Fish Bytes

Miami Marlins pitcher Dan Straily ‘extremely lucky’ after injury scare

Marlins' manager Don Mattingly comes out to the mound to check on pitcher Dan Straily who was hit by a ball hit back at the pitcher in the fifth inning as the Miami Marlins host the Houston Astros on Mon., May 15, 2017.
Marlins' manager Don Mattingly comes out to the mound to check on pitcher Dan Straily who was hit by a ball hit back at the pitcher in the fifth inning as the Miami Marlins host the Houston Astros on Mon., May 15, 2017. pfarrell@miamiherald.com

Miami starter Dan Straily wore a pad on his pitching arm before Tuesday’s game. It was needed to reduce the swelling.

Straily, who’s in his first year with the Marlins, was struck by a 108-mph liner from Houston’s Evan Gattis in the fifth inning of Monday’s game, and the Marlins are taking every precaution to ensure that it didn’t do any lasting damage.

That’s why Straily wore the pad and was scheduled to get an X-ray. He also didn’t toss around his weighted baseballs prior to Tuesday’s game like he normally would the day after a start.

But he said he feels fine, and he thinks he’ll make his next start as scheduled.

“It’s just to cross everything off the list,” he said of the X-ray. “We’re 100 percent confident that there’s nothing broken. I think I would feel it.”

He added that, after watching the replay, it was striking how much worse it could have been. If his forearm hadn’t been in the way, the ball was headed right for his ribs. He said the impact bruised his ribs regardless.

“I got extremely lucky,” he said. “It’s baseball. It happens. It’s unfortunate that it cost me a few innings last night but, hopefully, that’s all it costs me.”

The Marlins have lost 15 of their past 15 games.

BULLPEN BLUES

Boos bounced off the walls in Marlins Park as reliever Junichi Tazawa exited Monday night’s game. But Miami’s bullpen wasn’t done.

When it was over, the Marlins’ relievers had given up seven runs in four innings. And although that’s not an average night for Miami’s relief pitchers, the group has struggled lately.

During the month of May, Miami’s relievers have a combined ERA of 5.72. Compare that with the bullpen ERAs of the other 29 MLB teams this season, and the Marlins would rank last.

They’re not last, however.

Instead, the rank 19th thanks to the group’s success in April.

During the season’s first month, Miami’s relievers notched a combined ERA of 3.35, which would place them at No. 8 compared with the MLB’s other bullpens entering Tuesday’s game.

Despite the recent difficulties, manager Don Mattingly stressed that he remains confident in his relievers.

“These are our guys that we go to. That we believed in to start the season,” he said. “And we still wanna have belief in them.”

THIS AND THAT

The Marlins bolstered their infield depth by adding utility man Christian Colon to their organization. He was claimed off waivers from the Kansas City Royals.

Colon is best known for his 12th-inning pinch-hit single to give the Royals the lead in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series. His hit turned out to be the game-winner, giving Kansas City the title.

However, the club designated him for assignment on May 10.

In his four major-league seasons, Colon hit .263 with 25 RBI in 348 plate appearances. He was drafted fourth overall by the Royals in 2010.

In order to make room for Colon, who is likely headed for Miami’s Triple A affiliate, the New Orleans Baby Cakes, the Marlins designated Steve Lombardozzi for assignment.

▪ Starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen’s status with the Marlins remains unclear. Mattingly said Chen had an MRI on his throwing arm on Tuesday, but its findings are unknown.

“I haven’t heard any results yet,” Mattingly said. “More to come.”

Chen has been out with “left arm fatigue” since his fifth start of the season on May 1.

▪ With lefty Dallas Keuchel starting for Houston, Mattingly decided to give some of his usual lefty starters a day off Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s 12:10 series finale. First baseman Justin Bour and third baseman Derek Dietrich were replaced by righties Tyler Moore and Mike Aviles.

COMING UP

▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Jose Urena (1-1, 1.98 ERA) vs. Houston Astros RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (3-1, 2.98), 12:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

▪ Thursday: Marlins RHP Edinson Volquez (0-5, 4.41) at Los Angeles Dodgers, TBA, 10:10 p.m., Dodger Stadium.

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