Marlins encouraged as Kolek's back improves

Marlins encouraged as Kolek's back improves

HOUSTON -- The Marlins are optimistic that Tyler Kolek's lower-back issue isn't serious.

The No. 2 overall pick in the June First-Year Player Draft, Kolek is dealing with a lower back sprain, and he is on a no-throw status for about a week.

"There is much improvement," Marlins general manager Dan Jennings said Friday. "He completed light core exercises and rode the bike with no issues."

In a week, an X-ray will be taken and Kolek will be further evaluated.

Kolek felt a sharp pain in his lower back on the right side while pitching for the Gulf Coast League Marlins on Wednesday in Jupiter, Fla. The 18-year-old faced four batters that night, and he was lifted in a game that was suspended due to weather.

"It was one of those, when it hit him, the kid felt like he was stabbed," Jennings said. "So they just took him out."

A native of Shepherd, Texas, Kolek is a hard-throwing right-hander whose fastball reached as high as 102 mph in high school.

"He's feeling much better," Jennings said.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter