Miami Marlins News: Jose Urena to make first start Tuesday night


As we have speculated, the Miami Marlins have had to dip into their scarce minor league pitching depth for answers. The first answer is 23-year-old right-hander Jose Urena, who the club has recalled from Triple-A New Orleans to start tonight’s game in Pittsburgh.

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Urena, Miami’s number seven prospect according to, made his big league debut last month in Atlanta. Upon his first callup he wasn’t expected to pitch, but the Marlins weren’t forecasting the rash of injuries they experienced around that time either. Urena took the mound twice in relief–he worked one scoreless inning in Atlanta, and two innings in which he allowed three runs and a home run against the New York Mets–before being sent back down to New Orleans.

For the Zephyrs this season, Urena owns a sparkling 1.21 ERA in six starts spanning 37.1 innings. He isn’t even the organization’s top pitching prospect, but those numbers have forced the Marlins’ hand as they seek help on the current six-game road trip. That’s no slight against Urena–he has absolutely earned the right to start tonight’s game. And if he pitches well, he could find himself cemented in the rotation for a few more starts, depending on how long Henderson Alvarez takes to recover from his most recent DL stint.

When you look at the Marlins depth chart according to their official site, it can literally ruin your day. It reads:

1. Dan Haren
2. David Phelps
3. Tom Koehler
4. Jose Urena

Brad Hand, who has been used in mostly long relief and low-leverage situations this year, could jump into the number five spot and start tomorrow night’s series finale in Pittsburgh. Miami’s number two prospect Justin Nicolino is another option to get the call, but Hand seems like the more realistic option to start right now.

Remember when the rotation was considered a strength and the Marlins were supposed to ride their talented young staff to a potential playoff birth? Sure, no one saw all these bumps in the road coming; the extent of injuries to this pitching staff has been laughable the first two months of this season. Alvarez, an ineffective Mat Latos, a dizzy but solid Jarred Cosart, and, of course, Jose Fernandez, are all currently on the disabled list. At this point, it’s almost hard to even get mad. All you can do is laugh it off, hope the starters come back soon and as healthy and effective as they have proven they can be, and see what some of these young guys can do in the interim.

Doesn’t that pretty much sum up Marlins fandom?

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