Jupiter, Florida —— On Tuesday afternoon, Miami Marlins right-handed pitcher Brad Ziegler made a rehab appearance—his first of the season after being placed on the disabled list—for the Gulf Coast League Marlins against the Gulf Coast League Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter. To this point, Ziegler has been sidelined by a lower back strain that had limited him to just 29 big league innings in 2017 before landing on the disabled list on June 22.
In his rehab appearance on Tuesday, Ziegler allowed two unearned runs (thanks to two errors), along with two hits, a walk, and two strikeouts in one inning of work. Baseball Census has video of that full inning for you to see right here:
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The veteran righty had trouble spotting his breaking ball in Tuesday’s outing, the sweeper going far off the plate and proving hard to command for called strikes. But as is always the case with Ziegler, his heavy side-arm fastball is biting down and late, and he had good feel for that pitch all things considered with his long layoff. But against GCL hitters his late-sinking stuff proved a serious challenge, and were it not for defensive errors on two routine plays, Ziegler would have been out of Tuesday’s game long before that second strikeout of the seventh batter.
Ziegler’s inning was far from clean, but he finished it after a mound conference to discuss whether he wanted to continue (he faced seven hitters), and ultimately it ought to be deemed a success considering he is reportedly aiming to throw again on Thursday in another GCL game. Per the Sun Sentinel‘s Tim Healey, a second appearance in three days could make Ziegler’s return to the Miami Marlins “imminent.” He’ll need to better spot his off-speed stuff to have any level of sustained success in the big leagues, of course, but a bit of rust was bound to come off after a month shelved on the disabled list. Now, as Healey reported, I can’t imagine Ziegler needing too much more time to get back after going two-of-three days in the GCL.
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