Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich has been sidelined since June 13 due to discomfort in his lower back.
Kevin Jairaj/Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI — As expected, Miami Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich came off the 15-day disabled list for Sunday’s series finale against the Oakland Athletics.
Yelich tripled to lead off the game and scored on Alberto Callaspo’s throwing error on the play to give the Marlins a quick 1-0 lead. He would go hitless in his next three at-bats.
Yelich, who exited after one inning June 13 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, felt discomfort in his lower back and sat out a few days before going on the DL. Sunday marked the first game he was eligible to return. The 22-year-old said he began feeling better a week to 10 days after the initial strain.
"It’s been awhile," Yelich said. "It was a very slow 15 days. It’s good to be back out there and help the team win."
Prior to the injury, his bat had started to heat up. Yelich had multi-hit games in three of four contests, going 8 for 15 with two doubles, a homer, three runs and five RBI.
The 22-year-old is batting .259 with 12 doubles, five triples, six homers and 24 RBI in 63 games. He served as the club’s leadoff batter until Rafael Furcal was reinstated from the 60-day DL.
In four rehab games between Single-A Jupiter and Triple-A New Orleans, Yelich hit .200 with a three-run homer and five total RBI. He split time between left and center field.
"It’s one of those things you’ve got to take slow, take a couple extra days," Yelich said. "It’s done. There’s no lingering effects or long-term thing."
Jake Marisnick went 8 for 47 (.170) with 18 strikeouts in 13 games in Yelich’s place. He got off to a quick start with consecutive multi-hit contests upon his return to the big leagues, but produced just four hits in his final 37 at-bats.
Oddly enough, Yelich will be using Marisnick’s glove since his got stolen out of his bag upon his arrival at Miami International Airport. Yelich didn’t realize that until he unpacked at the clubhouse 20 minutes before Saturday’s first pitch.
Left-handed reliever Dan Jennings was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans as the corresponding move with rookie right-hander Anthony DeSclafani sent down to the Zephyrs.
Jennings was optioned June 18 to make room for reliever Kevin Gregg. The 27-year-old holds a 0-1 record and 0.85 ERA, but he has allowed eight of 14 inherited runners to score.
DeSclafani took over Randy Wolf’s spot in the rotation two weeks ago, but allowed 13 runs in 13 innings in three starts. He went 0-1 during that span. On Friday, he lasted just three frames before exiting with a right forearm contusion.
Much like teammate Nathan Eovaldi earlier this month, righty Tom Koehler is playing the waiting game.
His wife, Ashley, is expecting the couple’s first child — a girl named Riley — on Saturday.
"She’s still pregnant," Koehler joked. "Really hoping the baby comes during this homestand. It’s just one of those things when nature calls."
Koehler is scheduled to start Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies. There is an offday on Monday. Miami goes on a nine-game roadtrip starting next weekend leading up to the All-Star Game. The hope is she would give birth before then.
Eovaldi’s wife was induced on a Sunday after he made a start in Miami on Friday. He flew to Houston to be with her and got back in time for a start on Wednesday.
"That’s something we’re keeping between us," Koehler said. "We’ve got a couple plans up our sleeves. Who knows? When nature calls."