When we previously checked in on injured Marlins reliever Drew Steckenrider in mid-June, there was optimism he’d return in early August. Steckenrider’s flexor strain has continued to shelve him, though, and there’s no end in sight. The right-hander will miss the rest of the season, Glenn Sattell of MLB.com was recently among those to report. Steckenrider underwent a scope on his pitching elbow Friday, though the Marlins are optimistic he’ll be fine by spring training next year.
This was a season to forget for Steckenrider – not only thanks to the injury, but because he fell flat over the 14 1/3 innings he did pitch. Steckenrider coughed up 10 earned runs on nine hits, including six home runs, in that span. He did total 14 strikeouts against five walks, but that decent ratio couldn’t help the 28-year-old overcome his sudden gopher ball issues.
Steckenrider entered the season as a potential trade chip for the Marlins, with whom he notched much better production over the previous two years. As a rookie in 2017, Steckenrider fired 34 2/3 innings of 2.34 ERA/3.10 FIP pitching and posted a sky-high 14.02 strikeouts per nine (against 4.67 walks). Steckenrider wasn’t as crisp last year across a larger sample of 64 2/3 frames, yet he still put up a useful 3.90 ERA/3.62 FIP with 10.3 K/9 and 3.76 BB/9. Notably, Steckenrider surrendered just one HR for every nine innings during his initial two seasons. That number soared to 3.77 this year.
With his value way down, Steckenrider doesn’t figure to be an offseason trade candidate for rebuilding Miami. However, he could end up on the block next summer if he bounces back in the season’s first few months. Steckenrider’s not on track to become eligible for arbitration until after next year or hit free agency until the conclusion of the 2023 campaign.