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Ureña hit by line drive, fractures forearm

@JoeFrisaro
September 27, 2020

The Marlins were hit by a pair of injuries on Sunday in their 5-0 regular-season finale win over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. One of the setbacks will impact their postseason roster. Right-hander José Ureña was struck in the right forearm by a comeback line drive in the third inning,

The Marlins were hit by a pair of injuries on Sunday in their 5-0 regular-season finale win over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. One of the setbacks will impact their postseason roster.

Right-hander José Ureña was struck in the right forearm by a comeback line drive in the third inning, and center fielder Starling Marte was replaced in the second after being struck on the brim of his helmet by a pitch.

An X-ray on Ureña revealed a non-displaced ulna fracture in his right forearm, ending his season. Marte suffered a left ear contusion, with the bruise caused by his helmet being dislodged.

“It's kind of your biggest fear on a day like today,” manager Don Mattingly said. “It's like the last day of spring before going into the season. You hate playing your guys almost.”

With one out in the third, Ureña was hit by DJ LeMahieu's liner, which Statcast tracked at 103.9 mph. As the ball was approaching, Ureña had his throwing hand up, and he was struck in the wrist and forearm area. He went to the ground in pain and had his hand wrapped as he headed to the dugout.

Ureña was only expected to throw a few innings in the finale, and the Marlins had been intending to use him in the Wild Card Series in a reliever role. Now the club will review its other right-handed reliever options.

Daniel Castano replaced Ureña and threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings to pick up his first MLB win.

As the National League's No. 6 seed, the Marlins will face the third-seeded Cubs at Wrigley Field beginning Wednesday.

Because it is a best-of-three series, the Marlins intended to use Ureña and Trevor Rogers in reliever roles. The two rounded out the regular-season rotation behind Sandy Alcantara, Sixto Sánchez and Pablo López.

Rogers is a long-reliever candidate, but he is a lefty. Nick Neidert, Jordan Holloway and Edward Cabrera are three prospects who have all been starters in the Minor Leagues. They are on the taxi squad traveling with the club, and one of them could fill the right-handed long-reliever role.

“It’s a tough break for us,” Mattingly said. "We'll have a few more decisions and changes before we get into the postseason roster."

Ureña’s injury came an inning after Marte was struck on the flap of his helmet on Clarke Schmidt's 94.6 mph fastball.

The Marlins are more optimistic that Marte will be fine and ready for Wednesday.

“I think we dodged a bullet with Starling,” Mattingly said. “The ball hit his helmet first.”

Marte was immediately tended to by Miami’s medical staff, before walking to the clubhouse for further evaluation.

Lewis Brinson pinch-ran for Marte.

A proven veteran leader, Marte played a big role in the Marlins reaching the postseason for the first time since 2003. Miami acquired the 31-year-old outfielder from the D-backs at the Aug. 31 Trade Deadline for left-hander Caleb Smith and right-handed pitching prospect Humberto Mejía.

After Marte, Miami’s center-field options are Brinson, Magneuris Sierra and prospect Monte Harrison.

In 28 games with the Marlins, Marte had a slash line of .245/.286/.415 with four homers and 13 RBIs.

“He probably will be a little sore, but we dodged that bullet,” Mattingly said.

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