The Miami Marlins may be taking a siesta from the first half of the MLB season for the All-Star Break, but it does not mean the team is preparing for the future.
Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly has already announced his starting rotation for the upcoming series starting Friday in St. Petersburg, Florida when the team faces the Tampa Bay Rays. Dan Straily came out of training camp as the team’s No. 2 starter behind Jose Urena. Now, the veteran will get the ball to start the second half of 2018.
This is a Marlins team that has shown life in the last month and looks to continue the momentum against its in-state rival.
Urena will get the ball when the team returns home at Marlins Park to face the Atlanta Braves for a two-game series. Chen will close it out for the organization.
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"“We really wanted Jose to have two starts before the All-Star break, and he ended up having three,” Mattingly told the media. “So we wanted to push him back and give him a little time afterward. We’ve been trying to keep his pitch count somewhat down.”"
Urena came off the disabled list before those three starts after dealing with a shoulder impingement. He has been effective since this return, which has the Marlins excited about what the second half of the season could mean.
The Marlins are 41-57 for the first half but have been a more aggressive hitting team of late. Also, pitching has improved, with Straily giving the team four quality starts in his last four times on the bump.
Chen is now the lone left-handed pitcher in this rotation. While he has had issues on the road, the veteran has shown consistency at home, posting a 1.83 ERA at Marlins Park.
"“Chen, obviously, we wanted him to pitch at home,” Mattingly explained."
If Miami and its pitcher can figure out how to decrease a 10.47 road ERA, he may be a solid starter in the second half.
All three veterans will pitch around two rookies in Lopez and Richards. Both have shown flashes of brilliance at times, but have also dealt with the rookie inconsistencies that happen from time to time. Each one is capable of throwing deep into ballgames, giving the bullpen some rest.
Lopez has a 101 record since being called up from Triple-A New Orleans. He has a 6.35 ERA, be had also struck out 14 batters in 17 innings so far this season. Richards looked strong in the six innings he pitched on Saturday in the 2-0 win over Philadelphia.
For the season, Richards has a 3-5 record in 13 starts and has a 4.74 ERA.