Here we go again. The Miami Marlins are once again monitoring the progress of one of its pitchers who was injured while on the mound.
Per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, A missed sign and poorly executed bunt had damaging results for Justin Nicolino on Tuesday night in the Marlins' 7-2 win over the Phillies at Marlins Park.
In the third inning, Nicolino bruised the tip of his left index finger while dropping a squeeze bunt off Phillies lefty Joely Rodriguez.
The pitching staff has become the team’s Achilles heel this season, despite the team is in the middle of three-game win streak. Injuries to the rotation this year, with Edinson Volquez, Tom Koehler and Wei-Yin Chen have hurt the staff. Jeff Locke was on a rehab assignment and will make his Marlins debut against Arizona on Thursday. Adam Conley was sent to Triple-A New Orleans and Dan Straily has been hot and cold so far this season.
Although he advanced to second on a throwing error, Nicolino had his finger pinched by the pitch. He remained in the game to run, but he was replaced by Dustin McGowan in the fourth inning.
"Bases loaded and one out, I thought I saw the bunt sign," Nicolino said. "It wasn't on. Right there, bonehead play by myself. It's fine. When I looked down at first and took off the glove, it was really black and blue."
An X-ray came back negative.
"The ball got his bat and the finger," manager Don Mattingly said. "We'll see where he's at tomorrow."
It may be a few days before the organization knows if Nicolino can take the mound again.
The Toronto Blue Jays selected Nicolino in the second round of the 2010 MLB Draft, with the 80th overall selection. He signed with the Blue Jays for a reported $615,000 signing bonus, rather than enroll at the University of Virginia. On November 19, 2012, the Blue Jays traded Nicolino, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Álvarez, Yunel Escobar, Jeff Mathis, Anthony DeSclafani, and Jake Marisnick to the Miami Marlins in exchange for Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, José Reyes, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio.
On January 29, 2013, Nicolino was named number 72 on MLB's Top 100 Prospects list. He began the 2013 season with the Jupiter Hammerheads of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League (FSL). After pitching to a 5–2 record with a 2.23 ERA, and being named a FSL All-Star, he received a promotion to the Jacksonville Suns of the Class AA Southern League in July.
Pitching for Jacksonville in 2014, Nicolino had a went 14–4 with a 2.85 ERA in 28 starts, and was named the Marlins' Minor League Pitcher of the Year. After the 2014 season, the Marlins added Nicolino to their 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.