Dan Straily still felt the discomfort Tuesday.
Even a simple game of catch with teammates before the Miami Marlins’ 5-3 win at Citi Field on Tuesday caused him to feel pain in his left oblique, which he strained during his previous start against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday.
It’s not a serious injury, but it is one that will take time to recover from.
And with just two-and-a-half weeks left in the regular season, the chances of Straily returning to the mound in 2018 are looking slim.
“I know he wants to pitch,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Wanting to and being able to are two different things. We’ll just see. We’re a ways away, and we don’t have a long way to go.”
If it is indeed the case, Straily will become the third Marlins starting pitcher to end the season on an injury, joining talented rookies Caleb Smith and Pablo Lopez.
Straily would finish the season with a 5-6 record and a 4.12 ERA in 23 starts.
“I don’t know if there is a real, true timetable for him,” Mattingly said. “Obviously, we’re going to be cautious with him. I know he wants to pitch. Wanting to and being able to are two different things. We’ll just see.”
And it also means Mattingly will plan to revert back to a five-starter pitching rotation of Wei-Yin Chen, Jose Urena, Trevor Richards, Jeff Brigham and Sandy Alcantara. The latter three are rookies who Mattingly is hoping to get a long look at during the final slate of games. Barring injury, each is poised to make three more starts after the Mets series.
The one exception to this rotation plan will likely come in Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, which was supposed to be Straily’s next scheduled start. Mattingly said Elieser Hernandez, Jarlin Garcia, Brett Graves or Ben Meyer could earn the start that day, depending on their availability.
“They’re all built up to this point to give you four, five innings,” Mattingly said. “It just kind of depends on where we’re at which way we’ll go.”
Wednesday marks the first time that the Marlins had to play multiple doubleheaders in a season since 2013 when they played three in a season (April 23 against the Minnesota Twins; Sept. 14 against the New York Mets; Sept. 22 against the Washington Nationals). The Marlins dropped both game of their first doubleheader this season, losses of 6-1 and 10-6 to the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 13.