July 19: Both Chisholm and Cooper are undergoing MRIs today, Wilson tweets. Manager Don Mattingly said simply that it “didn’t look good” for either player. Mish adds that he expects Chisholm to be placed on the injured list. The outlook on Cooper is not yet clear.
July 18: Two of the Marlins’ most prominent players made early exits from today’s 7-4 loss to the Phillies. Jazz Chisholm Jr. suffered a left shoulder contusion in the first inning and had to leave the game, while Garrett Cooper departed in the eighth inning due to an elbow injury sustained after Travis Jankowski ran into Cooper’s arm during a play at first base.
Marlins skipper Don Mattingly told reporters (including Craig Mish and David Wilson of the Miami Herald) that both players will receive further testing, including an MRI for Cooper tomorrow. A first set of x-rays on Chisholm’s shoulder didn’t reveal anything, which is a very good sign considering how much pain Chisholm was in after awkwardly landing on the field in his attempt to catch a Bryce Harper bloop single in right field.
Chisholm already spent a few weeks on the injured list this season due to a hamstring injury, and missed a few games but avoided another IL visit while battling through a bad ankle. After a very hot start to the season, Chisholm has hit only .238/.293/.399 in 209 plate appearances since returning from the injured list on May 16, though he had started to swing the bat a little better over the last couple of weeks.
Overall, Chisholm hasn’t done anything to detract from his status as a building block piece for Miami, but naturally the team would love to see the 23-year-old shake the injury bug and continue to gain more experience (today was only Chisholm’s 91st career MLB game) in what is increasingly looking like a developmental year for the last-place Marlins. Today’s loss dropped the Fish to a 40-53 record, and with 9.5 games between the Marlins and first place in the NL East, Miami looks like a team that will be in seller mode heading into the July 30 trade deadline.
To that end, Cooper stood out as a potential trade chip, provided he is healthy. Cooper has quietly been a very productive player for the last three seasons, including a .282/.378/.463 slash line and nine homers in 251 PA in 2021. Any number of contending teams could be interested in that type of offense from first base or right field, and Cooper is also both controllable (through 2023) and affordable, as he is owed roughly $748K for the remainder of this season. Even a 10-day stint on the IL, however, could scuttle Cooper’s chances of being moved at the deadline, so the Marlins might have to wait until the offseason to possibly revisit the idea of trading the 30-year-old.