The Marlins have placed infielders Joey Wendle and Brian Anderson on the 10-day injured list, tweets Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald. Wendle, whose placement is retroactive to yesterday, has a strained right hamstring. Anderson, whose placement is retroactive to May 28, is dealing with back spasms. In their place, Miami recalled righty Edward Cabrera and infielder Luke Williams from Triple-A. The Fish also tabbed right-hander Zach Pop as the 27th man for today’s doubleheader at Coors Field against the Rockies.
The pair of injuries suddenly leaves the Marlins without their top two options at the hot corner. Anderson has appeared in 22 games at third base and logged 77 plate appearances at the position, both of which lead the team. Wendle is second in both respects, appearing in 18 games and tallying 63 plate appearances as a third baseman. Both have spent ample time at other positions — Anderson in the outfield corners, Wendle at both middle-infield slots — and both have been productive hitters on the whole. Anderson is slashing .267/.374/.410 on the year, while Wendle has posted a .284/.340/.420 line.
Suffice it to say, it’s a notable blow for an already-struggling Marlins club that is sitting 19-27 on the season, only avoiding the NL East cellar thanks to a disastrous 18-33 Nationals team. The Marlins haven’t given a timetable on either player’s return just yet, though manager Don Mattingly will presumably provide some more info prior to the first game of today’s twin bill.
With both Wendle and Anderson shelved for at least the short term, the Marlins will likely turn to a combination of Jon Berti, the newly recalled Luke Williams and super-utilityman Willians Astudillo at the hot corner. Berti, 32, has had a productive run in his usual utility role so far this season, hitting .250/.391/.442 in 64 plate appearances. Astudillo is 3-for-11 with no strikeouts or walks (par for the course) through his first 11 turns at bat since being selected from Triple-A. Williams, acquired from the Giants in a trade late last month, has posted huge numbers in 13 Triple-A games this year but struggled there in 2021.
As the Marlins hope to weather the storm of their latest injury, they’ll give the promising young Cabrera his first big league look of the 2022 season. Long considered one of their best minor league arms and currently a consensus top-100 prospect in the sport, the 6’5″ righty struggled through seven starts in 2021 and will make his 2022 debut in an unenviable setting at Coors Field. He’s pitched 27 2/3 innings so far this season and worked to a 3.90 ERA with a sizable 33.6% strikeout rate but a bloated 12.9% walk rate.
With Jesus Luzardo currently sidelined by a forearm strain and fellow top prospects Max Meyer and Sixto Sanchez also battling health troubles in the minors, there’s an opening for Cabrera to stake his claim to a spot in the Miami rotation if he can impress. Even if today is only a one-and-done spot start due to the doubleheader, righty Elieser Hernandez has struggled in the big leagues to the point that his rotation spot shouldn’t be guaranteed moving forward. Cabrera, who averaged 96.9 mph on his heater last year and also draws praise for a potentially plus breaking ball, could figures to get a look at some point, one way or another. Across three minor league levels in 2021, the 24-year-old notched a 2.93 ERA with a gaudy 36.9% strikeout rate and a 10% walk rate.