MIAMI -- Though he was expected to return to the lineup on Wednesday, Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto was instead a late scratch. He is still nursing a swollen left wrist. Realmuto was initially slated to bat third and play first base for Wednesday evening's contest with Arizona, announced this afternoon, but was scratched just hours before first pitch after feeling some discomfort in batting practice.
"He took some swings, still a little sore," manager Don Mattingly said. "I talked to him before that, if he's feeling anything in there at all, I don't want him swinging. … He was feeling it still at the finish of his swing."
Moving forward, it's unlikely Realmuto will see any time on the disabled list. Mattingly explained Realmuto would be assessed similarly tomorrow afternoon, but the Marlins will be taking no chances with one of their best players.
"We'll probably just play it by ear," Mattingly said. "I'd love to be able to get him in there … still, not to the point where we're going to do something that's going to set him back."
Nonetheless, Mattingly clarified Realmuto would still be available to come off the bench and play the field in Wednesday's game if necessary.
"He's an emergency still, he can catch," Mattingly said. "They're not really worried about the catching side of it, it's more the swing. If we got bound up like that, we would do that."
Smith still undecided on surgery
Left-hander Caleb Smith has yet to announce whether or not he will undergo surgery on his Grade 3 left lat strain he sustained in Colorado on Sunday. Mattingly, when asked about Smith's status, said he has yet to hear about the rookie's decision.
"Haven't heard that yet," Mattingly said. "I know he's talking to doctors. I haven't heard any decision on whether he's going to have [surgery] or not."
As for how Miami will arrange its rotation in Smith's absence, the Marlins announced Wednesday that their No. 2 prospect, Sandy Alcantara, will be called up Friday to start against the Mets at Marlins Park. Mattingly had high praise for Alcantara, who came over from the Cardinals in the Marcell Ozuna trade and will likely take over Smith's spot in the rotation moving forward.
"Had a chance to see him in Spring Training, obviously a good-looking kid," Mattingly said. "Smart, great body, now we get a chance to see him continue his development."
Mattingly also announced that right-hander Dan Straily will return to the rotation to start for Miami on Sunday. Straily is currently serving the remainder of his five-game suspension for throwing at Buster Posey in San Francisco on June 19. After dropping his appeal Tuesday, Straily will be pitching on his first day of eligibility.
Straily and Alcantara aside, Mattingly confirmed there will be some more movement up and down the Marlins' rotation over the course of the next few games.
"The next couple of days will probably tell us the direction that we go, depending on what happens with our bullpen," Mattingly said. "Saturday is still up in the air for us."
A strong possibility for Saturday's start is right-hander Pablo Lopez. Currently ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 24 prospect, Lopez posted a spectacular 0.62 ERA over eight Double-A starts and a 3.38 ERA over his first four starts with Triple-A New Orleans.