What's new

Marlins in market for strike-throwing relievers

SonOfJack

Belligerent Homer
Joined
May 10, 2017
Messages
12,478
Reaction score
1,118

MIAMI -- Two years ago, Tayron Guerrero was one of the Marlins’ most promising relievers in Spring Training, dominating with a 100-plus mph fastball and showing glimpses that he could be a potential closer.

But after dealing with wildness in 2019, Miami designated the 6-foot-8 right-hander for assignment on Monday.

The decision is telling because the Marlins are in the market for bullpen help. But they still parted with an experienced hard thrower who is not eligible for arbitration until 2021.

Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill addressed Guerrero’s situation in a conference call on Tuesday, and he also sent a signal to what the organization is prioritizing.

“Obviously, this past season, [Guerrero] had troubles with commanding the strike zone and resorted back to an incredibly high walk rate,” Hill said. “For a number of our young relievers, they need to get better. They need to throw more strikes, because you can’t defend a walk.”

Guerrero is the case in point. In 46 innings, the 28-year-old averaged 8.41 K/9 and 7.04 BB/9. The decline in command came after he averaged 10.55 K/9 in 2018 and 4.66 BB/9.

“We saw over the course of the 2019 season our bullpen issues and our staff in general,” Hill said. “We issued entirely too many walks.”

As a whole, Miami’s bullpen had a 4.37 BB/9 rate in 2019, which was tied with the Pirates for the second most in the Majors. Only the Red Sox (4.38 BB/9) issued walks at a higher rate.

For the Marlins, it wasn’t necessarily a case of the bullpen being overused. In all, the ‘pen logged 556 1/3 innings, which was 23rd overall. On the flip side, the Marlins’ starters worked 888 innings, tied with the Cubs for the seventh most.

The challenge in free agency is finding veteran relievers who have not only performed but are also strike throwers.

One potential candidate is free-agent right-hander Dellin Betances, a four-time All-Star with the Yankees. Many Marlins executives have ties to the Yanks, which gives them plenty of history with Betances, who could be a reclamation project in Miami. But Betances appeared in just one regular-season game in 2019, as he dealt with a right shoulder impingement and then a partial left Achilles tendon tear.

Betances had success in 2018, posting a 2.70 ERA in 66 appearances, with a K/9 rate of 15.53 and a BB/9 rate of 3.51. And like Guerrero, Betances is listed at 6-foot-8. For tall pitchers, repeating their delivery can be a challenge.

Part of the problem for the Marlins in 2019 was that their bullpen was loaded with inexperienced hard throwers, many of whom labored tossing strikes. Per Statcast, on all fastballs, Miami’s relievers averaged 94.5 mph, the highest in the Majors. The Mets were next at 94.2 mph.

Guerrero’s 98.9 mph average fastball topped all big league relievers with a minimum of 500 pitches. On the Marlins, five other relievers had their fastballs average at least 95 mph -- Ryne Stanek (97.6), José Ureña (97.1), Jeff Brigham (96.6), Nick Anderson (95.9) and Adam Conley (95.3).

Anderson was with the Marlins during the first half of the year before being traded to the Rays on July 31.

Moving forward, Miami is looking for more than merely velocity. The Marlins' targets must also show command, and they will give bullpen candidates a shorter leash if they aren’t performing.

“When we win more games and compete for championships, guys are going to have to command the zone and come in and do their part in getting outs,” Hill said. “Guys given an opportunity have to take advantage of that opportunity. If they aren’t able to take advantage of that opportunity, we’ll find someone who is.”
 

CYmarlins

The Andy Man Can
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Messages
6,585
Reaction score
13
Betances has had control issues in the past, and his recent shoulder problems scare me. I'd take him, but only on a relatively cheap one-year deal.

All of that being said, I like what I'm hearing. It's like a completely new organization. Even Mike Hill is saying good things.
Agreed. High incentive 1 year deal with mutual 2nd year option for Betances. 2004-2006 the Marlins signed closers to 1 year deals and did very well on them. Armando Benitez, Todd Jones, Joe Borowski
 

taiwanmarlin

Hammerhead
Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
7,294
Reaction score
131

Three unknown teams !? it's really ridiculous that all teams interested on him all be the "mystery team "…
 

el_gmac

I don't like Mike Hill and Jeter
VIP
Joined
Apr 12, 2015
Messages
9,612
Reaction score
288
makes sense to bring back Romo, he already taken his ID pic with the Marlins and Jeter can save money there
 

yxnarbo

Muckdog
Joined
Mar 7, 2019
Messages
52
Reaction score
11
I mean, we could do a lot worse than Romo, right?
 

SonOfJack

Belligerent Homer
Joined
May 10, 2017
Messages
12,478
Reaction score
1,118
Why not just bring back Romo as the closer !?
It all depends on what other teams are offering him. He had value to the fish last year because he was a low salary with potential to be traded at the deadline for a kid. There's no reason for them to go wild and try and outbid other teams for him though.
 

taiwanmarlin

Hammerhead
Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
7,294
Reaction score
131
It all depends on what other teams are offering him. He had value to the fish last year because he was a low salary with potential to be traded at the deadline for a kid. There's no reason for them to go wild and try and outbid other teams for him though.
So who should this team to outbid for ? I think the answer would be nobody, because we're still not a contender so don't need to seriously pursuit anybody.
 

SonOfJack

Belligerent Homer
Joined
May 10, 2017
Messages
12,478
Reaction score
1,118
So who should this team to outbid for ? I think the answer would be nobody, because we're still not a contender so don't need to seriously pursuit anybody.
Don't need to overpay for a closer when you're not a contender, that's a sure thing. I don't think overpaying is ever a good idea in general though for any position. You can spend without overpaying and handing out stupid contracts.
 

taiwanmarlin

Hammerhead
Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
7,294
Reaction score
131
Don't need to overpay for a closer when you're not a contender, that's a sure thing. I don't think overpaying is ever a good idea in general though for any position. You can spend without overpaying and handing out stupid contracts.
I think nobody wants to come here without the "overpaying" from this team, everybody knows we're not a big market winning teams like the Dodgers or Yankees that FAs would take less to play for, it's just the fact.
 

Top Bottom