Marlins reliever Bryan Morris has elected to undergo back surgery, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports on Twitter. The righty could still return later this season, per manager Don Mattingly, though his timeline appears uncertain at present.
It’s a significant loss for the Fish, who have received 121 1/3 innings of 2.30 ERA pitching from the 29-year-old since acquiring him back in 2014. While his underlying numbers, including 7.1 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9, didn’t quite support the results, the hard-throwing righty has been a critical piece of the pen. His velocity had been down a tick this year as against recent campaigns, though it still fell within his earlier-career figures.
Miami is already without the excellent Carter Capps for the year, which depleted the late-inning mix before the season even got underway. Fortunately for the team, Kyle Barraclough has upped his strikeout rate to offset his sky-high walk rates, while David Phelps has emerged as a force. And closer A.J. Ramos is still humming along nicely, though he too has posted somewhat concerning walk rates.
While that group has its share of promise, there’s also quite a bit of uncertainty. If the Marlins can remain in the hunt over the next two months, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team dabble in the relief market.