The Marlins are dealing with various small injuries throughout their spring camp, per a report from Barry Jackson and Craig Mish of the Miami Herald.
The slate of injuries include three relievers. Left-hander A.J. Puk has some tightness in the adductor muscle of his left leg, fellow lefty Tanner Scott is dealing with slight discomfort in his left biceps, while Tommy Nance has discomfort in his right shoulder. Puk and Scott are playing catch today but Nance will be reevaluated in a couple of days. “I’m not too concerned,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said to Jackson and Mish. “If it was a starter who had to get built up, that’s a whole different story. But the relievers, I think that’s a little easier.”
Puk, just acquired from the A’s a few weeks ago, was once one of the top prospects in the league but has struggled to stay healthy. Shoulder issues prevented him from making an appearance in 2020 and he struggled in 2021. He bounced back nicely last year, however, posting a 3.12 ERA over 62 appearances.
Scott was acquired from the Orioles a year ago and had a solid season for Miami, despite some control issues. He walked 15.9% of batters faced but struck out 31.1% and got grounders at a 46.3% clip. Nance was claimed off waivers from the Cubs about a year ago and registered a 4.33 ERA in 43 2/3 innings last year. He struck out 29.1% of opponents while walking 10.7%, also getting grounders at a strong 46.4% rate.
There’s also one other hiccup in the club’s bullpen, as Huascar Brazobán has yet to report to camp due to a visa issue. However, the issue has been resolved and Brazobán should be leaving the Dominican Republic for the United States tomorrow. The righty was a nice story last year, making his major league debut at the age of 32. He tossed 32 innings with a 3.09 ERA, 28.4% strikeout rate, 14.9% walk rate and 49.4% ground ball rate.
All in all, it seems like a pile of minor issues scattered throughout the bullpen, but they are situations worth monitoring with only about four weeks until Opening Day.
Leaving aside the bullpen, the club has been connected to free agent Yuli Gurriel multiple times this offseason. The most recent reporting indicated they offered him a $2MM deal at one point but took that offer the table when a week went by without a response. Today, Jackson and Mish report that the club is still willing to bring Gurriel into camp as a non-roster invitee if he’s interested.
The fact that a minor league deal hasn’t yet come to fruition suggests that Gurriel is perhaps still holding out for a major league pact. Garrett Cooper is penciled in as the club’s first baseman but he’s dealt with various injuries in his career and it makes sense that the Fish would look to add some depth behind him. Gurriel was a batting champ as recently as 2021 but he’s now entering his age-39 season and is coming off a rough campaign. He hit just .242/.288/.360 last year for a wRC+ of 85, indicating he was 15% worse than the league average hitter.
If Gurriel continues to linger on the market, the Marlins could potentially contact other first base options. The free agent market still features other bounceback candidates like Miguel Sanó and Mike Moustakas.
AJ Puk is injured?! Shocking.
It’s just shoulder tightness (next week – Tommy John)
Moustakas makes sense. Left Handed power can play 1B/2B/3B/DH and only costs the league minimum
He is a good compliment, but my question is what does he have left?
For the price tag alone it’s worth finding out
Yeah, it is. I personally prefer Sano because of age, and being only one year removed from 30 HRs and two 30-HR seasons in the last four.
They should bring all three to camp as NRI, see what they can do, then pick one and sign them for $1m.
Moose only has to be paid league minimum with the Reds paying the rest
Is he a viable 2B option at this stage?
No, but with Arraez, Wendle, Berti, Segura, and Jazz he wouldn’t have to be
Of the other 1B options available, if not Gurriel, I’d lean toward Sano.
With the bullpen injuries, I’m not sure what it will mean when, even healthy, our bullpen still blows leads.
Steve Cohen Owns You
Fish ghosted by Yuli.
Yuli is going to have to swallow his pride or retire. $2M is a fair offer to a 39 year old coming off an 85 WRC+ season. Maybe he can negotiate some escalators in the deal for # of ABs, etc. to make him feel better but he’s not going to get much more than this on the open market.
I too would prefer they give Sano a shot provided that he is in shape and has been working out in the offseason. He appeared to have completely lost it last season before getting hurt, so hopefully he’s been working out like a fiend and is motivated to get his career back on track.
I agree about Gurriel needing to swallow his pride at this point. Maybe he can still get a guaranteed deal eventually with someone, but not being in spring training isn’t going to help his cause.
Puk’s name is appropriate for his hair and beard (Puke)
I remember Puk looking like a future Ace in college at Florida.
Man, he looked like one of those can’t miss prospects, and was at times just flat out dominant.
I guess with his pitching motion and all that violent movement on his muscles and joints, probably should have guessed he’d have trouble staying healthy, but it’s a shame, because when healthy he’s an extremely intriguing arm talent!!