Miami Marlins: Bryan Morris Activated off DL, Justin Nicolino to AAA; Michael Morse Hurt?

Jose Fernandez is back on Thursday and the Miami Marlins roster could look different in a couple of days, as a result of the return of their ace. 

The team made their first move today, as prospect Justin Nicolino was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans and reliever Bryan Morris was activated off the disabled list.

The Miami Marlins recalled Justin Nicolino 10 days ago, as Tom Koehler dealt with an injury that scratched him from his start. In his MLB debut, Nicolino did a decent job of shutting down the Cincinnati Reds, not allowing a run on 4 hits in 7 innings. He struck out two and walked two. Not a great start, but it was a decent debut.

His second start was anything but that, as Nicolino lasted just 4 innings, allowing the Los Angeles Dodgers 5 earned runs on 6 hits. He struck out two and walked one in the start, also allowing a home run.

Overall in his two starts, Nicolino owned a 4.09 ERA and a 4.64 FIP in 11 innings. His biggest flaw as a prospect has been the strikeouts, something he exhibited will be a problem that will plague him against strong lineups, as the Dodgers have.

For the Miami Marlins, it was nice to allow Nicolino to get his feet wet in the majors, but he’s clearly not ready for a regular role in an MLB rotation. He owned a 4.48 FIP in 78 1/3 innings in Triple-A, which should have been (but of course wasn’t) a red flag for the team when calling him up.

Taking Nicolino’s place will be reliever Bryan Morris, who has been out since June 6th, when he left an outing early against the Colorado Rockies due to a back injury.

Morris owns a 3.95 ERA and a 3.61 FIP in 27 1/3 innings of work the Marlins in 2015. He’ll likely slot into the 7th/8th inning role, alongside Carter Capps and Mike Dunn, as the team hopes to fix some of their early season bullpen woes.

Michael Morse Suffers Set-Back?

Miami Marlins’ first baseman Michael Morse has been on the 15-day DL since May 23rd with a finger injury. With Justin Bour hitting a rough patch of late at the plate, the team was hoping to get Morse back before the trade deadline to rebuild his trade value in case a trade scenario for the 33-year-old arose.

Unfortunately, it seems as if Morse has suffered a setback, an injury to his back, that could keep him out a bit longer.

What that means for him returning has yet to be determined. The team will likely reevaluate his injury and decide where to go from there. Morse missing more time would be extremely detrimental to the Miami Marlins chances of trading him at the deadline.

Morse owns a .211/.268/.289 slash line with a 55 wRC+ in 138 plate appearances this season. His biggest downfall has been his 28.3% strikeout percentage, which is actually 5% higher than his career rate.

Morse had a .265/.333/382 slash line with a 101 wRC+ in 34 plate appearances. Morse has struck out in 41% of his plate appearances in the rehab stint.

While the point of the rehab stint is mostly to get his timing and swing back, it’s not been an encouraging one for the Miami Marlins to see.

Update (3:40 PM): Michael Morse’ back injury is not believed to be serious and he could rejoin the team soon, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald:

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