The Marlins have expressed interest in signing pitcher Ricky Nolasco to a long-term extension.
Nolasco will likely be scratched from his scheduled start Sunday and is undergoing tests to see if he has a torn meniscus in his right knee, according to MLB.com. If so, the righty would be out for the season and finish 2010 with a 14-8 record and 4.22 ERA in 155 2/3 innings. Nolasco has been the team's second-best starter right behind Josh Johnson, so losing him for the rest of the year would be a blow as the team scrapes to finish above .500.
If Nolasco does indeed have a torn meniscus, all extension talks would be tabled until he proves his health. At 27, Nolasco has two more years of arbitration to go before becoming a free agent. Making $3.8 million, his price tag figures to rise quickly, even factoring in a torn meniscus.
To replace Nolasco, the team may elect to tab Andrew Miller for a couple of spot starts until Sean West can return from the disabled list. Currently filling in for West is 21-year-old Alejandro Sanabia, who twirled a gem on Thursday.
Miller was a former top prospect included in the Miguel Cabrera swap. The Marlins gave him 187 1/3 innings across the last two seasons but he only managed a 5.43 ERA, whiffing 7.1 batters per nine and walking 4.8. In 18 Triple-A starts, he posted a 6.01 ERA, whiffing seven and walking 6.4 batters per nine.
That is not a recipe for success.
Miller is already in the big leagues, recalled on Thursday to provide bullpen depth, so it would be simple for the team to slot Miller into the rotation. Whether they should is another question entirely.
-- Evan BrunellFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.