A disappointing 2020 season has come to an end for Marlins second baseman Isan Díaz.
The club on Tuesday placed Díaz on the 60-day injured list with a left groin strain, and he was replaced on the roster by veteran utility player Sean Rodríguez, who was reinstated from the injured list to provide middle-infield depth.
Díaz’s injury occurred when he was coming out of the batter's box on a slow grounder in Monday’s 6-2 win over the Phillies at Marlins Park.
The 24-year-old infielder had rejoined the roster last Thursday after he was approved to be reinstated after electing not to play earlier in the season.
“Isan is disappointed with what happened,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “I think the one thing about Sean is he’s been with us all spring. He’s part of this culture now and knows exactly what we’re doing and what’s going on. He seamlessly fits right in.”
Rodríguez was with the Marlins for the opening series in July, but he has yet to play for the club. He had been on the injured list since the first week of the season.
The 35-year-old provides plenty of big league experience for a youthful Marlins team looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2003. Rodríguez has 1,099 MLB games under his belt. He can play all the infield spots as well as some outfield.
“It’s pretty smooth from that standpoint,” Mattingly said. “But definitely disappointing for Isan.”
Díaz has been projected as Miami’s second baseman of the future. But he was unable to establish himself in 2020, going just 4-for-22 (.182) in seven games.
Trevor tipping pitches
The Marlins suspected something fishy was going on when rookie Trevor Rogers was hit hard in his rough three-plus innings in an 11-0 loss to the Phillies last Friday.
In the first two innings, Rogers was sailing along, striking out five of the first seven batters he faced. But the Phillies got to him in the third and did more damage in the fourth.
Rogers allowed nine runs (eight earned) in three-plus innings. After the game, the Marlins said the rookie might have been tipping his pitches.
Indeed, he was.
Rogers has worked with pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. on smoothing things out.
“I was falling into patterns too much, and then going out of the stretch, Mel and I got together, and he showed me I was tipping my pitches a little bit between my changeups and fastballs,” Rogers said.
Mattingly said rookies often are exposed by veteran clubs.
“It’s one of the things you almost always see when guys come up,” Mattingly said. “[Opponents] find something right away, because there’s not near the cameras in the Minor Leagues. There’s not near as many people trying to pick up the subtle stuff. The coaches down there are picking up anything big that you do. But the subtle stuff, barely turning the glove or on the breaking ball, you see a little more space.”
Dealing with the grind
The Marlins played Game 46 of their 60-game schedule on Tuesday. To outfielder Corey Dickerson, an eight-year big league veteran, it feels like Game 130 in a traditional 162-game season.
“Nobody is going to be fresh,” Dickerson said. “It feels like game 130.”
The Marlins are grinding through an unprecedented homestand in which they are playing 15 games in 11 days. On Monday, they completed a five-day, seven-game series against the Phillies, going 5-2.
To stay as fresh as possible, the Marlins are spending less time on the field pregame, with many players doing more work in the cages.
“It’s tough, especially with this type of travel that we have and doubleheaders,” Dickerson said. “Recovery is slim to none on time to be able to recover between games and be at your optimal level. You take all of the things your training staff has and do the things you know and try to do the best possible for your body.”
The fact the Marlins are in the thick of the playoff chase provides extra motivation to keep pushing forward.
“All you can do is go out and battle, like every team does,” Dickerson said.
Right-handed pitching prospect Edward Cabrera, who is building up at the alternate training site in Jupiter, Fla., threw off the mound on Tuesday. Cabrera is an option to be called up before the end of the season. If he is, it will be as a bullpen option.