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Masterful Big League Debut for Adalberto Mendez Ends With Injury -- UPDATED

 

                The injury to Adalberto Mendez was not as serious as first thought and manager Edwin Rodriguez said he is confident the 28-year-old rookie will make his next start in five days. If so, that would be a huge boost for the Marlins, who are short on starters, especially with suspensions coming up for Chris Volstad and Alex Sanabia. Rodriguez said Mendez suffered a leg cramp while running to first on a base hit in the seventh. It was initially reported as a right quad strain.

                Adalberto Mendez was having a fairytale kind of afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. In what was his major league debut, the 28-year-old Dominican was shutting down the vaunted Philadelphia Phillies, holding them to one hit and no runs through six innings, when suddenly it all came crashing down in a freak injury in the top of the 7th.

                Mendez singled to right for his first big league hit but pulled up lame as he was approaching the bag at first. He had to be assisted off the field. The Marlins just announced that he suffered a right quad strain.

                Mendez, who has toiled in the minors for eight seasons before finally getting his chance, was excited about the opportunity. He sure didn't look nervous before the crowd of 45,848, largest of the season at Citizens Bank Park. He struck out All-Stars Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the first, gave up only one hit (to Brian Schneider in the 2nd), dropped down a beautiful sacrifice bunt, and was cruising along until the unlucky seventh.

                Assuming Mendez will be out for awhile, if not for the rest of the season, the Marlins will have some serious starting pitching issues to deal with in the coming week. Chris Volstad, who starts on Tuesday, will likely begin serving his six-game suspension following a hearing on his appeal on Friday. Alex Sanabia, who sucker-punched Adam Dunn in the brawl with the Nationals, is also looking at a five-game suspension before he takes the mound again.

                With Ricky Nolasco out for the season and Sean West on the shelf, the Marlins are down to Josh Johnson, Andrew Miller and Anibal Sanchez -- and nothing else at the major league level.

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