In a pair of highly unfortunate developments for the playoff-contending Marlins, the club has placed both right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (left groin strain) and southpaw Adam Conley (left third finger tendonitis) on the 15-day disabled list, per an official announcement. To fill their respective spots on the roster, the Marlins have recalled infielder Robert Andino and recently acquired left-handed reliever Hunter Cervenka from Triple-A New Orleans. They’ve also released right-handed reliever Cody Hall.
Stanton suffered his injury on a slide that led to the final out of the Marlins’ 8-7 loss to the White Sox on Saturday. The 26-year-old, who hit his 25th home run of the season earlier in the game, was trying to stretch a single into a double on the play and slid awkwardly, hurting his groin.
This is the second straight year with a noteworthy injury for Stanton, whose 2015 season ended in June on account of a fractured left hamate bone. Stanton was hitting an excellent .265/.346/.606 with 27 homers in 318 plate appearances at the time, but he hasn’t been nearly as effective this season. Still, the star slugger has produced an above-average .244/.329/.496 batting line in 432 trips to the plate, and he remains among the sport’s premier power threats.
Losing Stanton leaves Miami without two of its three home run leaders, including first baseman Justin Bour, who hasn’t played since July 2 because of an ankle issue and isn’t progressing toward a return. Even before Stanton’s injury, the Marlins dropped eight of 11 games to begin August, though they remain within a half-game of the second Wild Card spot in the National League. But, just as they haven’t been able to come close to replicating Bour’s lost production, they won’t be able to find anyone to rival Stanton’s output. While the newest member of the 3,000-hit club, Ichiro Suzuki, has batted .319/.389/.390 in 240 PAs and represents a quality off-the-bench fill-in, the 42-year-old is a radically different player than Stanton. Ichiro hasn’t homered this year and has gone deep only twice since 2014.
Conley, meanwhile, hasn’t thrown more than five innings in a start since July 27. He logged four frames Saturday and gave up five earned runs on five hits and four walks. Conley then revealed that he has been dealing with soreness in his pitching hand that has sapped him of velocity, per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
Like Stanton, Conley will be difficult for Miami to replace. Aside from ace Jose Fernandez, Conley has perhaps been the Marlins’ best starter. The 26-year-old has recorded a 3.94 ERA, 8.42 K/9 and 4.21 BB/9 across 130 1/3 innings this season. He’ll now join southpaw Wei-Yin Chen as the second key member of their rotation to hit the DL, leaving them with Fernandez, Tom Koehler, Andrew Cashner and David Phelps. The only one of those four who inspires confidence is Fernandez, but the Marlins are keeping an eye on his innings and are skipping his originally scheduled Sunday start.
Jose Urena, Justin Nicolino and Kendry Flores are potential Conley replacements in New Orleans, though the former two have performed poorly in extensive major league action this year. Depending on the severity of Conley’s injury, then, the Marlins seem like candidates to scour the market for a potential August trade. Otherwise, their iffy-at-best rotation could help cost them a playoff spot.