Sixto Sanchez drew most of the raves among Miami Marlins pitchers who made their major league debuts last year, but Trevor Rogers is proving he is pretty good, too.
Rogers (1-1, 2.40 ERA) will start on Wednesday afternoon against the visiting Baltimore Orioles in a battle of left-handers. The Orioles will give the ball to Bruce Zimmermann (1-1, 4.24).
In three starts this season, Rogers is averaging 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings, which ranks fourth in the National League.
Rogers, Miami's first-round pick in 2017 (13th overall), has allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his starts this year.
"I know it doesn't seem like it at times," said Rogers, who is not overly demonstrative on the mound, "but I love competing. It's a blast."
Rogers will be making his 11th career major league appearance, all starts. He has never opposed the Orioles.
Similarly, Zimmermann has been lightly tested. This will be his sixth major league appearance and his fifth start. He has yet to face Miami.
Of his three starts this season, two qualify as "quality" for Zimmermann, who allowed three runs in six innings each time.
On Wednesday, Zimmermann hopes to lead the Orioles to a two-game series sweep. The Orioles defeated the Marlins 7-5 on Tuesday night.
The Orioles will conclude the series without right fielder Anthony Santander, who sprained his left ankle going back to first base on a pickoff attempt. X-rays were negative, but an MRI was pending.
Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said postgame Tuesday that it was too soon to know the severity of the injury.
The good news for the Orioles is that Austin Hays was activated off the injured list earlier Tuesday. Fresh off a hamstring injury, Hays did not start, but he took over when Santander got hurt. Hays went 1-for-4 with two runs and made a stellar catch in right field, robbing Brian Anderson of extra bases.
Baltimore is also fortunate to have reliever Cesar Valdez, who could be available again on Wednesday. On Tuesday, he picked up his fourth save of the season, lowering his ERA to 0.96.
Armed with a terrific changeup, Valdez retired all four batters he faced, including three by swinging strikeouts. Of the 16 pitches he threw, 12 were strikes.
"I love every time he comes into the game," said Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini, who homered on Tuesday. "He makes a lot of guys look silly."
The Marlins, 8-3 against the Orioles since 2015, got a standout performance on Tuesday from shortstop Miguel Rojas, who went 4-for-4 to raise his batting average to .327. He also scored two runs and had a triple, a walk and an RBI.
Even so, the Marlins are now down two starters due to injury. Center fielder Starling Marte sustained a rib injury on Sunday, and he will miss at least 10 days.
Then, in the fourth inning Tuesday, catcher Jorge Alfaro hurt his left hamstring. He was replaced by Chad Wallach, who went 2-for-2.
The Marte injury will likely have the bigger impact as he is perhaps Miami's best all-around player. Lewis Brinson, Marte's replacement, is batting .091 this season and has yet to hit above .226 in his five-year major league career.
--Field Level Media