The Marlins made a flurry of roster moves prior to today’s game, including the placement of right-hander Anthony Bender on the 15-day injured list due to a right elbow strain. Righty Tommy Nance was also optioned to Triple-A, right-hander A.J. Ladwig was designated for assignment, and right-hander Cole Sulser was moved to the 60-day IL. For new faces on Miami’s roster, the club selected the contracts of left-hander Andrew Nardi and right-hander Parker Bugg from Triple-A.
Something was clearly amiss with Bender yesterday, as he lasted only five pitches into a relief outing before having to leave the game. The severity of the elbow strain isn’t yet known, but given the timing on the baseball calendar, it is possible Bender’s season might be over even if he hasn’t suffered any notable structural damage to his elbow.
The righty already missed close to 10 weeks of the season due to a back problem, and was only just activated off the 60-day IL in early August. After a strong 2021 rookie season, Bender has still pitched well (3.26 ERA over 19 1/3 IP) this year, though his strikeouts are down and his health problems have cost him a lot of momentum. Tanner Scott has now emerged as the Marlins’ closer, but heading into the season, there was some thought that Bender could possibly assume the role, and he has the majority of save chances prior to his first injury.
Sulser was another closer candidate, except a right lat strain sent him to the IL in mid-June. The shift to the 60-man injured list is largely procedural, as the Marlins can now create 40-man roster space, and Sulser’s original timeline is still set from his initial June 13 placement date. Sulser has been rehabbing at Triple-A and might not be far away from a return.
More to come…
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