Rookie lefty Ryan Weathers is set to make his return from the injured list on Saturday night when his San Diego Padres visit the Miami Marlins.
The Padres, who have won the first two games of this series and three straight contests overall, are eager to get Weathers back in the rotation as they continue to make a playoff push.
"Right now, we're playing quality, winning baseball, but you can't let up," Padres manager Jayce Tingler said after Friday's 5-2 win over the Marlins. "We've got to keep putting the pressure on the other teams (in the playoff race)."
Weathers (4-2, 2.91 ERA) will be making his first start since July 11, when he fielded a third-inning bunt and ended up injuring his right knee and leaving the game.
The Padres are 9-8 when they start Weathers, who has yet to pitch more than 5 2/3 innings in any of his 17 career outings. He has also yet to face the Marlins.
Weathers on Saturday likely won't have the help of Padres closer Mark Melancon (MLB-high 30 saves), who has saved three games in the past three days but is in need of a night off.
Tingler said he and his coaches debated whether to even use Melancon on Friday.
"(But) he was adamant at how good he was (feeling)," Tingler said of Melancon. "He wanted the ball."
The good news for the Padres is that star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. will be available after not starting on Friday. Tatis was given a rest day, although he was used as a pinch hitter, flying out in the ninth frame.
San Diego's lineup also includes Tommy Pham, who homered in Friday's win. Over his past 49 games, Pham's OPS is an impressive .947.
Weathers, by the way, is the son of former major league pitcher David Weathers, who played for the Marlins from 1993 to 1996 and again in 2004.
Meanwhile, the Marlins, who have lost seven of their nine games since the All-Star break, have not announced their starting pitcher for Saturday night.
The Marlins, though, are hoping to get third baseman Brian Anderson back this weekend. Anderson has not played since May 24 due to an injury to his left shoulder.
"I think that's the expectation right now," Anderson said of a possible appearance by him in Saturday's game. "I'll be ready to go when they call me."
In 2019, Anderson had career highs in homers (20), RBIs (66) and OPS (.811). He produced a solid .810 OPS in last year's shortened pandemic season, but he has just three homers and 11 RBIs in 35 games this year.
The Marlins, who are in last place in the National League East, are gearing up for next Friday's trade deadline, when they are very likely to be sellers.
Marlins starters such as center fielder Starling Marte, right fielder Adam Duvall and first baseman Jesus Aguilar could be traded at any moment between now and then.
In the meantime, Duvall hit a monster homer on Friday night -- measured at 421 feet. It was his team-high 22nd homer of the season.
Marte leads Miami in steals (19 in 22 attempts), and Aguilar tops the Marlins in RBIs (69, including a run-scoring double on Friday).
--Field Level Media