Marlins option Despaigne, recall Ellington

Marlins option Despaigne, recall Ellington

NEW YORK -- With two-fifths of their rotation on the disabled list, Odrisamer Despaigne made a spot start for the Marlins on Saturday in an 11-3 loss to the Mets at Citi Field.

Since the Marlins anticipate both Edinson Volquez and Wei-Yin Chen to be ready for their next starts, Despaigne on Sunday was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans. Miami also is in need of bullpen depth, so right-hander Brian Ellington was recalled from New Orleans.

Despaigne pitched 4 2/3 innings Saturday, giving up eight runs, but just three earned. The right-hander, who hadn't started in a big league game since 2015 when he was with the Padres, struck out four and walked four.

The fact that Despaigne was only brought up to make one start made him expendable for Sunday and the next few days, when the Marlins could use extra bullpen arms.

Ellington, already on the 40-man roster, was a logical choice. The hard-throwing right-hander, who has appeared in 55 big league games and logged 58 innings, entered Spring Training as a candidate for a bullpen spot but was optioned to New Orleans before Opening Day. With the Baby Cakes, he has thrown eight innings, with 14 strikeouts and just one walk.

One of the hardest throwers in the organization, Ellington has dealt with command issues. In the big leagues, he has 50 strikeouts and 29 walks.

If he consistently throws strikes, Ellington could become a fixture in Miami's bullpen.

"I personally feel like I haven't scratched the surface of how good I can be," said Ellington, whose fastball reaches the 99-100 mph range. "I've spent a lot of time working on a breaking ball recently, it's more of a slider. I've been trying to throw a hard slider that goes with the fastball a little bit better than a slower breaking pitch. I've just been attacking these hitters. You don't have to be perfect. A lot of times the hitters get themselves out."

The Marlins still will have to make a rotation decision in the next five days.

"Sending Odrisamer out basically says Volquez is ready, and we feel the same way about Chen," manager Don Mattingly said. "Then we just have to make moves accordingly, wherever those are."

Volquez went on the 10-day disabled list due to a right thumb blister on May 3, and the earliest he could be reinstated is on Saturday at home against Braves. Miami expects Volquez to be ready at that time.

Chen, on the DL with left arm fatigue, is expected to be ready for his next start, and he is eligible to return on Friday, which could make him the choice to open the series with Atlanta.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. 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.