CHICAGO -- In what could be another big blow to the Marlins' starting rotation, Henderson Alvarez left Sunday's game in the sixth inning after suffering a hip injury while covering first base. [See the play here]
After first baseman Garrett Jones fielded Luis Valbuena's hard smash, his flip to Alvarez was high and late. Alvarez leaped to make the catch and landed awkwardly on his left leg as Valbuena crossed safely.
Alvarez returned to the mound under the supervision of trainer Sean Cunningham and manager Mike Redmond, threw one test pitch, and immediately walked off the mound, unable to continue. The Marlins reported he suffered a left hip strain and listed him as a day-to-day.
It's uncertain whether the injury will cause Alvarez to miss his next start. If it turns out that Alvarez is forced to go on the DL, it could hasten the promotion of Andrew Heaney.
Adding insult to injury, the Cubs ended up scoring a pair of runs in the sixth, ending Alvarez's streak of consecutive scoreless innings at 26, making it the third-longest scoreless stretch in Marlins history.
The play was originally ruled an infield hit for Valbuena before later being changed to an error on Jones.
CHICAGO -- Nathan Eovaldi's wife is due to deliver any day. Andrew Heaney turned in yet another strong pitching performance Saturday in the minors. And the Marlins don't play on Monday or Thursday.
Add it all up, and the Marlins aren't entirely sure how their rotation will shape up this coming week. Or they're sure and they're not telling anyone.
Here's what we do know: Tom Koehler will start Tuesday at Texas. Beyond that, questions marks.
Jacob Turner is listed on the team's daily info sheet as Wednesday's starter, and he threw his normal between-starts bullpen this morning at Wrigley. But manager Mike Redmond also told reporters that Eovaldi could also start on Wednesday depending on the status of his wife, who is expecting their first child. With the off day, Eovaldi would be pitching on normal rest if he goes Wednesday, even though he would vault in front of Turner.
Throw in the fact that it's now possible for the Marlins to safely call up Heaney from Triple A New Orleans without risking Super 2 status, and it muddles the picture even further.
Heaney went six innings Saturday for the Zephyrs, allowing a run on five hits over six innings. He struck out nine while walking one. He has now made four starts for New Orleans, going 3-0 with a 2.74 ERA. Overall this season, he is 7-2 with a 2.47 ERA while striking out 79 in 76 2/3 innings
And then there's this: once the inevitable occurs and Heaney is promoted, it would only seem natural -- given their history last season with Jose Fernandez -- that they'll limit the left-hander's pitch count. Fernandez was shut down in September after throwing 172 innings. Heaney totaled only 95 innings last season, so he'll eventually be entering uncharted territory in terms of his total workload.
If the Marlins decide to promote Heaney now, he could start either Friday or Saturday after the Marlins return home from their road trip. If they decide to give him another start at Triple A, he would likely come up in the Mets series at home.
Don't look for Emilio Bonifacio to take the Marlins deep today the way he did Saturday when he parked one in the Wrigley Field bleachers off Randy Wolf. Not if the wind continues blowing in the way it is at the moment. The flags are blowing straight in, and they're bringing cool weather. Players are wearing hooded sweatshirts while taking batting practice in an attempt to keep warm.
Both teams will be wearing throwback uniforms this afternoon. The Marlins will wear replica uniforms worn by the minor league Miami Sun Sox of the 1940s and early '50s. The uniforms are rather non-descript, with simple black lettering spelling out "MIAMI" across the front. The caps are black with a block "M."
Marlins: 1. Christian Yelich, lf; 2. Ed Lucas, 2b; 3. Giancarlo Stanton, rf; 4. Casey McGehee, 3b; 5. Garrett Jones, 1b; 6. Marcell Ozuna, cf; 7. J.T. Realmuto, c; 8. Adeiny Hechavarria, ss; 9. Henderson Alvarez, p.
Cubs: 1. Emilio Bonifacio, 2b; 2. Junior Lake, cf; 3. Anthony Rizzo, 1b; 4. Starlin Castro, ss; 5. Luis Valbuena, 3b; 6. Nate Schierholtz, rf; 7. Chris Coghlan, lf; 8. John Baker, c; 9. Jake Arrieta, p.