WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On a day when Jose Fernandez was back in Los Angeles having his cast and stitches removed following Tommy John surgery, another hard throwing Marlins pitcher -- right-handed reliever Carter Capps -- was headed to the disabled list with a sprained right elbow injury.
Although Fernandez was sent to the disabled list on May 12 with a similar right elbow sprain and then had season-ending surgery a week later, manager Mike Redmond said Tuesday surgery isn't in the plans for Capps.
"I think we feel like right now it's something that can be treated with rest," Redmond said. "He's going to go four weeks without throwing or picking up a ball. He'll be down for an extended period of time, and then we'll start building him back up and see where we're at."
Redmond said Capps experienced tenderness in his elbow after his last appearance Sunday against the Brewers. Redmond said Capps didn't even make the road trip with the Marlins, and had an MRI performed. Asked if there was a ligament tear, Redmond said "I don't know."
"I didn't really get into depth about what they saw in the MRI -- just that it was a right elbow sprain," Redmond said.
Arquimedes Caminero was recalled from Triple A New Orleans to replace Capps in the bullpen. Capps was acquired in the Logan Morrison trade with Seattle in December and made nine relief appearances. He had a 3.00 ERA over 12 innings of relief work for the Marlins since being called up from New Orleans on April 23. His average fastball velocity this season was 97.7 miles per hour according to Fangraphs.com. That's second behind only the Reds' Aroldis Chapman (100.1 miles per hours).
Caminero had a 13.50 ERA in five relief appearances for the Marlins before being sent back down to Triple A New Orleans. He's gone 1-1 with a 6.63 ERA, 24 strikeouts and 10 walks in 19 innings and 11 relief appearances for the Zephyrs.
Caminero, though, could be coming out his slump. He's tossed two innings of scoreless relief in each of his last three appearances for New Orleans.
"The biggest thing for me is to get him up here and see him do it at the big league level," Redmond said. "We've all seen the arm and stuff. But it's been a battle, it's been a struggle for him at this level getting big league hitters out. So I think this is a huge opportunity for him -- and really, we need him. We need him to come up and throw strikes and get guys out and be able to log some innings."
Outside of closer Steve Cishek, the back end of the bullpen has been a bit of a headache for Redmond this season.
After Chad Qualls (2 years, $6 million to Astros) and Ryan Webb (2 years, $4.5 million) left via free agency, the team spent $1.25 million to sign reliever Carlos Marmol this past off-season and traded for Capps. Marmol was released by the team on May 19 after going 0-3 with an 8.10 ERA and 10 walks in 13 innings. It was reported Tuesday Marmol will sign a minor league deal with the Reds.
Henry Rodriguez, another hard thrower signed to a minor league deal by the Marlins as insurance, was called up May 11 and designated for assignment three days later after two bad relief appearances (10.80 ERA, five walks).
Sunday, the team recalled left-hander Dan Jennings from New Orleans and placed left-hander Brad Hand (0-1, 6.38) on the disabled list. Right-hander Chris Hatcher, designated for assignment before spring training and then resigned to a minor league deal, was called up last Thursday. Now Caminero will get his second crack this season at a bullpen spot again.
"We have young guys who are still establishing roles at the big league level," Redmond said. "At one point these guys [Nationals relievers] were young pitchers in the major leagues too. They kind of worked themselves into those roles and established themselves. Their guys are probably a little bit farther along than our guys are.
"But we feel like we've got quality arms to be able to get to that point where maybe in the next year or so we say [Mike Dunn] this is your inning. Or, AJ [Ramos] this is your inning, go get them. The [Nationals] kind of have that luxury. Right now were still piecing it together and making sure that we try to get guys in situations where they can be successful."
FURCAL TO PLAY THURSDAY
Second baseman Rafael Furcal, who has yet to play for the Marlins despite signing a $3.5 million deal this past winter, will start playing in rehab games again Thursday, Redmond said.
Furcal first injured his hamstring at the start of spring training and battled his way up to Double A Jacksonville in mid-April when he injured his groin running the bases. After a week off, Furcal got back into a game in Jacksonville and reinjured his groin.
Last week, Furcal started playing in extended spring training games. He'll begin his rehab assignment playing for Single A Jupiter, and then will likely progress the same way he was before -- being promoted to Double A, Triple A and so on.
"We've been down that road before. So hopefully this time he's good, feels good and gets healthy," Redmond said. "We didn't really talk about how many [rehab] games [he'll play]. But it's just like we talked about earlier. When he starts coming back, he's got to be able to show his legs can play multiple days in a row and he can feel good and be able to run. That's the biggest thing."
> Marlins (27-25): 1. Christian Yelich LF, 2. Derek Dietrich 2B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Garrett Jones 1B, 6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 7. Marcell Ozuna CF, 8. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 9. Henderson Alvarez RHP.
> Nationals (25-26): 1. Denard Span CF, 2. Anthony Rendon 3B, 3. Jayson Werth RF, 4. Adam LaRoche 1B, 5. Wilson Ramos C, 6. Ian Desmond SS, 7. Kevin Frandsen 2B, 8. Nate McLouth LF, 9. Blake Treinen RHP.