Henderson Alvarez remains confident he'll make his next scheduled start on Tuesday. Marlins manager Mike Redmond and pitching coach Chuck Hernandez said they, too, see no reason for concern regarding the pitcher, who left Wednesday's start in Washington after five innings with a stiff right elbow.
Alvarez said through an interpreter (teammate Arquimedes Caminero) that he'll have a much better idea of how the arm feels after he throws his normal between-starts bullpen session on Saturday. But, so far, all indications are the discomfort he experienced in D.C. was nothing more than stiffness.
Alvarez threw off flat ground Friday and said the arm felt fine.
"It feels pretty good," he said. "I didn't feel anything bad."
With Jose Fernandez already finished for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Marlins can hardly afford to lose another of their frontline starters. Obviously, Andrew Heaney is at Triple A New Orleans and waiting in the wings.
But to call up Heaney now -- as opposed to a few weeks from now once they're certain the Super Two cutoff date has passed (around the third week of June is the projected date) -- would be utterly foolish. If Heaney were to be called up now, it would put them at risk of triggering his salary arbitration years by a full season, all for a handful of starts they would gain from making such a move.
Reliever Carter Capps will be receiving a second opinion on his right forearm sprain. The Marlins are hoping rest will take care of Capps' injury. But that could always change.
And yes, the Marlins and Braves are tied for first place in the N.L. East as they open a three-game weekend series tonight......
Check out this cap, which is just like the ones worn by the minor-league Miami Sun Sox from 1949-54. The Marlins will be wearing the Sun Sox throwback uniforms when they face the Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 8. The Sun Sox (also known as the Miami Tourists) were a minor-league affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The Marlins wore throwback uniforms belonging to the minor-league Miami Marlins when they played in Milwaukee last season.
Former Marlins reliever Antonio Alfonseca paid a visit to Marlins Park during batting practice on Friday. Alfonseca, who played for the Marlins from 1997-01 and again in 2005, is 42 and hasn't pitched in the bigs since 2007.
But he claims he can still pitch.
"I still have it," said Alfonseca, who led the Marlins with 45 saves in 2000.
The Marlins might be in need of bullpen help, but aren't that desperate.