We are only one month into the season and the Miami Marlins are already having to display their pitching depth.
The blister has been deemed serious enough to warrant a 10 game DL stint for the inconsistent righty.
Reported earlier by Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, it looks like Volquez is out and the long awaited return of Nick Wittgren has finally arrived.
If you remember, Wittgren was sent to Triple-A after pitching three spectacular innings in the early season marathon with the New York Mets. This was done after another bullpen arm was needed and Wittgren was the only one in the Pen with options.
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That resulted in the calling up of hard throwing left Jarlin Garcia. Well, Wittgren is getting another opportunity. Though, this trip may be short lived.
Wittgren, since being sent to New Orleans has pitched five innings and only given up three hits with no runs allowed. Combined with his big league performance from earlier in the season brings him to 11 innings pitched with only two earned runs allowed.
If Wittgren continues to bring his A game, then the bullpen has just strengthened itself exponentially. On top of that, since command has been a huge issue for the Fish, Wittgren has only walked two batters during those 11 innings. That’s fewer than Volquez allowed in roughly one-third of the time last night.
Questions to be answered
With Wittgren coming up instead of a starter. It looks like the Fish may go with one of the options presented earlier to fill the rotation spot. Players like Jose Urena, Garcia, and David Phelps all have starting experience.
Urena and Garcia have been the two most successful of the group. However, it will likely be Urena who will take the rotation spot as his appearances have lasted more than an inning or two each time he has been out.
In his time this season, Urena has pitched to a 2.51 ERA over the course of 14 innings. During that time, the walks have been limited to just three while the strikeouts have totaled to eight.
Urena’s biggest problem has been allowing baserunners, giving up 17 hits with two of those being long balls. I don’t believe that Garcia has received enough big league time. Having two lefties in the rotation does not help his cause either.
Regardless of what manager Don Mattingly does. He will have to find a way to close the gap for at least two of Volquez’s normal starts.