hits an RBI single during the season opener against the Chicago Cubs on March 29, 2018.
Marlins right fielder Garrett Cooper hits an RBI single during the season opener against the Chicago Cubs on March 29, 2018. pportal@miamiherald.com

Any boost of power at the plate would be most welcome for a Marlins lineup that entered Monday’s game with a National League-low three home runs.

It was learned Monday the Marlins will likely be without a potential source of relief in that area for a little longer than originally expected.

Rookie Garrett Cooper, who hit 18 home runs in the minors last season, had his bruised right wrist placed in a cast on Monday after seeing a specialist who recommended he keep his hand immobilized for at least a week.

Cooper, who came to Miami in a previous trade the Marlins made with the New York Yankees a few weeks prior to the one involving Stanton, would be eligible to return from the DL by Friday, but likely will need a few more days to get ready once the cast is removed.

Cooper was hit by a pitch on the wrist on March 30th against the Chicago Cubs and had three at-bats in the two ensuing games before being held out of action. An MRI did not reveal any fractures.

“It’s good that we were able to do the MRI and identify what was happening and we felt this was the best route to get him totally healthy,” Mattingly said.

The Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals (two each) were the only teams entering Monday’s games with fewer homers than the Marlins.

A significant drop-off was expected after the club’s offseason trades of Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich, who hit a combined 114 homers last season.

J.T. Realmuto (17 homers in 2017) opening the season on the DL and first baseman Justin Bour’s slow hitting start (6 for 33 with no home runs) haven’t helped either.

Miami Marlins' Garrett Cooper talks about getting opportunity to start in right field on Opening Day, March 29, 2018.

INJURY UPDATES

▪ Dan Straily is scheduled to pitch a bullpen on Tuesday and if it goes well may be close to starting a rehab assignment, which could mean a return to the rotation before the end of April or early May.

▪ Wei-Yin Chen is also scheduled to throw a bullpen Tuesday in Jupiter and would next throw three innings Thursday in an extended spring training game.

▪ Right-handed pitcher Elieser Hernandez, a Rule 5 pick, broke the fingernail on the middle finger of his right hand during his recent outing in Jupiter on Friday and will have to stop his rehab assignment until it heals. Hernandez was mentioned as a potential starting rotation candidate in spring training, but suffered a setback due to an infection stemming from a wisdom tooth extraction.

FAMILIAR FACE

Reliever Dustin McGowan is back in the Marlins’ organization after signing a minor league deal.

McGowan, who will first pitch in extended spring training and from there likely go to Triple-A, made 118 appearances over the past two seasons for the Marlins going 9-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 144 2/3 innings.

McGowan opened spring training with the Tampa Bay Rays, but was released on March 7th.

COMING UP

Tuesday: Marlins LHP Caleb Smith (0-1, 4.32 ERA) vs. New York Mets RHP Jacob deGrom (2-0, 1.54), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

Wednesday: Marlins LHP Jarlin Garcia (0-0, 1.80) vs. Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (3-7, 5.21 in 2017), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

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