Tag Archive for: Jose Urena

Marlins offseason

Marlins Moves This Offseason

MLB’s offseason begins far quieter than that of the NBA. While basketball fans see a flurry of moves come the moment free agents can agree with new teams, baseball moves at a much slower pace. Although teams have been able to sign free agents for weeks, only a handful have done so. The Marlins started this offseason by bringing in a new GM, and this week, Kim Ng finally started making moves.

Marlins Offseason Starts with a Trade

On Monday, the Marlins acquired right-hander Adam Cimber from the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations. In 152 career MLB appearances, Cimber posts a 3.89 ERA with 104 strikeouts and 38 walks over 136.1 innings pitched.

Cimber, 30, works as a sidearm hurler and provides Miami with a unique look out of the bullpen. Although his fastball only averages around 86 mph, he’s generated good results as an MLB reliever, including posting a 3.97 ERA and 3.99 FIP with a 52.4 percent groundball rate and a 1.59 BB/9 in 2020.

New Marlins GM Kim Ng noted Cimber’s “very unorthodox delivery” during her media availability on Thursday morning. She also said: “He’s just a really difficult guy to prepare for as a hitter. That was one of the very attractive things that we found out about him.”

The Indians will receive $100K, according to the Associated Press. That figure matches what a team would fork over when making a Rule 5 selection. This implies the Marlins are looking to build out the bullpen with veteran MLB arms instead of looking for a diamond in the rough.

“We need some help back there,” Ng said of the bullpen.

Last season, Miami made right-handed reliever Sterling Sharp a Rule 5 pick to little avail. Sharp pitched in four games for the Fish, going 0-0 with a 10.13 ERA over 5.1 innings with three strikeouts. He was returned to the Nationals and ultimately assigned to their Triple-A affiliate.

Marlins DFA Jose Urena

To make room for Cimber, the Marlins designated right-hander Jose Urena for assignment. The longest tenured Marlin on the roster, Urena’s time with the Fish comes to an end with mixed results. The Opening Day starter in both 2018 and 2019, Urena never found the consistency needed to perform at the highest levels. He was certainly miscast as an Ace.

In 2020, Urena, 29, resumed his role as a starter after an ill-fated run as a reliever in 2019. He posted a 5.40 ERA and 6.06 FIP with 5.79 K/9 and 5.01 BB/9 rates over 23.1 innings. His season ended painfully when he suffered a fractured right forearm at the end of September.

Urena proved to be an innings-eater from 2017 through 2018, but never developed beyond that. He’ll be most remembered for his clashes with Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. The Marlins elected to cut ties with Urena rather than pay the expected $4 million price tag for him.

Marlins Offseason: Non-Tender Deadline Signings

The Marlins made additional moves on Wednesday at MLB’s non-tender deadline. The team surprised some by inking both first basemen, Jesus Aguilar and Garrett Cooper, to new contracts. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the Universal DH for 2021, the Marlins elected to bring back a player in Aguilar deemed be a leader on last year’s club.

Aguilar hit .277 in 2020, with 10 doubles, eight home runs and 34 RBI over 188 at-bats. His infectious attitude and joy seemed to help spark the young group last season. It was a solid bounce-back for Aguilar after a subpar 2019 landed him on the waiver wire in Tampa Bay. Aguilar’s $4.35 million one-year deal includes a $150K bonus for plate appearances.

Cooper, meanwhile, took over as the team’s main first basemen through the playoffs. After his stint on the injured list while dealing with COVID, Cooper returned to hit .283 with eight doubles, six home runs and 20 RBI over 120 at-bats. His clutch home run in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series against the Chicago Cubs helped propel the Marlins into the NLDS.

Cooper’s injury history earned him some doubters along the way, including Marlins manager Don Mattingly, but he seemed to overcome those this season. That said, his $1.8 million one-year deal includes plate-appearance bonuses that could push his earnings to over $2 million.

No Real Non-Tender Surprises

The Marlins agreed to tender contracts to most of the eligible players on their list. Among them: third baseman Brian Anderson, catcher Jorge Alfaro, and relievers Cimber, Richard Bleier and Yimi Garcia.

The only player to be non-tendered by the team was reliever Ryne Stanek. The Marlins acquired Stanek in a 2019 trade deadline deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. Miami shipped reliever Nick Anderson and right-hander Trevor Richards to the Rays for Stanek and outfield prospect Jesús Sanchez. Unfortunately for the Fish, if Sanchez doesn’t become a frontline player, that seems like a lost deal.

Stanek came to the Marlins as a potential closer, but he never seemed to overcome injury issues. In 31 appearances for Miami, he posted a 6.03 ERA, allowing 21 earned runs over 31.1 innings. He registered 39 strikeouts and 27 walks, a 1.76 WHIP.

No Extension for Andy

The Marlins tendered a contract to Anderson Wednesday but not a long-term deal. MLB Trade Rumors projects Miami’s 27-year-old third baseman to earn somewhere between $2.2 and $4.2 million.

Anderson anchored Miami’s lineup for much of 2020. He played 59 of the 60 games and put up a .255 batting average with seven doubles, 11 home runs and 38 RBI in 200 at-bats. His sterling defense at the hot corner saw him earn a spot as a finalist for the Gold Glove at third. For his career, Anderson sports a .266 batting average with 42 home runs and 177 RBI.

