The Marlins announced a series of moves this afternoon, including the placement of right-hander Cody Poteet on the 10-day injured list due to a right MCL sprain. (The Miami Herald’s Jordan McPherson was among those to report the news.) Right-hander Zach Thompson’s contract was selected from Triple-A to take Poteet’s spot on the active roster, and a 40-man roster spot was created when Elieser Hernandez was moved to the 60-day injured list.
Hernandez went to the 10-day IL just yesterday because of a right quad strain, though the Marlins specified today that Hernandez’s injury was “severe” in nature. Hernandez will now be out of action until at least early August, and given the apparent seriousness of the injury, it is fair to speculate whether or not the right-hander could possibly be out of action for the remainder of the season.
Poteet’s injury only adds to an increasingly short-handed pitching situation for Miami. Due to the absence of Hernandez and Sixto Sanchez, Poteet got an opportunity for his MLB debut and was making the most of it, with a 3.75 ERA/4.42 SIERA over five starts and 24 innings. Despite a below-average 22.1% strikeout rate, Poteet was using some elite curveball spin to outperform his overall middling Statcast numbers. At the very least, Poteet was doing enough to doing enough to solidify his spot in the rotation before injury struck yesterday, and he was forced out of the 9-2 loss to the Pirates after only 2 2/3 innings.
Trevor Rogers, Sandy Alcantara, and Pablo Lopez have been a solid top three for the Marlins’ rotation, but there is now a major void with both Poteet and Hernandez out of action. Braxton Garrett and Daniel Castano are both at Triple-A and might be the most logical options for the moment, considering that many of Miami’s top starting candidates are still recovering from injury.
Jordan Holloway might not be too far away, as he is expected to begin a Triple-A rehab assignment tonight. A groin injury sent Holloway to the 10-day IL on May 22, and he has already made two starts in a piggyback capacity this season. Marlins manager Don Mattingly told MLB.com’s Christina De Nicola and other reporters that the plan is to build Holloway’s workload up to 75-90 pitches so he can potentially be used as a starter when his rehab assignment is over.
Given all this rotation uncertainty, it isn’t surprising that the Marlins are looking for some external pitching help, pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. told McPherson (Twitter links) and other reporters. The team would prefer to add an experienced arm rather than prematurely force their pitching prospects up to the majors for fill-in duty.
Sanchez has yet to pitch this season due to shoulder discomfort, and his rehab was recently halted after he felt discomfort between bullpen sessions. Stottlemyre didn’t shed much light on when Sanchez might continue on the road to recovery, saying, “Some of the things that he was doing before got better, but there’s still a stall in his program. I’m not going to tell you he’s hurt, but it’s not time to move forward with rehab starts yet.”
Thompson was a starter earlier in his minor league career, but considering he hasn’t started a game since 2017, it’s safe to assume the righty will head to Miami’s bullpen as he seems set to make his Major League debut. A fifth-round pick for the White Sox in the 2014 draft, Thompson has a 4.11 ERA over 519 career frames in the minors, which includes a 6.60 ERA over 15 innings at Triple-A Jacksonville this season. Thompson has allowed four homers in those 15 innings to inflate his ERA, and his other peripherals (21 strikeouts and two walks) are otherwise quite impressive.