NEW YORK -- The Marlins haven't announced anything yet, but it looks like third baseman Martin Prado will be heading to the disabled list with a shoulder injury.
Jordany Valdespin is expected to get the call-up from Triple A New Orleans to replace Prado, who was hitting .272 with four homers and 24 RBI before he was hurt in Sunday's loss to the Rockies.
Valdespin is hitting .290 with 12 RBI and six stolen bases in 46 games with the Zephyrs. Last season, in 52 games with the Marlins, Valdespin hit .214 with three homers and 10 RBI.
MARLINS HAVE DECISION TO MAKE
Jose Urena was hardly on his game Wednesday night in the Bronx.
He was missing the strike zone badly (only 50 of his 96 pitches for strikes) and yet still managed to go six innings and give up only a pair of runs to a Yankee lineup ranked seventh in baseball in scoring. Over his last four starts, the 23-year old rookie has gone six-plus innings each time, giving up three runs or less each time and posting an ERA of 2.55. Yet, he's just 1-3 with a 4.18 ERA when you count his first career start (5 ER in 4 2/3 innings at Pittsburgh May 26) and two previous relief appearances in April (3 ER in 3 innings).
So will Urena stay in the Marlins rotation moving forward? That's a question manager Dan Jennings and his staff apparently were hoping to gain some clarity on Wednesday.
With Jarred Cosart on the mend and Jose Fernandez targeting a return on July 2, the Marlins have some decisions to make with their rotation. Do they ship Urena back to the minors for more seasoning? Do they move Tom Koehler and/or David Phelps out and strengthen the bullpen? Or, does Cosart go to the bullpen, and only one of the current starters on the bubble move to the pen when Fernandez returns?
First, it appears, the Marlins need to decide what they're going to do with Cosart, who has been on the disabled list with vertigo since May 14 and has now made two starts for Triple A New Orleans, but failed to go at least six innings in either one.
Cosart, who was 1-3 with a 4.08 ERA in seven starts for the Marlins this season before going on the disabled list, simply hasn't looked right since the start of the season. And the Marlins simply seem unsure if Cosart might benefit from some more work in the minors. When asked before Wednesday's game what the Marlins plans were for Cosart moving forward, Jennings responded: "To be determined."
"Competition is a great thing," Jennings said before Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Yankees. "Urena has pitched very well three outings in a row. I love the competition. Jose is Jose and he's a true No. 1. But, the competition is good and they pass the baton to the next guy. We've had eight games in a row where our starters have gone six-plus innings. And that saves the bullpen. It gives us an opportunity, keeps us in games and gives us a chance to win and that's all you can ask of any starting pitcher."
Since getting tagged for a career-high nine runs in a loss to the Rockies on June 6, Phelps (4-3, 3.96 ERA) has been lights out over his last two starts. He's pitched 15 innings of two-run ball with only three walks and 11 strikeouts. Koehler (5-4, 3.76 ERA) has gone six-plus innings in five of his last six starts and allowed one earned run or less in four of them.
WILL ICHIRO BE BACK?
Jennings said Wednesday the Marlins have had internal discussions about bringing back 41-year-old veteran Ichiro Suzuki next season.
Ichiro had one of the Marlins' three hits Wednesday and is now at 2,885 career hits in the majors. One of the reasons Ichiro could be back -- aside from the fact the Marlins would love to see him reach the 3,000 hit club in their uniform -- is how much he's enjoying his time with the Marlins' young roster.
"For me, I'm just enjoying my time here," he said. "My teammates are great and I'm having such a great time with them. Even if that number was getting close, what's really important for me is that I'm enjoying myself with my teammates. I think when that number comes closer, and let's say I'm one away and I'm around guys that I really don't want to be around, or that I'm not having fun with, I don't think I would enjoy it as much as I would with the group of guys that we have here."
Suzuki has 41 hits so far this season and projects to end up with somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 to 100 if he continues at the same pace. If that turns out to be the case, he would be within 100 hits of 3,000 at season's end.
Consider this: only 23 players in the history of major league baseball have totaled as many as 114 hits after the age of 41. Many of the names are familiar: Pete Rose, Stan Musial, Honus Wagner and Hank Aaron, are primary examples.
"Two things with Ichi," Jennings said. "Number 1 he's probably the most prepared player I've ever been around. Never seen a guy this diligent of a worker every day. I think it's been great for our young players to see how a true pro goes about his business.
"Number 2, when we signed him, he knew he was coming in to be the fourth outfielder. [Christian] Yelich had an injury early and Ichi got everyday time. Now, during this interleague play he's been able to start as a right fielder, center fielder or DH. Getting his bat in there and getting him some consistent work has been good. Your truly watching a special guy, a Hall of Famer. This is great for our young players to see this is how you do it the right way and to create great longevity in your career."