After a series of roster transactions on Monday, including Henderson Alvarez landing on the 15-day disabled list, the team was required to make one more move, one that likely won’t have any impact on the major league roster. The Marlins placed David Phelps on the paternity list and recalled prospect Jose Urena from Triple-A New Orleans.
Though David Phelps is not with the team right now, manager Mike Redmond expects him to be back on Friday and make his first start of the season, in place of the injured Henderson Alvarez. That means Jose Urena will be demoted as soon as Phelps is able to come back.
Urena has made one start at the Triple-A level this season, throwing 6 innings, striking out 5 batters, walking one, and hitting another. He posted a 3.33 ERA and a 3.39 FIP last season with the Jacksonville Suns and played a huge role in the team capturing the Southern League Championship.
Despite his success in Double-A last year and the prospect pedigree, Urena is still not quite ready to make his major league debut. He still has things to work on in the minors before he’s ready and I doubt he’s used in any of the Marlins games before he is demoted again.
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Redmond will likely save Urena as an emergency guy, much like he did with Anthony DeSclafani last year, when Disco spent 10 days in the majors without an appearance, before being demoted.
Phelps, who will be making his first start of the season Friday, has appeared in two games this season, throwing just one full inning. Phelps has faced 9 hitters, allowing 4 runs on hits. He’s struck out just 1 and walked 2. His numbers don’t look too pretty, coming in with a 36.00 ERA, a 6.98 FIP, and a 9.63 xFIP.
The Marlins know that one inning of work is not what they are likely to get from Phelps going forward, as he owns a 4.21 career FIP in 300 innings of work. Much of that work came in a hitter friendly Yankees Park, so some positive regression could come with him pitching half his games in Miami.
Still, David Phelps is a huge step down from Henderson Alvarez as a starter for the Miami Marlins.
Though the Marlins were not happy to make the roster moves they had to, this one they must have enjoyed. The team should be excited to be adding another member to the Marlins family.