Wei-Yin Chen didn’t deliver the kind of debut the Marlins were hoping for from their big offseason acquisition.
But a day after being struck on his left arm by a line drive off the bat of Anthony Gose, the outlook seemed positive that Chen would make his next scheduled start.
Chen said he felt “a little sore,” but just the normal kind of day-after pitching soreness, and planned to follow his usual routine over the next few days. Chen would make his next start Monday in New York against the Mets.
The ball struck Chen on his left elbow in the second inning of a poor start in which he gave up five runs (all earned) in five innings, including a three-run home run to Ian Kinsler two batters after being hit.
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Both Chen and manager Don Mattingly said after the game Tuesday that the ball appeared to have connected with muscle and not bone when it hit his elbow.
“I didn’t hear anything medically about it,” Mattingly said. “It sounds like we kind of survived that. Obviously, the next day or so anything can happen, but for now it looks like we dodged a bullet.”
The Marlins might have caught a break with Chen, but they weren’t as lucky with pitching prospect Tyler Kolek.
According to a report by MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo, Kolek, the Marlins’ No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 draft, underwent Tommy John surgery Wednesday. Kolek saw a team doctor earlier this week after injuring his right elbow and experiencing discomfort since. The 20-year-old Texan entered this season hoping to hone command of his powerful fastball that clocked at 102 mph in high school.
Kolek is coming off a disappointing season last year at Single A Greensboro (North Carolina) in which he went 4-10 with a 4.56 ERA in 25 starts.
Dee Gordon appears to be working on a pretty good encore to his historic first season with the Marlins.
Gordon had a career-high three extra-base hits (two doubles and a triple) Tuesday night during the team’s season-opening loss to the Tigers.
According to Elias, Gordon became the first player to record three extra-base hits in his first game the season after winning a league batting title and the first to post three hits in that following season’s first game since Carlos Gonzalez in 2011.
It was the 28th time a Marlins player had three extra-base hits in a game without a home run, but only the sixth time in which one of those hits was a triple. All the others were three doubles in a game. Gordon hit three triples during spring training as well.
The Marlins announced that longtime head athletic trainer Sean Cunningham resigned following Tuesday night’s game for personal reasons and that assistant athletic trainer Dustin Luepker will take his place.
Cunningham was entering his 15th season with the team and 20th overall in the majors, having previously worked with the Montreal Expos. Cunningham joined the Marlins in 1997 when they won their first World Series. Luepker is entering his fifth season with the Marlins.
Derek Dietrich, who has played several positions and had an often topsy-turvy ride during his three years with the Marlins, came through as a pinch hitter during the team’s ninth-inning comeback.
Dietrich’s two-out, pinch-hit RBI double off Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez kept the rally alive and was only his second career pinch-hit RBI. It was Dietrich’s first since April 21, 2014, when he hit a double against the Braves.
“Facing a guy like K-Rod who’s a fastball-changeup guy to lefties, so I was just looking to get something up,” Dietrich said. “He pitches down in the zone a lot, so I was looking to get something I can stay up the middle.”
▪ Thursday: Marlins LHP Adam Conley (4-1, 3.76 ERA in 2015) at Washington Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (4-7, 4.38 in 2015), 4:05 p.m., Nationals Park.
▪ Friday: Off.