Are the Marlins faced with pitching issues once again?
By David Levin
Will another injury to a starting pitcher force the Miami Marlins dip into their minor league system?
The Marlins may once again be faced with another decision about its rotation due to a pitcher on the mend. This time, it’s Elieser Hernandez, who has been dealing with a blister on his throwing hand and was one of the ultimate reasons he was pulled from a 5-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
That and the tension the youngster helped create by hitting Ronald Acuna with a ball early in the game. No, it was not the same situation as Jose Urena and Acuna from last season that led to a six-game suspension.
The issue of Hernandez’s finger brings up a few questions for the Marlins as they have dealt with injuries to their pitching staff most of the season Pablo Lopez and Urena – two of the original five starters in the rotation from Opening Day – are still on the mend. Caleb Smith has also spent time on the I.L. He will pitch tonight against the Braves.
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Hernandez’s night came to a close after 68 pitches and four innings due to a blister on his right middle finger.
"“He’s been managing it for probably three or four starts,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Hernandez’s blister. “It’s something they’ve been keeping stuff on and draining it every now and then. It just got hot tonight.”"
There is still plenty of pitching depth to work with for the front office. And with Lopez nearing a move back to the parent club and Urena more than likely moving to the bullpen, things will look a bit different this time in a couple of weeks.
There are a few options the Marlins could explore if Hernandez has to miss a start or two. Lopez returns soon and fits into the rotation. The Marlins could once again look to send Robert Dugger to the mound in his place or potentially Nick Neidert, who was the Marlins Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2018.
The other option may be Jorge Guzman, who has been lights out in the sound half of the season for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the Marlins Double-A affiliate in the Southern League.
"“In terms of the rotation, the Marlins are listing Hernandez as day to day for now, and are hopeful Hernandez will be ready by Sunday at home against the Reds,” MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro wrote."