What’s wrong with Tom? Now we know

Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

Tom Koehler has been a back of the rotation guy for the Miami Marlins since 2013. After a dismal start to the season, we may finally have an answer as to why.

The Miami Marlins announced late last night that instead of optioning Tom Koehler to the Minors, they have instead placed him on the 10-Day DL. Originally reported by Tim Healey of the Sun Sentinel, Koehler will miss some time due to right shoulder bursitis.

The injury was discovered shortly after the Fish optioned their long time innings eater to Triple-A New Orleans. After a terrible couple of outings the Marlins decided that something needed to be done. Post demotion announcement, Koehler mentioned that he has having discomfort and was sent to Jupiter for an MRI.

After the MRI revealed the inflammation, Koehler’s designation was changed and he was able to remain on the Major League Roster. The injury to Koehler is the first major one of his career requiring a DL stint. It should have been expected though, given how many innings Koehler normally pitches.

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Koehler now joins the likes of Jeff Locke, Martin Prado, Adeiny Hechavarria, Miguel Rojas, and Wei-Yin Chen on the DL. The Marlins rotation has been riddled with injuries to start the season. This does not excuse the poor performance of the Fish early on, but to lose three of five rotation pieces is a big deal.

Who is filling in?

With Koehler going onto the DL, the Marlins will utilize Odrisamer Despaigne or David Phelps to fill their starting rotation. The Fish are hoping that after the DL stint and a few rehab starts in the minors, Koehler will return to what we are used to seeing on the mound.

Despaigne was quite underwhelming in his first start earlier this season. Over the course of 4.2 innings, Depaigne allowed eight runs, though only three of them were earned. More importantly, walks have been an issue. Allowing four walks over his one start and then an additional four in last nights lost, does not bode well for the outcome if he is the starter.

Phelps has been in the same disappointing boat as Despaigne. In the month of April, Phelps was on of the worst pitchers in the Marlins bullpen. Allowing nine earned runs over the course of 14 innings, this was not the Phelps we were used to seeing. Since then, Phelps has righted the ship. In the month of May, Phelps has pitched far better allowing only one unearned run over the course of six innings.

Next: Miami Marlins: Starting pitching hasn’t been the issue lately

For the sake of the Marlins’ record, they need someone to stand out and begin pitching better. So far on the season, Jose Urena has been, arguably, their best starter.