Chen, avoiding road woes, swaps starts

Lefty carries a 10.27 ERA away from home; Straily to close out series in Philly

August 4th, 2018

PHILADELPHIA -- , with a 2-2 record and 2.18 ERA in eight starts, has been a solid pitcher at Marlins Park in 2018.

But in nine starts elsewhere, the lefty's six losses and 10.27 ERA -- a figure worse than any other qualifying Major League pitcher -- don't match up with the solid road splits he has compiled throughout his seven-year career.

"I don't have an explanation," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I don't know why, but there's no reason to fight it."

So, the Marlins won't. Chen was originally slated to pitch the series finale against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday afternoon. He's been swapped with Dan Straily, who was originally set to start Monday's series opener against the Cardinals in Miami.

The move gives Chen two starts during the upcoming homestand and was possible because Wednesday's rainout in Atlanta pushed the entire rotation back a day.

"You watch him, his routine doesn't change," Mattingly said. "He's very routine-oriented. He looks the same. He's not training any differently. It's just been one of those years."

Of course, the Marlins will encounter road trips in which it's not possible to push Chen back. In those cases, he will have to pitch away from home. But Mattingly indicated he'll try to keep Chen off opposing mounds when possible.

"It worked out," Mattingly said. "If we can -- if it's easily done -- then I think we'll try to do it. If we get to September, he could probably do [exclusively start at home], kind of do what you want. But we'll see where it goes."

Alcantara rehabs

(right axillary infection) threw his third rehab start Friday night, going 4 2/3 innings and throwing 84 pitches for Class A Advanced Jupiter. He allowed no runs on two hits while walking three and striking out four. Mattingly didn't have an update on what Alcantara's next step will be en route to returning to the big league club.