Andrew Heaney belongs in Rotation over the “Brads”
After Saturday night’s loss to the Atlanta Braves, the Miami Marlins enter Sunday with a record of 68-72. The team is 5 games out of the second Wild Card spot in the NL. The fact that they have a sub .500 record and aren’t completely eliminated by the second week of September speaks volumes about the mediocrity of the National League. However, FanGraphs calculates the Marlins’ playoff chances to be a meager 0.3%.
That figure indicates the Marlins should be game planning for next season, giving some young guys a shot now so they could make an impact during a season where the Marlins are competing. Top organizational prospects Andrew Heaney and Anthony DeSclafani are both currently in the Marlins bullpen. Brad Hand and Brad Penny are both in the starting rotation. Neither Brad has been effective this season, however manager Mike Redmond has expressed his desire to continue to pitch them due to their experience, which could help the Marlins make a playoff push.
Hand is scheduled to pitch tonight vs. the Braves, with Penny to follow on Monday against the Brewers, quite the one-two punch. I would understand Redmond’s logic if one of two things were true:
1). The Marlins had a real shot at the playoffs,
2). Penny or Hand were better pitchers than Heaney and DeSclafani.
Neither of those things are true at this point, so why not give Heaney a shot? He’s just about the only exciting prospect left in the system, and he could use a couple of big league starts to gain confidence into next season. Sure, his first go round wasn’t what the Marlins had hoped for, but he still has plenty of time to figure it out, and he showed some upside during his 4 starts. Brad Hand has no real upside as a starter, and Brad Penny is not only old and beaten down, but he’s sporting a putrid 6.61 ERA .
If Penny and Hand perform poorly over these next two games, there is no reason for Redmond to leave Heaney sitting in the bullpen. Marlins fans are rooting for Heaney to make the rotation out of spring training next season, and nobody wants to pay to see the 36 year old version of Brady Penny hand out runs to anyone and everyone holding a baseball bat.