Hechavarria, Capps could return this weekend

Both players participate in simulated game at Marlins Park

Hechavarria, Capps could return this weekend

MIAMI -- Miami reliever Carter Capps passed another test on Thursday, tossing 20 pitches in a simulated game at Marlins Park. The way the right-hander is progressing, the club hasn't ruled out his return to the roster at some point during the weekend series with the Braves.

Also against Atlanta, Miami may have shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria back in the lineup. Hechavarria got some at-bats, off Minor Leaguers, in Thursday's sim game.

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Capps has been on the disabled list since Aug. 3 with a right elbow strain. Thursday was the hard-throwing right-hander's second simulated game.

Manager Dan Jennings hinted Capps could be ready for the weekend. If not, then next week when Miami goes on the road to Tampa before wrapping up the season at Philadelphia.

"But just based upon those 20 pitches, I'd say he's pretty close," Jennings said.

Capps has dominated in his eighth-inning setup role, posting a 1.16 ERA in 31 innings with 58 strikeouts.

Capps leaves with an injury

Getting Capps back would not only upgrade the bullpen. It also would give Capps some peace of mind to pitch before he heads into the offseason.

"Just really to finish with health and know, mentally, that he's good," Jennings said. "He says his arm feels great -- the ball came out well. The slider was absolutely nasty and he was pretty impressive."

Hechavarria aggravated his left hamstring at Atlanta on Sept. 2, and he's been out since. Because of the September callup period, teams can take on extra players, so Hechavarria wasn't placed on the disabled list. He is available to pinch-hit or play the field right now.

Hechavarria leaves early

Hechavarria used the sim game to work on his timing.

"He's ran, taken ground balls, and been throwing," Jennings said. "This was more for a timing thing because he hadn't seen live pitching in so long. It was those guys' days to throw their bullpens, so we thought we'd get them down here and give him that opportunity to see some live arms."

Hechavarria faced two prospects who have been at the club's complex in Jupiter, Fla., taking part in the instructional league. Brought in to pitch to Hechavarria were left-hander Michael Mader, a 2014 supplemental pick who is the club's 15th-ranked prospect according to MLB.com, and right-hander Chris Paddack, Miami's eighth-round Draft pick this year.

"Two good-looking kids," Jennings said. "[Paddack] has a tremendous right-handed changeup. I'd seen Mader a little bit, and he has a real nice curveball. So I think it's a big thrill for these kids to leave instructional league and get to come to a big league ballpark and get their work in here."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.