CINCINNATI -- This weekend's series in Cincinnati was supposed to be a homecoming of sorts for Marlins shortstop JT Riddle. He grew up in Frankfort, Ky., about an hour and a half outside of the city, and he played his college ball at nearby University of Kentucky.But despite the dozens
CINCINNATI -- This weekend's series in Cincinnati was supposed to be a homecoming of sorts for Marlins shortstop JT Riddle. He grew up in Frankfort, Ky., about an hour and a half outside of the city, and he played his college ball at nearby University of Kentucky.
But despite the dozens of family members and friends who flocked to Great American Ball Park for Friday's series opener, Riddle wasn't in the lineup thanks to a nagging left shoulder injury. And when Saturday came around, his name was absent again from the order.
"It's almost a hometown game for me, so that kind of [stinks] having this go on right now," Riddle said. "But we're going to take care of it. I don't want it lingering. It's kind of been the last month or so, kind of lingered a little bit, but [I'm] just trying to take care of it, get it better and get it 100-percent healthy."
Riddle has hit .250 with 13 doubles, three homers and 31 RBIs over 70 games during his rookie season while dealing with the shoulder and a right index finger contusion he sustained earlier in the year. Marlins manager Don Mattingly said he's not afraid to use Riddle, but he would rather get him a few more days of rest to fully heal the injury.
Taking Riddle's place in the lineup has been Miguel Rojas, who played in the Reds' farm system from 2006-12. Rojas was out more than two months with a fractured thumb, but he is hitting .342 in 73 at-bats this season. He went 2-for-4 with a run scored in Friday's 3-1 win over Cincinnati.
"He looks good," Mattingly said. "And I think the fact that we were able to give him a lot of at-bats [at Double-A Jacksonville], we planned on activating him here in Cincinnati, and obviously he got [in] a couple days earlier. But the fact that he had had seven games or so under his belt where he was getting at-bats every day kind of helped him get back into the groove a little bit."
Barraclough tabbed as potential closer
With trade rumors circulating around closer AJ Ramos, many people are wondering whom the Marlins would turn to in the event Ramos does end up leaving Miami. Mattingly shed some light on this question on Saturday.
"[Kyle Barraclough] would be easy to put there, for me," Mattingly said. "Out of our guys that have had success, I think 'Clough's that guy. He's swing-and-miss, he's righties and lefties. He's gotten better with the running game, so it's not like you're afraid if a guy gets on then they're going to steal you blind. Last year was not as good, but he's shortened up his times this year, so it makes it easier to think about him."
Ziegler throws bullpen
Reliever Brad Ziegler threw a 25-pitch bullpen on Saturday, and he is expected to throw another on Monday. Ziegler was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right back strain retroactive June 21.
Jeremy Vernon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cincinnati.