Miami Marlins

Marlins pitcher Wei-Yin Chen hopeful for September return

Miami Marlins' Wei-Yin Chen, shown in this June 23, 2016, file photo, began throwing a baseball Wednesday for the first time since landing on the disabled list with an elbow sprain.
Miami Marlins' Wei-Yin Chen, shown in this June 23, 2016, file photo, began throwing a baseball Wednesday for the first time since landing on the disabled list with an elbow sprain. pportal@elnuevoherald.com

The Marlins needed some good news on the injury front.

Wei-Yin Chen threw a baseball for the first time Wednesday since sustaining a left elbow sprain that landed him on the disabled list on July 25.

Chen said he threw 25 times from a distance of about 60 feet and felt pain-free after the session.

Chen felt discomfort in the elbow following his last start on July 20 in Philadelphia, his second following the All-Star break. He gave up four earned runs in each of those outings.

“I feel pretty well, and my elbow feels strong,” Chen said. “We have to be careful with it and do everything step by step. I don’t have a timetable for when I can come back, but I’m hoping to do everything pain-free.”

Chen said he planned on throwing every other day for the time being to see how his elbow responds.

Barring any setbacks, Chen hopes he can gradually build his stamina back up to be ready by September.

Chen, who is 5-4 with a 4.99 ERA in 19 starts this season (110 innings), is aiming to return with enough time to help the Marlins during a potential playoff push.

The Marlins remain in the thick of the chase for one of the National League’s wild-card spots despite having to shuffle pieces in their starting rotation and bullpen in recent weeks.

Chen’s return would alleviate depth concerns in both areas.

The Marlins placed closer A.J. Ramos on the disabled list Tuesday and had already moved late-inning reliever David Phelps from the bullpen to the rotation to fill their unstable fifth starting spot.

Since the injury happened to the same elbow he underwent Tommy John surgery on 10 years ago while pitching in Taiwan, Chen said he will proceed with caution.

“I definitely hope I can pitch again this year,” Chen said. “If everything goes on schedule, definitely I will be able to pitch again this year. Since it’s my elbow, we want to be careful with that. We don’t want to rush it and irritate it again.”

MORE UPDATES ON INJURIES

▪ Giancarlo Stanton (right hip soreness) did not start Wednesday, as Marlins manager Don Mattingly planned. Stanton did make one pinch-hitting appearance, flying out to center field with runners on first and second in the bottom of the fifth.

Stanton said after the game he thinks he will be able to play Friday when the Marlins open a three-game home series against the White Sox.

▪ Mattingly said after Wednesday’s game he doesn’t expect Justin Bour to return to action soon.

Bour has been on the disabled list since July 6 with what’s been labeled a high ankle sprain. But Mattingly said Bour’s issues have extended to other areas.

“At this point it’s gone from the high ankle to different areas,” Mattingly said. “His Achilles has been bothering him, and he’s having trouble moving. Until we can get that out of there, he’s not an option right now.”

BAT BREAKER

Stanton kick-started the only productive inning the Marlins have had the past two games Tuesday night by powerfully breaking his bat.

With two aboard in the first inning, Matt Moore’s full-count fastball broke Stanton’s bat in half. But Stanton generated so much power on the swing that the ball made it over the head of left fielder Angel Pagan and bounced off the wall for a double.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” said Tom Koehler, who earned the victory. “That’s a joke. A bat’s not supposed to go 110 feet and the ball 370. It just doesn’t make sense. But I’m glad he’s on our side.”

COMING UP

▪ Thursday: Off day.

▪ Friday: Marlins RHP Andrew Cashner (4-8, 4.96 ERA) vs. Chicago White Sox LHP Carlos Rodon (2-8, 4.49), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

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