The club backdated Chen's disabled list stint to Tuesday, which would allow the lefty, who did not travel with the team to New York, to make his next scheduled start, tentatively scheduled for next Friday against the Braves. The club expects Chen to make that start.
"He threw his bullpen [Thursday]," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "To us, it looked pretty good, but he felt he couldn't make his next start. At that point, we were like, 'OK, send him back to Miami to see the doctors.' We kind of expect him to be able to make [his next start]. He kind of felt like it was dead. At that point, we had to send him out."
But Chen's inability to start Saturday further muddles pitching plans for the Marlins, who will operate with a makeshift rotation this weekend. Despaigne and Jose Urena, who will start Sunday in place of Edinson Volquez, will both be making their first starts of the season against the Mets.
The club tabbed Urena, who had been working as a long man after making 12 starts last season, to start in place of Volquez, who hit the disabled list with a blister issue this week. Urena is 0-0 with a 2.35 ERA over six relief appearances this season.
Down two starters from their Opening Day rotation, the Marlins are building up Jeff Locke to start. The left-hander, who opened the season on the disabled list with left shoulder tendinitis, is scheduled to throw 55-70 pitches on Monday in either an extended spring game or on rehab assignment.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.