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Steckenrider (flexor strain) likely to avoid surgery

@JoeFrisaro
May 15, 2019

MIAMI -- A second medical opinion by Dr. James Andrews confirmed that Marlins right-hander Drew Steckenrider has a right flexor strain, and rest is being recommended for the 28-year-old. The recommendation removes the possibility of surgery, at least for now. It also means the Marlins may get Steckenrider back in

MIAMI -- A second medical opinion by Dr. James Andrews confirmed that Marlins right-hander Drew Steckenrider has a right flexor strain, and rest is being recommended for the 28-year-old.

The recommendation removes the possibility of surgery, at least for now. It also means the Marlins may get Steckenrider back in the second half.

Steckenrider went on the injured list on May 8, and shortly afterward Dr. Lee Kaplan, the Marlins’ medical director, diagnosed the strain.

The Marlins have no timetable for a possible return, but Steckenrider was transferred to the 60-day injured list on Saturday, so he will be out at least until the All-Star break.

Steckenrider has been one of the club’s most reliable late-inning relievers. He has thrown 14 1/3 innings, with an 0-2 record and 6.28 ERA, though 10 of his 15 appearances have been scoreless.

With Steckenrider out, Nick Anderson and Tayron Guerrero are expected to log more late-inning, high-leverage innings, setting up closer Sergio Romo.

Cooper getting his shot
Injuries the past two seasons have limited to Garrett Cooper to just 21 games with the Marlins, counting Wednesday night against the Rays.

Twice already this year, Cooper has been on the 10-day injured list, first with a left calf strain and then with a left hand contusion after getting hit by a pitch.

Miami plans to show patience with Cooper, to see if he can be a middle-of-the-order type. He has been starting in right field, with Brian Anderson moving back to third base. In the mix, Martín Prado is being used in a bench role.

“As much as anything, we need to get [Cooper] in the lineup and let him play, and see what he can do,” manager Don Mattingly said. “Just let him play, and then see where it goes out.”

Until Cooper gets steady playing time, the club won’t fully know what he can do.

“When you start putting some at-bats together, day in, day out, that’s when true timing comes,” Mattingly said. “That’s when you see what a guy can do. He hasn’t had that opportunity with us, to really show what he can do.”

Worth noting
• The Marlins optioned right-hander Elieser Hernandez to Triple-A New Orleans and recalled left-hander Jarlin García from New Orleans.

Riley Ferrell (right biceps tendinitis) threw 1 2/3 innings in an extended spring game on Monday. The right-hander, who is on the 60-day injured list, is expected to start a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Jupiter this week.

Julian Fernández (Tommy John surgery) continued his throwing program in extended camp. The right-hander also is on the 60-day IL. Ferrell and Fernandez are expected to be bullpen additions later in the season.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.