The Marlins announced that right-hander Henderson Alvarez has been placed on the 15-day disabled list due to right shoulder inflammation. Earlier today, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweeted that the team was more concerned with Alvarez’s shoulder than his elbow heading into an MRI. While the length of time that Alvarez will miss is yet to be determined, the news is certainly troubling, as shoulder issues are often more problematic than elbow issues for pitchers, in the long-term. Miami is already without ace Jose Fernandez, who had Tommy John surgery last May, and offseason acquisition Mat Latos was shelled in his first outing. He’ll look to rebound tonight, but he’s shown diminished velocity that has led to concern in some scouts as well.
A couple more Marlins notes…
- The Marlins also announced that top catching prospect J.T. Realmuto has been recalled from Triple-A and will join the team in Atlanta. (Andy Slater of 940-AM first tweeted that Realmuto would definitively be recalled, and the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer called the move expected last night.) Realmuto and Reid Brignac will replace Jeff Mathis and Don Kelly, who bizarrely suffered the same injury — a broken right ring finger — six innings apart from each other. Realmuto’s presence is significant, given the struggles of Jarrod Saltalamacchia since signing in Miami. Entering the season, the 24-year-old Realmuto ranked 70th among prospects, per MLB.com, 72nd per ESPN’s Keith Law and 76th per Baseball America. Realmuto repeated Double-A in 2013 and saw his OPS soar from .663 to .830, and most scouting reports feel that his glove has taken a significant step forward as well. Saltalamacchia has batted just .217/.317/.364 as a Marlin, exhibiting his usual struggles to control the running game and well-below-average framing skills. He’s owed $7MM this year and $8MM in 2016, but if Realmuto thrives, it’s conceivable that Saltalamacchia could find himself on the back burner in Miami.
- David Phelps is a leading candidate to step into Miami’s rotation, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro noted yesterday when speculating about the possibility of Alvarez landing on the disabled list. Phelps was a somewhat unheralded component of the offseason’s Martin Prado trade, but he did soak up 113 innings for an injury-plagued Yankees roster in 2014. Phelps worked to a 4.38 ERA in that time, averaging 7.3 strikeouts and 3.7 walks per nine innings pitched. As a pitcher who generates a fair amount of fly-balls, Phelps seems likely to benefit from the Marlins’ spacious park and excellent outfield defense.
- It’s also worth noting that Aaron Crow will land on the 60-day DL to clear a 40-man roster spot for Brignac, and that right-hander Carter Capps will take Alvarez’s roster spot. Capps, 24, is the pitcher that the Marlins received in exchange for Logan Morrison in a December 2013 trade with Seattle. He pitched quite well for Miami in 2014 before an elbow sprain cost him most of the season.