The Marlins have announced a host of roster moves, with the club designating infielder Mike Aviles for assignment to open a 40-man and active roster spot. He’ll be replaced by fellow infielder Christian Colon, who was claimed yesterday.
Righties Brian Ellington and Odrisamer Despaigne are coming up for Miami, as MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweeted last night. Veteran reliever Junichi Tazawa will hit the 10-day DL with what the team is calling “rib cartilage inflammation,” while starter Tom Koehler was optioned as expected.
The 36-year-old Aviles was only up briefly for the Fish, appearing in two games after a one-game stop at Triple-A. It seems reasonably likely that he’ll end up clearing waivers and heading back to the upper minors for a full ramp-up. He played in the World Baseball Classic, but did not sign until Miami came calling a week and a half ago as infield injuries mounted.
Times are tough for Miami, which has dropped to the NL East basement with a 14-24 record. The club has lost multiple key infielders and made several changes to an ineffective and injury-laden pitching staff. Colon will hopefully represent a patch for the infield, while Ellington will slot in the pen and Despaigne will offer a swingman option.
Meanwhile, lefty Wei-Yin Chen is said to have received relatively positive news following a recent MRI, per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro (via Twitter). He’s still going to “need more time,” though, before he’s able to work back to the hill. Chen is currently on the DL with arm fatigue; it now seems he’ll miss a fair bit more time than had initially been expected.
Given the issues in the rotation, the organization is considering moving righty David Phelps out of the bullpen, Frisaro further tweets. Phelps thrived in both roles last year. While he’s carrying only a 4.05 ERA in twenty relief innings thus far in 2017, he has sustained most of the strides he made last year in his peripherals. Thus far, Phelps has maintained 9.9 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9, with an 8.1% swinging-strike rate that lags last year’s mark (9.8%) but handily tops his career average (6.6%).