With the Marlins surprisingly in contention in mid-June, the team decided the time is now for one of its top prospects.
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The Marlins made a slew of moves on Monday, the biggest being the promotion of first-round pick Andrew Heaney. The club selected the contract of Heaney and recalled Anthony DeSclafani to replace starters Randy Wolf and Jacob Turner, an indication that the team is serious about contending in 2014.
DeSclafani is a slight upgrade over Turner, who will move to the bullpen with the DFA of Kevin Slowey. The right-hander earned a win in his first major league start against the Dodgers last month, but he's not likely to be anything more than an NL-only option for fantasy owners. His first start will come Tuesday against the Cubs.
But Heaney is the real prize. The 23-year-old southpaw had a 2.47 ERA, 1.096 WHIP and 79/15 K/BB ratio in 76 2/3 innings at the minor league level this year, and he was a first-round pick of the Marlins in 2012. Heaney was rated as the No. 30 prospect in baseball by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus and came in at No. 29 for MLB.com prior to the 2014 season.
And Heaney's promotion isn't on par with that of the Cardinals' recent flirtation with Oscar Taveras -- Heaney is in the big leagues for the foreseeable future.
"Andrew Heaney is part of our immediate future and for many years to come," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "We want to get him here in the thick of a race and allow him to help this ballclub. We think every fifth day he'll give us a chance to go out there and win a ballgame."
The Marlins offense has been surprisingly capable thus far this season, so Heaney's fantasy outlook is brighter than expected. He's a must-own in NL-only leagues, and mixed league owners looking for a high-upside flier couldn't do much better than the left-hander. His first start should come Thursday against the Mets.
Wieters To Undergo Tommy John Surgery
The fear regarding Matt Wieters' right elbow became a reality Monday.
After a few weeks of rest in hopes the elbow would show improvement, an MRI taken by Dr. James Andrews on Monday still showed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in the catcher's right elbow. Given that information, the catcher will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery on Tuesday.
"You always try to go down the other avenue as much as you can, but we reached a point where we felt like he was going to have to eventually go ahead and have it," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Wieters, who will have the palmaris longus tendon near the forearm replace the elbow ligament. "And when it didn't get much better, we'd like to go ahead and take care of the problem. We are fortunate in today's sports medical world ... the risk factor is strong on his side and our side."
Tommy John surgery for position players doesn't carry the year-long recovery time that it does for pitchers, but Wieters is still facing a nine-month rehab process to be ready for the start of next season. With the surgery set for mid-June, that puts Wieters on track to be ready very close to the start of the 2015 season.
The Orioles have leaned on Nick Hundley and Caleb Joseph at catcher, a punchless duo that isn't even worth considering in AL-only leagues, in Wieters' absence, but with Wieters officially done for the season the O's may look for a better offensive option at backstop. Sellers should become clearer in the next few weeks, or the Orioles may strike early in hopes of remaining in the hunt in the AL East. The team may also decide to stick with a defense-first combo at catcher and take the hit on the offensive side of the ball.
Brantley Day-To-Day After Hard Slide
A hard slide threatened to sideline Michael Brantley, but the reigning American League Player of the Week appears to have escaped without serious injury.
After singling in the third inning of Monday's game, Brantley went hard into second base on Jason Kipnis' ground ball. The outfielder dinged his head and neck area on the slide, and he exited the game before the next half inning.
The good news is that the Indians described his removal as precautionary, suggesting that he avoided a concussion on the play. The 27-year-old may miss a day with some bumps and bruises, but he should be back in the middle of the Indians' lineup before too long.
And that's good news for fantasy owners. Brantley has arguably been the biggest breakout star of 2014 -- in the league not occupied by Charlie Blackmon, at least -- and he was recently named as the AL's Player of the Week for the second week of June. Brantley mashed American League pitching over the seven-game span, going 14-for-26 (.538) with two home runs, three RBI and nine runs scored. The crazy good stretch raised his overall line to .323/.391/.519.
National League Quick Hits: Carlos Gomez missed Monday's game with a sore hamstring. The outfielder is considered day to day with the injury, and Brewers manager Ron Roenicke is hoping to have Gomez back in the lineup come Tuesday ... Bronson Arroyo made his first-ever trip to the disabled list on Monday with right elbow tendinitis. The 37-year-old underwent an MRI on the elbow, and the D'backs are hoping the prescription is nothing more than a few weeks of rest. Already relying on secondary options like Chase Anderson and Josh Collmenter, the club may turn to Randall Delgado for starts in Arroyo's absence ... The Rockies appear ready to recall another of their seemingly endless supply of good young outfielders when they promote Kyle Parker on Tuesday. Parker, 24, is batting .292/.347/.478 with seven home runs and 38 RBI with Triple-A Colorado Springs this year, and he should see at least a few at-bats with Michael Cuddyer and Carlos Gonzalez on the disabled list ... Eric Young Jr. was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Monday. The outfielder was in the starting lineup and batted ninth -- behind the pitcher, who batted eighth -- in Monday's contest against the Cardinals ... It's out of the frying pan and into the fire for Chad Billingsley. After undergoing Tommy John surgery last year, Billingsley will now require season-ending surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. He's done for 2014, and with his second major surgery in two years it's hard to see a time when Billingsley might be back pitching in the major leagues in the near future.
American League Quick Hits: Tyler Skaggs (hamstring) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session on Sunday in hopes of being able to return to the mound on Saturday. The final obstacle for the left-hander will be a simulated game, which he'll compete on Tuesday ... Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Monday that James Paxton (shoulder) is still about 3-to-4 weeks away from returning. Paxton hasn't pitched for the M's since early April, and it appears he won't be back on the mound until after the All-Star break ... Josh Reddick (knee) is shooting for a return to the A's on June 24. Reddick will start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday, giving him roughly a week's worth of games to round into shape ... Logan Morrison (head) was back in the Mariners' lineup on Monday, a day after suffering a cut from a shattered bat. Morrison sustained the injury slamming his bat into the wall of the Mariners' dugout on Sunday. The injury-prone outfielder isn't even safe from himself these days.
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