Mike Dunn still doesn’t know when he will make his first appearance of the season. But the Marlins’ dependable left-handed reliever doesn’t expect to be out for too much longer.
Dunn underwent an MRI and met with Dr. Lee Kaplan, the Marlins’ team doctor, this past Monday after experiencing more discomfort in his strained left forearm during a pitching session on Saturday.
The results did not reveal any structural damage, just inflammation, and Dunn said his extended rest time is precautionary to ensure that there are no further setbacks.
“We were going in the right direction,” Dunn said. “I just stubbornly pushed it too hard. The best thing for me is to get more rest and just make sure it’s completely gone.”
Dunn said he “felt it grab” during only a couple of throws during the session that was intended to set him up for a potential return this week.
“I was throwing every pitch as if getting ready to go,” Dunn said. “I didn’t injure anything. I only felt it on two throws instead of every time I threw the ball. It’s just to be on the safe side, just give it some more time. That way when I get back we don’t have a true setback.”
Dunn, who is on the disabled list for the first time in his career, is chasing Braden Looper’s team record for appearances. Dunn needs 14 more outings to equal Looper’s mark of 368. Dunn’s return would be a huge lift for the Marlins, who are in need of solid late-inning relief.
“I think it’s just a matter of time until we have him back out there,” manager Don Mattingly said. “Obviously, not the timetable we would have wanted, but it’s still good news.”
As has been done every April 15 since 2004, Major League Baseball players and coaches wore No. 42 on their jerseys, commemorating the day in 1947 when Jackie Robinson became the first black to play in the majors in the modern era.
Robinson’s debut and Hall of Fame career with the Dodgers helped end racial segregation in baseball.
“It’s really cool from the standpoint of the breakthrough socially not just for the game but for society, and Jackie was a big part of that,” said Mattingly, who managed the Dodgers the past five seasons. “I’m glad baseball does it.”
For Giancarlo Stanton, wearing Robinson’s number means even more, having grown up in Southern California.
“With everything that [Robinson] had to go through, it’s really special for all players,” Stanton said. “When I went to UCLA games when I was younger, one of the teams I played against had a field named Jackie Robinson Stadium right by the Rose Bowl. Wearing 42 is huge. It’s the symbol. It’s what gave me the ability to play and others before me.”
▪ Saturday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (0-1, 2.84 ERA) vs. Atlanta Braves RHP Bud Norris (0-2, 6.00), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Sunday: Marlins RHP Jarred Cosart (0-0, 5.79) vs. Braves RHP Jhoulys Chacin (0-0, 0.00), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.