Scratch Jose Ceda‘s name from the competition to earn a spot on the Miami Marlins bullpen for opening day. Ceda has been diagnosed with an elbow strain. Ceda suffered the injury against the Atlanta Braves in Orlando last Thursday.
The injury is not considered to be serious by the team, but the possibility of Tommy John surgery has not been ruled out yet.
Ceda had made five Grapefruit League appearances. He logged a 1.23 ERA in 7 1/3 innings with two walks and eight strikeouts. It seemed like Ceda was finally going to make the impact that the Marlins had anticipated he would when they traded Kevin Gregg to the Chicago Cubs for his services.
This could be the second full season Ceda misses since joining the Marlins. In 2009, he was unable to pitch after undergoing shoulder surgery. The Marlins certainly hope that is not the case. It is reasonable to believe that he will be needed at some point this season.
With the bullpen all but set, the competition will now boil down to lefty Wade LeBlanc and righty Chad Gaudin. LeBlanc is already on the Marlins 40-man roster, while Gaudin is signed on a minor league deal.
While LeBlanc has been extremely effective this spring, the Marlins might send the lefty to Class AAA New Orleans where he can continue starting. This way the Marlins would have an option to call up to make a spot start or two. LeBlanc has one option remaining on his contract.