Bullpen, rotation to benefit from another day off

Taxed relief corps gets to rest due to postponement; Chen now scheduled to start Wednesday

Bullpen, rotation to benefit from another day off

WASHINGTON -- In some ways, the wintry-like weather that led to Saturday's postponement at Nationals Park could work in the Marlins' favor, because it allows for another day of rest for an overused bullpen.

So rather look at the downside of back-to-back days off, manager Don Mattingly sees a benefit to not facing Washington on Saturday. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on May 14.

"It's not going to hurt us," Mattingly said regarding his bullpen. "This probably gets us back to square [one]."

The rotation also gets pushed back a day, as Tom Koehler, who was scheduled to start on Saturday, will now go on Sunday at Washington. Joe Ross also will go on Sunday, which keeps Saturday's initially scheduled pitching matchup intact for the series finale.

Jarred Cosart, who was lined up for Sunday, now will face the Mets on Monday at Citi Field instead of Wei-Yin Chen.

Chen, who suffered a bruised left elbow on Opening Day, is still dealing with some swelling. He is tentatively slated for Wednesday in the series finale at New York. But if for some reason, Chen can't make that start, Adam Conley will fill that spot.

"If we would have gone regular today and tomorrow, we would have thrown Conley on Monday, and kept Chen to Wednesday to get him a couple of more days," Mattingly said.

Jose Fernandez remains on course to face the Mets on Tuesday.

Mattingly remains optimistic that Chen is dealing with a minor setback, and the extra days will allow the swelling to subside.

"He has no structural problems," Mattingly said. "He's still been able to throw. He just has some fluid in there. I think the extra days are really good for him, so no concern long term."

Inclement weather has disrupted a number of teams in recent weeks, including the Marlins. Dating back to Spring Training, the club has now played eight games in 16 days.

"It's not ideal, but everybody else is dealing with it, too," Mattingly said. "Everybody kind of deals with the same things at the beginning of the season, because of how we schedule off-days, because of home openers and things on the East Coast. I think we're all in the same boat for the most part, and you just keep going."

Worth noting:
• Walks allowed is an area of concern through three games. In Thursday's 6-4 win over the Nationals, the Marlins issued nine walks. Overall, they've walked 16, tied for the fifth most of any team. The high total has raised the team's WHIP to 1.62, 28th in the Majors.

"Whatever it is, we have to get it under control," Mattingly said. "That's one of the things we know, we're not going to survive many games like that. We've got to get better."

• From a personal standpoint, Mattingly is glad that the organization was able to retain outfielder Cole Gillespie, who cleared waivers and was outrighted on Friday to Triple-A New Orleans. Gillespie, one of the last cuts out of Spring Training, provides depth.

"It's kind of two-fold," Mattingly said. "Selfishly, you're glad that we have him. But those type of guys, you want them to be in the big leagues. That's where guys want to be. That's their goal. If that can't happen, I'm so glad he's with us, because he's a solid player, a guy we know. He knows the situation here. We plan on getting him some first and third base in the Minor Leagues, just to give him more value. I'm glad, selfishly, that we have him."

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.