Miami Marlins Rotation: Who Will Step Up With Caleb Smith Out?

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 29: Caleb Smith #31 of the Miami Marlins pitches in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park on April 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 29: Caleb Smith #31 of the Miami Marlins pitches in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park on April 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
Miami Marlins
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 18: Caleb Smith #31 of the Miami Marlins pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at AT&T Park on June 18, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Miami Marlins and the Colorado Rockies were rain delayed to start their rubber game at Coors Field on Sunday. They shook off the collective rust pretty quickly once it got underway.

The scheduled 1:10PM start time (MST) was delayed for a total of 1:31. Once they got started, Derek Dietrich continued his climb into the NL batting average leaderboard with a four-for-five afternoon. He hit a double and scored in the first, a solo home run in the second, a single in the fourth, and an RBI-single in the seventh. He’s now sitting at .302, which ranks 14th in the NL and climbing, just three points below 10th in the league. He’s now second in batting average on the Miami Marlins, behind only J.T. Realmuto‘s .308.


Caleb Smith started on his regularly scheduled day, an lasted 31 pitches before getting lifted with shoulder tightness. According to

"Smith, who was pulled from Sunday’s start against the Rockies after 1.1 innings with left shoulder tightness, will get an MRI on Monday, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. Ben Meyer is being recalled from Triple-A New Orleans in a corresponding move, but it is unclear who will take Smith’s spot in the rotation."

Drew Rucinski came in to relieve Smith, and got pretty much slapped around by the Rockies. Of the six hits surrendered by Miami Marlins pitching in the game, five came from Rucinski. Despite this, he was credited with the victory after allowing three runs on five hits and a walk in 2 2/3 innings.

Tayron Guerrero struck out four in two perfect innings. Adam Conley struck out two in a perfect seventh, and Brad Ziegler struck out one in a perfect eighth. Kyle Barraclough came in to shut down the Rockies in the ninth inning, and continued to not allow anything.

Miami Marlins
MIAMI, FL – APRIL 28: Kyle Barraclough #46 of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park on April 28, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

Barraclough hasn’t allowed a hit since getting handed the closers role in early June. In fact, he hasn’t allowed one since May 22nd, in a 5-1 Miami Marlins win over the New York Mets. Opponents are batting .017 against him since May 8th.


Aside from Dietrich, the Miami Marlins went a collective 8-for-34, a .222 clip. Justin Bour was the only other batter to finish with a multi-hit game, with a pair of singles and two RBI. J.T. Realmuto hit a double in the first inning, J.T. Riddle hit one in the fourth, and Lewis Brinson had a pinch-triple in the seventh. Still struggling to reach .200 along with Brinson, JB Shuck (.198) and Yadiel Rivera (.197) each collected a base-hit. Starlin Castro went 0-for-5, and dropped to .267.

Game Story

Dietrich lined the first pitch of the game into left field for a double. One pitch later, he was on third after a Brian Anderson single off shortstop Trevor Story‘s glove. On the fifth pitch of the game, Realmuto doubled Dietrich home for an early lead.

Bour hit a two-run single on the game’s seventh pitch, and Castro was safe on a Story fielding error. Nolan Arenado got two of those runs back in the bottom of the inning on a line-shot over the left field wall.

Miami Marlins
DENVER, CO – JUNE 24: Derek Dietrich #32 of the Miami Marlins begins to celebrate after hitting a second inning solo homerun against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 24, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

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Dietrich, who is hitting .368 since May 7th, opened the second inning with his home run to put the Marlins up, 4-2. The Rockies would tie it up in the third on a Story two-RBI-single.

The Miami Marlins scored another pair in the fourth inning, one on a Riddle double and another on a Cameron Maybin RBI-groundout. Again, the Rockies struck back, on a Gerardo Parra leadoff shot in the bottom of the inning.

The score remained 6-5 until the top of the seventh, when Marlins hitting got to reliever Jake McGee. Rivera singled into right field, followed by Brinson’s RBI-triple. Dietrich scored Brinson on a single a moment later for what would be the final run of the game. Barraclough recorded a 10-pitch save, getting seven of them over the plate.


Smith had allowed a hit and a walk, along with two runs and a strikeout when he was pulled. As reported by Craig Mish, Ben Meyer was called up after Smith was placed on the DL in a corresponding move. As to who ends up starting Smith’s next scheduled start on June 29th at home against the New York Mets, we still can’t say.

Miami Marlins
LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 24: Dillon Peters #76 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the first inning of a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on April 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Possibilities for Smith’s start include Adam Conley, Elieser Hernandez, Rucinski, the aforementioned Meyer, or another player on Miami’s 40-man roster. Those possibilities include Sandy Alcantara, Tyler Cloyd, Odrisamer Despaigne, Jarlin Garcia, James Needy, and Dillon Peters. If the Miami Marlins use a callup, Peters’ start would line up perfectly.

Next: Could Brian Anderson Make the All-Star Team?

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