Marlins promote LHP prospect Justin Nicolino to start Saturday
Miami Marlins prospect Justin Nicolino will make his major-league debut by starting Saturday night’s game in Cincinnati against the Reds.
Nicolino, who went 4-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 13 starts for Triple-A New Orleans this year, takes over for right-hander Tom Koehler, who is dealing with muscle spasms his neck/upper back.
Over five minor-league seasons, Nicolino has a 42-17 record and 2.67 ERA in 111 games (102 starts). In 2014, he earned Marlins’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year and Southern League Pitcher of the Year honors for going 14-4 with a 2.85 ERA with Double-A Jacksonville. He and the Suns captured the Southern League championship.
The Toronto Blue Jays drafted Nicolino in the second round in 2010 out of University High School in Orlando, Florida, before trading him to the Marlins as part of the 2012 blockbuster trade. During his first season in Miami’s organization, he received recognition as Florida State League Pitcher of the Year for his time with Single-A Jupiter.
The 23-year-old left-hander will face righty Anthony DeSclafani — also part of that 2012 deal — at Great American Ball Park. The Marlins traded DeSclafani to the Reds for right-hander Mat Latos this past offseason.
Miami designated Jhonatan Solano for assignment as the corresponding roster move. He re-joined the club prior to Thursday’s game in New York with starting catcher JT Realmuto nursing back pain.