Marlins hope Straily is one start from return

Right-hander will pitch Tuesday for Jacksonville; Chen progressing

April 21st, 2018

MILWAUKEE -- The Marlins are hoping to get one of their top veteran starters back soon to help stabilize their young rotation.
Dan Straily, who has been on the disabled list since the start of the season with a right forearm strain, is scheduled to make a rehab assignment start for Double-A Jacksonville on Tuesday. If that goes well, the 29-year-old right-hander could be cleared to join the Marlins.
"We just want to make sure he's ready," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "We'd love to have him back right away to bring that veteran into the rotation. With him, you know what you're going to get. But we want him to be ready and feel like he's ready to compete."
Straily has made two rehab assignment starts at Class A Advanced Jupiter, logging a combined 7 2/3 innings. On Wednesday, he threw five innings, allowing one run with six strikeouts and no walks. The right-hander threw 68 pitches (52 strikes).
"Everyone wanted to make sure he threw another one," Mattingly said. "We'll see how he comes out of that one, and hopefully we're ready to go."
Before experiencing discomfort late in Spring Training, Straily was initially scheduled to be the Marlins' No. 2 starter. In 2017, he topped the team in innings pitched (181 2/3) and starts (33). This was Straily's first trip to the disabled list in his Major League career.
The Marlins have a young, inexperienced rotation that has struggled to work deep into games. Miami starters entered Saturday's game ranked 27th in innings pitched (91), first in walks (53) and 28th in ERA (5.64).
Along with Straily, the Marlins also are hopeful (left elbow strain) will both be back within a couple of weeks. Chen is on a rehab assignment with Jupiter and is set to start on Sunday.
The Marlins are leaning on rookies like and , who lack significant big league experience.
"You're asking a lot of young guys, but that's OK," Mattingly said. "They're going to learn, and that's how they're going to get better. So it's how they're going to handle it. You talk about Dan, and Wei-Yin -- and he's throwing the ball well and keeps advancing -- those kind of guys, they've been through it."
As their young players gain experience, the Marlins are counting on their veterans to provide leadership.
"Obviously, the veteran guys are important, because they're the guys who need to show leadership, as far as how we're going to play, how we're going to prepare," Mattingly said. "We'll lean on those guys, and really, if they're not that guy, they shouldn't really be here, honestly. Our young guys have to continually learn how to grind through a year.
"There are going to be a lot of talks like these, I feel like. We're going to have to make sure we're continually resetting our club and our mindset, not getting frustrated by a two- or three-day patch. Basically get ourselves ready to play. That sounds very easy, but it's really very hard, especially when things aren't going well."
Worth noting
• Third baseman (left hamstring) is playing in a rehab game for Jupiter on Saturday and will be given Sunday off.
• Shortstop JT Riddle (right shoulder tendinitis) played in an extended spring training game on Saturday and won't play on Sunday.