Juan Carlos Oviedo is eligible to return from his eight-week suspension for identity fraud on July 23, but the reliever formerly known as Leo Nunez won’t be ready to rejoin the Marlins’ bullpen by then because he’s been diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
Oviedo suffered the injury while working his way back into game shape in the minors and the UCL, if torn, is what leads to Tommy John surgery and a 12-month recovery.
For now the Marlins are saying there’s no return timetable, which means he’ll likely rest for a few weeks and then have doctors take another look. If healthy Oviedo was in position to potentially reclaim his old closer job, or at least a share of the save chances along with Heath Bell, but those plans are out the window now.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.