The Marlins announced that they’ve placed shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria on the 10-day disabled list due to a left oblique strain. In his place, they’ve selected the contract of Stephen Lombardozzi from Triple-A New Orleans. Right-hander Joe Gunkel has been designated for assignment in order to clear a roster spot for Lombardozzi.
It’s been a rough week for the Marlins’ infield, as they’ve now lost both of the starters on the left side of the infield and their primary utility option to the DL. A hamstring strain sent Martin Prado to the 10-day DL on Monday, while a fractured thumb will cost Miguel Rojas several months of the season.
With Hechavarria, Prado and Rojas all sidelined, it seems that the Marlins will utilize Derek Dietrich at third base, J.T. Riddle at shortstop and Lombardozzi in a utility role. Though Hechavarria doesn’t offer much with the bat, his stellar glovework at shortstop will be missed during his absence. Miami hasn’t provided any type of timeline for Hechavarria to return to action, but oblique injuries can often keep players out of action for a month or more.
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For Lombardozzi, this will mark his first big league action since a brief 12-game stretch with the 2015 Pirates. The former Nationals farmhand was once regarded as one of the better prospects in Washington’s minor league ranks, though he’s never cemented himself as a regular bench option in the Majors. A second-generation big leaguer — his father, also named Steve, spent parts of six seasons in the Majors — Lombardozzi is a career .263/.294/.336 hitter in 840 plate appearances. He can play second base, third base, shortstop and in the outfield corners.
Gunkel has bounced around the league quite a bit in the past month or so, going from the Orioles to the Dodgers to the Marlins in a series of minor transactions. Miami will hope that he’s able to clear waivers, but given that Gunkel is an upper-level starter with minor league options remaining, he could certainly be appealing to a team in need of rotation depth.
The 25-year-old Gunkel has not yet made his Major League debut but has a solid minor league track record. He’s posted a 2.99 ERA in 150 1/3 career innings at the Double-A level and a 4.07 ERA in the exact same number of Triple-A innings. While he doesn’t miss many bats (6.0 K/9 in Triple-A), Gunkel has excellent control (1.1 BB/9) and keeps the ball on the ground at a roughly 40 percent clip.