Fish bench left short after suspended game

April 11th, 2021

The Marlins’ series finale against the Mets was suspended due to rain on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field after just nine pitches. The nine-inning game will be resumed as part of a split doubleheader, beginning at 1:10 p.m. ET on Aug. 31. The seven-inning nightcap will start at 7:10 p.m. Miami will return to New York two more times this season, from Aug. 31-Sept. 2 and Sept. 28-30. There are off-days before each of those series.

Though play got underway on time at 1:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, a drizzle quickly turned into a downpour. Corey Dickerson led off with a single before Starling Marte flied out to right. As the rain began to come down harder, Mets right-hander Marcus Stroman and shortstop Francisco Lindor alerted the umpires to the deteriorating field conditions. Following two consecutive balls to Jesús Aguilar, play was halted. In total, there was a 2:10 rain delay.

“Obviously, a lot of conversation between [Marlins general manager Kim Ng] and the Mets and the league on what they thought they were going to get, what it looked like if we were going to start, if we weren't, all that type of stuff,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said during a Zoom call. “Weather’s unpredictable. The field got out of hand quick. It got a shine, looked like it was puddling within basically two hitters. It's obviously one of those that probably if everybody had to start over again, they wouldn't start at all. There was a back-and-forth morning on all the weather.”

With the forecast calling for inclement weather, Miami had announced right-handed reliever John Curtiss as the opener, a role he performed three times for Tampa Bay in 2020. The club also recalled southpaw Daniel Castano, optioning outfielder Lewis Brinson to the alternate training site in Jacksonville, Fla., as the corresponding roster move. That is Brinson’s final Minor League option, meaning in 2022 and on, he cannot be sent down without being subjected to waivers.

But with Sunday’s game suspended, Miami will continue its road trip with a short bench during a four-game set Monday through Thursday in Atlanta. Mattingly said the Marlins delayed putting out a lineup on Sunday for that reason. The club didn’t want to make roster moves unless it had to. A position player optioned cannot be recalled within 10 days unless replacing another who lands on the injured list.

First baseman/outfielder Garrett Cooper, outfielder Magneuris Sierra, super-utilityman Jon Berti and catcher Chad Wallach are Miami’s reserves. Jorge Alfaro, the primary backstop, hasn’t played since Tuesday because of left hamstring tightness. The Marlins will send frontline right-handers Sandy Alcantara and Pablo López as well as prospects Nick Neidert (their No. 12 prospect) and Trevor Rogers (No. 7) to the mound against the Braves. Castano would not be needed until Friday.

“Well, it's frustrating from the standpoint of we activate a starter today, and then we'll be going into the next series basically playing short a player,” Mattingly said. “So that part's a little frustrating. That's the move that we wouldn't have made if we wouldn't have had to make it at that point. "If we're going to make our move at some point, you don't know [if] that move today is the one that happens. If it's five days from now, it may have been a different move.” If it's five days from now, it may have been a different move.”