The Marlins placed righty Drew Steckenrider on the 10-day injured list due to inflammation in his right elbow last night, and Andre Fernandez of The Athletic tweets that the 28-year-old righty is undergoing further testing in Miami today. Entering the season, Steckenrider looked poised to hold down a significant role in the Miami relief corps. The offseason addition of Sergio Romo to the bullpen gave him some immediate competition for saves, but Steckenrider was in line for a prominent late-inning gig regardless of what inning he pitched most frequently. Through the first 99 1/3 innings of his big league career in 2017-18, Steckenrider posted a 3.35 ERA with 11.6 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and 1.0 HR/9. Steckenrider, though, struggled through a rough second half last year and hasn’t looked right this season, pitching to a 6.28 ERA in 14 1/3 frames. After allowing seven homers all of last season and just 11 dating back to 2017, he’s served up six long balls already. His velocity has held up, and he isn’t necessarily having trouble throwing strikes (3.1 BB/9). However, Steckenrider is falling behind hitters more than he has in the past and seems to be struggling to locate within the zone.
Some more injury updates of note…
- Slugger Khris Davis departed last night’s game due to “lingering effects from the left hip contusion he suffered on Sunday in Pittsburgh,” the Athletics announced. There’s no word on whether Davis will require any additional absence at this point, though he already sat out a pair of games with that issue before last night’s early exit. Last year’s home run leader is hitting .227/.306/.477 with 10 long balls on the season so far. His health status will be worth keeping an eye on, as his availability could directly impact Kendrys Morales’ place on the roster now that Matt Olson has returned from the injured list.
- Mariners right-hander Hunter Strickland has been cleared to resume throwing, writes Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. Strickland opened the season as the closer in Seattle and picked up a pair of saves with two perfect outings in his first two appearances. He was torched for three runs in his third appearance of the season, though, and landed on the injured list due to a strained lat that’ll sideline him more than two months when all is said and done. As Divish notes, Strickland had to restart his entire throwing program, so there’s no guarantee that he’ll be ready for activation when his 60-day minimum window is met on June 5. The Mariners have tried out Anthony Swarzak in the ninth inning with Strickland on the shelf, but he’s blown three of his past four save opportunities. Lefty Roenis Elias, too, has been in the mix for saves and has thrown more effectively.
- Angels righty Keynan Middleton had a minor setback in his rehab from Tommy John surgery last week but has resumed throwing, general manager Billy Eppler told reporters yesterday (link via Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times). Middleton ramped up his throwing a bit too aggressively and had to scale back his rehab for a week, but he’s still on track for a return for a midsummer return (late June or sometime in July). A healthy Middleton would only add to a relief corps that features plenty of quality arms even with Cody Allen struggling. Ty Buttrey has emerged as one of the American League’s most impressive young relievers, and he’s but one of four Halo relievers averaging at least 10.7 K/9 with a sub-3.00 ERA on the season. The flamethrowing Middleton averaged 96.7 mph on his heater and logged a 3.43 ERA with a 15 percent swinging-strike rate in 76 career innings before undergoing surgery last season.