All of a sudden, the Marlins’ shaky starting rotation is down two pitchers.
The Marlins placed Wei-Yin Chen on the 10-day disabled list with a “tired arm,” forcing him to miss his scheduled start on Saturday. The Marlins called up right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne from Triple A New Orleans to make Saturday’s start in Chen’s place.
Chen did not travel with the Marlins to New York.
“He threw his bullpen yesterday and to us it looked pretty good,” said manager Don Mattingly. “But he felt like he couldn’t make his next start. He just felt like it was kind of dead. So at that point we had to send him out.”
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The Marlins were already down one starter. Edinson Volquez is on the 10-day disabled list with a blister on his right thumb and bullpen long man Jose Urena will start Sunday in his place. Volquez said Friday his blister is healing and the Marlins don’t expect him to miss more than one start.
Chen last pitched on Monday, when he went six innings against the Rays and threw 96 pitches.
He spent two months on the disabled list with a left elbow sprain during the second half of last season and revealed recently that he is pitching with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow.
Chen had not missed a start this season, going 2-1 with a 4.33 ERA.
Manager Don Mattingly said he expected Chen to miss just one start before returning to the rotation.
Marlins starters have an ERA of 4.98, which ranks 28th in the majors.
THIS AND THAT
▪ The Marlins could soon have another option for their starting rotation: Jeff Locke.
The left-hander continues to build arm strength and is being groomed to either start or relieve.
“We’re basically building him up as a starter, but knowing it [could be] either way,” Mattingly said. “We just want to have the option to start him if we have any injuries, or anything like that.”
Locke, who is on the DL with left shoulder tendinitis, has been throwing in simulated games and is scheduled for another one on Monday, when he is scheduled to throw 70 pitches.
“We’re getting close to that being ready to go,” Mattingly said. “He’s getting close to being ready.”
▪ One of the investment groups looking to buy the Marlins is loading up on 20-game winners.
Unfortunately for the struggling Marlins, who could use a frontline starter in their rotation, Dave Stewart and Tom Glavine are past their playing days.
Stewart’s name surfaced in the bidding fray for the franchise when USA Today reported the former pitcher and general manager has joined Tagg Romney’s group — which already included Glavine — in an effort to buy the team from Jeffrey Loria. They’re competing with the Jeb Bush-Derek Jeter group to land the franchise.
“We have two very strong groups that we believe will have sufficient financial resources to complete the sale and run the team effectively,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement to the Miami Herald earlier this week.
Both groups have submitted ballpark bids of $1.3 billion.
Stewart won 20 or more games for four consecutive seasons, from 1987-90, with the Oakland Athletics. Glavine accomplished the feat five times.
Unlike the other players (Glavine and Jeter) involved in the two investment groups, Stewart has front office experience, serving most recently as Arizona’s general manager from 2014-16. However, it’s uncertain what role he would play if the Romney group is successful in acquiring the team.
According to USA Today, Stewart was engaged with a separate group of investors “quietly” trying to buy the club. Now that group is joining Romney’s group, the newspaper reported.
▪ Saturday: Marlins RHP Despaigne (no record in 2017) at New York Mets RHP Robert Gsellman (1-2, 6.75 ERA), 7:10 p.m., Citi Field.
▪ Sunday: Marlins RHP Urena (0-0, 2.35) at Mets RHP Matt Harvey (2-2, 5.14), 1:10 p.m., Citi Field.