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Marlins Notes: Puk, Scott, Nance, Brazoban, Gurriel

The Marlins are dealing with various small injuries throughout their spring camp, per a report from Barry Jackson and Craig Mish of the Miami Herald.

The slate of injuries include three relievers. Left-hander A.J. Puk has some tightness in the adductor muscle of his left leg, fellow lefty Tanner Scott is dealing with slight discomfort in his left biceps, while Tommy Nance has discomfort in his right shoulder. Puk and Scott are playing catch today but Nance will be reevaluated in a couple of days. “I’m not too concerned,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said to Jackson and Mish. “If it was a starter who had to get built up, that’s a whole different story. But the relievers, I think that’s a little easier.”

Puk, just acquired from the A’s a few weeks ago, was once one of  the top prospects in the league but has struggled to stay healthy. Shoulder issues prevented him from making an appearance in 2020 and he struggled in 2021. He bounced back nicely last year, however, posting a 3.12 ERA over 62 appearances.

Scott was acquired from the Orioles a year ago and had a solid season for Miami, despite some control issues. He walked 15.9% of batters faced but struck out 31.1% and got grounders at a 46.3% clip. Nance was claimed off waivers from the Cubs about a year ago and registered a 4.33 ERA in 43 2/3 innings last year. He struck out 29.1% of opponents while walking 10.7%, also getting grounders at a strong 46.4% rate.

There’s also one other hiccup in the club’s bullpen, as Huascar Brazobán has yet to report to camp due to a visa issue. However, the issue has been resolved and Brazobán should be leaving the Dominican Republic for the United States tomorrow. The righty was a nice story last year, making his major league debut at the age of 32. He tossed 32 innings with a 3.09 ERA, 28.4% strikeout rate, 14.9% walk rate and 49.4% ground ball rate.

All in all, it seems like a pile of minor issues scattered throughout the bullpen, but they are situations worth monitoring with only about four weeks until Opening Day.

Leaving aside the bullpen, the club has been connected to free agent Yuli Gurriel multiple times this offseason. The most recent reporting indicated they offered him a $2MM deal at one point but took that offer the table when a week went by without a response. Today, Jackson and Mish report that the club is still willing to bring Gurriel into camp as a non-roster invitee if he’s interested.

The fact that a minor league deal hasn’t yet come to fruition suggests that Gurriel is perhaps still holding out for a major league pact. Garrett Cooper is penciled in as the club’s first baseman but he’s dealt with various injuries in his career and it makes sense that the Fish would look to add some depth behind him. Gurriel was a batting champ as recently as 2021 but he’s now entering his age-39 season and is coming off a rough campaign. He hit just .242/.288/.360 last year for a wRC+ of 85, indicating he was 15% worse than the league average hitter.

If Gurriel continues to linger on the market, the Marlins could potentially contact other first base options. The free agent market still features other bounceback candidates like Miguel Sanó and Mike Moustakas.

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