Marlins righty Elieser Hernandez left today’s start in the third inning due to what the team described as “inflammation in his right biceps tendon.” Hernandez experienced a big velocity drop after his previous two innings of work, and manager Don Mattingly told reporters (including MLB.com’s Christina De Nicola) that he initially thought it could be a recurrence of the blister problem that has bothered Hernandez in the past. Mattingly didn’t have any updates about Hernandez’s status after the game, other than to say “obviously, it’s something that we’ll have to be careful with.”
After posting a 3.16 ERA over the small sample size of 25 2/3 innings in 2020, Hernandez was being eyed by the Marlins as a candidate for a much more extended breakout this year. However, with Hernandez now possibly sidelined and Sixto Sanchez and prospect Edward Cabrera already nursing injuries, Miami already finds itself short on pitching depth. The Marlins have a bit of flexibility due to off-days both tomorrow and on April 9, but with Hernandez possibly facing an IL stint, De Nicola suggests the club could again look to acquire some veteran starting depth to replace the recently-retired Gio Gonzalez.
More injury updates from around baseball…
- X-rays were negative on Michael Brantley’s right wrist after the Astros slugger was hit by a pitch from Oakland’s Cole Irvin today. Brantley remained in the game to play left field in the bottom half of the inning, but was replaced by pinch-hitter Chas McCormick the next inning when it was Brantley’s next turn at the plate. Manager Dusty Baker told MLB.com’s Alyson Footer and other reporters that the team initially feared a much worse injury: “I went out to talk to Michael, he couldn’t feel his fingers….He’ll probably be sore for a couple days. He couldn’t turn the bat head over so he’s day to day until then.” McCormick was playing in just his second career big league game today, though on a Houston club that was already lacking in outfield depth, McCormick looks to be the top fill-in option if Brantley has to miss a significant amount of time.
- Right-hander Silvino Bracho suffered a left oblique strain in his final spring outing, Giants manager Gabe Kapler told Kerry Crowley of the Bay Area News Group and other reporters. Bracho is back playing catch but he will kept off a mound for the next 7-10 days. The oblique problem represents yet another health setback for Bracho, who missed all of 2019 recovering from Tommy John surgery and then pitched only a single inning in 2020 due to both a setback in his TJ recovery and then a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. With 89 2/3 total MLB innings on his resume, Bracho had spent his entire pro career in the Diamondbacks organization before signing a minor league deal with the Giants during the offseason.
- Nick Senzel left the Reds’ first game of the season due to a shoulder injury, but the outfielder returned to action today as a midgame defensive substitution. He also received one plate appearance in the Reds’ 9-6 victory over the Cardinals. There was certainly reason to fear the worst given Senzel’s lengthy injury history, though manager David Bell told reporters (including the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Charlie Goldsmith) that Senzel’s issue was “nothing serious” and that Senzel could be “back in the lineup in a matter of a day or two.”