Baseball is a sport with a legacy that is past down from generation to generation, which makes Father’s Day is a very special day of the season. Many Major League players learned to play from their father. It is rare for one to become a father on Father’s Day. On Sunday June 15, it happened to Miami Marlins pitcher Nathan Eovaldi.
The Marlins announced that Eovaldi would be placed on a paternity leave so he may be with his wife for the birth of their first child.
It appears to be the same situation as the Daniel Murphy paternity leave that made national headlines, but completely different. It’s not in New York, where throwing away a piece of trash and missing the trash can is a big story, there isn’t a famous former NFL player on the South Florida radio airwaves to completely dehumanize the whole situation, causing women everywhere to collectively yell “HOW DARE YOU!”, and most importantly, Eovaldi isn’t missing any time.
Eovaldi’s last start was on Friday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He gave up six runs in 4.2 innings in an 8-6 extra inning loss. It was the first time all season Eovaldi lasted less than six innings and gave up more than three runs in a home start.
So maybe the time off is much needed.
This move actually benefits the Marlins because it allows them to bring in a fresh reliever to aid their depleted bullpen. With an extra spot in the 25-man roster, the Marlins called up Sam Dyson from Triple-A New Orleans.
A player can only be on paternity leave for a maximum of three days. The usual universal limit on a reliever’s consecutive days is three. So it’s logical to expect Marlins manager Mike Redmond to use Dyson for all three paternity days, then send his tired arm back to the minors in time for Eovaldi to make his next scheduled start. Which was confirmed by Redmond.
“The plan is for him to make his next start,” Redmond said.
It’s a plan that spawned from a situation so perfectly timed that Redmond wishes it would happen more often.
"If we could just plan these guys' babies on when we need a fresh arm, we'll be in business," Redmond said in a joking matter. "It does give us a fresh arm down there when we do need it. Our bullpen has pitched a lot of innings. More importantly, we want him to enjoy the birth of his baby."
In 20 1/3 innings with New Orleans, Dyson has a 2.66 ERA with 15 strikeouts and seven walks. He last threw on June 9. Dyson also pitched a few innings for the Marlins last season and that experience has him prepared for his current Major League assignment.
What this transaction also means is that for as long as Dyson is on the Marlins, he’ll be reunited with fellow reliever Chris Hatcher, who he fought in a bar earlier in the season while at Triple-A. Dyson sustained a broken jaw in that fight and required surgery on May 1.
But everything is all hunky dory now.
"Everything is fine," Dyson said. "It was two months ago. It's definitely past us. We're just looking to help the team win and do what we have to do. That's the main goal."