The Marlins have placed right-hander Elieser Hernandez and first baseman/outfielder Garrett Cooper on the 10-day injured list, the team announced. (Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald was among those to report the details.) Hernandez was placed on the standard 10-day IL while Cooper is on the COVID-related injury list. Right-handers Nick Neidert and Jordan Holloway will fill the two open spots on the active roster.
Cooper was placed on the IL due to an adverse reaction after receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, a fairly common side effect for some vaccinated patients. Because there is no 10-day minimum attached to the COVID list, Cooper could be back in action as early as Tuesday if he is feeling better, though the Marlins chose to sideline him.
Hernandez’s injury could be much more of a long-term problem, as his outing on Saturday was cut short in the third inning due to inflammation in his right biceps area. More will be known about his status once Hernandez completes a doctor visit later today.
The 25-year-old had a 3.16 ERA/3.17 SIERA and a very impressive 32.7% strikeout rate and 4.7% walk rate over 25 2/3 innings and six starts in 2020, and the Marlins were looking forward to seeing what Hernandez could do over a longer stretch of innings as a member of their rotation this season. That progress will now be set back for at least a little while, however, as Hernandez joins Sixto Sanchez and Edward Cabrera as Miami rotation candidates dealing with injuries.
This has created an opportunity for Neidert, who has a 3.20 ERA and 22.15% strikeout rate over 460 2/3 minor league innings in the Seattle and Miami farm systems. A second-round pick for the Mariners in the 2015 draft, Neidert was dealt to the Marlins as part of the trade that sent Dee Strange-Gordon to Seattle in December 2017. Neidert made his big league debut in 2020 with 8 1/3 relief innings over four games (posting a 5.40 ERA), and might have gotten more playing time had it not been for a stint on the COVID-19 injured list that cost him over a month of the season.
Holloway might also factor into the Marlins’ rotation plans depending on how the club opts to address its starting pitching situation, though he could also be a short-term addition if Cooper is able to make a quick return. Holloway has worked almost exclusively as a starter throughout his seven pro seasons, delivering a 4.64 ERA over 304 1/3 innings since the Marlins selected him in the 20th round of the 2014 draft. Like Neidert, Holloway spent much of the season on the COVID-related injury list, limiting his first big league season to just a single game (four batters faced over a third of an inning of work).