What the Marlins Could Have Been: Bullpen

What the Marlins Could Have Been: Bullpen

by August 18, 2019 0 comments

After beating the Yankees in the 2003 World Series, the Miami Marlins (back then known as the Florida Marlins) have not returned to the playoffs since.

Although they had some great players last decade such as Miguel Cabrera, Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis, Hanley Ramirez, and Dan Uggla, they were never able to put together another winning team.

After a move to Miami in 2012, the Marlins began to look primed to return to baseball dominance, behind an incredible group of young talent.

However, poor management at the hands of former general manager and current president of baseball operations Mike Hill,  the team has lost all of their good players and got pretty much nothing in return. The Marlins are now one of the worst teams in baseball, while their former players are succeeding on other teams.

In this article, we will go over what the Marlins’ bullpen could have looked like today if they had not traded away their solid core of relief arms.

Anthony DeSclafani

Like a few here who are labeled as ‘relief pitchers,’ DeSclafani is now a starter. In fact, the only time he was used as a reliever was when he pitched for the Marlins in 2014. In December of 2014, they traded him along with catcher Chad Wallach for pitcher Mat Latos. Latos pitched in 16 games for Miami, posting a 4.68 ERA and a 4-7 record and is now out of the MLB at age 31.

DeSclafani had a very solid 2016 season with Cincinnati with a 3.28 ERA, 105 strikeouts, a 9-5 record, and a 1.22 WHIP. After a severe UCL injury which made him miss all of 2017 and left him recovering during the 2018 season, he is showing improvements in this campaign. It is undeniable that he has had a better career than Mat Latos since he was traded.

Nathan Eovaldi

Eovaldi is another starter/reliever hybrid. He was traded along with Garrett Jones and Domingo German to the Yankees for Martin Prado and David Phelps.

As mentioned before, Phelps and Prado have not made big impacts in Miami. Eovaldi was slowed down by a Tommy John surgery in 2016 and missed the whole 2017 season. However, he secured a big payday after the 2018 season in which he excelled with the Boston Red Sox.

En route to a World Series win, Eovaldi recorded a 3.33 ERA, a 3-3 record, 48 strikeouts, and a 1.13 WHIP through 54 regular-season innings. In the playoffs, Eovaldi showed how great of a pitcher he could be. Through 22.1 innings of starting and relief pitching, he had a 1.61 ERA, a 0.81 WHIP, and 16 strikeouts. His clutch outings proved that he could succeed under much pressure as well. With a bullpen as poor as the Marlins, Eovaldi would have been a great piece.

Anibal Sanchez

Sanchez spent his first six and a half seasons with the Marlins and posted decent numbers overall in his time there.

Before the 2012 deadline, he was traded to the Tigers along with former All-Star infielder Omar Infante for pitchers Brian Flynn, Jacob Turner and catcher Rob Brantly.

The 2013 MLB ERA leader has had a long and very productive career, totaling 1,642 strikeouts and a 3.98 ERA. Recently, Sanchez has worked as a starter and sometimes out of the pen. He has put forth good numbers in his last two seasons.

In 2018, Sanchez pitched well for the Braves with a 2.83 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP, 135 strikeouts, and a 7-6 record. This season with the Nationals, he has been a great veteran presence, which the Marlins lack in the bullpen, winning seven games and having a 3.75 ERA.

Yusmeiro Petit

Petit played for the Florida Marlins in 2006 as a 21-year-old, he did not pitch well in his limited time in southern Florida.

The team traded Petit for pitcher Jorge Julio in 2007, who ended up being worse than Petit was with the Marlins. In 10 appearances with the Marlins, Julio had a 12.54 ERA and a 3.11 WHIP.

12 years later, Petit has become a great reliever. In his past three seasons, Petit has not recorded an ERA over 3.00 or a WHIP over 1.01, while having a 15-7 record. He has been phenomenal so far this year, appearing in 60 games with a 2.64 ERA, a 0.85 WHIP, and 49 strikeouts.

In the very strong Athletics bullpen, Petit has been their most consistent pitcher this season, even over All-Star Blake Treinen. Though Petit was traded over a decade ago, but he could have been an elite closer for the Marlins if they had been patient.

Sam Dyson 

Dyson has a good year and a half with the Marlins in the 2014 and 2015 seasons before being shipped off to the Rangers for pitcher Cody Ege and catcher Tomás Telis. Both players are now out of the MLB after abysmal major league careers.

Dyson has been a top reliever in the MLB throughout his last two years. In 2018, he appeared in 74 games with the Giants, posting a 2.69 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP, and 56 strikeouts. He’s been even better this season, pitching in 49 games, with a 2.64 ERA, an 0.90 WHIP, and 47 strikeouts before being traded to the Minnesota Twins in a deadline move a couple of weeks ago.

Considering Dyson’s pitching record with the Marlins, it makes no sense why they’d give him up for such a little return, and it’s coming back to bite them as Dyson continues to prosper.

Nick Wittgren

In 2018, with the Marlins, Wittgren was one of the only bright spots in their bullpen.

He had 31 strikeouts, a 2-1 record, and a 2.94 ERA throughout 32 appearances. This apparently was not good enough for the Marlins front office as he was traded to the Indians for pitcher Jordan Milbrath, another below-average pitching prospect who hasn’t pitched in the MLB.

Wittgren has only improved with Cleveland and is now a reliable bullpen arm for a playoff team. So far this season, he has pitched 46.1 innings, has a 4-1 record, a 2.72 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP, and 46 strikeouts.

The Wittgren trade still makes no sense. Surely the Marlins could have gotten more from him after his strong 2018 year. It is even more ridiculous that they did not just keep the cost-controlled 28-year old.

Steve Cishek 

In 284 games with the Marlins, Cishek struck out 312, had a 2.86 ERA, and recorded 94 saves.

In the 2015 season, he was traded to the Cardinals for pitcher Kyle Barraclough. Although Barraclough had almost four solid years with the Marlins, he was traded after the 2018 season to the Nationals for international slot value and is now wasting away with their Double-A team following a string of poor performances.

After leaving Miami, Cishek has continued his dominance, never having a season in which he had an ERA over 3.15 (excluding this season). Although he is still a valuable reliever for the Cubs today, his ERA has dropped to 3.56 in 2019, and his best years came in 2017 and 2018. In those campaigns, he threw a combined 114.3 innings with a 2.10 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and 119 strikeouts. The Marlins definitely miss his presence in the bullpen.

These relievers would make up a top-10 bullpen in the MLB. As always, let us know what you think and if there is anyone we missed.

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Leave a Reply