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Inbox: How will Marlins handle Urena?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers questions from Miami fans
August 20, 2018

With Jose Urena heading into arbitration in the offseason, how has his six-game suspension affected the Marlins' approach with him moving forward? -- @BirdmanEnFuegoUrena gained widespread attention for the wrong reasons for hitting Braves rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. with a pitch on Wednesday night, resulting in a six-game suspension, which

With Jose Urena heading into arbitration in the offseason, how has his six-game suspension affected the Marlins' approach with him moving forward?
-- @BirdmanEnFuego

Urena gained widespread attention for the wrong reasons for hitting Braves rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. with a pitch on Wednesday night, resulting in a six-game suspension, which he is appealing. As unfortunate as the incident and the backlash were, the Marlins haven't lost sight of the 26-year-old's vast talent. We saw it on Sunday in his first career complete game against Washington in Miami's 12-1 win.
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To me, Urena has pitched better than his numbers would indicate this year, but he still hasn't consistently elevated his game as much as he could. Sunday was a reminder of what he can be. Now, let's see if Urena can string together several starts of pitching at a high level. He has always been wild, and his two-seam fastball has lots of run -- and that's the pitch that struck Acuna. If Urena could mix in more of a traditional curveball, I think he could become a legitimate top-of-the-rotation candidate.
As for the incident in Atlanta, Braves fans won't forget and Urena will deal with more scrutiny. Everyone will be paying attention to how he responds, and on Sunday, he responded in a positive way.
Who are the Marlins' top September callup candidates?
-- @BrendanKatz

The front office is in the process of discussing which players and how many will be called up in September -- and keep in mind that outfielder Lewis Brinson (right hip) and first baseman/outfielder Garrett Cooper (right wrist) are currently on rehab assignments. Both will be brought back at some point, likely around Sept. 1.

Adding a third catcher is pretty standard, and Chad Wallach, who is at Triple-A New Orleans, is on the 40-man roster. New Orleans right-hander Jeff Brigham, who is 4-1 with a 2.90 ERA, is also a strong possibility. Brigham has dealt with injuries, but when healthy, he has performed. He is not on the 40-man roster, so he would have to be added after the Minor League season, but the Marlins may opt to add him in September and give him a look in the final few weeks.
Do you think trading away experienced players like Brad Ziegler and Cameron Maybin -- moves which I agree with -- has caused the recent slump?
-- @RobNorwichUK

Manager Don Mattingly said something at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline that stuck with me. He noted that at the Deadline, some players who remained with the club were happy and some who weren't dealt were not. Clearly, there are veterans who see what the Marlins are trying to build and want to be part of it, while others may have wanted to move to teams in the postseason race. Either way, I think it creates an environment where everyone is not on the same page.
Ziegler, to the bullpen, and Maybin, to position players, were respected veterans and team players before they were traded. Ziegler went to the D-backs, while Maybin was moved to the Mariners. Add in the trade of Justin Bour to Philadelphia, and Miami lost three players with track records.

I also feel that the schedule hasn't helped, either, with the Marlins facing many teams in postseason contention. Contenders are able to take advantage of facing a young team with players trying to figure things out in the big leagues. There were some encouraging signs in Washington, with rookies like Isaac Galloway and Austin Dean and shortstop JT Riddle responding at the plate. In times like these, having veterans help bring stability.
Which player in the Minor Leagues are you most excited about?
-- @IDontThrow85

The more I hear about Jose Devers, the more interested I am in following his development. Just 18 years old, the left-handed-hitting shortstop was recently promoted from Class A Greensboro to Class A Advanced Jupiter. In just two games with the Hammerheads, he showed promise before some tenderness in his throwing arm led to him being placed on the seven-day Minor League disabled list. The organization is being extremely careful with Devers, who may be its shortstop of the future. There is a chance Devers won't return to the Hammerheads before the season ends in a few weeks. If so, that's because the Marlins don't need to rush anything.
Ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 12 prospect, I believe you will see Devers' stock continue to rise next year. Listed at 6 feet, 155 pounds, he will not be a power threat, but he has to ability to put the ball in play and has an advanced swing for his age. He could become a better-than-average hitter and a top-of-the-lineup player. Devers likely will open his 2019 season with Jupiter at age 19, and he could be at Double-A at some point as a teenager.
Will Braxton Garrett be back this season?
-- @BradSonneborn

The Marlins' first-round Draft pick in 2016, Garrett underwent Tommy John surgery in June 2017, and he has not pitched in any Minor League games this year. With the Minors seasons close to concluding, the 21-year-old left-hander is expected to participate in instructional league, which will start up in September.
MLB Pipeline ranks Garrett as the organization's No. 9 prospect, and he projects to be a top-of-the-rotation lefty. It's a matter of how he's recovered from surgery, the recovery period of which is normally around 14 months. We should get a better read on Garrett in September.
Another prospect coming back from Tommy John surgery is right-hander Jordan Holloway, who also will be in instructional league. Holloway is a hard thrower with plenty of upside.

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