Barraclough nears return after 35-pitch bullpen

Barraclough nears return after 35-pitch bullpen

WASHINGTON -- Kyle Barraclough inched closer to shoring up the Marlins' bullpen Monday by throwing a 35-pitch session before the team's game vs. the Nationals. The right-hander is scheduled to throw batting practice Thursday.

Barraclough has been on the DL since July 26 with a right shoulder impingement and tossed a 20-pitch bullpen session Friday. The 27-year-old, who has a 3.30 ERA this season, could become the Marlins' closer later this season or next year.

Another positive sign for the Marlins' pitching staff is that Wei-Yin Chen, who's been on the DL since May 5 with a left elbow injury, is set to throw batting practice August 9. The left-hander, who started five games before the setback, could help a rotation that holds the sixth-highest ERA in the Majors. His return is more crucial after Edinson Volquez underwent Tommy John surgery.

The Marlins have three more on the disabled list without clear timetables: Justin Bour, Nick Wittgren and Martin Prado.

Bour, who landed on the DL July 25 with a right oblique strain, won't resume baseball activity until he's pain-free. Same goes for Wittgren, who went to the DL July 28 after straining his right elbow.

Prado, who had July 28 surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee, is continuing range of motion and strengthening activities three weeks after his setback.

Bour hit .289 with 21 home runs and is a vital cog in a Marlins' offense that has the third-best batting average in the National League. Prado could also spark the offense if he returns this season. The third baseman is a career .291 hitter, but hit .250 in 37 games this year after dealing with hamstring issues early on.

Derek Dietrich has taken advantage of his chances in Prado's absence, hitting .293 with two homers and 11 RBIs over the past 14 days.

Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.