The Marlins get one of their starting pitchers back as the team hosts Cincinnati for a four-game series.
Despite the loss of Brian Anderson because of a broken hand, there are a few things to cheer about in South Florida. The news about Lopez is a big deal because it helps to further stabilize the rotation that has been rocky since the All-Star break.
The Marlins will continue to make moves this week to their team with roster expansion taking place on Friday. It may be the final month of the MLB season, but the Marlins are still looking for ways to become a better ballclub in 2020.
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The move comes as manager Don Mattingly shuffles the rotation a bit to give Lopez a start before the major shift in the clubhouse.
"“We’re going to fit him in tomorrow, and that way it gives everybody an extra day,” Mattingly announced Sunday. “He’s ready to go. We were happy with his last outing.”"
Lopez was first placed on the I.L. since June 15 with a right shoulder strain. The organization has treated his injury with kid gloves, moving him along slowly in his recovery. Lopez missed the end of last season as well.
Initially, the Marlins were going to start Caleb Smith on Monday and follow with Sandy Alcantara. The move gives each pitcher an extra day of rest. The fourth game of the series is Thursday. Mattingly has not said who will take the bump for the finale.
Lopez breezed through the Marlins minor league system last season, starting at Double-A Jacksonville and making quick work of Southern League opponents before taking I-10 to New Orleans and the Triple-A affiliate. He made his first start with the parent club before the All-Star Break and he and Alcantara won their first games as Major Leaguers.
Lopez was part of the starting rotation at the beginning of the season. His return means 60-percent of the starting five are now back together. Jose Urena will move to the bullpen and Trevor Richards is now a member of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The coaching staff may also flirt with a six-man rotation in September, depending on which pitchers are added to the roster.
"“In 14 starts, Lopez is 5-5 with a 4.23 ERA. In his last big league start, the 23-year-old threw seven innings, giving up three runs, in a 4-3 win over the Pirates on June 15,” Frisaro added.“Even though he missed more than two months, the Marlins never transferred Lopez to the 60-day IL. Because he remained on the 10-day IL, Lopez’s status does not impact the 40-man roster, which currently is at 39.”"
One more item: The series win over the Phillies this weekend was big for the Marlins. Per Wells Dusenbury of Sun-Sentinel.com, Miami now 9-7 versus Philly this season. They’ll face each other one more time in final series of the year.