The Miami Marlins received a double-dose of unfortunate injury news Tuesday.
The first, that Martin Prado sustained a cramp late in last night’s contest, likely comes with minimal concern and no great deal of surprise to the Miami Marlins. Considering it was his first game all year due to a previous injury.
Peters’ sudden departure caught the attention of everyone watching. More likely than not though, this will keep him out a minimal amount of time, and is more about maintenance than anything else.
However, it is the second injury that should give fans greater pause, as it is unquestionably going to have a huge impact on the Marlins midsummer roster plans.
And this guy isn’t even on the 40-man roster.
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As first reported by MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, Double-A pitching prospect Dillon Peters broke his thumb Monday night. Marlins fans should be more upset about this than they have any injury the Fish have suffered to date this season.
Cracking the Top 5 on most prospect lists for the organization, Peters is easily the closest starting pitcher in the system to being MLB ready. Great in Spring Training, excellent so far in 2017 for the Jumbo Shrimp (I don’t make the names), he seemed a shoe-in for a mid-season call-up.
Which meant one of three things for the Marlins:
- They had a promising piece with upside in reserve to fill-in for an injured starting pitcher that was going to miss significant time.
- They had a promising piece with upside in reserve to supplant a struggling starter.
- They had a trade chip to make a more dramatic addition to the roster at the Trade Deadline.
Who can fill in?
Now, that in-the-system upside move is off the table until much later in the year, if not the entire season. Now, there is only Justin Nicolino or Jeff Locke coming to the rescue. In other words, guys who could raise their game and become average No. 5 options.
If the Marlins are in a position where they are looking to add a high-upside arm, or other piece, to the roster, they will now have to look to the Trade Market. And they will have to do so without what was probably the best trade chip they could have responsibly considered using in such a deal.
Either way, the setback in Peters’ development and eventual availability is a serious blow to the franchise. What’s worse, the injury came on a fluke comebacker to the mound. If it had come while trying to bunt, fans could at least get another rousing round of “should pitchers have to bat” debate out of it. No such luck in this case- just another random injury for an organization that seems to suffer more than its fair share of them.
With no starting pitchers significantly struggling at present, although that statement might best be reevaluated after the next chapter of the Wei-Yin Chen Experience. I would expect minimal reaction to this at present. But it would also be prudent for the Marlins to start kicking over some rocks just in case, because they just lost their best safety net.