Stanek returns from IL to rejoin bullpen

September 5th, 2020

The Marlins' bullpen gained more experience and another hard thrower on Friday as right-hander was reinstated from the injured list and righty was optioned to the alternate training site in Jupiter, Fla.

Stanek has been on the IL since the first series of the season. Getting him back into the bullpen provides another veteran presence with experience in high-leverage situations. His four-seam fastball average in 2019 was 97.5 mph, according to Statcast.

“Just getting him back as part of our mix [is nice],” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “When we left camp, he was in our plans in our bullpen.”

Dugger, 25, has a 16.62 ERA across two games, giving up eight earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Stanek was one of the 18 Marlins to test positive for COVID-19. He said he had some mild symptoms, like a cough, but he didn’t lose his sense of taste or smell.

“It was mostly just fatigue,” he said. “Symptoms, luckily for me, weren't bad. I didn't lose taste or smell or have a bad fever. I was fortunate.”

On Friday, the Marlins dropped the opener of a three-game series against the Rays in St. Petersburg, 5-4. Miami acquired Stanek from Tampa Bay in July 2019 as part of the deal that sent right-handers Nick Anderson and Trevor Richards to the Rays.

For Stanek, facing his former team presents an interesting challenge.

“It's one of those things,” Stanek said. “It's like, they know me really well, and I know them really well. I feel it is more of a mental chess match, against what I know they do well vs. what they know I do well.

“It's just that chess match you play on the mound with every hitter. But in this case, there is a lot more information that's known between each side. I think that is the biggest hurdle against your former team.”

Stanek has made one appearance this season, on July 25 in Philadelphia, where he gave up three runs in one inning. He dealt with lower back tightness in Spring Training and was questionable to make the Opening Day roster. When the start of the MLB season was delayed for about four months due to the coronavirus pandemic, Stanek recovered and earned a setup role for the July 24 season opener.

Stanek broke in with the Rays in 2017, and in his career, he has logged 164 1/3 innings in 144 games with a 3.94 ERA.

The back end of Miami’s bullpen has plenty of experience between closer Brandon Kintzler, Brad Boxberger, Yimi García, Nick Vincent, James Hoyt and Stanek.

“Experience plays a big factor,” Stanek said. “That's the one thing in baseball that you can't really replicate. Just knowing what to expect, knowing how your body is going to react. Like in a stressful situation, how to control yourself. How to keep your emotions in check. Obviously, experience is massive in situations like these. The guys that we have, who have been in big games and have pitched meaningful innings -- I think it says a lot of what this group is capable of doing down the stretch.

Being cautious with Cervelli
Catcher Francisco Cervelli, who is on the seven-day concussion list since Aug. 23, is making progress physically. But whether he gets back on the field this season remains in question.

Cervelli has spent time on the IL in each of the past three seasons with concussions.

Mattingly said the concern the organization has is over his long-term health.

“I know the organization is concerned about that,” Mattingly said. “This guy is a warrior. He still has energy, and he can still play. But I think we all are concerned about Francisco, and what can happen with another foul ball. Like I told Francisco, I want him to be healthy, but I want him to have a great life. He's already had a great career. You want him to have a great life after baseball. We want him to be healthy. That's the main thing.”