Somehow, I know Jose Urena would start for the Miami Marlins at some point this season.
Whether it was injuries or changes in the rotation or domination in long relief, Urena would impress enough to make his case.
Evidently, manager Don Mattingly has seen enough in Urena’s performance on the mound to make him consider moving the 25-year-old from long relief to the rotation.
Per MLB.com, the right-hander yielded two runs in six innings, and he once again showed plenty of potential in the Marlins' 8-4 loss to the Braves on Friday at Marlins Park.
"Jose's throwing the ball well," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's going to be on the attack. He's going to give you everything he's got."
The Marlins signed him on August 28, 2009, and he played for two seasons with the Dominican Summer League Marlins. In 2011, he played in short season Single-A with the Jamestown Jammers, posting a 4.33 ERA in 15 starts. He advanced to full-season Single-A in 2012, posting a 3.38 ERA in 138.1 innings with the Greensboro Grasshoppers. In 2013, he played in high Single-A with the Jupiter Hammerheads, pitching 149.2 innings with a 3.73 ERA. In 2014, he amassed a record of 13-8, pitching 162 innings with 121 strikeouts and a 3.33 ERA.
Urena knew in Spring Training he had to stick with the major league roster or there was a good chance the Marlins would lose him. He was out of options for minor league assignment. He delivered – so much so that he was considered for the fifth starting slot that eventually went to Adam Conley.
Conley has been sent down to Triple-A New Orleans for a poor start to the season.
What is Conley’s loss could be Urena’s gain. Add to that Edinson Volquez has been on the disabled list and Wei-Yin Chen still has a “tired” arm and things are looking better for pitcher from Dominican Republic.
Volquez will be reinstated on Saturday and start the middle game against the Braves. Chen's status is more up in the air.
The Marlins have yet to announce Sunday's starter, but it could be Dan Straily, who is also lined up for Monday. The fact Miami was off on Thursday means Straily could be on four days' rest and go on Sunday, with Tom Koehler on Monday.
Could Urena get another opportunity on the bump and stick with the rotation? If he continues to produce it could force Mattingly to make yet another change to his roster.
"Everything is working," Urena said. "I've been more confident, throwing nice and easy and working on my breaking ball. I'm trying to change things with those guys. They are waiting for a fastball, and we're attacking the hitters."