Right-hander Colin Rea, acquired by the Marlins alongside Andrew Cashner in Friday’s seven-player trade with the Padres, left his Marlins debut last night in the fourth inning with soreness in his right elbow, as MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweeted at the time. The injury was ominous even last night, and it hasn’t gotten any better, as the Marlins have placed Rea on the 15-day DL, and MLB.com’s Jon Morosi has tweeted that he’ll undergo an MRI tomorrow.
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If the injury proves to be relatively minor and requires only a minimal DL stay, the Marlins can probably patch things together in the short-term. If it’s a longer-term injury, however, the Marlins could be forced into trying to scrounge up one more starter to round out the rotation before Monday’s non-waiver deadline (or, perhaps, via trade waivers in August). That’s not great news for a Marlins club that has depleted what was already a thin farm system in trades to acquire Rea, Andrew Cashner and Fernando Rodney from the Padres. Reporters have already begun to speculate on possible alternatives for the Marlins, with USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeting that Jon Niese would make a good low-cost (in terms of prospects) rental, and FanRag’s Jon Heyman suggesting Ivan Nova (Twitter link).
While the injury to Rea, who was in the midst of an excellent debut (3 1/3 innings, one hit, no walks, four strikeouts), is an unquestionable stroke of bad luck for the Marlins, the misfortune goes both ways. Right-hander Chris Paddack, who went to San Diego from Miami in exchange for Rodney, has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament and is likely to require Tommy John surgery, per Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (on Twitter). Paddack has been nothing short of sensational this year and has rapidly elevated his prospect status, but he now stands to lose a full year of development. Given the late stage of the season in which he has incurred the injury, Paddack could conceivably miss nearly all of the 2017 season as he recovers from the injury.