Marlins, maybe without Jorge Soler, look for split with Rays

Marlins, maybe without Jorge Soler, look for split with Rays

When the Tampa Bay Rays and the host Miami Marlins end their brief two-game series on Wednesday, one of the big stories will be the injury status of Jorge Soler.

The outfielder, who leads Miami in homers (35) and RBIs (71), was hurt during a swing in Tuesday’s 11-2 loss to Tampa Bay.

Soler, who foul-tipped the pitch, immediately dropped his bat and walked away from the plate.

Marlins manager Skip Schumaker quickly made the decision to remove Soler from the game. By the ninth inning, the Marlins announced Soler’s injury as tightness in his right hip.

“He felt something on the swing,” Schumaker said. “The score was 8-2 at the time. He wanted to stay in the game. But I didn’t want to push it and maybe lose him for a couple of weeks.

“Hopefully, he looks better (on Wednesday).”

The Marlins on Wednesday will start left-hander Jesus Luzardo, who hasn’t pitched since Aug. 22 as the team is trying to rest him whenever possible.

Luzardo (9-8, 3.77 ERA), in his fifth MLB season, already has set career highs for wins, games (26) and innings pitched (143 1/3).

As for skipping a start and getting extra rest, Luzardo has pitched with at least six days of rest 14 times, going 3-5 with a 4.31 ERA. That’s almost identical to his career ERA of 4.30.

Luzardo, though, has never beaten the Rays, going 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA.

Offensively, with Soler possibly out, the Marlins will look to get some power from center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr.

Chisholm hit his 13th homer of the season on Tuesday. Despite missing 63 games due to injuries so far this season, Chisholm also has 17 steals in 20 tries.

The Rays will try to slow down Chisholm with starting pitcher Zach Eflin, a right-hander.

Eflin (13-8, 3.55) leads the Rays in wins, starts (25) and innings pitched (144 1/3). His 13 wins are a career high, and that figure also is tied for the lead in the American League.

For his career against the Marlins, Eflin is 5-8 with a 5.24 ERA in 17 games, including 16 starts. In nine career games in Miami, including eight starts, Eflin is 1-5 with a 6.43 ERA.

Eflin, who has been bothered by knee issues in the past, has been healthy this year, and he does a good job of suppressing hard contact. He’s not overpowering, but his secondary pitches are solid.

The Rays, with 81 wins, are one victory away from their sixth straight winning season and sit in the top wild-card position in the AL. Indeed, they are closing in on their fifth straight postseason berth.

Most of the Rays‘ roster is underrated, and that’s especially true for middle reliever Robert Stephenson, a 30-year-old who is on his third team since 2022.

Stephenson’s career ERA is 4.75. This year, however, his ERA is down to 3.59 after tossing one scoreless inning on Tuesday.

The key to his improvement has been an 88 to 90 mph slider that has vertical movement. Just two months ago, his slider was consistently clocked at 83 to 85 mph.

“It’s as wipeout of a pitch as we’ve seen,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “I’m amazed.”

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.