MIAMI — The Miami Marlins recalled right-hander Andre Rienzo from Triple-A New Orleans and selected the contract of righty Vin Mazzaro from the Zephyrs prior to Saturday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles.
Miami made these corresponding moves after placing starters Henderson Alvarez (right shoulder inflammation) and Mat Latos (left knee inflammation) on the 15-day disabled list following Friday’s 8-5 loss.
Manager Dan Jennings said both players will help cover some innings for the bullpen, which ranks eighth in the National League in ERA (4.17) and third in innings (140 1/3).
"Both of these guys should be able to come in and fulfill some certain roles in that bullpen that’ll help us and give us some depth right now," Jennings said.
Rienzo, acquired in the offseason trade with the Chicago White Sox for left-handed reliever Dan Jennings, was 6-8 with a 5.89 ERA in 28 games (21 starts) in the big leagues from 2013-14. The 26-year-old Brazilian held a 0-3 record and 3.15 ERA in seven starts with New Orleans in 2015.
Mazzaro, a non-roster invitee this spring, has played in parts of six major-league seasons with the Oakland Athletics, Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates. He is 23-23 with a 4.69 ERA in 128 games (45 starts) since 2009. The 28-year-old former third-round pick posted a 3-1 record and 3.15 ERA in 11 games (one start) for the Zephyrs. With his inclusion, there are now no open spots on the 40-man roster.
Jennings said he, pitching coach Chuck Hernandez and president of baseball operations Michael Hill will discuss who starts Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games in Pittsburgh. The Marlins will benefit from Thursday’s offday, the club’s first since May 14. Righty starter Jarred Cosart is also on the DL with vertigo.
These moves delay top prospect Justin Nicolino’s big-league debut. The Marlins also decided against recalling righty Jose Urena.
"Certainly there’s a couple of guys down there that everybody knows and those guys will be discussed and they’ll be pieces that we talk about," Jennings said. "You got some pieces here now that are in the big leagues who can step in and do that. I think it’ll be an interesting discussion as to what’s going to be the best thing for us right now as we get ready to go on this roadtrip."
Alvarez, who lands on the DL again with right shoulder inflammation for the fourth time since 2013, will soon have an MRI to determine the extent of his injury.
"From what I was told last night it’s the inflammation again in the shoulder, and I’m sure he’ll go out and get an MRI and we’ll have a better feel for exactly what if and anything it can be," Jennings said.
Latos, who underwent knee surgery in February 2014 and missed the first three months of that season, had it drained before this spring training. He didn’t look like his normal self, posting a 1-4 record and 6.12 ERA. Twice he exited outings with injuries (left hamstring strain and left shin contusion).
Entering this season, Latos held a 60-45 record and a 3.48 ERA in 157 starts from 2009-14 as a member of the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds.
"Just to try and get it stronger," Jennings said. "These guys are going to take the ball. These guys are major leaguers, they’re mentally tough. Now what they’re going to try to do is build some strength in there, hopefully get the inflammation out and let him build back the strength and stamina so that he can be that guy. You look at his track record over his career — he’s been a seven-inning kind of guy, quality ERA. He’s consistent pretty much through his entire time in the majors leagues, so you know what? If you have to give 15 days to get a healthy, stronger Latos back then that benefits all of us."
Jennings and the organization are hoping it takes just 15 days before Latos can return to the mound for the ballclub.
"He had pitched through some discomfort but not enough that would require him to go on the DL," Jennings said. "Just think where it is and he is right now it serves him better and will certainly serve us better."
Marlins pitchers practiced fielding grounders prior to Saturday’s batting practice. In consecutive games, Miami failed to execute sacrifice bunt plays.
"Just a refresher on fundamentals, that’s all," Jennings said. "Not a punishment just a, ‘Hey, let’s go back.’ Sometimes you have to brush up on fundamentals. Those things as (infield coach) Perry Hill says, ’27 outs.’ And we want to give 27 outs and no more. When you give extra outs usually it comes back to bite you."