When the Miami Marlins continue their nine-game homestand on Monday night against the Washington Nationals, there will be an adjustment in the rotation.
Marlins lefty Jesus Luzardo (2-3, 4.03 ERA) was placed on the injured list on Sunday due to a strained forearm.
Right-hander Sandy Alcantara (2-2, 2.74 ERA) will move up one day to make the start on Monday. He will have four days of rest.
In three starts this year on four days of rest, Alcantara is 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA. In three starts with five days of rest, he is 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA.
Alcantara is 3-6 with a 4.86 ERA in nine career starts against Washington.
Luzardo, meanwhile, doesn’t believe he will be out long.
“There isn’t any pain,” Luzardo said Sunday when asked about his forearm. “It’s more like soreness and stiffness.”
The Marlins, who have lost 11 of their past 14 games – including eight of those defeats by one run – lost two of three games to the Milwaukee Brewers this past week.
Miami is 7-9 at home.
Coincidentally, Washington is 7-9 on the road. The Nationals were at home this past weekend, losing two of three to the Houston Astros.
The Nationals on Monday will start right-hander Aaron Sanchez (2-2, 7.58 ERA). Sanchez went 1-0 with a 0.93 ERA in two starts against the Marlins last year.
Miami is in fourth place in the NL East, and Washington is fifth, in last place. The Nationals, though, have actually been better on the road than at home, where they are 5-15.
The Nationals rank 28th out of 30 teams in ERA (4.78). That’s in sharp contrast to the Marlins, who rank ninth in ERA (3.45).
Washington’s rotation ranks 26th in quality, according to yardbarker.com, and that has a lot to do with injuries to Stephen Strasburg and Joe Ross. Patrick Corbin’s slump is going on its third season, and that hasn’t helped the Nationals, either.
Offensively, the Nationals are much better, ranking 12th in the majors in runs scored per game. Washington’s top hitters are right fielder Juan Soto, first baseman Josh Bell and left fielder Yadiel Hernandez.
Soto does exceptionally well despite not getting much to hit. He led the league last year in walks (145) and on-base percentage (.465). He entered Sunday again leading the league in walks (28).
Bell leads the team in OPS (.916), Soto is second (.890), and Hernandez has been a big surprise with an .886 OPS.
“He’s been remarkable,” Washington DH Nelson Cruz said of Hernandez.
Nationals catcher Keibert Ruiz is a young player to watch. He hit 21 homers in 72 Triple-A games last year, posting a .993 OPS. A switch-hitter, Ruiz had a career .301 batting average in the minors.
In the majors this year, he has one homer and a .668 OPS in 27 games.
Ruiz and Soto – both 23 years old – offer hope for a bright Nationals future.
For the Marlins, they are building around their rotation and young hitters such as second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. (.904 OPS) and center fielder Jesus Sanchez (.615 OPS).
Chisholm and Sanchez are both 24. Alcantara and Pablo Lopez – Miami’s two ace starters – are both just 26.
-Field Level Media