The Miami Marlins are 16-20 after 26 games and have been without their top two starters for the majority of the season. That’s not the script they planned on before the season, or during their off-season of building a contender.
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Good news for the team: Henderson Alvarez will be returning to the Miami Marlins starting rotation, making his third start of the season on Sunday against the Atlanta Braves. This according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
Alvarez has just made two starts for the Marlins this season, working just 12 innings for the team. He has lost both his starts (vs the Braves and Rays), allowing 6 earned runs on 13 hits. Alvarez has struck out 5 and walked just one. His ERA is an unimpressive 4.50, but his 3.65 FIP paints a better picture of the pitcher the Marlins should get upon his return.
After leaving his start against the Rays early on April 12th, the Marlins feared the worse, as Alvarez had to have an MRI on both his throwing elbow and shoulder. Luckily, the MRI results came back clean and Alvarez was put on the 15-day disabled list as a precaution.
On Tuesday, one month after his last game, Alvarez pitched in a rehab game for the Jupiter Hammerheads. He pitched 6 shutout innings, allowing just 4 hits, striking out 5, and not walking anyone.
While there was talk about Hendy potentially making one more rehab start, the hamstring injury to Jarred Cosart and the struggles of the rest of the staff and bullpen might have pushed the Marlins front office to bring Alvarez up faster then they initially had hoped.
Because of his strong 2014 campaign, Alvarez was named the Miami Marlins Opening day starter and was expected to be the ace of the staff until Jose Fernandez returned. His loss affected the rotation gravely, despite David Phelps pitching well in his absence.
Alvarez’s shoulder will be something to keep an eye for the duration of the season and into his future. He’s hit the DL with some sort of shoulder ailment each of his three seasons in Miami.
Tom Koehler seems to be the odd man out of the rotation with Alvarez back in the mix. He’ll likely be the longman and could even fill in the late innings role, even the closer role, if a need opens up.