“I personally would like to see how this year goes before we venture down that road, so I have a better understanding of who he is as a player and get a better sense of the situation,” Marlins GM Kim Ng said Thursday.

Other Marlins Offseason Tidbits from Ng

  • Ng noted the Marlins top offseason priority will be the bullpen. Miami’s added Cimber, but lost Stanek, as well as former closer Brandon Kintzler and late-inning reliever Brad Boxberger.
  • Ng said the Marlins will have an open competition at second base, pitting Isan Diaz and Jazz Chisholm against one another. The team isn’t beyond adding another player to this competition for the spring.
  • Ng also mentioned the team will look to add another bat to the lineup.

Don’t miss the latest Marlins Report episode on the Five Reasons Sports YouTube Channel! Check it out below!

Marlins beat Phillies

Marlins Beat Phillies 11-6, Take Opening Series

About 90 minutes before game time, a seismic rumble rolled through the Marlins clubhouse. Don Mattingly scratched Jose Urena from his scheduled start, and regular starters Harold Ramirez and Garrett Cooper were pulled as well. However, despite the uncertainty surrounding the club, the Marlins rallied to beat the Phillies, 11-6.

Miguel Rojas spurred the comeback, going 3-for-4 with a home run, triple, hit-by-pitch, three runs scored and four RBI. He fell a double shy of what would have been the first cycle for the Marlins franchise (4,306 games).

“It was a whole group of guys just relentless and not quitting,” said Rojas. “I’m so proud of the way we approached the day today. It was a weird day, a lot going on in the morning. This group of guys showed character.”

Rojas emphasized the team effort. “Everybody did their part to win the game.”

Marlins Bats Come Alive

The Marlins beat the Phillies thanks, in large part, to the bottom of the order. Rojas hit in the eight-hole. Isan Diaz (hitting seventh) went 2-for-5 with two runs scored. He made solid contact in two of his other at-bats in addition to the hits.

Magneuris Sierra, who made the 30-man roster over the likes of Monte Harrison and some of the other outfield prospects, demonstrated his value as well. Sierra (hitting ninth) went 2-for-3 with two RBI, a double, triple and walk. He played a great centerfield.

Most think Sierra made the team because his out of minor league options, but he does sport game-changing speed. Sierra hit .350 in 15 game after a September 3rd call-up last season.

New additions Corey Dickerson and Jesus Aguilar continued their hot start as Marlins. Dickerson went 2-for-5 with a towering home run in the sixth. He scored twice and drove in one. Aguilar hit his second homer of the season and finished 2-for-3 with two walks, an RBI and a run scored.

For the three game set, the Marlins hit five home runs, four doubles and two triples for 27 total hits and 17 runs.

Pitchers Played their Role

Robert Dugger made the surprise start in place of Urena. He learned about the change in the morning and called the moment “a shock. I had a little bit of time to mentally prepare. Everyone had confidence in me. You just got to adapt and be that guy for the team that day.”

Dugger surrendered a three-run home run to Bryce Harper in the first inning, but saw his teammates get all those runs back in the second. Dugger settled in to give up just one more run, ultimately going 3.1 innings.

Jordan Holloway, a 20th round pick for the Marlins in 2014, made his MLB debut. He walked his first batter but induced a deep fly ball out from Bryce Harper to register his first out. He gave up a pair of singles before coming out but did not surrender a run.

Holloway is the first pitcher to make the leap from Single-A since Jose Fernandez. He throws hard, working from 95-98 mph peaking at 100 with his fastball. In 2019, Holloway posted 93 strikeouts but 66 walks over 95 IP.

Seven pitchers went for Miami in this one. The Phillies managed baserunners often, but relievers only surrendered one run. Philadelphia loaded the bases in the fifth, six and eighth innings, but managed to push across just one run.

Walks continued to be an issue for the ‘pen, as they issued six free passes on the day. Luckily, none of the those walks came around to score for Philadelphia.

Marlins Beat Phillies Despite COVID Uncertainty

“It was a huge day for us,” Mattingly said. “Losing our starter, getting down four, the boys just bounced back. It would’ve been very easy to feel bad for yourself, so it’s was a big win from that standpoint.”

The Marlins changed their travel plans after the game and will stay in Philadelphia for the night. That decision is likely COVID-19 related, as the team awaits test results. Prior to the game Urena, Ramirez and Cooper were all pulled from the lineup, and while the team hasn’t confirmed this, several reports have surfaced that all three players have tested positive.

The Marlins already have Jorge Alfaro on the 10-day IL dealing with COVID related issues. Lewis Brinson and Matt Joyce did not work out with the team during summer camp and remain on the IL. Brinson has returned to workouts in Jupiter, as has prospect Jazz Chisholm, who also had a bout with COVID.

The team will fly home tomorrow to face the Baltimore Orioles. Pablo Lopez is scheduled to start for the Marlins. Asher Wojciechowski should go for Baltimore.

Since the Marlins beat the Phillies 11-6, they won the three-game series 2-1. It’s the first time since 2014 the Marlins have won the opening series of the season.

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.