With the emergence of JT Riddle, what is the likelihood the Marlins will be looking to trade Adeiny Hechavarria?
Riddle has stepped in nicely since Hechavarria (left oblique strain) has been on the disabled list. Hechavarria is expected to be evaluated again in the next couple of days, and perhaps could begin a rehab assignment at Class A Advanced Jupiter next weekend. So he could be at least two weeks away. Riddle, meanwhile, has impressed in a small sample size. Hitting eighth isn't easy, yet he has 12 extra-base hits in his first 115 at-bats, and his average exit velocity is 89.07 mph, above the MLB average 87.82. That's a good indicator that he is impacting the baseball. If the team is in rebuild mode by the Trade Deadline, Hechavarria is a candidate to be moved.
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What is the status on our top pitching prospects -- Tyler Kolek, Braxton Garrett and Dillon Peters?
Health-wise, not good. Garrett, ranked by MLBPipeline.com, is the Marlins' No. 1 prospect, has a partial left ligament tear. Tommy John surgery is a possibility, which would mean about 18 months to recover for the 19-year-old who was the seventh overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. Kolek, the No. 2 prospect, had Tommy John surgery last year, and is close to pitching for Class A Greensboro. Peters, the No. 4 prospect, is recovering from a fractured left thumb. He could return to Double-A Jacksonville late in the season, or be shut down for the rest of the year.
With how well Giancarlo Stanton has been batting second, what happens when Martin Prado comes back?
Foremost, it appears Stanton has dodged serious injury after being struck on the right wrist by a pitch on Saturday. He should be ready to start on Tuesday. As for batting second, if he continues as he's been playing, and the lineup keeps scoring runs, manager Don Mattingly has already said he intends to keep Stanton second. Prado would be fine hitting fifth or sixth.
With Edinson Volquez pitching lights out, the Astros might want to make a trade for their World Series run. What's in their farm system that would make a good trade?
We're jumping ahead of ourselves on the trade front, but according to MLBPipeline.com, the top three prospects in the Astros' system are right-hander Francis Martes (formerly with the Marlins), outfielder Kyle Tucker and right-hander David Paulino. I would guess it would be tough to get any of those three for Volquez. Right now, the organization remains on the fence as they attempt to track back to .500 before the All-Star Break. If they fall completely out of it, I'd guess Volquez could have a market, not just with the Astros, but for many clubs.
Any world on the return of Wei-Yin Chen?
In late May, when the Marlins were at the Dodgers, Chen received a second opinion on his sore left elbow by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, a highly respected orthopedic surgeon. Chen has a partial tear in his left ulnar collateral ligament. Since he's already had one Tommy John surgery, and the low rates of successful returns after a second one, efforts are being made to avoid a second procedure. Chen had an PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection, which helps speed up the healing process in the elbow. No timetable has been given on a return, but a guess is around late July or August.