The Marlins activated righty Dan Straily yesterday, meaning he and fellow starter Wei-Yin Chen are each now officially back in the team’s rotation. The initial results were somewhat mixed, unsurprisingly. Straily managed just one strikeout while allowing four earned runs on six hits and four walks in four frames; Chen was much more effective, limiting the damage to one earned on four hits and two free passes, though he retired only three batters by strikeout in his 5 1/3 innings. From a health perspective, though, the returns are quite promising. Both hurlers worked in their typical velocity ranges and will have several months to build value in advance of the trade deadline. Whether either will be moved remains to be seen, but both could be interesting chips in their own ways. Straily could be an appealingly affordable plug-in for the right contender, perhaps returning some young talent to the rebuilding Miami org. As for Chen, the $42MM guarantee left on his contract beyond the present season remains a major impediment to any trade. But if he can show he’s effective and healthy, perhaps the Marlins can find a taker for some of that cash.
Here’s more from the NL East, which is shaping up to be quite a bit more interesting than most anticipated at the outset of the season:
- Though the Mets continue to pace the division, the race is only just getting started. Managing a roster all season long, particularly in the pitching department, could be a key to determining how things shake out. MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo addresses a host of reader questions, focusing on the club’s variety of swingmen. He suggests that Matt Harvey, Robert Gsellman, and Seth Lugo will likely continue working from the pen unless and until there’s a need for more than a spot start in the rotation. At that point, it seems, the organization could choose among them when the time comes.
- Likewise, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman answers some queries from Braves fans. Of particular interest, he provides a gauge on what kind of cash the organization may have to spend in the coming winter. Bowman says he has been told there’ll be at least $50MM in payroll capacity to work with for 2019, which is certainly a rather hefty sum for a team that is not among the bigger spenders around the game. Just how much is ultimately utilized, and how it’s allocated, is obviously far from being clear. As Bowman notes, the team will be gather information on its assets and needs all season long, even as it tries to extend a promising start to the year.
- Meanwhile, the Nationals continue to try to hold things together with several key cogs still on the mend. Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com has the latest on the injury front. Second baseman Daniel Murphy, who’s recovering from offseason knee surgery, made an appearance at Nats Park, but his status remains unclear at present. He’s set to be evaluated by the team’s medical staff before the next steps are determined. It’d be a surprise if a return is imminent for Murphy; fellow infielder Anthony Rendon, though, is likely not far from making it back from a toe injury. He may require a brief rehab stint but is expected to head back to the active roster in relatively short order. In other Nats news, the club has dipped into its farm to add another fresh arm. Righty Wander Suero will come up for his first MLB action, with Austin Voth optioned back to Triple-A without having made an appearance.