Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria tested his tight left hamstring out with some light running Tuesday at Marlins Park, but said he still felt discomfort.
With a little more than three weeks left in the season there’s a chance the 26-year-old Gold Glove candidate might not make it back in time to play. But he’s not giving up on the season just yet.
“Right now I’m around 70 percent,” Hechavarria said. “I think I’ll be back before the season ends. But to rush back from a hamstring isn’t easy. I’m not going to play until I don’t feel it at all. To play at 90 percent, you can hurt it again. If I can’t run right, bunt, steal bases, I’m not going to play like that.”
Hechavarria hurt himself legging out a bunt single in Atlanta Sept. 2. He said he had been feeling tightness in the back of left knee for about two or three weeks prior to that.
“They were giving me treatment for a couple weeks,” he said. “After that, in Atlanta, is when it tightened up a little higher up as I was running to first base. All of that in the back of your leg is connected.”
Hechavarria is having a career year at the plate (.281, 5 HRs, 48 RBI) and defensively. He leads the National League and ranks second only to Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier in Defensive Runs Above Average, regardless of position. Hechavarria also leads all NL shortstops in Ultimate Zone Rating (14.1), ahead of Atlanta’s Andrelton Simmons (10.8), the defending Gold Glove winner in the NL at shortstop.
The Marlins tried to sign Hechavarria to a long contract this winter, but he declined. His value has clearly gone up. He’s under club control through the 2018 season.
“I think he'll be back,” manager Dan Jennings said. “We just don't want him back out there and then he does tear it and then he's lost for the year. It will be a process. He did test it a little bit today and had some improvement. But he’s not ready to open it up yet. We're probably another day or two away from doing that to see exactly where it is.”
CAPPS FINALLY PAIN FREE
Marlins reliever Carter Capps finally had a pain-free bullpen on Tuesday.
The hard-throwing right-hander, who last pitched for the Marlins Aug. 2, has been on the disabled list with a flexor muscle strain in his forearm.
“I've thrown a couple [bullpens] but still had some pain when I was throwing off the mound,” Capps said. “The incline I guess was bothering me. This one, though was good, first time without any pain. I'm pretty excited.”
The Marlins were initially hoping Capps would return in early September. He said he has another bullpen session Friday and could have a third session after that before he’s finally cleared to return. But now, at least, Capps said he's confident he will pitch again in 2015.
Capps (1-0, 1.16 ERA, 30 games) was leading baseball with a whopping 16.84 strikeout per nine inning average when he went on the disabled list. The Marlins could eventually ask him to close games in 2016.
“I've had a good year,” Capps said. “Hopefully I can cap it off with a few innings at the end of the season.
> The Marlins on Tuesday recalled right-handed relief pitcher Scott McGough from Triple A New Orleans and claimed first baseman/outfielder Tommy Medica from the Padres.
Medica, 27, hit .233 with nine homers and 27 RBI in 240 at-bats this season with San Diego. A right-handed hitter, he could potentially compete with Justin Bour and Derek Dietrich for the first baseman’s job next year in spring training.
Although Bour is hitting .257 with 16 homers and 51 RBI, he hasn’t done enough to impress the front office into giving him the job outright.
“He's put himself on the map in some capacity,” Jennings said of Bour. “Truly what that will be, we'll determine that the rest of the season.”