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What Should Marlins do With Surplus of Starting Pitchers in MLB?

The Miami Marlins have one of the strongest starting rotations in baseball. They currently own the 7th best rotation ERA in the league, not just National League, but in all of Major League Baseball. With a 3.92 rotation ERA, they place behind the Rays, Dodgers, Nationals, Reds, Twins, and Astros. 

With the current rotation doing as well as they have, what should the Marlins do when Jose Urena and Pablo Lopez return from the IL?. Personally, I think the Marlins should trade Trevor Richards before/at the deadline. 

Between the staff, Richards has the fourth highest ERA behind Jose Urena, Zac Gallen, and Pablo Lopez. Jose Urena and Pablo Lopez have been on the injured list so they haven’t had a chance to lower their ERAs. Zac Gallen only has twelve major league innings to his name so there’s not much to go off of there. Gallen has shown a lot of promise, just needs to limit his walks.

  • Jose Urena (4.70 ERA)
  • Zac Gallen (4.50 ERA)
  • Pablo Lopez (4.23 ERA) 
  • Trevor Richards (4.18 ERA)

Let’s say Richards has been traded at the deadline, and Urena and Lopez are back from the IL, what should the Marlins do now? Well, there are now seven starting pitchers that could get a rotation spot, but there are only five spots. I say move Urena and Elieser Hernandez to the bullpen.

Urena has the stuff to be in a middle relief type of role and Hernandez already has bullpen experience so I don’t think this is a bad situation

What Could The Rotation Look Like?

Use the rotation that will give the club the best opportunity to win a game, and in my opinion that rotation looks like this:

  • Caleb Smith
  • Sandy Alcantara
  • Jordan Yamamoto
  • Pablo Lopez
  • Zac Gallen

I could make the argument that Yamamoto should be the number one starter or the “Ace” of the staff because of how amazing he has been but he only has 29 innings pitched. As a result, Caleb Smith seemed like the more obvious choice as the front of the rotation pitcher. 

This is a Top 10 in the league rotation, possibly even Top 5. I mean they’re already Top 7 so Top 5 is definitely doable. All the team needs now is some run producing bats and in fact, they’re on their way. A trade for a very highly regarded Cleveland Indian (I won’t say any names) may be possible this offseason if Cleveland decides to sell.

Some impactful free agent bats are also on the Marlins’ radar this offseason as well. Players eligible for free agency this offseason that could be targeted by the Marlins include:

  • Jose Abreu
  • Didi Gregorius 
  • Marcell Ozuna
  • Yasiel Puig
  • Nicholas Castellanos

It’s going to be a fun offseason and the trade deadline is only the beginning. 

Most Pleasant Surprise of Marlins’ First Half? Jordan Yamamoto.

Through all the disappointments and hard times of the Marlins’ first half there were a few bright spots to be excited about. I’m only going to be talking about one exciting bright spot in Jordan Yamamoto.

Acquired in the Christian Yelich trade, Yamamoto was thought of as the least regarded prospect in the trade. Yet, he has outperformed his fellow trade pieces, who have performed very well at the minor league level. He has made his way onto the big league scene before Monte Harrison and Isan Diaz have. *Lewis Brinson is progressing very well.*

Both Harrison and Diaz have had great seasons thus far for Triple-A New Orleans but an immediate need in the rotation due to injury opened the door for Yamamoto to make the big league club out of Double-A Jacksonville.

In five starts for the Marlins, Yamamoto holds a 3-0 record with a 1.24 ERA, yes a 1.24 ERA… I don’t think that’s too bad for a “throw in” piece. In 29 innings pitched, he has allowed 11 hits and he hasn’t allowed more than THREE hits in any of his outings. That makes him only the THIRD pitcher since 1900 to have five straight starts without allowing more than three hits. He also hasn’t allowed a home run this season. (via @DuseReport)

His slider has been his best pitch and it’s un-hittable, literally. Batters are 0-31 with 19 strikeouts against his slider, yes 19 strikeouts. Hitters are having trouble hitting his other pitches also. Batters are only hitting for a .117 average and only have 11 hits against him.

An impressive stat for Jordan Yamamoto is that he holds the longest streak of allowing no more than three earned runs and three hits or less while pitching four innings or more to start a career with five straight starts that meet that criteria. (via @MaxSportsStudio)

He shut down a very hot Atlanta Brave’s lineup in probably his best outing of the season in my opinion, based on who he faced. Video below of his dominance against Atlanta. (via @Marlins)

I think he could be a possible NL Rookie of the Year candidate this year, he would have to beat Mets’ Pete Alonso to win it but he could definitely be a candidate if he keeps pitching the way he has been. 

Yamamoto Wins Again as Marlins Sweep

The Marlins completed the sweep of NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 6-4 with a 16 HIT bombardment off Philadelphia pitching. Yamamoto took the ball for the Fish and he put the Marlins in a position to win. The Marlins outscored the Phillies 13-8 and out hit them 29-20. Very solid series sweep for the Fish.

Offense Produces

The Marlins offense managed to scratch a run off Phillies’ starter Enyel De Los Santos in the first inning. Rojas opened the game with a lead off single, followed by a Garret Cooper single which advanced Rojas to second. A wild pitch pushed Rojas to third and Cooper to second. 

Starlin Castro comes up huge with a single scoring Rojas but Cooper is thrown out at the plate after a Phillies’ challenge on the original safe call. Nonetheless, Miami is on the board early.

After a Cesar Puello single to open the second inning, JT Riddle blasts a two run homer to right field to give the Marlins a 3-2 lead. That is Riddle’s second home run in back to back games and he has now homered in three of his last four games.

More offense followed after the homer by JT Riddle. Garret Cooper and Brian Anderson followed up with homers of their own launching back to back home runs in the fifth inning.

Yamamoto’s Solid Start

Yamamoto got off to a rocky start in the first inning when he walked the bases loaded. He struggled to find the zone with his off speed pitches but minimized the damage to only two runs. A Jean Segura single scored two runs in the inning as they were the only runs the Phillies were gonna scratch off Yamamoto or the rest of the game. 

He managed to bounce back from that rocky start and threw five innings of quality baseball without allowing additional runs. His final stat line for his outing is 5 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 Walks, and 7 Strikeouts on 99 pitches. Three of those four walks came in the first inning, so a solid bounce back in the aspect of command for the rookie.

Yamamoto Makes History

After his solid pitching performance and the Marlins securing the win, Yamamoto became the first Marlins’ pitcher in franchise history to win their first three starts to start their career. (via @DuseReport)

His performance also pushed the Marlins rotation to sole possession of the 3rd best rotation ERA in ALL of baseball with a 3.71 ERA. They passed the Cincinnati Reds and the Minnesota Twins and kept their lead of the Houston Astros. The only two teams ahead of the Marlins are the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays, both with sub-3 ERA’s. (via @fishstripes)